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Breitling Introduce New Heritage Premier B01 Chronograph Collection

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Collection

Back in 2019, Breitling released a new take on their classic Premier, a model with a storied history of elegant chronographs. The difference was that these newer pieces were sportier, more high-contrast and generally a lot more contemporary. But as the past few Premier releases in 2021 have shown, there’s much more demand for heritage designs, so it was only a matter of time before Breitling went full vintage and replaced 2019’s Premier’s entirely. So, here we are, with the new Breitling B01 Heritage Chronograph collection.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145221B1P1

If you liked Breitling’s 2021 capsule collection, you’ll like these. Let’s get that right out of the way, there’s very little surprise here. We’re talking elegant, 42mm chronographs with a variety of nice, safe dials ranging from blue, black and green to overtly vintage salmon and cream variations. What it’s lacking is that superb pistachio we’ve come to know and love, though I’m expecting that’ll crop up sooner rather than later.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145331K1P1

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145211G1P1
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145371L1A1

There are a few cool little dial details. For example, the minutes sub-counter has elongated indexes that in historical models would have been used while on a payphone to let you know when you’re going to have to pay more. Not so useful now, but a cool, historically rooted touch nonetheless.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145171C1P1

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145371L1A1

Bracelet-wise, the 7-link number is downright lovely and really feels like what these pieces should be on. There’s nothing wrong with the straps and generally for vintage-inspired models that’s what I’d suggest, but the bracelet here just looks and feels right. Especially on the full gold version with a cream dial, a gorgeous highlight.

Equipped with a column wheel chronograph and 70-hours of power reserve, the Calibre 01 movement’s as solid and expected as the design. It’s a great calibre and there’s a good reason it’s a Breitling mainstay.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. AB0145211G1A1
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Ref. RB0145371G1R1

So, what’s the hook here? Well, essentially these will be the new heritage baseline for Breitling in counterpoint to the modern pilots’ Navitimers and 60s retro Chronomats. The previous Premiers never really filled that niche and, despite being decent enough, didn’t have the cache of the new pieces.

And that’s it: a new collection into which Breitling can funnel their vintage aesthetics. At the moment it’s not ground-breaking, especially given 2021 and 2022s capsule drops that can’t help but overshadow it, but give it a couple of years. I’ve little doubt there’s a lot in the pipeline for the Premier B01 Heritage Chronograph.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42
  • Ref: AB0145221B1P1 (black dial with leather strap), AB0145221B1A1 (black dial with bracelet), AB0145171C1P1 (blue dial with leather strap), AB0145171C1A1 (blue dial with bracelet), AB0145331K1P1 (salmon dial with leather strap), AB0145331K1A1 (salmon dial with bracelet), AB0145371L1P1 (green dial with leather strap), AB0145371L1A1 (green dial with bracelet), AB0145211G1P1 (cream dial with leather strap), AB0145211G1A1 (cream dial with bracelet), RB0145371G1P1 (cream dial, 18k rose gold case with leather strap) or RB0145371G1R1 (cream dial, 18k rose gold case with bracelet)
  • Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 13.6mm thickness, stainless steel or 18k rose gold case, black, blue, salmon, green or cream dial with tone-on-tone chronograph counters, Super-LumiNova® luminescent hour and minute hands
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Breitling Calibre 01, in-house automatic chronograph (column-wheel, vertical clutch, 1/4th second, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers) with bidirectional with ball bearing, COSC-certified, 334 components
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 70h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
  • Strap: Black, gold-brown, or brown alligator leather strap with folding stainless steel buckle or stainless steel seven-row bracelet with a butterfly clasp (stainless steel models), brown alligator leather strap with a 18k red gold folding buckle or 18k red gold seven-row bracelet (rose gold)
  • Price/availability: £7,150 (stainless steel with leather strap), £7,400 (stainless steel with bracelet), £16,600 (rose gold with leather strap) and £32,500 (rose gold with bracelet)

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.