While I am generally a big fan of Breitling watches, I don’t personally like a lot of the Breitling for Bentley timepieces. These have a distinct design ethos apart from the rest of the Breitling range. I like the concept, but many of the pieces have a design that does not speak to me. Having said that, I really like this new limited edition Breitling for Bentley Barnato 42 Midnight Carbon watch with its good size and restrained look compared to its siblings.
The largest watches Breitling makes are probably in the Brietling for Bentley collection. If you are familiar with my work then you know I like large watches – but many of those watches are just too big for me. You really need to be one of the world’s biggest-wristed men to pull some of those off. This new watch is a more narrow 42mm wide. It will actually wear larger due to the very wide lug structures. This new 42mm size in the Barnato collection is a welcome addition in my opinion.
Breitling fans know that this is not at all the first Breitling for Bentley Barnato piece. “Barnato” is a name from Bentley’s racing history back in the late 1920s. This is just the newest watch in the product subfamily. One retro element of the watch is the dial design around the chronograph subdials. These tracks are meant to reminisce old instrument gauge designs. Overall, the watch dial on the Barnato 42 is pleasantly held-back without confusing textures and difficult-to-read hands or indicators. The watch hands and applied hour markers are (properly) the easiest things to read on the black dial. The touch of red is a pleasant touch. I do feel that the strength of this watch lays much in the surprisingly graceful dial design.
The 42mm wide case (water resistant to 100 meters) is in steel with a black coating. I believe it is DLC, but Breitling does not make specific mention to DLC. They merely state that the case has a “highly resistant carbon-based treatment.” So… AKA DLC? The case has that signature Breitling for Bentley look with the angular flanks and “clos du Paris” engraved bezel. In this more subdued size I think it looks better. Attached to the watch is a black rubber strap. Come to think of it I don’t know why the watch has both the terms “Carbon” and “Midnight” in the title. They are both often used to mean something is dark or black. Perhaps they could have just stuck with one term to help identify the piece.
Inside of the watch is a base ETA Breitling calibre 41B automatic chronograph movement. Like all Breitling movements this one is also COSC Chronometer certified. I honestly can’t get over how ‘into this piece’ I am compared to other Breitling for Bentley models. I hope that this new “simplified” design ethos in the watch carries over to future Breitling for Bentley pieces. Breitling will produce just 1000 pieces in the limited edition Breitling for Bentley Barnato 42 Midnight Carbon watch set.