A few weeks back I got an invite to meet the new Breitling USA President, Thierry Prissert at the watchmaker’s new boutique on 57th Street. Me being someone with a fairly shallow knowledge of Breitling, it seemed like a good opportunity to learn about a very historic brand straight from the head of the company.
Honestly, what I had been expecting to see at Breitling was a lot of very very large brutish watches that don’t appeal to me. Upon visiting the shop and seeing the collection, my preconceived opinion was partially confirmed. But more surprisingly, Breitling also has some very classic looking timepieces that I would definitely want to own.
The new store is a massive multilevel space filled with pop art and basically the entire collection of Breitling watches. The boutique is an impressive and elegant space – I really liked it. The majority of the collection is lined up across the main wall in motorized glass cases that raise and lower when the presence of a security key sensor is near. (Also note from that last link that the staff is not at all terrible looking.) It’s worth looking at a watch just to see this system operated.
A couple of the watches that I am most interested in from Breitling are the Montbrillant Datora, the Navitimer (which is a classic) and the best of the bunch, the Transocean Chrono which features the company’s very own in-house movement. Not to mention all of the great vintage that is out there from the watchmaker’s long history. With the Transocean Chrono, it looks as if Breitling could be on the right track.
In addition to all of the new offerings, the boutique also houses an impressive archive collection of vintage Breitling timepieces. The below pictures represent some of my favorite pieces from this archive. Amazing to see the normal-sized roots and beauty of the brand.