Breitling rounds out the Premier Heritage Collection with an elegantly complicated chronograph

BY MICHAEL STOCKTON (FRATELLO) – 06/04/2021

There’s no doubt that today is a big day for Breitling. The brand has released three distinct new models within its new Premier Heritage Collection. There’s the manual wind Premier Chronograph, the sublime manual wind Premier Duograph rattrapante, and the Premier Datora 42. In this article, we focus on the latter and, once again, we’re impressed.

A quick look back

Just like the other Breitling Heritage models, the Premier Datora 42 takes its inspiration from the brand’s back catalog. Fred lent another picture of a ’40s Datora reference 799. These are desirable watches and when they do come up for sale, they bring heavy interest (and sizable bank transfers). Breitling only made these watches from 1947 to 1951 in either steel or gold, so finding one today is challenging. Now, we have a modern answer with vintage flair.

The Breitling Premier Datora 42

The new Breitling Premier Datora 42 is the most complicated watch in the Premier lineup. As you can see above, the dial contains a lot of information, yet it maintains a clean look. In addition to a standard chronograph with running seconds and 30 minute counter, the watch has a calendar. The lowest sub register houses a moon phase function and date indicator. Additionally, there are day and month windows below 12:00. At this time, Breitling will offer this model in stainless steel with a copper/salmon dial and in 18K red gold with a silver dial. Both will come on different shades of brown polished alligator straps with folding buckles. Like all the Premier models, these pieces boast 100 meters of water resistance. Size wise, these come in at 42mm in diameter and 15.35mm in thickness.

Unlike the other new chronographs from today, the Premier Datora 42 uses an automatic movement from an external maker. The Breitling B25 comes from Concepto Watch of Switzerland in the form of their 2000-RAC caliber. However, Breitling adds some attractive finishing, a rotor with gold elements, and adds a chronometer certification. The movement itself is common with the other in-house Premier movements with its 48 hours of power reserve and 28,8000vph. Functionally, the crown adjusts the date subregister, the moon phase, and the month. There is a corrector at 10:00 to change the day of the week. As you can see, from above, the movement is viewable via a screw in case back with sapphire display window.

Thoughts on the new Datora

Normally, watches like the Premier Datora 42 aren’t my bag. The dials are usually cluttered and leave my head hurting. These watches, though, are different. I think Breitling chose the right dial colors to bring a real dose of elegance to a watch that shows so much information. That salmon dial is a stunner and silver version isn’t far behind. The blued hands are perfect along with both the ridged sub dials and that wonderful boxed “Datora” script. I know that some will bemoan the “cut off” applied Arabic numerals, but it’s a fact of life on watches like this and I actually think it helps display how good the indices look. Despite their size (like on the rattrapante, I suppose the more complicated movement brings bulk), these watches look incredibly classy. And while no one will likely dive with these — especially with those straps — the high levels of water resistance and sapphire crystal makes them incredibly wearable on the right wrist.

The Breitling Premier Datora 42 will sell for €11,350 in steel and €22,200 in red gold. That makes these the most expensive pieces within the line. For me, I’m a sucker for manual wind movements, but I can’t help but like these. They’re well designed and, like the other Premier Heritage models, look like they’re boxing in a far more higher weight class dominated by some seriously expensive watches.