By 1943, Willy Breitling had built a name for himself as a maker of aircraft instrumentation and tool watches that met the functional needs of wartime. But the third-generation Breitling founder also dreamed of a time after the war, when utility would give way to unbridled optimism. With that future in mind, he designed a series of elegant chronographs and assigned them the best materials, the best finishings, and the best calibers. He called his new line, the Premier.
Reintroduced by Breitling in 2021, the Premier Heritage chronograph collection revived Willy’s dream of seeing the functional chronograph made undeniably elegant and infinitely wearable in his words, “the unmistakable stamp of impeccable taste.” Today, the Swiss watchmaker adds six new references to the Premier assortment, all of them powered by the self-winding Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01.
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The new Premier B01 Chronograph 42 assortment also lives up to Willy Breitling’s uncompromising technical standards. Those six models are powered by the self-winding Breitling Caliber 01, a manufactured movement designed for maximum precision, reliability, and functionality.
First released in 2009, it is one of the most highly regarded chronograph movements in the industry. As with all of Breitling’s mechanical calibers, each one has achieved the rigorous COSC certification for accuracy within -4 and +6 seconds per day.
Just as grueling is Breitling’s own in-house 16-year-aging equivalent that includes shock testing (approx. 60,000 shocks at 500 G), crown testing (more than 100,000 crown winds), winding of the oscillating weight (3,456,000 weight turns), and chronograph pusher testing (approx. 5,840 start-stop-reset engagements).
The latest iteration of the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 found in the new Premier chronograph was redesigned in 2022 and features a trimmer profile and more compact oscillating weight that can be admired through the transparent sapphire-crystal caseback.
The movement comes with a five-year warranty and provides an approximate 70-hour power reserve. In keeping with Willy’s desire to marry usability with elegance, the Premier now comes with 100 m (10 bar) of water resistance.
To create the design of the new Premier, Breitling preserved distinctive vintage-Premier design details, including the smooth fixed bezel, twin-register dial, streamlined rectangular pushers, and applied Arabic numerals. At 42 mm, the case diameter is slightly larger than the 40 mm found on the existing B09 (manual-wind) models.
The tone-on-tone subdials with chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock and running seconds at 9 o’clock lend a polished style, while new dial shades in salmon, blue, green, black, and cream add a contemporary twist to the stainless-steel models. A further variation in 18K red gold features a classic cream dial. The watches come on a choice of a classic alligator leather strap or a sleek 7-row metal bracelet.