Breitling Introduces the Premier Heritage Chronograph and Datora

Retro chronographs in modern colours.

Breitling’s opening salvo for the year is a trio of chronographs at Watches & Wonders 2021. The first is the Premier Heritage Chronograph, a straightforward, two-register chronograph, and another is the Premier Heritage Datora, an old-school combination of a chronograph with triple calendar. (The flagship model is the Premier Heritage Duograph split-seconds chronograph, which we cover in another story.)

The new Premier Heritage collection is modelled on its namesake line from the 1940s, continuing the brand’s recent efforts of revisiting its past catalogue and re-introducing notable references, but with a couple of modern twists, like the mint-green dial for the Premier chronograph.

The Premier Heritage Chronograph in steel

Initial thoughts

I’m a big fan of the new releases. While the Premier Heritage Chronograph may not be the most innovative, it’s an improvement over the previous generation Premier chronograph.

For one, the case size has been reduced to 40 mm from 42 mm, giving the new watch proportions more akin to its vintage inspiration. The dial, now sans date window, is cleaner too. And its manual-winding movement should please traditionalists, who can also admire the movement through a sapphire case back without a rotor to obscure the view.

That being said, the mint-green dial will likely divide opinions. It’s a bold look, but I can’t help but wonder if keeping to a safer colour would have been the wiser choice given the retro design.

The Datora in salmon

I have no such reservations with the Datora. I think it’s stunning, especially the steel variant with a salmon-dial. With its chronograph and triple calendar combination, it is very much reminiscent of mid-20th century watches, giving it an old-world charm. Despite the numerous indications, the dial sticks to the traditional layout for this complication, giving it a neat, symmetrical appearance and unhindered legibility.

But the movement inside the Datora means it is quite a bit larger, both in diameter and height, meaning it loses some of the vintage charm of the standard chronograph.

Starting at US$8,400 for the steel model, the Premier Heritage Chronograph is a hair cheaper than the existing Premier B01 Chronograph, and is priced similarly to other notable manual-winding chronographs such as the new Omega Speedmaster.

However, the Datora is arguably more of a value proposition given its complication-to-price ratio. It’s priced at US$12,950 in steel, due largely to the fact that the movement inside is a Concepto calibre derived from the Valjoux 7750, albeit heavily modified to give it column wheel amongst other things.

Premier Heritage Chronograph

The Premier Heritage Chronograph is clearly vintage inspired, with syringe hands and applied Arabic numerals (with an open “6”), and a domed sapphire crystal. The steel variant is paired with a striking “pistachio green” dial, while the 18k red gold variant has a more reserved silver dial.

The Premier Heritage Chronograph in gold (left), and steel

It’s powered by the B09, previously found on the Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition, which is the manual-winding variant of the in-house Calibre 01 found in many of Breitling’s higher-end chronographs. It is a column-wheel movement that utilises a vertical clutch, has 70 hours of power reserve, and is COSC-certified.

The case is 40 mm and a bit over 13 mm high. It has alternating brushed and polished surfaces, along with deep, horizontal fluting on the sides that give it a slight Art Deco look. The same case design is shared by the rest of the Premier Heritage line, including the Datora.

Datora

Like the Premier Heritage Chronograph, the Datora relies on similar design elements – syringe hands, a domed sapphire crystal, an outer tachymeter scale – to bolster its vintage look. A particularly retro touch is the tiny face on the moon phase indicator.

The steel case is matched with a copper-toned dial, while the 18k red gold model has a silver dial identical to that found on the gold Premier Heritage Chronograph.

At 42 mm by 15.35 mm, the Datora case is the biggest amongst the Premier Heritage models. It has the same styling and finish as the other Premier chronographs, but the size makes it probably a touch too large for a vintage-style chronograph, but likely inevitable because of the B25 movement inside.

Inside the Datora is the B25, which is actually a Concepto cal. 2000. A movement maker specialising in high-end variants of the Valjoux 7750, Concepto heavily reworks the 7750, replacing the standard cam with a column wheel, and installing its own regulator. As a result, the B25 is a column-wheel movement, though it has the same 48 hours of power reserve found on the stock 7750.

The B25 with the column wheel visible at nine o’clock


Key facts and price

Breitling Premier Heritage Chronograph
Ref. AB0930D31L1P1 (steel)
Ref. RB0930371G1P1 (gold)

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 13.08 mm
Material: Steel or 18k red gold
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Caliber B09
Functions: Column-wheel, vertical clutch, 1/4th second, 30-minute counter
Winding: Manual-winding
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Alligator leather strap with folding clasp

Availability: From Breitling’s online store, boutiques, and authorised retailers
Price:
Steel – US$8,400; S$10,950
Red gold – US$20,200; S$24,550


Breitling Premier Heritage Datora
Ref. AB2510201K1P1 (steel)
Ref. RB2510371G1P1 (gold)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 15.35 mm
Material: Steel or 18k red gold
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Caliber B25
Functions: Column-wheel, 1/4th second, 30-minute counter, day, date, month, moonphase
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Alligator leather strap with folding clasp

Availability: From Breitling’s online store, boutiques, and authorised retailers
Price:
Steel – US$12,950; S$16,950
Red gold – US$25,650; S$32,950

For more information, visit Breitling.com


 

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