This Just In: Breitling Unveils Summer-Ready Releases For 2020
The brand’s digital launch sees the debut of colorful Chronomats and surfing-inspired Superocean Heritage models.
The world at large, and the watch world, in particular, are in a unique position this year. The coronavirus outbreak has upended many staples of conventional life from traveling to shaking hands to coming together en masse with your fellow man. These three things also happen to be necessary elements for our industry’s spring fairs, which have since been postponed, put off, battered, and bruised.
Nevertheless, brands are pushing through the riptide to bring the public new watches for a new year. Breitling is one such brand, and for 2020, they are releasing new timepieces across three key collections: Chronomat, Navitimer, and Superocean.
The new Navitimer collection focuses exclusively on women’s models, and our own Viviana Shanks provides her in-depth analysis of the collection HERE. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the latest arrivals to the Chronomat and Superocean lineups.
The Chromatic Range of the New Chronomat Collection
First launched in 1984 when the wounds of the quartz crisis were still fresh, the Chronomat cemented Breitling’s commitment to Swiss mechanical watchmaking. Although chronographs have long served as the tentpoles of the brand’s arsenal, the Chronomat of 1984 was viewed as a business gamble with its function-forward aesthetics and mechanics swimming against the current of thin, battery-operated pieces.
Breitling CEO Georges Kern describes the latest collection, saying, “The Chronomat Collection is a fitting tribute to the amazing watch that, more than any other, put us back in touch with our heritage.”
The 2020 edition of this collection features classic Chronomat touches with an expanded color palette and enough versatility for land, air, and sea adventures. The core B01 42 models are joined by a new Bentley edition and a Frecce Tricolori Limited Edition of 250 pieces.
Each watch is powered by Breitling’s in-house Caliber 01, which made its debut over a decade ago in the Chronomat 01. The column-wheel, vertical clutch chronograph caliber consists of nearly 350 components and sports a solid 70-hour power reserve. These Chronomats are water resistant to 20 meters, and like all Breitlings, are COSC-certified chronometers.
Another standard feature of these 42mm Chronomats is the bezel’s rider tabs at 3 and 9 o’clock which are interchangeable for both “count up” and “count down” functionality suitable for aviation, of course, but also auto racing and regatta racing should you be blessed with such a myriad of talents.
The biggest update to the latest collection is the sheer number of color applications between the new dials and bursts of precious metals. Fans now have access to Chronomats with dials in silver, copper, blue, black, green, and anthracite. And the tried and true stainless steel cases now feature flashes of 18 karat red gold on the bezel, Rouleaux bracelet, crown, and pushers. And if that’s not enough, there’s the full red gold takeover option on a black rubber strap for the rakish ones among us.
Surfs Up for the Superocean Heritage ‘57 Collection
The new Superocean Heritage ‘57 Capsule Collection represents the latest iteration of the years-long retro revival trend in the watch industry. But while others draw inspiration from the racetrack or the battlefield, Breitling’s new Superocean series harkens back to the laid back surf culture of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
According to Breitling CEO Georges Kern, “The Capsule Collections let us tell some of our brand’s most inspiring stories while we produce some remarkably unique watches for a limited amount of time. With the Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection, we’ve focused on the relaxed Southern California fun-in-the-sun culture that defined an era. The surfing itself in the 1950s and 1960s is at the heart of our storytelling here, but those times offered so much more: the great music, the amazing cars, and the almost spiritual connection to freedom found on endless sandy beaches and in the search for the perfect wave.”
These dive watches from the Capsule Collection measure 42mm across and are available in black or blue colorways with matching bidirectional concave bezels. Each is water resistant to 100m, and each is powered by Breitling’s in-house, chronometer-certified Caliber 10 with a 42-hour power reserve. These watches will be made for a limited time, and therefore in limited quantities, but will not bear the engravings common to other limited editions.
Speaking of which, the new Breitling collection contains one watch that is sure to get its fair share of attention this season and beyond. The Superocean Heritage ‘57 Limited Edition is a stunner of a rainbow dial, released just in time for the warm weather months.
The kaleidoscope of colored indices around the dial is achieved through a gradation of Super-LumiNova, all the way from ROY to G to BIV. Like the infinity stones from Marvel movies, there are only a limited number of these (250 to be exact), and they’re available in Breitling boutiques around the world, so ya better act fast!
(Images provided by Breitling)