Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At Baselworld 2016, I got to play with the first watch using Breitling's so-called "Breitlight" case material, which is the Breitling Avenger Hurricane (debuted on aBlogtoWatch here). This is a deceptively cool watch even though it clearly isn't for everyone. With that said, I really like it when brands like Breitling produce intentionally niche watches like this that work really well for particular purposes. What makes the Breitling Avenger Hurricane weird? Well, in addition to displaying the time in a 24- versus 12-hour layout, the case happens to be really big at 50mm wide and produced from a form of carbon polymer.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Carbon composites of various types have become increasingly popular in luxury sport watches. Carbon fiber is perhaps the most well-known of these materials, but it isn't the only way carbon is treated in luxury watches. Unlike more established watch materials such as metal, we are still new to understanding how to compare various carbon polymer materials with one another. Moreover, we still need to gain a lot of expertise and information to know whose cases are better than others, why, and if materials such as "Breitlight" are indeed a proprietary blend, or a slick name a brand like Breitling applies to this type of material.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

There are a lot of open questions about carbon composite materials that I, frankly, don't have all the answers to - such as whether they are actually luxury materials, and how they hold up over time. What I do know is that it isn't possible to properly mill and machine all carbon polymer materials, so usually only the most high-quality ones can be used for watch case materials. With that said, we don't always know how difficult these materials are to find, their construction costs, and what types of performance and durability benefits they offer for watches.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

It is, however, a very good thing that watch brands are experimenting with interesting case materials such as carbon polymers. Use of these materials is less about solving existing problems in watches (save for perhaps weight reduction) and more about being creative and keeping traditional timepieces relevant. A good example of that is how nicely the traditional look of this military-style Breitling case (that we have, of course, seen in metal) translates into being rendered in a carbon polymer. That in and of itself is interesting and noteworthy.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Brands like Breitling are finding these materials from other industries such as car, plane, and boat construction. The materials are quite useful, actually, being several times lighter than steel, very tough, resistant to things like temperature or magnetism, and shock absorbent. With that said, you still can't really polish a carbon polymer case, so we are currently left with mostly matte finishes that show off the native textures that these materials bring to the table. Further, much of the "art" involved in showing the right carbon materials for watch cases is specifically in choosing those which have the right shades of colors and aesthetic textures, etc.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breitling didn't need to make the Breitling Avenger Hurricane 50mm wide, but I think they did so in order to demonstrate how light a watch can be at this size, in the Breitlight material. If successful, future Breitling watches with Breitlight cases will be smaller. Super large watches are wearable if they are light-enough, but you do need the "wrist charisma" to pull them off visually.

In matte tones with a very utilitarian dial, the Breitling Avenger Hurricane very much feels like a tool watch - and that is a good thing. Yes, a refined luxurious tool watch from Breitling, but it has been a while since I've worn a watch from the brand that so felt like a dedicated instrument - even if it is very niche in its appeal.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Breitling Avenger Hurricane watch is Breitling's in-house-made caliber B12 movement which offers the time in 24-hour format as well as the date and a 12-hour chronograph. Such 24-hour dials are rare in the watch industry, and most of them actually come from Breitling anyways. This requires you to read the dial differently, but for those people (military or civilian) that prefer to read the time in this way, the usefulness is clear. The automatic movement operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) and has about 2.5 days of power reserve, if memory serves me correctly.

The expansive dial allows for a relatively uncluttered look (all things taken into consideration) and very much like the military stencil-style font for the hour indicators and the matte hands that just super emphasize good legibility. Breitling combines the black and white tones with a sort of orange-yellow accent color.

Breitling Avenger Hurricane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

With 100 meters of water resistance and a well-made AR-coated sapphire crystal, the durability you expect from a Breitling is all there, but now in a lighter case from a still exotic material that is quickly being adopted (and played with) by a number of typically conservative brands like Breitling. On the rubber and textile strap you can get a snug and comfortable fit, which makes the Breitling Avenger Hurricane all that more wearable for those who wish to brave it on their wrist. With that said, have no doubt about the fact that this is a huge timepiece. In a niche way, the Breitling Avenger Hurricane is a definite success and a pleasant surprise in a concept that could just have easily failed as succeed. Price for the Breitling Avenger Hurricane is $8,390.

What do you think?
  • I want it! (7)
  • I love it! (1)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • IanE

    Looks like the date change cannot be described as instantaneous! The surface finishing looks crude to my eyes, but perhaps characterful to others; nice to see the experimentation anyway.

    • Oh no, it is instantaneous – Ariel just uses an extremely high shutter speed and caught it right during the date change (which oddly happens at 10 past 9 PM). NOT

  • benjameshodges

    I assure you, the case feels and looks as cheap in person. Also, why oh why is this a 24 hour movement?!

    • Why 24 time display? I guess because they want to sell this as a “tactical watch”. But personally, I’d rather see a 12 hour display and a GMT hand (with markings). Cheers.

    • word-merchant

      Yes, if Breitling truly wanted to ‘add value’, they’d make the dial go to 25. We could all use an extra hour, after all.

  • “Military time” never uses “24”, as new day starts with “00:00”, so the 24 on the dial should be “0” or really “00” as they should use 2 digit values for all hours if they really want to stress a military connection.

    On one hand, I’m not really a fan of the Breitling chunky bezels, but in all black (except for the lumed pip) this one is not so in your face. On the other hand, you almost can’t read it and in low light the pip is all you would see. Would it kill them to have lumed more of the bezel? Or maybe painted the bezel 5 minute markers in orange (paint or lume)?

    Outside of the case & bezel being cheap and plastic looking, it is a cool tool watch (or maybe because of the plasticy case). Waiting to see the smaller version Ariel thinks will follow. Overall, I like it but I wonder how hard (scratch resistant) the Breitlight material is.

    I agreed with Raymond the other day about G-Shocks being ugly (not that it really matters as they truly are tool, not luxury, watches). But this Brietling shows that G-Shocks could be more attractive and still be a tool watch first and foremost. Thanks for the review Ariel.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Oh dear.

  • SuperStrapper

    I like it. I actually think that black was an incorrect choice for the case colour. The easy choice for sure, but soldiering that with a material like this you can have whatever colour you can imagine, I would think that something like a graphite shade, anthracite with undertones of deep steely blue, would not only be cooler and more unique, but also help stave off the plastic-y and unfinished appearance. Would also play very nicely with that very nicely coated sapphire.

    • More of less like the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Extreme which uses a high tech material and comes in colors (but with an even coloration)?

      • SuperStrapper

        I thought of that, also a few others, but with the ML it is a very dedicated blue. I was thinking more along the lines of a deep grey that shows those moody blue tones through a kind of iridescence, like anthracite and raw graphite do.

        Regardless, it’s an opportunity to really up the cool factor here.

  • laup nomis

    Too much “wrist charisma”, for me. I’d pay £200 for the novelty of a 24hour dial, but I’d find this inconvenient.

    • DanW94

      “Wrist charisma” – Great euphemism from Ariel. I guess it’s better than saying you need a “Super Big Ass Honking Gorilla Wrist” to pull it off.

  • Shirley Furby

    Could be an Invicta. I like the “busy” look of the dial. I do not like the unpolished unfinished look of an expensive watch. I have liked some of the polished steel versions of Brietling with their easily identifiable look but the weight of some large ones could easily put me off, so the lightness of this material is a plus. On the negative read plastisized carbon. Plastic mars easily. Many micro scratches would impart an even fuzzier patina. Maybe they have some type of scratch resistant coating that I don’t see. A clear DLC would be nice.

  • Michael Kinney

    10 past nine is indeed an awfully odd time for a date change, and you can see by the running seconds subdial at least 20 seconds have elapsed.

  • I would totally rock an all-yellow polymer case in the Avenger line.

    • I hope you don’t mean like this (my eyes have started bleeding again..)

      • I would totally wear it 🙂

      • word-merchant

        That is almost brilliant. Make it orange, and I will buy one. Put a digital display in there, and I will buy twenty: FRi 13-’16. You have beaten Bamford with the sh*tty stick for sure.

        • Ok, last one (and you can do the digital display yourself). I don’t wanna be Bamford 🙂

  • I’ve purchased a 24 hour watch for the novelty factor. In my case the novelty wore off really quick – near instantaneous. I don’t often use 24 hr time, so the practical disconnect was too great. Time at a glance turned into a equation which defeated the whole “at a glance” premise. Especially when communicating the time to anyone not using the same 24 hr timekeeping base.

    This carbon case lends nothing to a luxury feel and comes off more like a nicer Luminox than a $8K plus watch. Which again, leads to the conclusion this is built for “tacticool” posers. Those in the real-world LEO or Military professions, engaged in field operations, would be put off by the price, if not completely excluded by it. So, it’s an 8 grand GI JOE costume piece, really.

    As harsh as I am on this, I actually LOVE the Avenger Bandit, so I’m all over the place with Breitling. On a per watch basis it would seem.

  • Jason Baksa

    My new dream watch right here. The 24hr would be perfect for me. In my work that’s all we work off of. And Breitling has always been a dream of mine. Now this is the watch I want and will never get. Hence my new dream watch.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Check chrono24 the next six months. It`s possible, that it will be there with a massive discount.

      • Jason Baksa

        Never heard of chrono24. What’s a massive discount according to you? When I talk never will own it’s because I have a hard time spending $300 on a watch. So I think Breitling will always be a dream.

        • Larry Holmack

          Right there with you!! I’ve always dreamed of owning a Breitling….but being disabled and on a fixed income….unless I hit the lotto…all I can do is look at them!!

        • Sheez Gagoo

          I see. Chrono24 is a kind of grey market retailer. After a while, you can find less succesful but interesting (Eterna superkontiki!)timepieces with sometimes massive discounts. I think this Breitling will not be very succesful on the market due to it`s plastic case.

  • Luciano

    What’s going on with this movement? Date changing at 9pm?

  • Simon_Hell

    Luuv crowded watches. Hate it when its the numerals causing the crowding. This looks cheap and unsigtly. Having no numerals at all looks the classiest, though i can live with a few accented ones like 12 or 6 or even 9 or 3. But to make them all the same size….just poor aesthetics.


    Hope it’s made of recycled plastic bottles… 50mm is too much though.

  • Coert Welman

    It is actually quite pretty, but the clown factor of a 50mm watch is too overwhelming. This might be perfect for WWE actors, sorry wrestlers, but not for normal people.

    • Larry Holmack

      Since I consider myself “normal people”…..well…I can easily wear this watch!! But then again…I am 6’6” and have a 23 cm wrist…about 9 inches. My daily wearer is a 50 mm Diesel or my Nixon 51-30. I am well aware that most guys really can’t wear such a large watch…but I know plenty of guys my size, most are ex-football or basketball players, who love larger watches!!!

  • Terence Kuch

    I like the yellow touches on the face & band. I’m also among those for whom 50mm is just too large, even though I’m taller than average.

  • Larry Holmack

    Ariel….I’ll keep offering my wrist up for modeling the really large watches!!! I mean…I am wearing a 51 mm watch today that is 60 mm from lug to lug…and there is no unsightly overhanging of the watch on my wrist!!! LOL

    Nice article too….I really like this watch!!!

    • What a selfless offer. Larry you are a true gentleman.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    I own and like some Breitlings, but this one as much as I want to like it, I can’t. The 50mm, uff too big, the material not yet there, something is missing it looks cheap. No doubt is space age bleeding tech and all, but it just does not show it. The face is great but when you look into the details, like Mark pointed out, 00 should be at the top instead of 24, and 02, 04, etc., would make it more legit. Finally, the price. Again, it could be loaded with goodies but the end result contradicts their statement.
    So a 40-42mm in a Tesseract stone case with the correct dial at $5k, count me in.

  • Bill W

    I think 24-hour displays are really hard to get right….

  • cg

    Ok so is it an homage to both the Avenger AND the Hurricane? Just wondering… Polymers are plastics carbon polymers are basically epoxy reinforcement of carbon fibers and plastic; then autoclaved. Usually done in a mold and not milled. Now if the Breitling girls would deliver the watch in person I might consider it!

    • Dibs on #5.

    • DanW94

      This is the Breitling article correct? Funny, I’m suddenly seeing two blue Balls…..

  • HectorAsuipe

    Date change blemish aside, I think it is a cool watch. Reduce the size and price by 12% and 25% respectively, and it can be more compelling.

  • Timestandsstill

    Wow, I can’t believe all the semi-love and lack of (usually ubiquitous) venom here for this $8k+ watch. Where is Marius? “For this price I could buy……” , “I see three problems with this watch…”

  • A 43mm case (a’la Aerospace) in this Breitlight and with this same 24hr movement complication would be insanely cool.

  • funNactive

    There’s a lot of unique here!
    Carbon case – interesting.
    12-hr. chronograph (if I get a chronograph, I want it to be 12-hr, very useful – if it only measures an hr,, I’ll use a dive bezel)
    24-hr. dial – I’m undecided but it makes it unique & can be useful
    What I don’t like;
    1. 50mm case – way too large for me to ever consider (40-42mm is a good range for me, 45mm on a sporty watch max!)
    2. 100 meters water resistance. – I think this should be the industry minimum standard for every watch. (Dress watches 100m & sport watches 200m & above)

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  • Sentinel

    Watches this size are stupid. The guy in the pic looks like a little boys arm/wrist and the watch body appears larger than his wrist. A big dude say, 6 foot 4 plus might look OK wearing this. A 50 mm watch is stupid for most.