After a partnership that lasted nearly two decades, Breitling and Bentley have announced that they are ready to part ways by the end of the year. For 19 years, the relationship between the Swiss watchmaker and luxury car manufacturer produced several remarkable innovations that set the course for both the automotive and watchmaking industry. These include the onboard clock for the first-generation Bentley Continental GT in 2002, the year that they first worked together.
While we would see the world’s longest-standing partnership between a luxury car maker and watch brand end, the two are not breaking the ties without leaving us with several exquisite projects to look back to.
Breitling & Bentley Announces End of Partnership
Breitling’s ties with Bentley started in 2002 when it was approached by the automaker to design the onboard clock for the Continental GT. It was a defining moment for the British automaker since it was the first car it released under Volkswagen AG management, following its acquisition in 1998. It was also the first Bentley product to be mass-produced.
The commercial success of the onboard Breitling clock on the Continental GT was shortly followed by several other projects under the Breitling-Bentley partnership. These included in-cabin clocks, events, and of course, wristwatches that appealed to fans of both brands. Still, the long-standing partnership between them is coming to an end.
“We’re proud of what we have accomplished together and after 19 years, Breitling and Bentley are embarking on their new journeys,” Breitling CEO Georges Kern said in a statement.
“I know that Bentley will continue to define excellence in the automotive industry,” he added.
Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark echoed the same sentiments, stating, “the long-standing collaboration between Bentley and Breitling demonstrated that when two like-minded brands work together authentically, the performance of both is enhanced.” Hallmark also sent his good wishes to the Breitling team.
The Most Remarkable Bentley Watches from Breitling
Before we say goodbye to the partnership that brought us some of today’s most remarkable watches, let’s take a look at some of the highlights the two exclusive brands have ever worked on in the past 19 years—starting from the final Bentley Tourbillon leaving the Breitling factory.
Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition
The Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon is one of the most exclusive watches the two brands have ever worked on. It’s a limited run of just 25 units and retails for $52,000. It references the original Breitling Premier watches released in the 1940s, featuring a 42mm 18k red gold case, rectangular chronograph pushers, gold-brown alligator strap, transparent case back, and a dial in the signature British Racing Green that has long been seen in Bentleys. The real highlight, however, is the watch’s tourbillon caliber and cage which you can admit through the dial. It is a COSC-certified movement that boasts a 55-hour power reserve and 100m water resistance.
The Premier Heritage Collection
The limited-edition Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 is released alongside the latest Premier Heritage Collection which includes six watches divided into three categories: Chronograph 40, Duograph 42, and Datora 42. Each watch features vintage-inspired hands and alligator straps with tone-on-tone stitching. It is run by a COSC-certified chronometer that offers 100-m water resistance. Each variant is available in two dial color options, hence the six watches.
Premier B01 Chronograph British Racing Green
This Premier B01 Chronograph 42 is among the first models released under the Breitling-Bentley partnership. It is an extraordinary watch that is built to last with its 42mm stainless steel case. However, the key feature of the watch is its British racing green dial that sports contrasting black small seconds and 30-minute chronograph counters. A transparent sapphire case back offers a view of the Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01, a self-winding, high-performance chronometer-certified chronograph caliber. It is presented in an option of a green nubuck leather strap or matching steel bracelet. Either of the two, the watch looks classic and luxurious on the wrist.
Premier B01 42 Bentley Centenary Limited Edition Red Gold
In celebration of Bentley’s 100 years of luxury motoring in 2019, Breitling introduced a limited-edition watch that is available in two versions: one in red gold and another in stainless steel. The case looks elegant with its sleek silhouette and large aperture. It has a two-counter chronograph that is impressively legible despite the brown, tone-on-tone dial color. On the red gold version, we see a pattern on the brown leather strap that is distinct to the line of Bentley cars—the diamond-in-diamond quilting that displays opulence and precision. Powering these watches is also the Caliber 01.
While it’s coming to an end, the partnership between Breitling and Bentley will always hold a very special place with fans of both brands. It’s why we can safely assume that this wouldn’t be the last time we would hear about the watches released under their collaboration and that it wouldn’t take long before we see them in the secondhand market and auctions, commanding record-breaking prices.
Which is your favorite among the watches from Breitling and Bentley? Let us know by leaving a comment.