Breitling Endurance Pro Ironman

Back in 2019 Breitling launched a limited edition Superocean watch in partnership with Ironman, the famously grueling triathlon series that has bred champions and fostered feelings of inadequacy for decades now. Yesterday in Los Angeles the two launched another collaboration in the way of a duo of Endurance Pro Ironman watches from the brand’s Professional collection. Though two pieces are being debuted, only the red version will be available for the general population while the other black and gold model will only be available to those who finish the Ironman race which consists of a measly 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (I’ve read this is something around ~40,000 people annually).
We’ve gone in-depth with the Endurance Pro on a couple of occasions (see here and here) so I will just briefly give context here. Part of the Professional collection, the Endurance Pro case is done in the brand’s proprietary Breitlight polymer which is three times lighter than titanium and almost six times lighter than steel while being harder than both. In fact, the watch case weighs 35 grams while the rubber strap itself weights 30 grams to give you an idea of how light it is.
Measuring 44mm wide and 12.5mm thick with 100M water resistance, the Endurance Pro Ironman uses the thermocompensated SuperQuartz Breitling in-house (and COSC certified) Caliber 82 movement. It’s a 1/10th of a second chronograph with a 30-minute counter and is one of the too-few HAQ (high accuracy quartz) movements out there.
As for these two new Endurance Pro Ironman watches, the first is the model with a sort of red gradient dial with black touches and the Ironman logo on the 6 o’clock counter. It comes on a matching red rubber strap that reads “IRONMAN” rather than the usual “BREITLING” text. Red is a pretty bold color choice though the gradient affect is pretty on trend at the moment.
The second model is called the Breitling Endurance Pro Ironman Finisher, which is apt as it’s only available to those people who have completed the race. Honestly this is a pretty badass looking watch, the badassness of it enhanced by its entry requirement. With a black dial with gold touches, it’s stealthy with a burst of finish-line magic. Of course, the case back also has “Finisher Series” on it. I think in both design and swagger, the Endurance Pro Ironman Finisher is the standout. I suppose there will inevitably be cases of — let’s call it stolen valor —where someone buys a Finisher secondhand (or even more nefarious means as this is obviously an unscrupulous person). To them, I say: shame!
One of Breitling’s most successful releases of 2020 was the Endurance Pro, a series of colourful, entry-level Breitling sports watches perfectly suited to the wrist of modern-day athletes. Today, they expand their “ultimate athleisure” collection in partnership with the IRONMAN Group to unveil two new Breitling Endurance Pro IRONMAN watches: one dressed in red available to the general public and another in stealthy black reserved only for those who’ve completed an IRONMAN event.

The Breitling Endurance Pro collection launched last year was an important milestone for the luxury watch manufacturer as they re-entered themselves back into the professional sports watch game. Like the new Breitling Endurance Pro IRONMAN watches, their design was inspired from a 1970’s Breitling watch known as the Spring which combined a unique pulsometer scale with a lightweight resin case. The design was contrived especially for athletes that needed to check their heart rate on something lightweight for the wrist. This very aesthetic remains at the core of the entire Endurance Pro collection, designed not only for recreation sportsmen but professionals like that of Breitling’s Triathlon Squad: Froderno, Chris McCormack and Daniela Ryf, all of which are Iron Man World Champions.
Since its inception in 1978, the IRONMAN triathlon has represented the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit for athletes. According to Breitling, the three competition stages – swimming, cycling, and running – are the same activities that feature prominently in the lifestyles of Breitling’s core customer base: men and women of action, purpose, and style. With this in mind, Breitling and IRON began a quickly successful partnership back in 2019 with the launch of the Breitling Superocean IRONMAN Limited Edition. Now, their collaborations expands with a duo of Breitling Endurance Pro IRONMAN watches. The first is an exciting red version available globally at all Breitling boutiques and retailers like Jura Watches and the second is a black and gold piece nicknamed the Endurance Pro Finisher exclusively available for IRONMAN race finishers through IRONMAN channels.

“IRONMAN truly reflects our core values of performance and endurance. We’ve designed this to be an ideal watch for elite athletes as well as a casual, everyday sports chronograph for active people who want that winning combination of performance and luxury,” said Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with such an exceptional and well-respected watchmaker. After the success of our collaboration in 2019, we are pleased to partner with Breitling in creating this new watch which embodies the strength and tenacity of IRONMAN triathletes,” says CEO of The IRONMAN Group Andrew Messick.

Now let’s get into some of the specs… Like its 2020 predecessor, the new Breitling Endurance Pro IRONMAN measures to 44 millimetres in diameter and is entirely engineered from Breitlight, an innovative in-house material designed by the Swiss watch manufacturer. It promises to be 3.3 times light than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than steel as well as being significantly more durable with resistance to scratches, traction and corrosion. It also stands out for its antimagnetic and anti-allergic properties, as well as its thermal stability, which gives it a warmer feel than metal. Topping the case is a bi-directional rotating bezel with engraved compass points. At three o‘clock, a tactile moulded non-screw locked crown with two gaskets delivers easy grip and manipulation in all environments while guaranteeing a healthy water resistant rating of 100 metres.
At the centre, the Breitling Endurance Pro IRONMAN watch opts for a deep red dial which fades out nicely to black as it reaches the inner bezel with pulsometer scale. To pair, the chronograph counters are dressed in black and detailed with red-accented hands. The hour and minutes hands are also coated in Superluminova and the IRONMAN logo is subtly included on the small seconds dial at 6 o’clock. Powering the design is the Breitling Caliber 82, a COSC-certified thermocompensated SuperQuartz movement which claims to be ten times more precise than regular quartz and offers a battery life of approximately three to four years. The Endurance Pro Finisher follows suit but pairs its black dial with gold accents, a black rubber strap and a special case back with a unique IRONMAN Finisher Series engraving.

Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic

The Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic is easily one of the most respected pilot’s watches on the market. First conceived in the 1950s, these watches were no-nonsense tools meant to help a pilot calculate ground speed or fuel consumption on the fly (hah). The Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 41 watch was an effort on the brand’s part to blend some of the expected Navitimer features into a highly functional timepiece, all the while maintaining that classic design we know and love. The Navitimer 1 draws much of its inspiration from the Navitimer 806, a simple three-hander released in the 1950s. The Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 41 is being released in two different 41mm-case versions. The first is an all stainless steel construction, and the second has a stainless steel case but is accompanied by an 18k red gold bezel. (Previously, these were only available in 38mm, seen here.) The Stainless steel version will be available in one of three dial colors: black, blue, and silver, whereas the red gold bezel version will be available with a silver or anthracite dial. The watch will be powered by Breitling’s chronometer-certified Caliber 17, which ticks away at 4hz and boasts a 38-hour power reserve. The watch is resistant to 3bar (30 meters) and will be available on either an alligator strap or a stainless steel bracelet.
We have several new releases from Breitling to announce today, and one of them just happens to be the first ladies’ watch of the the Georges Kern era. It’s a 38 mm three-hand automatic interpretation of what is arguably Breitling’s best-known design, the Navitimer. What this watch is not is a chronograph – a complication long associated with the Navitimer – though it does retain the familiar slide rule bezel. The Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 comes in steel as well as steel and gold. The available dial colors include blue, silver and black. It joins 43mm and 41mm Navitimers that also launch this year in Basel.
While this watch is being put forward as the first ladies’ timepiece to debut under Breitling’s new management, I’m fairly certain that plenty of vintage-watch-loving guys out there will find the 38mm diameter appealing. I, for one, plan to try one on later this week in Basel. At 38mm across x 10.10 mm thick, this watch is right in line with vintage sports watch dimensions. And the colors are far from what one might describe as “feminine.” If you read the Breitling website closely, you can see that Breitling is itself stoking the sense of ambiguity here.

On the Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 product page of the Breitling web site, you can read this: “Stylish and compact, the Navitimer 1 Automatic (38 mm) may be the smallest in diameter, but it is the ultimate statement of elegance and sophistication. The ideal accessory for the adventurous Breitling woman, it is available in steel and steel & gold with dial in black, blue or silver.”

On the page announcing this and 44 other novelties for Baselworld, the watch is described thus: “Other exciting releases included the Navitimer Automatic in 38 mm, a gentlemen’s tool watch combining elegance with vintage inspiration.”

This is a good looking, if somewhat watered-down version of the Navitimer. Given its appealing looks and refreshingly toned down dimensions, I could see it doing quite well with women and men who like smaller-sized sports watches. I quite like the black-dialed version with matching black date disc at six o’clock. I haven’t tried any of the new Breitlings on yet, but this looks like it’s going to be the most wearable of the lot.

Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Stainless Steel

The 42mm Chronomat, which was renewed last year, is now available with the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Japan Edition Black Mother of Pearl, which uses the MOP dial, which has already gained popularity in Japan. So far, Breitling Japan has introduced a Japanese limited model of MOP dial almost every year, and among them, Chronomat using black MOP dial is very popular.

 The basic specifications are the same as the base Chronomat B01 42, and the rouleaux bracelet revived in the current model is iconic. It features a rider tab, a brand logo without wings, and a dial tone with a limited number of colors. The same applies to the see-through back, and you can see the in-house Cal.01 from the back. The price is 1,166,000 yen (tax included), and of course it will be sold only in Japan, and it is already possible to purchase and make reservations.
I was wondering if it wasn’t for me this year. The reason is that the Super Chronomat was just announced last month ( see Introducing Breitling Super Chronomat 2021 New ), and the limited edition MOP dial is also at Breitling’s other pillar collection, the Navitimer. This is because it just appeared in December last year (” Introducing Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Black Mother of Pearl Japan Edition 2020 New” ).
Personally, I think the Black MOP dial looks good on the Chronomat. The MOP itself is rarely used in men’s models, but Breitling, which has many male fans, has done it, and it has a strong impression that it has become a popular model. And the MOP dial, which is already assertive, should have a minimalist design as a whole.

 The Navitimer MOP limited model felt novel when it was installed for the first time, and it is also powerful as a product. However, for me, the red chrono needle on the MOP dial seems to be a little toe-match, and I am still attracted by the design of this chronomat. 

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 The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 believes that it has taken the collection to the next era by gaining a new (or rather revived) personality of the rouleaux bracelet. Isn’t the MOP dial, which is a slightly authentic approach, more attractive if it is a watch that has evolved more modernly? 

 In the current model, the Chronomat is no longer just for men, and there is a depth of design that allows you to make more use of these dial expressions. Many Chronomat fans already have one MOP dial model, but I would love to see the finish of this unit after the new generation.

Breitling Endurance Pro

Although many watches are aimed at folks with an active lifestyle, they often feature cumbersome stainless steel cases and fragile mechanical movements. Think of a “sports watch,” and it probably checks both of those boxes. But with such a clearly defined intended use, why wouldn’t the watch be fashioned from something light, and wouldn’t a robust quartz movement handle shocks and impacts better than a mechanical movement? 
This is the driving ideology behind the development of the Endurance Pro, a watch with a design that’s congruent to its intended use. It’s aimed squarely at active watch enthusiasts, and Breitling is even launching the watch with “The Breitling Endurance Pro Replica Strava Challenge,” a program that encourages wearers of the watch to rack up 500 minutes of swimming, running, cycling, hiking, or any sport that facilitates breaking a sweat and raising heart rates. Amateur athletes who complete that challenge are entered into a drawing to win Breitling swag, the top prize being a co-branded Breitling/Colnago bicycle. 
The  Breitling Endurance Pro Replica  is the spiritual successor to the Breitling Sprint, a chronograph produced in the 1970s that featured a resin case and a pulsometer scale. The Pulsometer scale, theoretically, could aid athletes taking their own heart rate measurements. This feature carries through to the modern Endurance Pro, and so does the use of a non-conventional material for the case. The Endurance Pro is made from Breitlight, which was introduced in 2016. It’s 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, which makes it ideal for sporting applications, but it’s also interesting from a material science perspective. It’s hypoallergenic, lightly textured, and Breitling reports that it “feels warmer to the touch than metal.” While the case is black, the watch comes in five colorways: white, blue, yellow, orange, and red. It comes on a colored rubber strap, but matching Outerknown ECONYL NATO straps can be purchased from Breitling. 
The “20-Year Rule” states that particular styles and trends in the fashion world work on a two-decade cycle: 20 years pass, and what’s old is cool again. The Endurance Pro has an aesthetic that would fit right in on the set of Boy Meets World, and that’s exactly what makes it particularly interesting to this author. For many collectors, the Endurance Pro will seem quite familiar. It reeks of “classic” Breitling from the ’90s.  The steady rise of athleisure in the fashion world over the last few years has set the stage for a release like this, but I’m sure it will surprise quite a few collectors as it harkens back to a much more recent era than many of the successful watches Breitling has introduced in the last year, like the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection or the Top Time Limited Edition. 
Not everyone wants a Luminox or G-Shock to abuse while cycling or hiking – some folks want to jazz it up a little while they’re out on the trails, and this is exactly the watch for such occasions. You get some serious heritage in a watch that’s fully equipped to stand up to a proper flogging. Watch appreciation is a largely sedentary hobby – so any watch that asks folks to put in 500 minutes of strenuous activity is a great thing. At its core, the Endurance Pro is a fun watch, and we could always use more of that. 
I wasn’t particularly kind to the new  Breitling Endurance Pro Replica  in our New Watch Alert. Like all the watches in the NWA, I passed judgement sight unseen. But I am nothing if not a fair man. So I hightailed it down to a local dealer to spend some quality time with a Pro. (Thanks Ben!) My conclusion: it’s a really expensive quartz watch. But it’s also . . .

a hugely accurate really expensive quartz watch.

Thanks to its thermo-compensated COSC-certified Caliber 82 SuperQuartz

Close enough for rock and roll? Yes! Unless you’re looking for temporal bragging rights. For a $3k watch, I’m thinking that’s a thing. Fortunately, the Breitling has a few other tricks up its horological sleeve. Specifically, its weight. Or lack thereof.
The Breitling Endurance Pro is not for those who worry about the unbearable lightness of being – it weighs just 65 grams dripping wet.

Credit the 44mm Endurance’s quartz movement and Breitlight

 case for the watch’s lack of heavy. Breitling’s carbon composite is 3.3 times lighter than titanium, 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, non-magnetic, thermally stable, hypoallergenic and “highly resistant” to scratches, traction and corrosion.
And it makes the watch feel like a plastic toy. The Endurance Pro’s orange strap, second hand, crown guard, pusher tips and interior bezel do nothing to counter that impression, and much to enhance it.

Running the chrono dispels at least some of the frivolity. Press the Endurance Pro’s pusher – the action is sharp and precise. The orange second hand slams through the seconds, the right hand subdial goes nuts, spinning once a second, and the top left subdial counts the minutes.
The bottom subdial also counts the seconds. Blame the redundancy on the bright orange pulsometer chapter ring, included to position the Endurance Pro as “the ultimate athleisure watch.”

In other words, Breitling’s marketing mavens are targeting well-heeled exercise junkies who don’t measure their heart rate with a smartwatch. Both of them.
C’mon man! We all know the  Breitling Endurance Pro Replica  is a fashion statement. Thirty minute timer? Crayola colors? If that doesn’t identify the Pro as a tool watch for pulse-quickening S&M (standing and modelling), what about the bezel compass?

The Endurance Pro’s bi-directional bezel compass is beautifully rendered; it glides around the dial like a curling stone on fresh ice. That said, if you’re lost in the northern hemisphere in a non-tropical wilderness and need to head in a particular direction, any watch will do.

To use your watch as an approximate compass outside of the tropics in the northern hemisphere, hold the watch horizontal and point the hour hand at the sun. Half way between that point and the twelve o’clock mark on your watch points to the south.

The Truth About Sundials! Anyway, the Breitling Endurance Pro’s dial is a dog’s breakfast.
Some bright spark decreed that the 12, 3, 6 and 9 indices had to be REALLY BIG and decided “we don’t need no stinkin’ 12! Put the Breitling logo there.”

Then the subdial monsters took a big bite out of the 3 and 6 (rendering them semi-legible) and pretty much devoured the 6. The same creatures all but eliminated the 2 and 10. Only six numerals made it through the attack.

Just for fun, there’s “ENDURANCE” below the dial’s midpoint on the left, bang opposite “CHRONOMETER.” It’s no surprise the date window’s retreated to a relatively quiet corner between the 4 and 5.
I love the Breitling Endurance Pro’s featherweight fighting weight, revel in its durability, worship its amazing accuracy and smile at its technicolor dreamcoat (also available in yellow, blue, red and black).

But the Pro’s premium price and busy AF dial are genuine deal killers. Sometimes first impressions last.