The Breitling Premier collection reintroduces a name that has a special significance for the prestige watch brand. In the 1940s, Breitling introduced its first collection of truly elegant watches, which were defined by their fashionable flair. The new Breitling Premier collection combines purpose with style, delivering quality, performance, and timeless design that are worthy of the watch brand’s proud legacy.
The New Breitling Premier Collection
The new Breitling Premier collection introduces five distinct models whose elegance is worthy of their historic name and whose quality and performance are pure Breitling. While Breitling is highly regarded for its aviator and divers watches, these eye-catching timepieces have been created especially for use on land, which was, of course, Breitling’s first environment. Breitling CEO Georges Kern is clear about the role thePremier watches play in the brand’s product portfolio:“This is the first modern Breitling collection dedicated to everyday elegance. With outstanding quality and performance, these watches bear our unmistakable brand DNA, but they have been created with a focus on style that beautifully complements their purpose.” The new Breitling Premier collection takes not only its name, but also design inspiration from the Premier watches manufactured in the 1940s. Like the great films that were released in this era of global conflict and economic uncertainty, those watches offered a form of escape through a certain elegance that people were craving.While the collection is specifically dedicated to Breitling’s “land” environment, the design team were also influenced by some of the brand’s early models. Like the original Premier family, which was highly regarded for its elegance, the new watches make an uncompromising style statement. The collection includes chronographs – the cornerstone of the brand’s global reputation - day and date models, and understated three-hand watches with a discreet, small second subdial.
In the early 1940s, most of the countries of Europe, North America, Asia, Australasia, and northern Africa were involved in World War II. In historically neutral Switzerland, Willy Breitling was creating onboard clocks for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The visionary – and clearly daring – watchmaker had to deliver the clocks to the RAF at clandestine landing fields under the cover of darkness.
At that time, Breitling was already a globally established brand thanks to its timepieces for aviation and military use, in addition to its high-quality instruments for professionals.
While Willy Breitling obviously understood watches, he was also keenly aware of the era’s zeitgeist. His brand had distinguished itself with its military and aviator watches in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but he was also a man of great personal style and intuitively understood that, in those calamitous times, people had a powerful desire – in fact, a need – for products that reflected a sense of normalcy and, more than that, had a touch of elegance and glamour.
It is worth remembering that Citizen Kane was released in 1941,The Pride of the Yankees (a film about baseball player Lou Gehrig) was an Oscar nominee in 1942, and Casablanca won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1943. These films, produced in the golden age of cinema, offered a couple of hours of respite from the dramatic stories in the world’s newspapers. Willy was certain that a fashionable watch would also allow a form of escape from the impact of the global conflict in much the same way.
Accordingly, even as the brand maintained its historic role as a producer of timepieces primarily defined by their function – chronographs for aviators and, in the words of Breitling’s familiar slogan of the era, tools for professionals – Willy Breitling committed his brand to crafting elegant, stylish wrist watches for a discerning, stylish, urban clientele.
The Premier collection interpreted Breitling’s great watchmaking tradition for an era in which design played a particularly important role. They were the first Breitling watches to feature the product name on the dial, demonstrating the importance of each customer’s personal identification with his new Premier. The original Premier watches, with their 36- to38-millimeter cases, were smaller than Breitling’s familiar tool watches, and were often crafted from gold and presented with leather straps. They still featured the chronograph movements that had made Breitling famous and offered the excellent quality and performance associated with the brand, but they were more at home at a theater opening or a fashionable jazz club than their military and aviation watch cousins might have been.
Willy Breitling once said: “When a man puts on his watch, it is the unmistakable stamp of impeccable taste.” He, of all people, would have been pleased to know that his Premier watches from the1940s perfectly set the stage for a namesake collection launched more than three-quarters of a century later.
Since 1884, Breitling has established a global reputation for high-precision timepieces, its pioneering role in the development of the wrist chronograph, and its uncompromising commitment to design excellence.With the brand’s storied association with aviation, Breitling has shared the finest moments in human-kind’s conquest of the skies. Renowned for its spirit of innovation, it has also earned a place of privilege inthe worlds of science, sport, and technology. Breitling manufactures its own movements in-house and the quality of every watch is confirmed by its status as a COSC-certified chronometer, made in Switzerland. Jewelry Design Center is the newest retailer of Breitling watches and has a large selection of these stunning timepieces - stop by and see them today!