January 4, 2021
by Ariel Adams
One of the most successful Swiss watches of 2020, in my opinion, was the Breilting Endurance Pro. Offered in a selection of hip colors, this is an easy-to-appreciate entry-level Breitling sports watch that is perfectly suited to the times. The Endurance Pro is also a collection that, for many people, can be easy to miss. Most watch collectors want mechanical versus quartz watches, and it would not be wrong to refer to the Endurance Pro as a fancy flavor of G-Shock. That isn’t what Breitling’s polished metal fanbase is into, per se. But Breitling has a response for all of that.
The “new” Breitling as under Mr. Kern’s tutelage is diversifying into more entry-level and youth-oriented access. The Endurance Pro is still a hefty chunk of change for $3,000, but it is also nearly three times cheaper than the brand’s also-new for 2020 Chronomat B01 42, which offers an entirely different but also excellent wearing experience. Breitling was always lucky to have its “Professional” line of watches in addition to its luxury base. This means that the Endurance Pro could easily fit into the modern Breliting lineup at a lower price point because doing that was never uncommon for the brand. It also lets Breitling compete at an interesting price point when you can’t get a Rolex, Omega, IWC, etc., at this price point. This is TAG Heuer territory, but for a different type of client.
The Endurance Pro design formula is also dead simple. Breitling first decided to once again make use of its Breitlight material (carbon), and focus on a quartz movement. Note that while $3,000 is high for a normal Swiss Made quartz movement, the Endurance Pro does not contain a normal Swiss movement. Inside the watch is the Breitling caliber 82, which is a base ETA thermo-compensated quartz movement. This time, date, and complex chronograph movement has a quartz crystal regulation system with a sensor that measures temperatures. Changes in temperature negatively affect the ability of these already accurate movements to operate at peak levels. Able to compensate for changes in temperature normally experienced by watch movements worn on the wrist, the caliber 82 movement is accurate to around 10 seconds per year. That is compared to accuracy of about 10 seconds per month for standard quartz movements.
You’ll see the “Chronometer” label on the dial. This is also a true COSC Chronometer watch. Note that Swiss COSC has a different performance test for quartz versus mechanical watches. The test is predictable much more stringent for quartz mechanisms. Once you understand how the time and effort that went into this movement is akin to that of a traditional mechanical watch, you not only better understand the value proposition, but you also appreciate how this can truly be a professional’s watch.
The Endurance Pro is the second generation of this product concept, which actually predated Mr. Kern’s management of the brand. In 2017, Breitling introduced the Colt Skyracer (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here), which offered a Breitlight case, three-hand SuperQuartz movement, and a $2,000 price point. With the 2020 Endurance Pro, Breitling keeps the core vibe of the entry-level sport watch theme but tries to pull the design language more into the current collection. The Colt Skyracer was a pilot-style watch inspired by the world of sport flying. The Endurance Pro looks more like a triathlete watch meant for a variety of purposes for people who regularly time intervals or events.
The Endurance Pro name is new but the dial and hands are basically from the current generation Aerospace Evo (which came out around 2013). Breitling actually fixed a problem with that design on the Endurance Pro, in that the hands were polished and should have been matte-finished. Otherwise the Endurance Pro, is an all-analog chronograph version of the Aerospace Evo, with a Breitlight carbon case. Note that the Breitling Emergency II watch is also part of this same design family.
Little design refinements on the Endurance Pro help make it a distinct watch from its predecessors. For example, the flange ring has a pulsometer scale on it —removing the tendency for sport watch makers to tackily apply obsolescent tachymeter scales. A pulsometer allows you to measure your pulse while operating the chronograph and counting some heartbeats. Since plenty of Breitling Endurance Pro wears will use this as a sports watch, it is entirely conceivable that a pulsometer will be relevant once in a while, and helps make the text on the dial feel more practical and less arbitrary.
Under 65 grams on the wrist, the Endurance Pro is, indeed, a lightweight watch — and it isn’t that small, either. Wearing it is great since it is so light and comfortable. The case is about 44mm-wide and 14mm-thick with a 53mm lug-to-lug distance. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters, and over the dial is a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal. Around the bezel is a bi-directional rotating navigation bezel. These look cool, but I would have preferred a 60-minute scale on the smooth-to-the-touch rotating black carbon bezel.
This particular version of the Breitling Endurance Pro is the white and black (Oreo cookie or Star Wars Storm Trooper, depending on your mood) reference X82310A71B1S1. While I have a feeling more colors will be coming soon, the launch assortment of Endurance Pro models includes black and yellow, dark blue, orange, red, and the pictured white model flavors of the watch. To add to the Star Warsy-ness of it, when the chronograph is operating, I imagine that the chronograph hands are dueling red lightsabers. Speaking of the dial, Breitling keeps even its entry-level watch looking sharp with attractively finished surfaces and applied elements like some of the hour markers. Some purists will probably not forgive Breitling for having the chronograph subdials cut off the hour markers so much.
The Breitling-branded rubber strap that comes with the Endurance Pro is of typical high Breitling strap quality and is given a buckle with two holes for the strap excess, which makes it wear better on the wrist. The strap buckle is also made out of the same carbon Breitlight material as the case, which is a nice touch.
What I like most about the Breitling Endurance watch is that it doesn’t celebrate any particular activity so much as it celebrates an attitude — one of using strength and sheer will to push on through. Wow, how would Breitling know that 2020’s most celebrated human strength is endurance? That makes the Endurance Pro the unwittingly perfect watch suited to this year’s heroes. Endurance, as a mentality is the new strength that the Breitling Endurance Pro so aptly evokes, and I don’t even think the Breitling marketing people could have even planned it better. Price for the Breitling Endurance Pro reference X82310A71B1S1 watch is $3,000 USD. Learn more at the Breitling website here.
>Model: Endurance Pro (reference X82310A71B1S1 as tested)
>Price: $3,000 USD
>Size: 44mm-wide, ~14mm-thick, and ~53mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As an easy-to-enjoy daily wear, sports watch, or travel watch. I’d call it a fun beater, but I personally would hate to get my Breitling that dirty.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Definitely someone who would be spending down to $3,000 for a less expensive watch than they normally wear, as opposed to someone who is spending $3,000 for the first time on a wristwatch.
>Best characteristic of watch: Excellent details overall, along with top-notch fit and finishing. Comfortable to wear. Strong offering at price point and a uniquely fun/lighthearted experience among many of the other luxury watches released this year.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Dial can look like a pizza pie of many ingredients, despite offering strong legibility. Still unknown how well Breitling carbon material will hold up to wear over time, but so far it’s tough stuff. Not everyone likes the prominent “Breitling” across side of straps.