Breitling today unveiled the new Heritage Premier collection, offering fans of vintage chronographs a true all-out effort. If you’ve ever been attracted to vintage calendar fake Rolex watches, you’re not alone. I probably check with vintage experts Saori and Brandon at the HODINKEE store almost weekly to see if there are any mid-century three-tier calendar watches around. Give me a wistful moon phase display at six o’clock and a double line sun/moon aperture below 12 o’clock and I’ll die happy.
Even if you’re someone who generally prefers simplicity and the sublime to claustrophobic dials with narrow scales and crowded totalizers, there’s something to appreciate about full calendars like the one in the original Datora reference and the one brought in today in the new Premier Heritage collection. The most common complaint about date displays is how they interrupt the symmetry of the dial, but on a calendar watch like the Datora, everything is executed in perfect balance, from the applied Arabic numerals to the three subdials packed with information. Honestly, if you fold the dial in half, each side will fit seamlessly on top of the other.
That’s the beauty of great vintage design – it proves to be timeless. On the other hand, movements are where today’s watch companies can demonstrate the benefits of 21st-century engineering. Breitling replica was the first brand to use the new B25 movement and given their role in movement development, they even offer a five-year manufacturer’s warranty on the purchase of a new Datora watch, which is usually reserved for replica watches with the brand’s entirely in-house movements.
Like the rest of the Heritage Premier line, Breitling has introduced a new Datora in 18k red gold and stainless steel, and while the precious metal model with its warm cream dial brings a certain old-world elegance and will have a large following, it is the combination of stainless steel and salmon-colored dial that appeals to me.