We take a close and in-depth look at the new Breitling Heritage Premier B25 Datora and discuss just what makes this watch such a much have for any serious collector.
Breitling as a brand is on a real resurgence as of late. Ever since they were taken over in 2017 by Georges Kern, the brand has gone from strength to strength. Shifting focus from big, brash, and ‘blingy’ releases to more focussed pieces, and releasing vintage-inspired watches that nerds like us can get behind. Examples of which you can see below, all gorgeous, all vintage-inspired, and like Longines, really showing what the brand is capable of.
And their latest release carries on this renewed design ethos. What we have here is the Heritage Premier B25 Datora, which is a reinvention of a Breitling Triple Calendar from the ’40s. Now, this may seem like a slightly longer name if you ask me. However, when you look at the component parts, it is actually quite interesting.
To start with, this is the first unveiling of a new manually wound calibre for the brand, the Heritage Premier B25 Datora. This is interesting because it is not new in the sense of being based on an existing Breitling calibre, or even just being a slight adjustment to an existing Breitling Manual Wind Calibre. It is actually the result of 16 months of Research and Development with a brand called Concepto, which is a movement specialist based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, as are Breitling. Effectively Breitling sent Concepto a list of criteria that they wanted the Datoro to achieve, and Concepto seemed to oblige.
Breitling wanted a plethora of requirements, such as an improved calendar drive mechanism for enhanced accuracy. So on the face of it, you would expect this movement to be a pretty serious piece of kit. Breitling is the first brand to use this movement and considering they were instrumental in its conception you can see why. As a result, they have even included their now-famous 5-year manufacture warranty for any Heritage Premier B25 Datora purchased. This may not seem like much but this is usually a service reserved for their in-house movements exclusively, so a pretty big endorsement of the movement I would say!
Now, aesthetically, this watch is absolutely top-notch. Yes, it does bare a striking (some may say identical) resemblance to a certain 1518 Chronograph from Patek Phillipe. But considering this is based on a watch from Breitling’s back catalogue, I think this quells the homage conversation.
The only, and fairly bloody huge issue with this watch is the size. Baring in mind this is a vintage-inspired chronograph, Breitling clearly cannot leave their infamous oversizing strategy behind. This stunning watch comes in at a very un-stunning 42mm… Of course, as we all know the magic dimension that determines how well a watch wears is the lug-to-lug, but this is still frankly ridiculous. I have no doubt that this watch will sell like hotcakes, but imagine how much better it would sell at 37 or 38mm?? The other frankly off-putting stat is the thickness. Coming in at 15.35mm thick, that is thicker than a Tudor Big Block?! It just seems far too large for such an attractive watch if you ask me…
This is a real marmite watch for me, in the sense that I love it but also hate it. Every time I see a picture of it I go weak at the knees and consider what the real benefit is to have two kidneys. But then I remember that it comes in at a completely stupid size and resigns it to the ‘so close but not quite’ pile. I do feel, however, that this is a very good step for the brand. They are continuing this push for releasing attractive, vintage-inspired pieces. This signifies a continued push to change their image, and get back into the hearts of geeks like us. I think the watch is objectively stunning, and I look forward to seeing what the developments are within this line!
This watch comes in two versions. A stainless steel model which will set you back £9,241 and a red gold (hello!) which will set you back £18,660.
My conclusion is that the Heritage Premier B25 Datora is stunning. It gives me a tingly feeling in the pants region. But I will never forgive Breitling for making so unnecessarily large. I will reserve complete judgment till I have seen one in the flesh, but I am not hopeful for this watch wearing as a vintage-inspired, manual wind full calendar should.