Breitling demonstrated a flair for innovating with new materials in its Baselworld 2016 product launches — like ceramic for baseplates and bridges in its new Chronoworks caliber, and an exclusive new alloy, Breitlight, for the case of its Avenger Hurricane watch. This year’s new Breitling for Bentley watch continues the theme, with a case made from a cutting-edge carbon material used in the chassis of Formula One race cars.
The 45-mm case of the Breitling for Bentley GMT Bo4S Carbon Body is constructed from a high-tech material in which tiny carbon fiber strands, just 30 microns in diameter, are woven into hundreds of layers, with successive layers placed at 45-degree angles between them, and bonded by a heat-set resin. The process yields a finished product that is exceedingly rigid, shock-resistant and matte-black in appearance. (In addition to high-end motorsports cars, this material is also used in aircraft and racing boats; it is used here for the very first time in a watch.) The dial is also made of carbon, with a visible weave pattern.
Like its predecessor models (in steel, rose gold, and, most recently, the titanium Light Body version), the watch has the Breitling for Bentley collection’s hallmark features, including ergonomic curves, asymmetrical lugs, and broad bezel with a knurled motif echoing the look of a Bentley radiator grille. In addition to a 1/4-second chronograph, an integrated function in most all Breitling watches with in-house movements, the B04 S Carbon Body is equipped with an easy-to-use timezone-changing system, which the wearer can operate by simply pulling out the crown and turning it forward or backward to move the hour hand in one-hour increments to set a new local time without any loss of precision to the minutes. The date will also automatically adjust to the new local time, in either direction. Additionally, the scale on the rotating inner pinion bezel bears the names of 24 world cities, enabling a quick readings of the time in any other time zone in the world at a glance.
The dial has subdials for the chronograph 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock, respectively, and for running seconds at 9 o’clock. The center-mounted GMT hand is red, matching the red-rimmed counters of the subdials, which evoke the look of a race car’s instrument panel. The dial, which also offers a date window at 4;30, is protected by a curved sapphire crystal, glare-proofed on both sides. The screw-locked winding crown helps keep the case water-resistant to 100 meters.
This Bentley’s engine is Breitling’s automatic manufacture Caliber B04, with 47 jewels, a speedy frequency of 28,800 vph, and a long power reserve of more than 70 hours. Like all Breitling calibers, it has been certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and protected by two patents. The Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 — a limited edition of 250 pieces — comes on Breitling’s black rubber “GMT” strap and is priced at $22,700. Scroll down to see photos we shot of the watch during its introduction at Baselworld 2016.