Breitling honours its founding fathers with premier tourbillons


Three generations left their legacy on the watchmaking brand that can be felt in every aspect of these watches.

Breitling Premier Tourbillon

November 22, 2022: Swiss brand Breitling has launched a collection of three ultra-premium chronographs, each inspired by one of the Breitling founders, featuring solid precious metals and an exceptional tourbillon. 

Léon Breitling was the craftsman whose work set a new standard for precision. Gaston Breitling was the innovator whose design became what we know as the modern chronograph. And Willy Breitling, the man of impeccable taste, ushered the wristwatch from purpose to style.

Breitling Premier Tourbillon

The Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 takes inspiration from Willy Breitling’s Premier line, launched in 1943. As challenging to execute as it is beautiful, a tourbillon complication is the centrepiece of a new trio of exceptional wristwatches. “The Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 is the perfect expression of Breitling’s design and expertise,” says CEO Georges Kern. “In the tourbillon, you see the mechanism living at every second. It is the beating heart of the watch.”

Breitling worked hand-in-hand with the speciality movement maker Manufacture La Joux-Perret to develop the B21 movement that combines a tourbillon with a chronograph to make this trio of watches so distinctly Breitling. A tourbillon houses the balance wheel, balance spring and escapement in a rotating cage, setting the entire assembly in perpetual motion. This action corrects for – and effectively cancels – the pull of gravity, which affects a watch’s accuracy differently in different positions.

Breitling Premier Tourbillon

Precious metals and a domed open case back characterise the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42. It comes in three variations, each named for one of the Breitling founding fathers. The Léon Breitling features a solid 18 k red gold case with a silver dial and brown, semi-shiny alligator strap. The Gaston Breitling pairs a solid 18 k white gold case with an anthracite dial and black alligator strap. The Willy Breitling, meanwhile, is a vision in solid platinum with an admiral-blue dial and black alligator strap. Each watch features stylised square pushers and Arabic numerals that are hallmarks of the Premier line.

Their symmetrical dial design, harmonious interplay of numerals and tone-on-tone colourways perfectly balance the undisputed star of the show – the tourbillon – that takes centre stage at 12 o’clock. The open sapphire crystal case back is domed to allow for full appreciation of the B21 movement, where the oscillating weight and reverse side of the tourbillon appear in contrasting 18 k gold. 

Breitling Premier Tourbillon

The Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 is for people who love the mechanics – and magic – of watchmaking. Combining the height of Breitling’s savoir-faire, innovation and style, this timepiece trio dedicated to the founders would have made them proud.

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