A Serious Stunner: The New Breitling Premier Duograph 42
The Breitling Premier Heritage Collection rolls on in serious style with the new Premier Duograph 42. Can someone say, “in-house, manual wind, rattrapante?”
The Breitling Premier Heritage Collection is quickly becoming one of my favorites. This group of watches is made up of a beautiful manual wind chronograph, the Datora moonphase chronograph, and now the Premier Duograph 42. If you’re into classic chrongraphs and complications, this new Breitling just might be the ticket.
Some history and other examples
Before we get to the new Premier Duograph 42, let’s spend a moment on the Duograph name. This model name was given to Breitling chronographs with a rattrapante complication. That function gives the wearer the ability to simultaneously time two events at the same time. Note the extra crown mounted pusher and second central chronograph hand. Essentially, the 2:00 pusher starts both chronograph hands. Then, the crown button stops the second hand. When pushed again, it catches up to the other hand that is still running. If two cars are racing laps, this is a perfect analog way to measure each competitor’s splits. For reference, the photo above is Fred’s reference 762 and is from 1945.
These vintage models are incredibly rare and also very expensive. The same usually goes for rattrapante models from all brands. Due to its complexity, this complication is held in high regard. The ultra high end brands produce rattrapantes that often begin in the three-figure price range. Richard Habring, who owns his own successful brand, really made a name for himself when he modified the venerable 7750 by adding this functionality for IWC. Now, he offers such functionality on his own watches. With all this being said, it’s been quite some time since a larger brand offered the split seconds option via an in-house movement. Enter the new Breitling Premier Duograph 42.
The Breitling Premier Duograph 42
If a the manual wind Premier Chronograph 40 was already a surprise, the Premier Duograph 42 is a shock. With this new lineup, Breitling brings us two versions of the split seconds chronograph. A stainless steel model with blue dial is accompanied by an 18K red gold version with black dial. The gold model comes on a black 22mm alligator strap and the steel with a brown alligator strap. Both use folding clasps. The case is a bit larger here at 42mm in diameter by 15.5mm and the reason is due to the extra mechanicals (the movement is almost 2mm thicken than the B09). Amazingly, despite all the case orifices, this sapphire crystal watch also has 100 meters of water resistance.
We get to see the new manual wind manufacture calibre B15 via the sapphire display back. There are some differences versus the normal B09 chronograph movement, but they’re hard to spot. The reason for that is that the rattrapante mechanicals are on the dial facing side of the movement. Still, the Premier Duograph 42 gains a chronometer rating and has the same 70 hours of power reserve.
Whether one opts for the steel of the red gold model, the watches have great details. The Premier Duograph contains applied numerals and a matching applied logo. Little points like an open six make their way to the hours and the minutes track, while the “Duograph” name uses eye-catching font. The running seconds and 0 minute sub registers are ridged and this contrasts well against the sunburst dials. Finally, note the use of lumed hour and minute hands along with different counterbalances for each of the central chronograph hands.
Thoughts on the Premier Duograph 42
The Premier Duograph 42 is one gloriously elegant watch. Normally, I like my chronographs sans complications, but this is truly additive in the looks department. Plus, I feel that the crown mounted pusher works well with the case design. Watches like this just don’t come along these days and I’m blown away that Breitling decided to offer one. Again, I come back to the fact that we have a manual wind rattrapante with an in-house movement. If you love watches, it’s hard to dislike these. Yes, it’s large, but consider the water resistance and the fact that other high-end (as in 10 to 15 times the price) watches with this function aren’t inexpensive either.
The Premier Duograph 42 will retail for €9,350 in steel and €19,200 in red gold. The watches will arrive in boutiques next week. I know that when we talk about watches in this price level, everything is objectively expensive. However, this just feels like a fantastic opportunity. Folks, if these kinds of watches even remotely appeal to you, I’d advise you to go check them out. We don’t get enthusiast targeted options like this very often. Well done Breitling!
For more information on the Premier Duograph 42, visit the brand’s official site.