The Future Is Female: Why Breitling’s New Chronomat For Women Collection Is Worth A Second Look
Along with its new Spotlight Squad, last week, Breitling introduced its new line of Chronomat 36 and 32 ladies watches and new packaging that’s more friendly to Mother Earth.
Breitling just held its third Summit Webcast. And, barring any surprises, released the last of its 2020 novelties.
Under the stewardship of CEO Georges Kern, Breitling has been working hard to streamline its collections and focus on keeping the company’s offerings accessible and desirable. With the unveiling of a new Chronomat 36 and 32 collection for women and an innovative new sustainable initiative for the brand, the company has once again succeeded in keeping simplicity exciting.
Since Kern took the helm at Breitling, he has introduced smaller sizes in the Navitimer and Superocean collections with a more gender-neutral appearance.
While the ten new timepieces in this Chronomat for 36 and 32 collection are not overly girly either, Breitling is marketing them for women.
To launch the Chronomat for Women, Breitling has assembled the new Spotlight Squad, made up of three very independent women: South African actor and producer Charlize Theron, Chinese actor and influencer Yao Chan, and the first African American woman to become a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland. Theron and Copeland were on hand at the Summit to talk about the allure of these new timepieces.
“It’s a stunner,” said Theron, who sported the diamond bezel version at the presentation. “I like that it feels like both a men’s and woman’s watch.” She is a fan of wearing both types of timepieces and said, “Some days, you want something smaller.” That is what’s appealing about the Chronomat for women: it has a duality in the design that lets it be androgynous.
Copeland concurred, “Even though I’m a ballerina, I wouldn’t say I have the most over-the-top feminine style.” The ballet prodigy wore the white dialed version to the Breitling Summit because, as she explained, “It’s almost like a man’s watch, but it’s glamourous at the same time. It suits my lifestyle well.”
The new Chronomat 36 and 32 collection for women has all the sporty signatures of the Chronomat but with a smaller size and, in the diamond versions, a little extra sparkle.
All versions in the range display the hour, minutes, seconds, and date. They also all come on Breitling’s iconic Rouleaux bracelet with a butterfly clasp. And like all Breitling watches, the chronometers are COSC-certified plus feature water-resistance of 100 meters.
The difference between the timepieces is found in the choice of sizes. The 36mm is powered by the Breitling Automatic Caliber 10 with a reserve of about 42 hours. The 32mm has a SuperQuartz movement with a battery life of three to four years.
The 10 versions of the Chronomat Automatic 36 come in an array of materials and finishes that are as diverse as the Spotlight Squad with lacquered dials in white, pale green, midnight blue, or copper. The Chronomat 32 comes in 7 versions with either white or midnight blue dials.
The cases of both sizes come in cool stainless steel, two-tone steel and gold, or ultra-luxe 18 k red gold. And women craving something extra fancy can choose diamond-set bezels and indices.
This past April during his HOMEtime Live interview, when asked about Breitling's conservation efforts, Kern told Watchonista that Breitling planned to begin delivering watches without boxes and papers. “We are here to sell watches, not packaging,” said the brand’s CEO. “We have decided to totally review our packaging concept, and, in the coming months, we will basically change the concept, meaning you will see [packaging] made from recycled materials, and which you can also recycle.”
Now that initiative is coming to fruition. Starting in early 2021, Breitling will be introducing a foldable, reusable watch box created entirely from upcycled plastic bottles.
Already involved with environmentally sustainable initiatives such as offering Econyl straps made from recycled fishing nets, Breitling is committed to doing more. This new packaging is lighter in weight than traditional hard boxes and can be unfolded, so they are shipped flat, which results in a lower transport-related CO2 footprint. Additionally, warranties and other certifications will come with a card that links to digital paperwork. This move also offers extra security as owners can access their watch’s digital passport at any time and transfer ownership with a simple blockchain transaction.
You can also opt to skip the box entirely – watches will be offered in pouches that are made from recycled and recyclable materials.
Because boxes and papers are considered part of the value of a luxury watch (especially on the secondary market), Kern knows this is a disruptive move. But he also believes that it is an important one. But for those who prefer traditional packaging, it also is available on-demand although Breitling will invite you to donate to SUGi, an initiative that supports biodiversity through rewilding forests and oceans.
In a press release about the new packaging initiative, Kern explained, “Breitling is committed to doing everything within its sphere of influence to reduce the company’s environmental impact...and the result has exceeded our ambitions.”
The Chronomat 32 models are priced from $3,800 for the steel-cased, white/blue dial, and steel bracelet version and go up to $20,500 for the gold-cased, white dial, gold index and gold bracelet version.
The Chronomat 36 Automatic models range from $4,860 for the stainless steel, white/blue/green dial edition to $25,650 for the gold, white dial, gold index, and gold bracelet version. They are available now at Breitling boutiques or online at breitling.com.
(Images © Breitling)