BaselWorld is opening its doors to the press tomorrow and general public the day after. While most brands still keep their releases a well-guarded secret, Breitling already put its 2018 novelties online earlier today.
There have been so many articles on Breitling and its CEO Georges Kern over the past few months that there was very little left unsaid anyway. Or was there? For the biggest part the new models are not surprising, being slight updates with the newer logo of existing watches, like with this Navitimer;
For a watch touted as a Professional Instrument, the world of the Breitling Emergency is surprisingly colorful and diverse. I just updated our database with a number of rare and unusual variations.
The Breitling Emergency II was introduced in 2013 as a replaced of the original 1995-2012 Emergency watch. While I won’t go into too much detail in this post, it’s safe to say that it featured a few impressive (/shocking) updates in terms of technical specifications, size and price.
The professional specifications of the Emergency watch has never stopped Breitling from releasing some wild variations. Remember the white & yellow gold versions of the original Emergency? While Breitling has refrained from giving us a precious metal version of the II [thus far; and at over 140 gram without strap for the titanium version it might be for the better], they do have a few configurations that can be considered ‘out there’ – how about mother-of-pearl dials or black diamonds on your 51mm ‘Dual Frequency Locator Beacon’? Breitling has got you covered.
Just before posting this I realized I was missing the Bentayga Edition – #19 on my carefully laid out 6*3 grid… It’s not yet in our database as I have to check the reference number, but it will be added soon.
For BaselWorld 2016, Breitling updated its Transocean Chronograph Unitime with two new dials. While still embracing the traditional ‘full’ Breitling style, they appear easier on the eyes than previous versions. The globe design is slightly larger and blends in better, while the 24-hour scale now has colour coding for day & night. Details via the links below;
While the first prototype of the Breitling B55 Exospace was shown to us at BaselWorld 2015 and uploaded shortly thereafter, the final production version was not officially introduced until yesterday – and is now live on WatchBase in all three versions including pricing information.
While the BaselWorld prototype was more or less a B50 with a different strap and logo’d dial, the final production version of the Breitling B55 Exospace Connected is a Aerospace on steroids, building on the design language of this pilot’s favorite and Breitling icon first introduced in 1985.
For now, the Breitling B55 Exospace Connected is available in three distinct configurations, all fitted with a Black Titanium case. Click the links for more information – including the latest prices;
Breitling quietly introduced two Limited Edition’s of its popular B50 with black titanium ‘Night Mission’ cases and ‘Cobra Yellow’ dials. And one of them -being part of the infamous Diamondworks program- is fully set. With black diamonds.
Notwitstanding the fact that a diamond-set titanium case is a very rare sight – and much more so a black-coated titanium case-, I think it’s safe to say that this one (ref. VB5010AU.I525.155S) represents an acquired taste. Its diamond-less brother (ref. VB50105T.I525.155S) on the other and looks rather smashing – a 30th Anniversary Aerospace on steroids. It’s limited to 100 pieces, only available at Breitling boutiques, so rush if you’re interested!
With day 1 of BaselWorld 2015 coming to an end, I think its time for a first recap. Below I’ll be posting some (perhaps random) thoughts on a few of the watches uploaded to the WatchBase database and I’ll try to do this more often – if I can find the time.
The 2015 Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon collection
If released four consecutive years, Omega would seem to be taking the easy way with changing minor details on a winning model. People, customers, WE, would probably tire of it rather quickly. With his new play however, Omega changes the game to an exercise in details, offering us an instant look into the mind of the manufacturer and the infinite possibilities that a canvas like the original Dark Side of the Moon can offer. It’s as if bloggers Photoshop dreams were made reality.
The Oris Divers Sixty-Five
This one I love. It’s a true product of passion. I first heard of this project back at BaselWorld 2014 when the Oris brand manager for the Netherlands -an avid collector himself- told me he was trying to convince his superiors to build a watch based on a vintage model in his collection. One year later, the outcome couldn’t have been better. It’s charming, it’s affordable, it’s cool. Plus it’s available on both a NATO strap (with folding buckle nonetheless!) as well as a Tropic, both of which are exceedingly awesome.
The Breitling SuperOcean II
With the 2014 return of the Colt with the signature Breitling bezel and the recent release of the Colt Chronograph automatic, one could easily see Breitling returning the SuperOcean back to its roots as well. However, the brand seems to be determined to give this line its own look, sticking to the bezel with rubber inlay as introduced back in 2010. However, for the dial, they now did look back at their heritage. And it looks good! While the B01 is a stunning movement, for the bigger part it’s this kind of reasonable priced watches that made Breitling for the last decade or two. I like ‘m. They’re now available in either 36, 42 or 44mm – and as is customary with Breitling, the options when it comes to case/dial/strap combinations are sheer endless.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
This one we admittedly scooped earlier just like the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, but who can resist commenting on THE Patek that is bound to stir some controversy in the coming weeks/months/years? I will stay to a macro level with my comments for the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524G. Look at it this way – when a brand puts out to many models based on previous stuff, they’re often branded to conservative, lacking imagination, drawing to heavily on their heritage – this is mostly the case with Patek and Rolex. However, when and if introducing something DIFFERENT, it’s as if the world is set on fire – THIS? They can not possibly be serious! I applaud Patek for branching out and trying something different – although I’m not quite sure why they’d put in the Calatrava name. Yes, it’s something else. No, it’s not Patek Philippe as you know it. But it’s CASUAL CHIC in capitals. Sprezzatura in the Agnelli type of way.
The Patek 5270R
Skip it. This is too good. I’m writing a separate post on this one.
The Rolex Day-Date 40
This is just stellar. Those of you that know me know that the Day-Date is one of my favorite watches EVER. The Day-Date II in my opinion was perhaps not the best of Rolex’ releases. The proportions just do not seem right. With the new Day-Date 40 however, they seem to have found a way to fit the DD with a larger case without ruining its classics looks. I think its a stunner. Should I end here, or should we talk about the new movement, caliber 3255, that features no less than 14 new and patented technological solutions? As of yet, I’ve uploaded the four standard configurations – one for each metal: platinum, white gold, yellow gold and rose gold.
Breitling just released the B55 Connected, an updated version of the Cockpit B50. The watch can now be connected via Bluetooth Low Energy to an app.
BaselWorld 2015 is promising to be an exciting one – it will be sans doubt the year of the smartwatch. Of course the Apple Watch bomb dropped a few weeks back and now it’s up to the Swiss manufacturers to respond. We’ve already seen Frederique Constant’s idea of a Swiss smart watch a few weeks back and TAG Heuer is expected to release something similar. At the Swatch Group’s Annual Results Press Conference, CEO Hayek hinted that tech now only offered in Swatch watches could soon also be used by more high-end brands.. In short: next few years will undoubtedly be very exciting for the watch industry as a whole.
And now there’s Breitling – with a rather unique approach. Instead of using the watch as an extension of the phone, the route taken by Breitling is perfectly opposite: the phone is in service of the watch.
What does this mean? While the watch per sé offers little to no new functions, it can be connected to a smartphone app, which in turn can be used for things like setting the alarm, changing timezones, storing timed events et cetera. A novel idea as far as I know, and one that looks quite promising in their video – truly simplifying the operation of the watch: