High-end watchmaker Breitling was established in the picturesque location of Saint-Imier, Switzerland. In 1884 Léon Breitling set about establishing a company dedicated to producing chronographs and timers. Decades later in 1923 they patented the first wristwatch that incorporated both stop and start functions. Subsequently this led to the development of the world’s first mechanical automatic movement in 1969.
Within its 129 year history the Breiting has produced many iconic watches. The Navitimer was first introduced in the 1940’s and included a circular slide rule on the bezel of the chronograph models. In 1962 astronaut Scott Carpenter wore a modified 24-hour dial version on a space flight. Other successful lines have included the Emergency, Chronosport and SuperOcean collections. From a marketing point of view their Breitling for Bentley association has been a touch of genius. Many brands have now forged alliances with luxury car manufacturers. These partnerships normally raise the company’s profile significantly and are highly lucrative.
The Transocean Unitime Pilot is one of the brands latest and exciting offerings. With generous proportions of 46mm x 15.40mm (excluding the crown pushers and lugs) the watch should make a bold statement. These dimensions are chunky without being massively oversized. I found the timepiece sat comfortably on my wrist and there wasn’t any protrusion from the lugs. Essentially this is down to the sophisticated design of the watch and use of 316L stainless steel in production. Even though the timepiece is relatively lightweight (112.50 grams) I would have expected a titanium case on a model being sold at this price point. I think this watch would look really smart if worn with a black dinner suit to a cocktail party.
Visually the sporty appearance of the timepiece should appeal to a wide variety of buyers. The steel case has a stylish satin brushed finish that perfectly compliments the matt black face. I love the incredible amount of detail that has been included on the dial. It is pertinent to mention that the time can be easily read without any confusion or information overload. The world time city display is well presented and the chronograph counters look really cool. Other eye-catching features include delicate steel hands, a date window (positioned between 4 -5 o’clock) and the robust pushers. In my opinion the design of Transocean Unitime Pilot is very attractive and cohesive.
Historically the company has equipped their timepieces with modified movements bought from ETA. This all changed in 2009 when they developed their own range of calibers in house. The Breiting 05 is a self-winding mechanism comprising 56 jewels and oscillating at frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4HZ). Functionally the Transocean Unitime Pilot has an impressive list of features including hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph facility. The timepiece also has an innovative double disk that displays 24 different time zones. Turning the crown forwards or backwards activates this operation.
The Transocean Unitime Pilot has an elegant Ocean Classic steel bracelet and is limited to 1,000 pieces. Priced at: $15,060.