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.