March 22, 2019
The partnership between Bentley and Breitling is nothing new to watch aficionados. Bentley first approached the watch brand to design the clock in its upcoming Continental GT, and since then the two companies have designed some pretty incredible stuff together. For example, the Mulliner Tourbillon and the Bentley Mulsanne Speed/Breitling For Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S reviewed by Ariel here. The Breitling Premier Bentley Centenary Limited-Edition Watch was designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bentley Motors. What I really enjoy about this particular timepiece is the traditional styling incorporated into what was formerly a (sometimes painfully) modern line.
The Breitling Premier Bentley Centenary Limited-Edition Watch is a 42mm x 13.6mm limited-edition chronograph that is available in two different case materials. The smaller run of 200 pieces will be made of 18k rose gold, whereas the larger 1000-piece model is in stainless steel. Both versions share the same design, bi-compax chronograph dial with the date at 6 o’clock. Surrounding the dial, Breitling has included a tachymeter scale printed in white. The dial, itself, is what stands out to me on the Centenary. Made from a unique brown elm burl, the dial adds a level of complexity and depth to the display that is pleasingly unusual. Burl is a type of woodgrain that has grown in a deformed manner. That means each slice of elm burl will be unique, and thus give each dial its own distinct character.
Breitling points out that the contrasting sub-dial layout indicates it has employed its Manufacture Caliber B01 on this watch. If you recall, this movement was part of a movement exchange with Tudor. This movement will feature the expected 70-hour power reserve and a chronometer certification. The movement will be visible through a transparent caseback that has been etched with the Bentley logo, as well as the edition size.
Attached to the left side of the case there is a plate engraved with “Bentley.” This is designed after the dashboard of the historic 1929 “Blower” Bentley. The rose gold version of this watch will be made available on a brown leather strap with stitching inspired by the interior of the automobiles. The stainless steel version will be available on either a stainless steel bracelet or the same brown leather strap as the rose gold.
I think these two watches offer a real glimpse of what can happen when two brands with common goals come together to create something wonderful. In my eyes, the standout feature is the elm burl dial. While this is not the first watch to incorporate figured wood into the dial, I think Breitling’s execution makes it one of the best examples. At this time, Breitling has not released pricing information on either edition of the Premier Bentley Centenary Limited-Edition Watch — but again, the rose gold version will be available in an edition of 200 pieces whereas the stainless steel version will be limited to 1000 pieces. Learn more at the Breitling website here.