While Breitling has over 100 years of watchmaking history under its belt, it’s only in the last few decades that the brand has really started to flex its wings, especially with a broad range of partnerships and collaborations from different industries. We take a look at some of its most successful pairings.
TEXT: GEORGINA WILSON-POWELL // PHOTOGRAPHY: BREITLING
Breitling and Norton
Breitling watches has found a soul mate in exclusive British motorbike brand, Norton. Part of the Breitling Premier collection launched in 2018, the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition which came with a 42 mm stainless steel case, an engraved Norton logo and a transparent caseback features a printed Norton motorcycle and logo.
Unusually for a watch collaboration, Norton also released a product to celebrate Breitling. It released the Commando 961 Café Racer MKII Breitling Limited Edition. Limited to 77 motorbikes, these beasts are glorious old style races underpinned with the latest technology and engineering.
Motorcycling isn’t the only sport that has found a passionate partner in Breitling. The brand has its own surf squad made up of American Kelly Slater and Australian surfers Sally Fitzgibbons, and Stephanie Gilmore. The SuperOcean collection reflects this trio’s love of the water and looking after the planet. This summer the trio helped Breitling launch the Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition in Bali with a beach clean. The 1,000 strong limited edition watch supports Ocean Conservancy to promote cleaner beaches and plastic free seas.
Breitling CEO Georges Kern said: “This cleanup initiative in Bali underscored the power of our partnership with Ocean Conservancy. With the launch of this first great watch, we want to add a meaningful and credible element to our partnership and its global projects.”
Breitling has partnered with the World Surf League’s Surf Ranch Pro in California this year to cement its partnership with surfing further.
Breitling and Wheels and Waves
A love of motorcycling and surfing carries on through the brand’s event partnerships. It announced earlier this year, a three year partnership with Wheels and Waves, the motorbiking, surfing and skateboarding festival in Biarritz.
Breitling CEO Georges Kern points out that the collaboration is ideal for the brand: “Our partnership with Wheels and Waves lets us highlight the cool lifestyle of surfing and the passion for sporty and elegant motorbikes we share with the festival. As an informal brand for people driven by action, purpose, and style, we have products and values that perfectly match the spirit and the joy associated with Wheels and Waves.”
Over the last few years Breitling has amassed pioneers at the top of their game into its own squads (#squadsonamission), which include a jet, surfer, cinema and explorer squad.
The Cinema Squad comprises Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron and Adam Driver, all distinctive talents at the top of their game who will be working with the brand in the near future on new collections that reflects their passions.
Breitling’s Explorer Squad features some incredible minds who have pushed the boundaries of adventure across the world. Betrand Piccard flew non stop around the world in a balloon, the first person to do so. David de Rothschild was the youngest Brit to reach both poles and sailed a ship made of plastic bottles between San Francisco and Sydney. Inge Solheim takes teams of wounded veterans to both poles - between them they challenge Breitling to work harder, faster, longer and better to be worth of its place on their wrists.
Breitling and Bentley
Bentley is perhaps one of the most distinguished of the British luxury car brands so it’s no surprise that Breitling sees it as a natural partner. The first collaboration launched last year, the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green comes with a distinctive British racing green dial. The Premier Bentley Centenary Limited Edition wristwatch was launched earlier this year in Geneva produced in 18K red gold, with a 42 mm face and a back plate with a 1920s inspired Bentley inscription.
The two brands celebrated Bentley’s 100 year anniversary with the launch of a
Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner and the Breitling Premier Bentley Centenary Limited Edition.
Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, said: “The long-standing collaboration between Bentley and Breitling is a sterling example of how brands with shared values work together in an authentic way – the performance of both is enhanced. These two releases define both companies’ unwavering commitment to technological excellence, expert craftsmanship, and a pioneering spirit.”
The companies first worked together in 2003 when Bentley chose Breitling to design their in car clock for the first Continental GT and share the same values and commitment to quality and legacy.
Breitling Jet Squad
As befits a luxury watch brand with a strong aviation history, Breitling has formed its own jet squad, it is the world’s largest professional civilian flight team who perform in jet displays. This incredible acrobatic team are deployed to create astounding displays in which planes fly at 700km/h in tightly choreographed manoeuvres that will impress and resonate - much like the Breitling watches each pilot wears on their wrist.
The seven strong Breitling Jet Team (yes they have their own jets) use L-39C Albatros aircraft, Czech-made twin-seater military training jets, which have been branded to suit match Breitling’s design. These jets can reach over 910kms per hour in dive and are manned by pilots who have over 11,000 hours in the sky.
Whether it’s on land, in the sky or on the waves, Breitling’s expansion over the last two decades is a lesson in style and substance and shows how luxury brands can lever collaborations and partnerships to move from a niche name to a lifestyle brand with longevity.
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