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Breitling Celebrates a Powerful Partnership with the Premier Norton Edition

MD Staff

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The Breitling Premier Norton Edition is a potent representation of a partnership between two iconic brands that share intriguingly similar timelines and powerful legacies. The watch expresses the style and performance expect­ed from a maker of refined Swiss watches and a motorcycle brand renowned for its exclusive British engineering.

The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition celebrates the partnership between the prestige watch brand Breitling and British motorcycle company Norton, known worldwide for its high-performance motorcycles. The watch is part of Breitling’s Premier collection, a family of elegant watches defined by their fashionable flair. The new Norton Edition is a distinctive interpretation of the Premier that makes a bold urban chic style statement. Willy Breitling was famously quoted as saying: “When a man puts on his Breitling, there is the unmistakable stamp of impeccable taste.” A Norton motorcycle is a similar sign of its owner’s personal flair.

Breitling CEO Georges Kern says that his brand has striking parallels with Norton Motorcycles: “Breitling and Norton are both innovative and entrepreneurial and have powerful legacies. This new watch honors the great partnership between these two aspirational brands.” He smiles and adds, “I think that anyone who puts one on might suddenly imagine ‘Born to be Wild’ playing somewhere in the background.”

Stuart Garner, CEO of Norton, agrees: “Breitling’s new Premier Norton Edition incorporates DNA elements from both brands, offering wristwatch and motorcycle fans the opportunity to express their individuality, and perfectly embodies the nature of our brands.”

A Watch That Reflects Two Great Brands

Breitling and Norton Motorcycles share a strong heritage. Both were founded in the nineteenth century by visionaries who gave their names to their companies and, to a large extent, defined their industries. When James Lansdowne Norton set up his company – a manufacturer of “fittings and parts for the two-wheel trade” – in 1898 and produced his first motorcycles in 1902, Léon Breitling had already been making watches in the Swiss Jura Mountains for more than a decade. And both brands have also been featured in James Bond films – 007 wore a Breitling Top Time in 1965’s Thunderball and a Norton Dominator SS had a supporting role in Spectre (2015).

The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition reflects the cultures and values of these two great brands. Its 42-millimeter stainless-steel case, water-resistant to 10 bar (100 meters) is distinctive: a “Norton” logo is engraved on a plate on the left side of the case, and the transparent caseback features a printed Norton motorcycle and logo. 

The elegant black dial with golden numerals and hour and minute hands offers an intriguing contrast to the brown vintage raw-leather strap that will appeal both to watch enthusiasts and serious motorcyclists. The model is also available with a stylish stainless-steel bracelet. The silver subdials – a chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock – against the black dial indicate the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 at the heart of this watch, which delivers an impressive power reserve of approximately 70 hours. 

The COSC-certified chronometer features a black tachymeter scale on a white inner bezel around the dial, with “TACHYMETER” inscribed in red. The hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova®, which makes them highly legible on any route a biker might choose, from a city street to a remote back road.  

The Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition is just the beginning of a special partnership between two extraordinary brands. Some new surprises will be announced throughout the year. 

The Ultimate Accessory for Your Premier B01 Chronograph Norton Edition: The Norton Commando 961 Café Racer MKII Breitling Limited Edition Motorcycle

When you slip on your Premier Norton Edition watch, you will be wearing a timepiece that reflects a partnership between two great brands. And you might find yourself longing for a powerful, stylishly iconic motorcycle worthy of the watch. Our friends at Norton have created the perfect solution. The Commando 961 Café Racer MKII Breitling Limited Edition recalls the classic appearance and style of the great old style café racers but offers modern state-of-the-art components and engineering. Its 961 cc engine was developed in-house by Norton and delivers the performance you would expect from one of the world’s great motorcycle brands. This special Breitling Limited Edition is being created in a series limited to 77 motorcycles. It is distinguished by a vintage Breitling “B” engraved on the clutch box, Breitling-designed speedometer and tachometer dials, and a black-on-black vintage “B” stitched into the saddle. This incredible statement-making motorcycle is available for purchase through Norton’s distribution network. 

Breitling Premier: Style, Purpose, and Action

In the 1940s, Breitling introduced the first Premier watches, its first collection of truly elegant timepieces, which were defined by their fashionable flair. The new Breitling Premier collection, launched in 2018, combines purpose with style, delivering quality, performance, and timeless design that are worthy of Breitling’s proud legacy.

The original Breitling Premier watches made powerful fashion statements and were perfect accompaniments to the remarkable changes taking place all over the world in the 1940s. The models in the new collection extend and renew that legacy – they reflect the heri­tage and the historic design codes of a great brand, but they also express an urban flair and a passion for excellence. They reflect a proud history, yet will never go out of style. Further, their elegance, performance, and quality are everything you would expect from Breitling, which now, more than ever, is an authentic brand for individuals of style, purpose, and action.

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OMEGA’s new Museum

MD Staff

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The new Museum, housed in a striking steel, glass and Swiss timber building designed by award-winning architect Shigeru Ban, brings the OMEGA story to life through immersive movies, compelling displays and fun interactive experiences.

The journey to the heart of OMEGA includes a 360° history of time and a giant walk-in Speedmaster revealing the inner-workings of the famous Co-Axial Escapement. Along the way, visitors can unleash their inner Olympian on a 9m running track, explore OMEGA’s history of women’s watchmaking, walk across a lunar surface and enter the exciting world of James Bond 007.

Those wishing to delve into the details can follow the path of a 50m steel bracelet made up of 64 treasury windows.

To coincide with the opening of the new Museum, OMEGA has created a dedicated Instagram account – #OMEGAMuseum – and a fully upgraded “Extract from the Archives” service, which is now available online.

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Jaeger Lecoultre & Amanda Seyfried

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Amanda has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most captivating young leading actresses. As a talented singer, she can be seen starring in musical adaptations of Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia 2! and Les Miserables.

During her visit at the SIHH 2019, Amanda was particularly captivated by the gem-setting technique, one of the Rare Handcrafts taking centre stage on the new Dazzling Rendez-Vous Night & Day watch that she was wearing.

On the occasion of the Shanghai International Film Festival, Amanda Seyfried presented Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s Glory to the Filmmaker Award to filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang and attended a Watchmaking MasterClass where she was impressed by the unique savoir-faire of the Maison:

At the 76th International Venice Film Festival, Jaeger‑LeCoultre was pleased to welcome Amanda Seyfried.

On the occasion of the Jaeger‑LeCoultre Gala Dinner, she wore the Joaillerie 101 Feuille, entwinning refined luxury and feminity.

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Heritage Wonders: Lucky 13 & Polaris Memodate

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Throughout its history, Jaeger‑LeCoultre has been driven by the spirit of inventiveness, its expertise rewarded with more than 400 patents, and its watchmakers’ technical skills and creative imagination embodied in more than 1,200 different calibres.

As these two rare watches from the mid-20th Century demonstrate, every decade has brought fresh ideas and solutions, reflecting the spirit of the times. Among the many changes brought by the 1950s and 60s – represented by each of these watches – were, on one hand, tremendous advances in technology and aerospace, and on the other, the transformation of diving from a challenging pursuit to a widely practised leisure activity.

A rare LeCoultre Polaris Memodate (1967): to be sold at Phillips Geneva, November 2019:

In 1950, Jaeger‑LeCoultre introduced its first wristwatch featuring an alarm and called it the Memovox (‘voice of memory’). As the model become one of the most desirable and reliable on the market, the company introduced different variations, including a date display, a self-winding version and even an alarm designed to time parking meters.

In 1959, noting that diving had begun evolving from a specialist pursuit into a recreational sport enjoyed by thousands, Jaeger‑LeCoultre decided to adapt the Memovox to the sea. The company realised that it could offer both a visual timer (on the inner bezel) and an auditory alarm (which also caused vibration against the case) for ultimate diver safety.

To do so, Jaeger‑LeCoultre created a patented, multi-layer case-back that optimised the alarm’s sound transmission under water. The outer case, with its 16 holes, allowed for the alarm tone to be heard and also felt on the wrist, while the inner case sealed and protected the movement.

Known in the United States as the Polaris, and in Europe as the ‘Montre de plongeur E859’, the reference E859 featured three crowns, each with the cross-hatch pattern characteristic of SuperCompressor watches. The first crown is for time setting, the second rotates the inner bezel for dive timing, and the third rotates the central disc to align the arrow with the alarm time.

The example being offered by Phillips was made in 1967 for the American market and stands out from other models thanks to its very rare dial markings. While most of the dials were stamped Memovox or bore no inscription other than the LeCoultre name, this watch is stamped Memodate.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the Memodate Polaris is its combination of two apparently opposite aspects of watchmaking: the tradition of delicate aural complications and the needs of a practical sporting timepiece. In this respect, it epitomises the open-minded spirit of inventiveness that has created such a rich patrimony at Jaeger‑LeCoultre and continues to drive the Maison to this day.

The unique LeCoultre “Lucky 13” (1962): to be sold at Phillips New York, December 2019

The LeCoultre “Lucky 13” is a truly remarkable and unique watch presented by the Chicago Anti-Superstition Society alongside 13 U.S. Senators to an original Mercury Seven U.S. astronaut to commemorate his historic achievement of becoming the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

Featuring the number 13 at every hour marker, the watch celebrated the Friendship 7 spacecraft capsule used for the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. Friendship 7 was the 13th space capsule produced by McDonnell Aircraft Corp, and the 13s on the dial were used to illustrate the society’s rejection of the number 13 as unlucky.

The ceremony, taking place on Friday, April 13th, 1962, was entered in the House Congressional Record on October 13th, 1962. The consignor intends to donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale of this watch to The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

As well as demonstrating Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s technical expertise, the deep meaning and personal connections behind the story of these unique timepieces remind us that watches have always had social and emotional significance – which sometimes even overrides their practical purpose.

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