The new Premier Heritage B15 Duograph 42 is currently Breitling’s most elegant timepiece and an homage to the pioneering spirit of the company’s founders. Like its predecessor from the 1940s of the same name, it can record time intervals and is breaking new ground as it goes. We take a closer look.
Three generations AAA UK fake Breitling watches made their mark in the history of timekeeping: Léon Breitling founded the company in 1884. He later submitted a patent for a simple timer with a tachymeter that could measure any speed between 15 and 150 kilometers per hour.
Rattrapante Module Hidden Beneath the Dial
In 2017, Breitling picked up this loose thread in history with the Navitimer Rattrapante. The in-house automatic Caliber B03 introduced with this timepiece now also serves as the basis for the hand-wound B15 caliber created for the Premier Heritage B15 Duograph 42, our test watch.
The watchmakers initially placed the complicated splitseconds mechanism with its additional column wheel, rattrapante wheel and clamps directly beneath the dial because highly precise drilling of the long chronograph tube is challenging. With the Venus 179 caliber, the split-seconds mechanism was moved to the back of the movement.
With the Caliber B03, and subsequently, also the B15, Breitling has returned the split-seconds complication, including the rattrapante wheel, column wheel and clamps, to the front of the movement. Placing the complication directly under the dial was done for more than simple historical reasons. These days, modern watchmaking and construction methods allow for various technical solutions for a rattrapante mechanism. Breitling went its own way, resulting in two patents.
The modular construction of the B03 movement, and thereby also the B15, permitted shifting the rattrapante mechanism to the dial side of the movement, now situated between the mainplate and the date ring. Unfortunately, this makes it invisible through the sapphire caseback window. The rattrapante mechanism uses traditional gearing and a stainless-steel split-seconds wheel. The second patented innovation is an isolating system that works as an energysaving separation between the stopped split-seconds from the actual chronograph mechanism. The rattrapante wheel has a rubber O-ring that replaces the geared edge. The entire split-seconds mechanism comprises only 28 individual components.
Hand-wound B15 Caliber with No Date
From its inception, the modular design of the B03 caliber offered a variety of options. A self-winding mechanism may be used in this caliber to wind the movement, but the B15 does not offer this; instead it follows the growing trend of hand-wound watches. And unlike the B03, the B15 has no date indication, just like the original Premier Duograph from the 1940s.
A Shimmering Dial with Long Hands and Applied Markers
Since only a few manufacturers offer this complex rattrapante technology, it’s a pleasure to see and experience it on the dial of a watch. As a reminder, rattrapante is from the French word rattraper, which means “to catch up.” A rattrapante chronograph has two stopwatch hands that can be stopped independently and rejoined at a later point. One chronograph hand can “catch up” to the other. If both hands are running simultaneously, the actual stopwatch hand carries the second one along, which is why one often speaks of a split-second chronograph. The two long needle-like hands differ very little in appearance but their short ends are easy to tell apart. The thicker top stopwatch hand ends in a ring, while the slightly thinner rattrapante hand below it has an arrowhead tip. These symbols were already part of the Duograph from 1944. Sometimes the steel hands and applied markers shimmer and reflect light so you have to move the Swiss movements replica watches a little to read the elapsed time. In the dark, only the main time with hours and minutes is visible, glowing bright green.
The strap is lined with a vibrant yellow that contrasts with the golden-brown sheen of the alligator leather on top, which recalls Willy Breitling’s notion of fulfilling people’s wishes for elegance and glamour with the Premier collection. Today, the Premier Heritage B15 Duograph 42 is being offered to those who are seeking a sophisticated chronograph, just as he intended.