“Innovation and tradition are not paradoxical to each other, but it’s exactly the opposite: Innovation is a tradition for Breitling”
in terms of material, surface treatment, energy loss, and that’s why we grouped our best chemists (for material development), mathematicians, designers and watchmakers into the Chronoworks team that’s dedicated to innovation. DA: Is the Chronoworks team also responsible for the Breitlight material? JPG: They’re specialists in the “super-engines” of the movements, so to speak. We have yet another team that has developed the Breitlight material for the Avenger Hurricane piece and is working on different materials for watchcases and straps, too. DA: What about the Breitling for Bentley pieces? JPG: For the first time, we’re introducing carbon fiber for the case of a Breitling for Bentley timepiece, which is the Bentley GMT B04 S Carbon Body. It’s not forged carbon, mind you. That’s why it’s got an interesting texture. Again, we’re trying to combine both functionality and pleasing aesthetics. DA: There is a rising trend of launching smaller cases. What about Breitling? JPG: For us, we have a limit in terms of dial legibility. We notice that chronographs smaller than 38mm are no longer legible. So, 38mm is the smallest chronograph watchcase we have. DA: Are the new materials developed for the watchcase and movement parts sort of an answer to the rise of smartwatches? What about Breitling’s own Exospace B55? Are there any new follow-ups for it?
I wouldn’t say it’s an answer; I would say it’s more in the spirit of continuing to innovate in different directions. For Breitling, innovation and tradition are not paradoxical to each other, but it’s exactly the opposite: Innovation is a tradition for Breitling.
We presented the Exospace B55 Connected Chronograph at last year’s Baselworld to gather comments during the fair. By the end of that week, we finalized the technical specifications of the product and we did exactly what we said, which was launching the product at the end of the year. It was unveiled last December in New York. We started selling the watch this year, and that’s Breitling’s first connected watch. It uses connectivity in Breitling’s way to improve its functionality. In essence, we are really using the user-friendliness of a smartphone to improve the functionality of a watch. Of course, we’re now thinking of new development in terms of adding sensors or GPS receivers, so we will continue to innovate in that direction.
I myself am wearing the Breitling Exospace B55 Connected, and I think it’s such a convenient watch to wear. So, I just wear one watch now, when I go out, jogging, on business or vacation, or if I don’t want to be disturbed like now—I have my smartphone on silent mode, but I’d know if somebody’s calling me, because I’ll have the message pop up on the watch. Again, it’s the same Breitling way to innovate in the direction of creating instruments for professionals. DA: In that sense, how does the future look like for Breitling? JPG: If you continue to build a brand through innovation while also remaining faithful to what made the brand successful in the past, you simply cannot go wrong.