Nearly 140 years ago, Leon Breitling founded his namesake brand in the Jura Mountains, focusing on chronographs. He passed away just two years later, leaving the business to his son Gaston, who was responsible for building the brand’s reputation in the field of pilot watches. By 1932, Gaston was ready to retire, but wanted to ensure the brand remained in the family. Soon his son Willy took over as head of the company and continued to build on the work of his father and grandfather to build high-precision timepieces. The Breitling family tradition lives on in every timepiece that leaves manufacturing, and today, Breitling presents three new watches, each inspired by one of its founders: the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon42 Leon Breitling, Gaston Breitling and Willie Breitling.
The Premier collection is the brainchild of Willy, who sought to elevate the watch to something elegant without compromising his technical prowess. Introduced in 1943, the original Premier model was beautifully designed while retaining the exceptional timekeeping for which the brand was known. The new Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 builds on this design philosophy, using precious metals and adding a tourbillon complication.
“The Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 is the perfect embodiment of Breitling’s design and expertise,” said CEO Georges Kern. “In the tourbillon, you see the mechanism that exists every second. It’s the beating heart of the fake watch.”
For the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42, Breitling worked closely with specialist movement manufacturer Manufacture La Joux-Perret to develop the B21 movement, which takes the rare step of pairing a tourbillon with a chronograph. This combination makes these three watches unmistakably Breitling.
The addition of precious metals elevates the complexity in a way that matches Willie’s vision for the Premier range. In honor of each of the three founders, different precious metals were used. Leon Breitling features an 18-karat rose gold solid case, silver dial and brown alligator strap. Gaston Breitling paired a solid 18-karat white gold case with an anthracite dial and a black alligator strap. And Willy Breitling completes the collection with a solid platinum case and blue dial paired with a black alligator leather strap.
Case/Dial: 42mm x 15.25mm, 18K red gold case with silver dial (Leon); 18K white gold case with rock grey dial (Gaston); platinum case with blue dial (Willy)
Waterproof: 100 meters (10 bar)
Movement: B21 automatic movement, 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 55-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, tourbillon
Bracelet: Alligator leather strap