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Breitling Introduces the All-New Premier Collection

Classical styling, plus a new look for Breitling-Bentley.

Historically a simpler chronograph than the better known Navitimer or Chronomat, the Breitling Premier is the latest collection to debut under the aegis of chief executive Georges Kern, who is remaking the brand from top to bottom, most notably by moving away from oversized, extremely shiny wristwatches with fussily designed dials.

Conceived as Breitling’s “elegant” watch, the modern day Premier takes its cues from the namesake original of the 1940s, which gives it a sleeker, cleaner aesthetic than the average Breitling. And it’s also worth pointing out that the most recent iteration of the Premier from the late 1990s that had cursive Arabic numerals has been sensibly forgotten.

Breitling Premier-Ref-760-1943

A Premier ref. 760 from 1943

While the new Premier line made up of four models – plus a new Breitling for Bentley chronograph – all share a few key features. To start with, the range is characterised by moderately sized cases – the largest is a 42mm chronograph – bevelled lugs, alternating brushed and polished surfaces on the case, as well as lengthwise fluting on the flanks of the case. Domed sapphire crystals with antireflective coating are also common to all models.

The Premier dials are two-part, with a separate, sloped flange for either the minute track or tachymetre. Hands and hour markers are baton-shaped. And while the movements across the line differ, all are COSC-certified chronometers.

Breitling Premier Automatic Day Date 40

The Premier is a full line-up of watches, with all models available with a variety of metallic finish dials in sedate colours: black, grey, dark blue, and silver. Various strap options are also on offer, including a new take on Breitling’s signature slanted-link Pilot bracelet, which now has narrower, longer links for a slightly more formal look.

Breitling Premier collection 2018


The range starts with the Premier Automatic 40, a 40mm, time-0nly automatic powered by the Breitling Calibre 37, which is actually a variant of the ETA 2892.

Breitling Premier Automatic 40 bracelet

Identical in size is the Premier Automatic Day & Date 40, which has the calendar in windows. Inside is the Breitling Calibre 45, which is derived from the ETA 2824.

Breitling Premier Automatic Day Date 40 watch

The entry-level chronograph is the Premier Chronograph 42. It has a 42mm case that contains the ETA Valjoux 7750, explaining the characteristic “6-9-12” position of the chronograph registers. As is now standard with all 7750-powered watches in Breitling’s collections, the Premier Chronograph 42 has tone-on-tone chronograph sub-dials.

Breitling Premier Chronograph 42

And the top of the line model is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42, which is equipped with the in-house Breitling B01 movement.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph movement

Besides the “bi-compax” layout of the chronograph, another feature that indicates it’s an in-house movement are the contrast colour sub-dials.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 panda 1

A slightly more upscale version is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green. It’s perhaps the most sedate Bentley wristwatch Breitling has ever made in the 16-year span of the brand’s collaboration.

Breitling Premier B01 Bentley British Racing Green 2

The Bentley edition has two distinguishing features. One being the dial, which is a dark green with black registers, and the other a pearled steel plate bearing the carmaker’s name screwed on the case side. The rest of the watch is identical to the standard Premier B01.

Breitling Premier B01 Bentley British Racing Green 1

Breitling Premier B01 Bentley British Racing Green 3


Price and availability 

The new Premier collection reaches retailers and boutiques October 2018. Prices are as follows for the base models fitted with a calfskin strap:

Premier B01 Chronograph 42 – US$8200

Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley – US$8500

Premier Chronograph 42 – US$6050

Premier Automatic Day & Date 40 – US$4000

Breitling Premier Automatic 40 – US$4000

Crocodile straps are an additional US$200, while a folding clasp is extra US$250. And a matching steel bracelet is US$750.


 

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Introducing the Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC

The delicate baguette movement gets a facelift.

Conceived expressly for Corum almost four decades ago by independent watchmaker and AHCI co-founder Vincent Calabrese, the Golden Bridge is a deft blend of design and mechanics that eminently reflected the spirit of the time in which it was born, an era when ultra-flat watches were all the rage. The ultra-narrow movement sits suspended in space, surrounded by transparent crystal panes that make the movement the star of the watch.

Over the past decade, Corum iterated the Golden Bridge in a range of materials, shapes and sizes that reflect today’s taste. More importantly, the Golden Bridge movement was reengineered in 2011 by complications specialist Laurent Besse (who was also responsible for the movement in the MB&F HM4 and is now chief watchmaker at movement maker Soprod), making it more robust and stable, leaving behind the fragile nature of the original movement.

In 2016 Corum unveiled the round Golden Bridge, departing from the traditional rectangular or tonneau case for the first time. Now the Golden Bridge Round makes it debut in titanium case coated in black diamond-like carbon (DLC). Decorative trusses on either side of the Golden Bridge movement are similarly coated in black DLC, and meant to evoke the structure of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC 6

Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC 4

The cal. CO 113 is equipped with a variable inertia balance and a barrel with a slipping spring to prevent overwinding, which means the winding mechanism disengages once the mainspring is fully wound. It has a 40-hour power reserve.

Notably, the movement bridges and base plate are, appropriately enough, 18k solid gold, and hand-engraved with a floral motif. The movement is available in either white or pink gold, with the hands, flange and crown in a matching colour of gold.

Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC 2

The Golden Bridge Titane DLC measures the same 43mm in diameter and 8.3mm thick as the 18k gold model, but is markedly more lightweight thanks to the case alloy. The case is rated to 30m.

Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC

And to match the watch’s sporty-ish style, it is fitted to a black rubber strap with black-coated titanium folding clasp.

Price and Availability

The Corum Golden Bridge Titane DLC in white gold is priced at SFr23,500 or S$39,700, while the rose gold version is a limited edition of 68 pieces, priced at SFr23,800 or S$40,210.


 

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Introducing Millésime Watches, By the Man Behind Maison Celadon

Compelling, affordable, and vintage-inspired.

Six years ago, Benjamin Chee founded Maison Celadon, a Singapore-based brand that specialises in Chinese watches featuring dials decorated in traditional Chinese techniques like cloisonné enamel and embroidered silk.

Not long after, Mr Chee was bitten by the vintage watch bug and began designing watches with Art Deco and mid-century influences. They were a stark departure from Maison Celadon’s styling, leading him to launch a second brand – Millésime.

French for “vintage”, Millésime makes its debut with two watches conceived to offer strong value at their respective prices – the Merveilleux for US$648, and the Majestique at US$4998.

Millésime Watches

Merveilleux (left) and Majestique

The Merveilleux is available with either a stainless steel or rose gold-plated case, both sporting the same teardrop lugs and a double-domed sapphire crystal. It measures an amiable 39mm in diameter and 11.8mm in height.

Millésime Merveilleux 5

Millésime Merveilleux 7

Another desirable design element drawn from pre-war watches is the two-tone “sector” dial that’s available in six different colours. It’s worth noting that the sector is actually a ring applied to the dial, instead of being printed. The dial also features a railroad minute track, dauphine hands and a blued steel seconds hand. Inside is the workhorse ETA 2824 in a sans-date configuration, fitted with a custom rotor.

Millésime Merveilleux


The Majestique, on the other hand, is far more upscale: an ultra-thin watch with bombée lugs and a flinqué enamel dial available in five different colours.

The dial has a solid silver base that is first engraved with guilloche, then coated with enamel and fired in an oven. The enamelling is repeated several times until the desired colour is achieved, after which, the dial is then polished to give it a smooth, glassy sheen. The subtle difference in height of the translucent enamel and guilloche base catches the light as only genuine vitreous enamel can.

Millésime Majestique

Millésime Majestique 2

The watch is powered by the Vaucher cal. 5401, the same movement that has been used by various watch brands, including Parmigiani, Hermès, and Richard Mille. It is an ultra-thin, 30mm by 2.6mm calibre wound by a 22k gold micro-rotor.

The case measures 38mm in diameter and a mere 7mm in height. It is offered in steel, though 18k rose gold and platinum are available upon request.

Millésime Majestique 3

Price and Availability

The Majestique is priced at US$4998. It is currently available for pre-order with delivery slated for Feb 2019.

The Merveilleux is priced at US$648, but it is available for pre-order now at US$498, with delivery in mid-Dec 2018. Both are available direct from Millésime.


 

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