A few days ago a very nice event took place in the Breitling boutique of Paris, rue de la Paix. An event organized by Breitling France and Red Bar Paris. And the focus was clear: let's speak about vintage watches!
Actually, this topic was not chosen by chance. Of course, it is the fav topic of Simon, the leader of Red Bar Paris and of some very distinguished members of the French watch community. But it was also a great opportunity for the brand. Why? Simple because this look toward the past is part of the current strategy of the brand.
We saw it with the launch of the Premier collection several months ago. The collection, even if it is very contemporary and not a clone of a watch of the past, is inspired by the sleek design of some vintage pieces, when Breitling offered some elegant chronographs.
I will not write again what I wrote after the Zurich meeting which took place one year ago. The Premier collection is totally consistent with the strategy of the brand which wants to highlight the refined side to enlarge its customers base. Moreover, we can observe a new trend from the customers, even in the new markets: they want to learn more about the history of the brands and I have to confess that I'm very happy with this. Less bullshit and more knowledge? It would be a win win situation.
Anyway, the context was a bit different in Paris, especially during the event. Several guests were big Breitling fans or collectors and they didn't have to be convinced by the glorious part of the company.
The good surprise is that the Breitling team didn't come with empty hands. They brought some marvels from the museum... for our deepest pleasure!
So let's have a look at the pictures I took during the event!
Let's start with this Navitimer on Nicolas' (from Breitling) wrist:
The different displays were decorated with ads from the past. I think it is a very good idea. This decoration was put in place only for the event to present the Museum pieces in a more suitable way. But I think it would be interesting to keep these ads a few more weeks, even when current pieces are in the displays. Because they create a link between past and present which seduces a lot the customers.
Do you spot the difference with the current decoration? But wait a minute! The Paris boutique will be renovated to feature the latest brand image!
The atmosphere of the event, a lot of discussions full of passion!
This is a true beauty, not so vintage since it comes from 1998!
And this one is absolutely not vintage! The Breitling Premier chronograph Bentley! We recognize it thanks to its sunrays green dial and the Bentley plate on the left side of the case. It is what I call an U-turn when I look at the previous Bretling x Bentley pieces. Moreover, they are now true Breitling pieces and not sold thru an ancillary brand.
The three-eye Panda of the Premier chronograph:
A watchmaker was explaining the main features of the Bretling movements to the most intrepid guests:
This is a Chrono-Matic NOS from the Museum!
Right to the point with this Top Time Chronograph:
One star of the event was this beautiful SuperOcean chronograph:
A gorgeous Breitling 788:
Another highlight of the event was this Breitling 764 Duograph:
But look at the eye-catching colors of the peripheral scale and of the subdials of this Navitimer:
The date window location on this Navitimer dial is not unusual but maybe it is due to the square around, I find it very original!
Some other vintage Navitimer:
When I was speaking about sleek design, this piece is a perfect example of what Breitling was able to produce in the past. Compare this watch with the Panda Premir chronograph and you will find a clear connection between them.
Past, present... and future! Bretling is working hard to speed up its dynamic of growth and to become successful on new markets. This focus on Vintage pieces is not a backward step. It is the opposite. It gives ideas for the future. But please, don't expect clones of pieces from the past or pure collectors' pieces. Breitling will design contemporary pieces even if some features will be inspired by details from the watches we saw in this report.
Thanks a lot to the Breitling team!