With the launch of its own in-house base movement, Caliber B01, in 2009, Breitling earned its place among the ranks of true watchmaking manufactures. With the launch of the new Breitling Avenger Hurricane at Baselworld — featuring a case made of a new, proprietary alloy called Breitlight — it joins the even more exclusive club of watch brands that have created their own case materials.
The Breitling Avenger Hurricane is an unmistakably masculine watch, in the brand’s military-aviation-inspired tradition — a hulking, 50-mm-diameter case; an all-black “stealth” color scheme with yellow accents; big, stencil-type hour numerals; a rugged strap layering a tough textile fiber exterior over a yellow rubber core — and even goes the extra military mile with its 24-hour time display.
Breitlight, used here for the first time on a watch case, is a high-tech material that Breitling says is four times lighter than titanium but significantly harder. Among its other listed attributes are exceptional resistance to scratches, traction, and corrosion; thermal stability; and antimagnetic and non-allergenic properties, in addition to being warmer to the touch than other metals and, aesthetically, having a somewhat mottled surface texture.
The case is water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet) and has a unidirectional rotating bezel with rider tabs. The crown is screw-locked; both it and the chronograph push-pieces have a grooved checkerboard pattern for a non-slip grip, even for a wearer (such as a pilot, to whom this watch is obviously aimed) who is wearing gloves. The extra-thick sapphire crystal has been glareproofed on both sides and the hands and numerals are luminous.
The movement in the Avenger Hurricane is Caliber B12, the latest variation on Breitling’s B01 base caliber, with the 24-hour time display added to that movement’s other notable attributes, including automatic winding, a high-frequency balance (28,800 vph), a lengthy power reserve (70 hours), a date function (in a window at 4:30 on the dial) and an integrated 1/4 second chronograph (with 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock). As with the rest of Breitling’s lineup of in-house movements, Caliber B12 has been COSC chronometer-certified for timekeeping accuracy.
The Breitling Avenger Hurricane will be priced at $8,390 and available at retail in April. Scroll down to see some live shots of the watch taken at Baselworld 2016.