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Breitling Launches Wheels and Waves Limited Edition in Biarritz

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Breitling took to the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz for the launch of its Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch, which comes in two versions: 18 k red gold and stainless steel. The brand also celebrated its powerful links to two thrilling sports – motorcycling and surfing. Since 2012, Wheels and Waves, the world’s leading motorcycle, surfing, and skateboarding festival, has attracted visitors from all over the world – who are drawn to the festival’s dynamic yet cool atmosphere – to the popular resort town.

Wheels and Waves is a festival like no other. Each June, thousands of visitors find their way to Biarritz, where they are treated to displays of world-class surfing, motorcycle racing, and skateboarding. This year, as Official Timekeeper, Breitling was on hand throughout the festival, which proved once again to be a platform that authentically embodies the Swiss watch manufacture’s Land and Sea brand worlds. The third world, Air, was well represented on Friday night as the Breitling Jet Team dazzled festivalgoers, flying through the skies above Biarritz. 

The Wheels and Waves organizers are very excited about Breitling’s active role at the festival. Jérôme Allé said, “We’ve completely enjoyed working with Breitling and are thrilled by the support we’ve had from Georges Kern and his Squads. They share our passions and our commitment to engaging with our community. Breitling lives up to its reputation as a cool, inclusive brand, and the Squad brought those values to this year’s Wheels and Waves.”

Breitling CEO Georges Kern said, “At Wheels and Waves, we highlighted the passions we share with the festival: a cool, laid-back surfing lifestyle and sporty, elegant motorbikes. It also gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to people who, like us, are driven by action, purpose, and style – and we launched a watch that celebrates the festival that expresses those values.”

The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Wheels and Waves Limited Edition

One of the festival’s highlights was the launch of the Breitling Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition on Thursday, June 13. It has been produced in both an 18 k red gold version, limited to 100 pieces, and a stainless-steel version issued in a series of 500 pieces. The cases in both metals feature an engraved plate with a Breitling SPECIAL inscription on the left side. 

These watches are set apart by their unique anthracite dial with golden hour markers, hour and minute hands, and a red central seconds hand. The dial features a black tachymeter scale on a white inner bezel, with a red tachymeter inscription. These COSC-certified chronometers have contrasting black subdials (a chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock) – a mark that they are powered by Breitling’s flagship Manufacture Caliber 01. 

The in-house mechanical movement, which offers a power reserve of about 70 hours, is visible through a transparent caseback. The caseback for the 18 k red gold version is engraved with a “ONE OF 100” inscription; the stainless-steel model is engraved “ONE OF 500”. 

The red gold and the stainless-steel versions are presented on a brown nubuck leather strap. 

Breitling CEO Georges Kern points out how the Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch brilliantly reflects his brand’s partnership with the festival: “With this chronograph, we have created a very special version of our Premier, which is Breitling’s most elegant watch family. At the same time, they reflect the things we love about Wheels and Waves: the energy, the lifestyle, and, as I’ve said before, the coolness.”

Breitling and the sports showcased at Wheels and Waves

Some special guests were on hand to help Breitling celebrate Wheels and Waves. The brand was joined by celebrated French actor, director, screenwriter, and motorcycle enthusiast Guillaume Canet, Swiss top model Ronja Furrer, and WSL surfer Jérémy Florès, who is a member of Breitling’s French Squad.

On Thursday evening, a graffiti wall, with a Wheels and Waves-themed painting by artist Tristan Barroso, was unveiled at the Artride event. Georges Kern welcomed his guests and introduced the Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch.

On Friday, there was a Breitling Surfers Squad lesson with Jérémy Florès, who generously shared tips with participants of all levels. Some of Breitling’s guests were involved not only with the surfing tutorial, but also in the Deus Swank Rally Enduro Race on Friday, along with Breitling CEO Georges Kern and Guillaume Canet. A dedicated Breitling ride was followed by the main race, whose winner was presented with a Breitling watch. 

The Wheels and Waves festival, with its unique focus on surfing and motorcycling, represents an ideal opportunity for Breitling to showcase its close links to both sports. Breitling already enjoys a partnership with Norton Motorcycles, the world’s oldest motorcycle brand, and it has a long and strong association with motor sports, including a link to Bentley. In fact, the partnership between Breitling and Bentley is the world’s longest-standing partnership between a watch brand and an automobile manufacturer. 

Meanwhile, the Breitling Surfers Squad, which consists of world stars Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Sally Fitzgibbons, has elevated Breitling’s profile on the surfing scene. Indeed, Breitling is also set to serve as Official Timekeeper at the 2019 World Surf League’s Freshwater Pro in Lemoore, California.

Wheels and Waves – a new Breitling tradition

Breitling has always been a luxury watch brand, but in terms of its attitude, style, and the sports it supports, it is truly inclusive. At Wheels and Waves, thousands of visitors had a chance to interact with the brand and they were able to identify with Breitling, its stories, and its Squads. In Biarritz, Breitling took its message directly to the people, engaging men and woman of action, purpose, and style. 

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OMEGA’s new Museum

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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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