Question Time: Should You Buy The New Breitling Premier B01 Premier 42mm Anniversary Watches?
Breitling’s Premier collection is the mysterious underdog of their portfolio. While not as popular as the Navitimer or the Chronomat collections, it remains the solid choice for Breitling consumers looking for an ideal alternative. Breitling lovers may know all about The Navitimer 01 with its famed slide rule bezel and recognizable dial face. They may also know about the all-action Breitling Endurance Pro which has three Iron Man winners to its name. Today however, we are introducing to you the new Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Anniversary Watches. Read on!
History of Breitling’s Premier Collection
The Premier Collection was born out of Willy Breitling’s unbridled optimism for the end of a miserable WW2.
Premier History - Source - Breitling
During the 1940’s Breitling had been feverishly pumping out aviation instruments to a few Air Forces, but namely The British Royal Air Force. Due to their highly precise and skilled HUIT Aviation department, they were more than competent at creating the best instruments possible for the planes.
While these heavy utility based designs were extremely useful during the current predicament Britain found itself in, Willy Breitling had another plan up his sleeve. All the grey morbidity of the war had left a hole for luxury and glamour and as such, Willy Breiling released new watches aimed at a more stylish clientele.
When 1943 rolled around, The Premier collection was released. To those who don't know, ‘Premier’ means first in French, symbolising how Breitling were taking the helm of elegant watchmaking, all the while being built with the same sporty aesthetics we see in the Navitimer and Superocean collections. Talk about being ahead of its time!
The collection had a variation of materials in each model, ranging from stainless steel to solid gold. There were even a variety of sizes too, including 32mm for those wishing to buy a Breitling for added refinement, through to the larger 38mm if you want to buy a Breitling offering sporting prowess.
The Premier collection can therefore not be housed in one definition. The design alternated for each model such as the style of pushers, from square to round or the amount of sub counters which were either two or three. Even down to the intricacies of the indexes, the sportier watches would be dosed in lume while those looking to buy a Breitling for style would look at those faces with more applied indexes.
The trendy Top Time model would be released 20 years later. The Premier collection however, showed the brand already knew the target audience well and understood that looking fashionable was always on the timekeeping agenda! Breitling would seek to flex their watchmaking expertise by releasing the Duograph variation of the Premier collection.
Launched in 1944, they utilised their 2 patented independent chronograph pushers and used the same style design of the Premier collection such as the material options of stainless steel or gold, as well as the various pusher designs. The Datora would be released around the same time, again showboating the Swiss brand’s skills as it was released with a full calendar indication with various style features of the Premier. However, Breitling has not rested on their laurels, Timelords! Their new Premier releases follow these design codes and bring the collection into the modern era.
Design Of The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Anniversary Watches
These six new editions from the Premier catalogue are not revolutionary in terms of design. They follow the same codes as their predecessors but what they offer is a continuation of the contemporary design theme Breitling are gunning for, cementing it as a classic yet new timepiece. These are certainly ones to watch if you want to buy a Breitling with evergreen appeal!
Case Designs of The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42
All six of the new models follow the same design construction as their existing models. Measuring 42mm, the new watches are given a thickness of 13.6mm making them rather chunky. This is to be expected for models 42mm and up and with sportier capabilities.
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42mm - Source - Breitling
Breitling pride themselves on their very unique sapphire crystals which are glareproofed on both sides. By grinding the upper and lower surfaces of the crystal, it is given a specific cambered effect, especially since the angles of the crystals have been bevelled, ensuring visibility is clear in all conditions.
The case sides of the new watches feature a crown and two bezels on the right hand side. The two pushers relate to the patents that Breitling. These patents essentially allow for a second pusher at 4 o'clock to reset the chronograph functions to zero, allowing the first pusher at 2 o'clock a ‘reset-to-zero’ function, allowing users to add time measurements without needing to set the hands back to zero.
While the new watches may appear to be similar in design in relation to its older brethren, there are some other changes in the form of the straps. They utilise leather straps in black or two different shades of brown and are given fairly thick wear at 22mm.
If leather straps aren't your thing, you can utilise the 7 link bracelets which are given a classy butterfly-style folding clasp, allowing you to be the coolest cat in town when adorning your new Breitling! The straps or bracelets don't deviate too much from the traditional design, but their subtle tapering construction allows the model to be worn with infinitely more comfort on the wrist.
Out of these six brand new models, 5 are crafted out of stainless steel which is renowned for its high durability. If you are feeling like you’re a man of great substance and wealth, you can get your hands on a solid 18K red gold edition of the new Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42. Luckily for you, the solid 18K red gold edition also comes with a seven link red gold bracelet to keep you looking as sharp as a razor!
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 - Salmon Dial
On the inside of the smooth fixed bezel, the new watches are fitted with sub counters and applied Arabic numerals, allowing legibility to be the key priority on the face.
Salmon Dial Premier B01 - Source - Breitling
The sub counters use a tone on tone effect in order to allow them to stand out on the face. While the background and sub counters are both salmon, they are slightly sunken in order to create a clear distinction. The Arabic numerals are given the same steely complexion as the case, allowing for consistency throughout the watch. We like how they stand out superbly against the salmon face, especially since Arabic numerals are so prominent.
The minute track and tachymeter are black, as well as the numbers and indices within the sub counters. While they aren't the most accessible at first glance, they stand out enough to be present across the entirety of the face. The hands are syringe shaped and coated with lume to enhance their readability. The tip of the second hand is coloured red in order to establish a difference between the steely Arabic numerals and matching hands.
Salmon is an unusual colour but it's certainly one that catches the eyes and is on trend with many watch enthusiasts and collectors!
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 - Black Dial
The design follows the same style as the salmon dial edition with the two tone sub counters and steely Arabic numerals and hands.
Source - Breitling
The black dial on the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 is given a sunray finish which enhances the legibility of the dial. By allowing light to ‘brighten’ it up, the numerals and hands stand out superbly! We are fans of the clear sub dials which are given a sunray effect, further enhancing the style and legibility. The 6 o’clock indice is replaced with a date aperture providing a black background.
Not quite a panda dial as it can be a little tough to see the date immediately at first glance. Though we do like the minute track and tachymetric scale, offering a clear distinction against the black background of this new Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42.
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 - Cream Dial
The cream dial edition is extremely luxurious, especially with bronzed applied Arabic numerals.
Cream Dial Premier B01 - Source - Breitling
And we are also rather fond of the contrast between the cream against the bronze coloured Arabic numerals which are unusual on most models. Breitling makes it look fantastic however, allowing the watch to be clean and lose its sporty edge in favour of a more dressier design. Pair it with some white sneakers and a polo top for a smart casual look or go all out with a black suit to ooze a little class!
The minute track and tachymeter scale are black and extremely visible against the cream dial. The date aperture is given a white background which is not identical to the cream coloured watch face, allowing it to be legible and not lost in the rest of this eye-popping timepiece. Other points worth commenting on include the tipped second hand which is clear and contrasts well against the distinctive Arabic numerals.
18K Red Gold Cream Dial Premier B01 - Source - Breitling
Available on the 18K red gold edition, this dial may we say time peeps could be the most luxurious watch we’ve ever had the joy of setting our eyes on. The Arabic numerals and hands are given a matching 18K red gold colour scheme and marry up beautifully with the bracelet and case, allowing the entire watch to ooze wealth and pure opulence!
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 - Blue Dial
The navy blue edition offers a level of sophistication and refinement that is tough to come across in any other Premier edition.
Source - Breitling
The sunray finish allows the silver Arabic numerals to be extremely legible and offers an extra shine due to the dark navy blue background. The minute track and tachymetric scale are white, corresponding more with the Arabic numerals and hands than the navy blue background. This means they aren't lost on the face and the colour scheme is consistent throughout the watch.
The brown alligator leather strap enhances this new navy blue dial, allowing it to take centre stage. The same could relate to the steel bracelet which corresponds to the stainless steel case design, matching indices and hands.
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 - Green Dial
The green edition is by far the most eye-catching colour! And we all know watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts love a green dial!
Green Dial Premier B01 - Source - Breitling
The sunray finish allows parts of this particular dial to be shaded a British Racing Green, and other areas resulting in a light evergreen colour. Suffice to say, no matter where the light is coming from, this new timepiece will look awesome on your wrist! But what should you style this out with? The dial is fearless and instantly stands out so pair this with a black suit or a green cashmere jumper.
Combine it with the steel bracelet and the correlation of the steel Arabic numerals and the hands allows the entire watch to be seamless. The aesthetics are sublime. It’s a very deep and rich colour and one that is becoming more and more popular in the contemporary era. Just look at the success of The John Mayer 116508, and that's not just because it's associated with the artist John Mayer!
Technicalities Of The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42
The watches utilise the avant garde, exhibition casebacks in an obvious show of luxury and quality tool watch features. This allows a direct view into the intricacies of the complicated self-winding movement.
The Calibre 01 Movement
A regular in the world of modern Breitling chronographs, the calibre 01 movement beats a hardy drum of 28,800VpH. And the watch lasts a solid 70 hours…perfect if you want to take it off for a weekend of partying or that last minute business trip!
The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 is powered by an automatic movement which is supported by a column wheel and vertical clutch, ensuring the accuracy of the watch and its stability against general knocks and abrasions.
If you thought the movement couldn't get any better, did we mention it was COSC certified? Breitling ensures their movements are tough by putting them through their ‘16-year ageing equivalent’ to see if the movements could cope with shocks and rotations, equivalent to 16 years of use. The movement in the red gold case and bracelet edition is given a matching oscillating weight, allowing the watch to be seamless and attractive in any collection.
Is It Worth Investing In The New Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42?
Breitling has published six new dynamite watches marking 80 years of the legendary Premier collection.
Appearing in 5 different colour variations, alongside an edition in the highly luxurious 18K red gold case and bracelet, these new watches all relate to the profound heritage of the Premier collection. From rectangular pushers to the dual sub counter construction of the faces, the new Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Anniversary watches are a tremendous ode to their watchmaking past.
In terms of value, we believe that not all the new models have the potential to retain their value. In fact, it's typically understood that Breitling watches will lose 20-40% of their value over time. Do not be too dismayed though as some models are very lauded. Take a look at the Six Nations rugby themed watches. For each national team, there is one model which is capped at 150 pieces signifying each participating country, allowing the watch to be extremely limited. This is the same principle for the Breitling Top Time which follows the same Zorro design as its 1960s predecessors while having a limited edition release of 2000 pieces. They all utilise COSC certified movements which are highly valued amongst collectors for their longevity and accuracy. Furthermore, the new models with the green face and salmon dial are highly in demand due to their unique colour.
We predict that the 18K red gold edition will yield you the best value due to the incredible level of desirability that gold has. Furthermore, it is fitted with beautiful matching Arabic numerals and hands, allowing the cream face to look sublime on the wrist.
You can comfortably wear all the new watches for formal occasions, even though they have sporty elements like the tachymetric scale. Wear them with a three piece suit to look fantastic in the office or dress it down with a cashmere jumper or leather jacket for those weekend city breaks.
You can buy a Breitling at retail (at the time of writing) for:
- Salmon Dial - £7,150
- Black Dial - £7,150
- Cream Dial - £7,150
- Navy Dial - £7,150
- Green Dial - £7,400
- 18K Red Gold - £32,500
It appears on the surface that this brand has devoted themselves to tradition with these latest iterations of the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Anniversary watches. By solidifying the classic two pusher design with dual sub counters and Arabic numerals, the brand has made a clear attempt to elevate the status of the Premier collection to the Navitimer. This means that the watches are more than capable of being considered on your wrist should you choose to buy a Breitling.
So hats off again to you Mr. Willy Breitling…Whether its the slide-rule bezel or perfect pushers, these new timepieces certainly don’t live on the periphery any more.
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