Breitling’s New Watches for 2020

Breitling's new watches: the Superocean Heritage '57 color!

Breitling’s new watches are go, Coronageddon be damned. Unlike Patek Philippe and Rolex – brands that said FTS we’ll hold our new stuff ’til next year – Breitling has unveiled its 2020 lineup online. Specifically, the Navitimer 35, Superocean Heritage ’57 (above) and the new Chronomat collection. Check out Breitling CEO Georges Kern’s heavily accented YouTube presentation below. Meanwhile, it’s clear that  . . .

along with everybody else, Breitling is retreating into the past to assure their future in this, the Decade of the Apple Watch. Saying that, it’s not the past as it was. It’s an entirely reimagined past.

I mean, how does the Superocean Heritage ’57 recall the “cool and informal surfing lifestyle of the sixties”? Sixties watches were pretty plain back in the day, and more than a few mm shy of the new Breitling’s 42mm case size.

Breitling's new watches: Superocean Heritage '57 collection

And what up with offering models in a limited collection that aren’t numbered? I’m thinking Breitling can’t make any more rainbow Superocean Heritage ’57’s during Coronageddon – but will again when they can, if they sell. Marketing baby!

Yao Chen

Despite China inflicting the coronavirus on the world, no Swiss luxury watch brand can survive without marketing to customers in the communist paradise known as the People’s Republic of China. Hence Breitling’s decision to add smirking actress/philanthropist Yao Chen to their “brand ambassador” program, to launch their 35mm Navitimer.

Breitling new watches: Navitimer Automatic 35

I don’t think  “China’s answer to Angelina Jolie” will be using that Zurich boarding pass anytime soon. Just as no one I know knows how to use the Navitimer bezel to measure whatever it measures (and that’s the simplified version).  Tool watches with mother-of-pearl dials and diamonds. Go figure.

New Breitling Chronomat

According to Mr. Kern, the new-for-2020 Chronomat draws its inspiration from the “screw those slim quartz watches” Breitling Chronomat of the 80’s. Apparently, ye olde Chronomat “became the ultimate sports chic watch of that period” (Patek Philippe Nautilus be damned).

Breitling new watches - Chronomat collection

The Chronomat revamp is smaller than its forebearer – at 42mm. And holy luxury sports watch trend Batman, there’s a lot of steel on display! Shiny! The return of the [Tommy] two-tone Rouleaux bracelet is perfectly timed, given that word refers to aggregations of red blood cells in vertebrates.

Kern’s script tells us that the Chronomat’s bracelet is modern retro. That applies to just about every new watch I can recall. Well, except for the way out there rainbow Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57, which the Swiss watchmaker is selling on “if everybody had an ocean” surfer nostalgia.

Breitling's new watch new/old brand ambassadors

Breitling did the right thing – the only possible thing – by launching their new models on the Internet. It’s relatively cheap (even with Brad, Charlize and What’s His Name’s new-product-free cameo) and Breitling gets the PR day all to themselves. It kinda makes you wonder why big name watchmakers bother with Baselworld. Oh wait . . .

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