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The collection First of Breitling celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. For the occasion, the brand has unveiled six new models that retain their vintage look, but materialize in an up-to-date version, with finer features and a more efficient heart. Let’s discover together these six Premier B01 Chronograph 42.
A little history
The collection First saw the light of day in 1943. At the time, this Willy Breitling creation was quickly noticed for its great versatility. Indeed, it is a top-of-the-range chronograph which, apart from its basic functions, is also intended to be dressed up so that it can be worn with elegance in everyday life: “The undeniable imprint of a irreproachable” in the words of Willy.
There First is a sober and refined watch, which also stands out for its advanced complications offering great precision in the measurement of time. Although mainly intended for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, it is worn by all types of profiles, from scientists to sportsmen, including businessmen.
After stopping production for more than 50 years, the First is relaunched in 2019. Then, in 2021, Breitling reintroduces the entire 1940s range and adds 4 new pieces.
This year, 6 new chronographs are making their debut in this historic Haute Horlogerie collection. Each is made up of a 42mm case that is water-resistant to 100m, and features the COSC-certified B01 in-house caliber.
New Premier watches: a very neat vintage look
For these novelties, Breitling has kept the DNA of the first models. We find key elements, such as the thin fixed bezel, the rectangular pushers and the grooves present on the middle. The vintage style also remains in the spotlight, especially on the dial which is adorned with applied Arabic numerals, luminescent syringe hands, a date window at 6 o’clock and two textured counters: one at 3 o’clock used to totalize the 30 minutes, and one at 9 o’clock for the small seconds. In the middle of the dial, the central chronograph hand is clearly visible thanks to its red end. Around the edge, a thin tachymeter scale completes the retro look of the timepiece. Everything is enhanced and protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides. In short, a design is simple, racy, timeless, with very beautiful finishes.
Caliber B01 at the heart of Premier models
On the back of these watches, we can glimpse the automatic manufacture caliber B01, a mechanism reworked in 2022 to make the oscillating weight more compact. The B01 caliber is a flagship piece of the brand, and it is also found in other prestigious lines such as the Navigate For example. It has 334 coins in total, and 41 rubies. This extremely precise and reliable movement has the prestigious COSC certification. It displays an accuracy of +6/-4 seconds per day, oscillates at 28,800 vph, and guarantees a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
The 6 new faces of the Premier B01 Chronograph 42
This revisited version of the First comes in 6 different variations:
- 5 models with steel case and blue, green, salmon, black or cream white dial
- 1 model with 18K rose gold case and cream white dial
Each of these watches is offered on a classic alligator leather strap or on a 7-row metal bracelet.
These are chic pieces, it goes without saying, but whose relative sobriety allows them to be worn easily in the office or in a slightly more dressy event.
Price: from €8,600