With the launch of its Premier collection, a contemporary revival of a 1940s gents’ dress watch, in 2018, Breitling firmly established its mission of reaching beyond a sporty, aviation style and entering more elegant market territory. This week, the watchmaker introduces a vintage-influenced extension of the collection, appropriately dubbed Premier Heritage, which encompasses three classic chronograph styles from its past over six new references. Further speaking to their historical pedigree, two of these modern timepieces feature hand-wound mechanical calibers.
The styles available in the first wave of Premier Heritage models are Chronograph, Duograph (chronograph with a split-seconds function), and Datoro (calendar with moon-phase). The Premier B09 Chronograph 40 is available in a 40-mm case in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold, the former model sporting an unusual pistachio green dial, the latter a silver-colored dial. Inside both models is Breitling manufacture Caliber B09, a manual-winding version of the company’s flagship base movement, the self-winding, chronograph-integrated B01, with a column wheel, vertical clutch, and 70 hours of power reserve.
Slightly larger, at 42 mm in both rose gold and steel, is the Premier B15 Duograph 42. Outfitted with a blue dial in its steel iteration and a black one in the gold version, the watch contains Breitling’s manually wound Caliber B15, which is based on the automatic B03, its first in-house movement equipped with a rattrapante, or split-seconds functionality, which allows measurements of two elapsed times simultaneously thanks to its two superimposed stopwatch hands. Like the Chronograph models, the Duograph’s dial features a tachymeter scale on its periphery for measuring speeds based on time and distance.
Breaking from its two siblings in several respects is the Premier B25 Datoro 42, which offers chronograph functions but also features displays for the day, date, month and moon-phase on its dial (either copper-colored, in its steel version, or silver-colored, in the 18k rose gold model). Its movement, Breitling Caliber B25, is built on an outsourced ETA 2892-A2 base and retains its self-winding capability rather than being redesigned for manual winding, as with the other Premier Heritage models. The case of the Datoro measures 42 mm in diameter and the B25 movement, which use a column wheel to drive the chronograph, beats at a 28,800 vph frequency and carries a power reserve of about 48 hours.
Common to all the Premier Heritage models are the dial’s Arabic numerals and vintage-look luminous-treated hands; 100-meter water-resistant cases; “semi-shiny” alligator straps with tone-on-tone stitching; and COSC chronometer certifications attesting to the reliability and accuracy of each watch and its movement. The Premier B09 Heritage Chronograph 40 is priced at $8,400 in steel and $20,200 in rose gold; the Premier B15 Duograph 42, at $10,250 in steel and $22,850 in rose gold; and the Premier B25 Datora 42, at $12,950 in steel and $25,650 in rose gold.
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B25 looks like a heavily modified Valjoux 7750, instead of an ETA 2892-A2.
B25 appears to be a heavily revised version of the Valjoux 7750 caliber, instead of ETA 2892-A2.