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With the coronavirus derailing the watch industry’s spring show schedule, Breitling embraced an increasingly popular approach to the unveiling of its 2020 novelties: The Swiss brand held its first-ever webcast, an 18-minute digital press conference hosted by CEO Georges Kern and featuring highlights from the brand’s three newest collections interspersed with videos of the brand’s good-looking crew of celebrity and sport ambassadors.
“We need to stay in contact with watch lovers and watch fans around the world—this is why we’re doing the webcast,” Kern said.
He added that the products would soon be available at Breitling.com, but also on the websites of its retail partners.
The presentation emphasized the connection between Breitling’s contemporary models and signature styles from its midcentury heyday. Kern kicked things off with the Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection of limited-volume wristwatches, designed to evoke a laidback 1960s surfer vibe.
“Recently we have built strong ties with the surfing community, a sport that perfectly reflects Breitling’s cool, relaxed lifestyle,” Kern said.
The new Superocean pieces span six references that retail from $4,380 to $5,690. There’s a classic black dial version on a black vintage-inspired leather strap, a blue dial on a brown vintage-inspired leather strap (both available on an integrated Ocean Classic stainless steel bracelet), and a two-tone style in 18k red gold with a black dial and black ceramic ring, on either a steel bracelet or gold leather strap.
The grooviest of the new Superoceans, however is a boutique-only rainbow model, the Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition—which retails for $4,520 on a leather strap and $5,025 on a steel bracelet and is limited to 250 pieces. The model bears a bidirectional concave stainless steel bezel, black ceramic bezel ring and black dial, all of which sets off the “festival of color” on the dial: Super-LumiNova luminescent hour markers, hour and minute hands in a kaleidoscopic range of hues. Kern described the 42 mm piece as one of his favorite executions.
Breitling next revisits its famed mechanical chronograph, the 1984 Chronomat, with a contemporary collection of five models, retailing between $8,100 and $20,200—that Kern described as “all-purpose sports watches.” Housed in a reduced 42 mm case bearing the original Chronomat’s symmetrical silhouette, the models bring back the famed Rouleaux bracelet.
“It made the Chronomat the watch to have at the time,” Kern said. “It’s the perfect watch to be worn with anything from casual to tuxedo.”
The redesigned Chronomats are equipped with Breitling’s in-house B01 caliber and come with multiple dial options—silver, copper or blue with black contrasting chronograph counters or black with silver contrasting chronograph counters; a British racing green with black contrasting chronograph counters in the collection’s Bentley edition; or a standout salmon-colored dial with black counters.
The brand also unveiled six feminine references—ranging from $4,310 to $8,800—in the new Navitimer Automatic 35 collection, to answer “women’s desire for a more refined and elegant version of this icon,” Kern said.