In 2003, Bentley made their comeback at the Le Mans 24 Hours race by winning the two top spots. That was also the year the British automaker began a partnership with Swiss watchmaker Breitling, with the launch of Breitling for Bentley. This year the companies are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their collection with the release of three new chronographs; the Bentley B06, a “30-second chronograph”, the Bentley B04 GMT and the Bentley B05 Unitime.
The movements of these three timepieces were designed and developed entirely in the Breitling Chronométrie workshops. The selfwinding chronograph B04, B05 and B06 calibres are endowed with a column wheel, a vertical coupling clutch and an over 70-hour power reserve. Like all Breitling for Bentley movements, they are chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), the highest benchmark in terms of precision and reliability, and the only one based on an international standard. Here’s a breakdown of each new piece:
The Bentley B06 is distinguished by its “30-second chronograph” system, which was inspired by a Breitling patent from 1926 and is based on a central hand sweeping around the dial in half a minute (which ensures extremely accurate 1/8th second time readings). Another world-exclusive feature is the “variable tachometer” with a rotating bezel serving to calculate average speed whatever the time elapsed, the distance covered or the speed reached. Aesthetically, the knurled motif on the bezel recalls Bentley’s famous Bentley radiator grilles, while the same motif on the openworked dial reveals glimpses of the high-performance engine. The transparent caseback offers a glimpse of the 360° sculpted oscillating weight, which evokes the shape of a wheel rim. The Bentley B06 is available in steel or red gold, along with a choice of a bracelet or a crocodile leather or rubber strap adorned with a central raised motif matching that on the bezel.
Next up, the Bentley B04 GMT is designed for time zone-hopping businessmen, combining a dual timezone system and a selfwinding chronograph. The wearer adjusts the main hour hand to local time by pulling out the crown and turning it in either direction in one-hour increments, without any loss of precision in terms of the minutes, and with automatic forward and backward date adjustment. Meanwhile, the red-tipped hand continues to show home time in 24-hour mode, thus enabling the user to distinguish between day and night. Aesthetically, the openworked dial boats a radiator grille once again evoking the world of luxury automobiles, while a transparent caseback reveals the sculpted wheel rim-shaped oscillating weight. The Bentley B04 GMT is available in steel or red gold.
Finally, we have the Bentley B05 Unitime. This worldtime chronograph is powered by a movement with a patented double-disc mechanism that allows the wearer to easily read the time in all 24 timezones. When the wearer changes timezones, they turn the crown forward or backward in one-hour increments, correcting all indications in one gesture, with the date automatically adjusted to local time. The bezel, which indicates the time zones with the names of 24 cities around the world, also takes into account summer and Daylight Saving Time. The travel theme is enshrined on the dial with an artistically sculpted globe. At its heart is an oscillating weight shaped like a wheel rim, visible through the transparent caseback. The Bentley B05 Unitime is available in steel or red gold with a bracelet or rubber or crocodile leather strap.
Photos courtesy Breitling.