Wednesday, September 23

Breitling Endurance Pro: Live! Play! Repeat! New collection hands-on review

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Breitling announced a new collection today – the Endurance Pro. Equipped with thermo-compensated SuperQuartz™ movement in a Breitlight® case. We got our hands on the new watches, and here is our review.

Breitling Endurance Pro

The new collection is designed to be a lightweight watch for athletes and casual crowd. The target is as an everyday sports chronograph, in a combination of lighweight, lighthearted sports watch with a high precision movement, a case in a still innovative material (despite being introduced in 2013). This launch is accompanied by the Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge which offers the opportunity to compete for prizes.

The Breitling Endurance Pro.

The collection is offered in 5 colours options on the straps and accents on the dial and crown. All feature the same SuperQuartz movement, and all are encased in the same Breitlight case.

The case, dial and hands

The case is a made in a very light, very strong proprietary material called Breitlight®. The material has been used by Breitling previously as early as 2013, and makes its appearance once again after a hiatus of many years. It is not carbon fiber, but a Breitling-exclusive Swiss made case material utilizing a lightweight high-tech polymer that’s been charged with composite fibers for strength and rigidity. The material is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, is nonmagnetic, thermally stable, and hypoallergenic. Breitlight is also claimed to be highly resistant to scratches, traction, and corrosion.

The material has a light texture, and is matte without any shine of glint from light reflections. As mentioned, five colour variations are available, each in a black dial and black bidirectional rotating bezel engraved with compass bearings and the cardinal points (N, S, E, W). The five variations are in white, blue, yellow, orange and red. The colours appear as accent marks on the rehaut which also bears the pulsometer scale.

The hour and minute hands are coated with SuperLumiNova. The coating on the numerals, 1, 2 (partially cut), 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 (partially cut) and 11 is quite thick, bulging out from the sides, making a nice convex shape to the arabic numerals. The numerals 3, 6 and 9 are huge, and also partially cut. Some purists may freak out, but we are not bothered by it, and find the dial design to be quite balanced, if a bit busy. We neglected to take a lume shot, but noting that the SulerLumiNova is rather thick, we are assured that it will be quite bright. The chronograph second hand has a red arrow tipped pointer. The hands on the a small-second subdial at 6 is tipped white, while the hands on the 1/10th second and 30-minute chronograph counters are red tipped.

The crown is tactile moulded in the same colour as the strap and inner bezel ring, and provides a nice grip to manipulate the watch for winding and setting of the time. The chronograph operates as expected, with smooth activation of each of the chrono functions.

The watches are presented on a Diver Pro rubber strap in the same colour as the inner bezel ring. The strap is secured with a Breitlight double-pin buckle. A vibrant Outerknown ECONYL® yarn NATO strap is also available separately.

The overall feel is one which is very light, but also very tough and robust. The case is rated to a water resistance of 100m. All playing well into Breitling’s intended usage. The splash of bright colours add a playful element. On the wrist, it feels warm to the touch, and the textured finish gives a tactile feel which is quite nice. The dial legibility is somewhat compromised as the dial is rather busy, but overall time telling in hours and minutes is easy at a glance due to the use of large hands and markers.

The movement

At the heart of the Endurance Pro is the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 82, whose SuperQuartz™ technology delivers exceptional precision.

Not much is known of the movement as we understand it is a new caliber. The movement is COSC certified. From past experience with thermo-compensated super quartz movements, we expect it to maintain an accuracy of not worse than 15s a year. For example, the Breitling B55, which uses the Breitling Caliber B55 (derived from ETA Thermoline) is also a thermo-compensated super quartz, and keeps timing to an accuracy divergence of no more than 15s a year.

The competitive landscape

The use of innovative and proprietary material like the Breitlight makes comparisons difficult. However, as Breitlight is made of polyamide fibres in a composite, and though it is not really a carbon composite, it does bear comparison to forged carbon cases. We understand that this is a non apple to apple landscape, but at the risk of not providing some comparisons, we present the following possibilities. At S$4290, the Breitling is expensive compared to quartz (not super quartz) offerings, and inexpensive compared to mechanical ones.

Perhaps the closest is the forged carbon cased Gorilla Fastback GT Drift “Elise”, made by a small independent helmed by the former chief designer at Audemars Piguet – Octavio Garcia.

At S$5088, it is close to the retail price of the Breitling Endurance Pro. However, it offers a satellite style wandering hours complication to tell the time. The movement is a Vaucher modified ETA movement. Feature wise, it lacks a chronograph. The forged carbon case on the Gorilla is a smooth matte finish, while the Breitling case has a texture quite similar to the Luminox.

At the lower end of the price range, the offerings by Luminox Chronograph Bear Grylls Survival 3740 Master Series at S$1520 come to mind.

The intent of the watch designs are very similar – tough, lightweight, sports oriented quartz chronograph…or in the case which is matte finished composite material. The pricing undercuts the Breitling by a large margin, but it uses a regular, run of the mill quartz movement – the Ronda 5030.D which is specified to -10/ +20 sec/month instead of the thermo-compensated, high precision (12X more precise) SuperQuartz. Though the Luminox features their gas discharge tubes for maximum lume.

And at the high end, the Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech is a candidate.

At S$18300, it is considerably more expensive than the Breitling, and lacks a chronograph but it offers an automatic mechanical movement in the P.9010. Another candidate at the high end is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Forged Carbon (was retailing for US$36900, now discontinued)- a chronograph with forged carbon case, and mechanical movement. We don’t find the forged carbon case material is in the current AP catalog.

Concluding thoughts

The Breitling Endurance Pro provides an interesting entry point to the Breitling universe. The watch has a rather fun element, with the gorgeous colour accents adding to the sporty intent. Visually, it is on point.

The high precision quartz movement is a nice touch to the lightweight, tough case. The watch is very lightweight, and though the case measures 44mm, wears small in our view, and is very comfortable for hard core sports and an active lifestyle. The textured finish is nice to the touch, and it offers a warm feel as opposed to cold metal.

The Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge

Strava is the world’s leading app for runners and cyclists. Its features allow athletes to track and analyze every aspect of their activities, regardless of their choice of sport. The Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge was created to engage and motivate participants from all over the world.

Those who take part in the Strava Challenge, which goes live on 26 August 2020, will be competing for some great prizes, including a Breitling Colnago C64 bike, Breitling Endurance Pro watches, and Breitling jersey kits. To be eligible for the prizes, competitors will have to complete 500 minutes – about the time it takes a world-class triathlete to complete a full IRONMAN® event – in the activities of their choice, be it swimming, running, cycling, hiking, or another sport.

Unlike the IRONMAN® stars, participants in the Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge will have two weeks to rack up their 500 minutes. The winners will be selected at random from the pool of competitors who complete the Strava Challenge. Additional information is available at www.breitling.com/endurancepro.

Breitling Endurance Pro Specifications


Reference: X82310A51B1S1/X82310A41B1S1/X82310D51B1S1/
X82310A71B1S1/X82310D91B1S1

WATCH MOVEMENT
Caliber: Breitling Caliber 82
Diameter: 30 millimeters
Depth: 5.12 millimeters
Movement: thermo-compensated SuperQuartzTM
Battery life: approximately 3–4 years
Chronograph: 1/10th second and 30-minute counters
Other functions: pulsometer scale
Display: hour, minute, second, date
Certification: COSC-certified

CASE
Material: Breitlight®
Diameter: 44 millimeters
Height: 12.5 millimeters
Water resistance: up to 10 bar (100 meters)
Glass: sapphire, flat, double anti-reflective
Caseback: solid, with screws
Crown: non-screw-locked crown
Bezel: bidirectional

DIAL/HANDS
Black with either a white, blue, yellow, orange, or red inner bezel
Super-LumiNova® luminescent hour and minute hands

STRAP
White, blue, yellow, orange, or red Diver Pro rubber strap with a Breitlight® double-pin
buckle
Outerknown ECONYL® yarn NATO straps can be purchased separately

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