The original Breitling Premier watches made powerful fashion statements and were perfect accompaniments to the remarkable changes taking place all over the world in the 1940s. The models in the new collection extend that legacy. While most of Breitling’s product themes revolve around aviation and diving, the new Premier line pulls the brand down to earth again with a classic line designed for the everyday man.
Premier B01 Chronograph 42
The case and dial
The Premier B01 Chronograph 42 models, equipped with the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, are the flagship watches in the new collection. The watch measures 42 mm in diameter and 13.65 mm in height. Not a faint size by any measure, the stainless steel watch has a good heft while keeping the retro style classic look. Reminiscent of vintage chronographs, the watch uses a raised dome sapphire glass, which extends possibly 2 mm above the bezel. This raised dome look is meant to mimic the plexi-glass styling of the past; improved with the use of sapphire crystal as opposed to plastic. The double sided anti-reflective glass allows the dial to stand out more, adding more brightness to the ‘panda’ bicompax layout dial.
The dial takes direct reference to vintage chronographs, using a dual counter layout, a tachymeter on the periphery and the two tone color scheme. It features contrasting black subdials with a chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock and a small second subdial at 9 o’clock, along with a date window at 6 o’clock. Each model has a white tachymeter scale on a black inner bezel around the dial.The choice to use applied indices adds a visual dimension to the contrasting dial.
Perhaps the only qualm one might have with the dial is the large peripheral space, due to a small movement in a large case. That said, the periphery space is disguised cleverly with the use of a black inner tachymeter ring.
Developed in-house by Breitling, the Caliber 01 is a self-winding, chronometer-certified chronograph with a power reserve of about 70 hours. The 4 hz movement is COSC-certified and has chronograph, time and date functions. The in-house caliber uses a ratchet wheel control with vertical coupling.
Measuring 7.2 mm, it is slimmer than the more commonly used 7750 movements which measure 7.9 mm. This gives the in-house caliber an instant benefit over the stock movement, allowing cases to be thinner than entry level chronographs.
The watch is attractive in design, with a nod in the retro, homage style designs popularised over the past few years. The use of an in-house movement also has its benefits, a longer power reserve and the potential of creating a slightly ‘slimmer’ case. Overall, the watch is sporty as it is classic, and carries strongly a racing/motorsports theme that may be a welcome breath of fresh air from the otherwise more frequently used pilot’s theme that Breitling is known for.
PREMIER B01 CHRONOGRAPH 42
Reference: AB0118221 in silver or AB0118A61 in blue
Caliber: Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01
Diameter: 30 millimeters
Depth: 7.2 millimeters
Winder: automatic with dual-acting ball-bearing rotor
Power reserve: at least 70 hours
Number of components: 346
Balance frequency: 28,800 a/h or 4 hertz
Chronograph: ratchet wheel control, vertical coupling, 30-minute and 12- hour counters
Display: minute, second, window date
Material: stainless steel
Diameter: 42 millimeters
Height: 13.65 millimeters
Water resistance: up to 10 bar (100 meters)
Glass: sapphire, convex, double anti-reflective
Caseback: screwed steel, sapphire glass
Crown: non-screw-locked, two gaskets
Silver or blue with contrasting fields for permanent seconds and totalizers
Super-LumiNova® luminescent hour and minute hands
Alligator leather or nubuck strap with folding buckle or stainless-steel bracelet with folding clasp