A bit over a year into the reign of Georges Kern at Breitling sees the launch of the new historically-inspired Premier Collection, raiding the archives from the brand’s collection of the same name dating back to the 1940s. This new collection comes in the form of five introductory models – the Premier B01 Chronograph 42, Premier Chronograph 42, Premier Automatic 40, Premier Automatic Day & Date 40, and the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green.
The original Premier watches were sized between 36 and 38mm, but this new collection is obviously larger, for current tastes. Breitling’s many chronographs are arguably the fundamental part of the brand’s watches, so it is only to be expected that they feature in the new Premier family. The early Premier chronographs from the 1930s/ 1940s were triple register chronographs, but there is more variety in this new collection.
Premier B01 Chronograph 42
To start with, let’s look at the new Premier B01 Chronograph 42 models which is, as the name states, in a 42mm sized (stainless steel) case with a height of 13.65mm.
Available with either a dark blue or silver dial, with both variants available either with a matching alligator strap, nubuck (brown or black respectively) or stainless steel bracelet, the dial is clean, simple, and classic, with the contrasting minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds sub dial at 9 o’clock, A modern concession is the existence of the date window at 6 o’clock with, happily, the background the same colour as the dial. Both models have a white tachymeterscale on a black inner bezel around the dial and the hour and minute hands have Super-LumiNova.
The watch is COSC-certified, powered by the Breitling Calibre 01, which beats at 28,800VPH and has a power reserve of seventy hours. The back has an open case back, through which you will be able to view the movement.
Premier Chronograph 42
The next chronograph is the Premier Chronograph 42 which, in a self explanatory fashion, is also in a 42mm sized (stainless steel) case. It also comes in either a blue or black dial, but features a 30 minute counter at 12 o’clock, a 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock, and a small seconds sub dial at 9 o’clock. Again, the hour and minute hands have SuperLumiNova coating.
This model is also COSC-certified. Unlike the previous model it’s a closed case back, under which is the automatic Calibre 13, beating at 28,800VPH and with a power reserve of forty-two hours.
It comes on an alligator strap, nubuck strap, or a stainless-steel bracelet.
Premier Automatic 40
Moving away from the chronographs is the first of two more dressy pieces. The Automatic 40, which just sticks to the time and a small seconds sub dial, is smaller than the chronographs, as is often the wont for dress watches compared to their sportier cousins, but this 40mm model is also in stainless steel.
In keeping with the general colour schemes of the launch of the Premier Collection, it is available in three dial options – anthracite, blue, or silver, and there is also the continued use of SuperLumiNova on the hands. Each dial option is available with either an alligator or nubuck strap, or a stainless steel bracelet.
This is also a COSC-certified model, and inside is the automatic Calibre 37, beating at 28,800VPH and with a power reserve of forty hours.
Premier Automatic Day & Date 40
Despite having the date readily available on phones and various personal devices nowadays, having a date on a watch continues to be popular, and it makes another more prominent appearance in the Premier Automatic Day & Date 40, joined by a day of the week functionality as well.
Coming also in a stainless steel case, it is available in either a silver or black dial with lumed hands and like the others, on either a nubuck or alligator strap, or a stainless steel bracelet.
Also COSC-certified, it is automatic, powered by the Calibre 45, which has a power reserve of forty hours. The case back is closed.
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green
Last but definitely not least is the B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green, the latest addition to the well established Breitling/ Bentley relationship. ‘British Racing Green’ is a colour that occasionally pops up on watch dials for English editions, and in this example it comes with contrasting totaliser sub dials and a date window at 6 o’clock.
In keeping with the rest of this inaugural collection, the B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green is in a stainless steel case sized as per the model name. There really is no room for confusion with sizing for any of these new models.
Visible through the open case back is the COSC-certified automatic Calibre 01, beating at 28,800VPH and with seventy hours of hour power reserve.
The Bentley relationship is noted on an engraved plate on the side of the case, which is inscribed with the automaker’s name, as well as a logo on the back.
The positioning of this new collection is clear – as CEO Georges Kern has put it : “This is the first modern Breitling collection dedicated to everyday elegance.”