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AN ART OF LIVING

British chic, Swiss excellence: the Breitling for Bentley collection has asserted a new art of living. Symbolised by the winged B, it carves out its own path, reflecting an exclusive universe where luxury and accomplishment converge. Performance and prestige. Power and style. Class and boldness.

Born from the encounter between the grand art of British carmaking and the great Swiss watchmaking tradition, this richly endowed family of exclusive chronographs houses exceptional “engines” inside its gold, steel or titanium bodywork. Artfully designed and produced with extreme concern for details, it embodies the same momentum in the pursuit of perfection and beauty shared by the famous British automobile manufacturer and the chronograph specialist. The very same passion for performance and elegance which – from the Bentley workshops in Crewe to those of Breitling Chronométrie in La Chaux-de-Fonds – invites devotees of fine mechanisms to set off on a truly amazing journey.

In 2002, Bentley caused a sensation by launching the Continental GT, the most powerful Bentley ever built. Breitling lent its personal touch to this epitome of luxury and performance by participating in the design of the technical instruments and creating the onboard clock. It was the very first time that Bentley had entrusted this task to a watchmaker.

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EXCEPTIONAL ENGINES

At the heart of each Bentley car throbs an exclusive, refined and powerful engine, patiently assembled in the company workshops in Crewe, England. At the heart of every Breitling for Bentley chronograph beats a high-performance movement, made with the full force of Swiss expertise in the ultramodern Breitling Chronométrie complex in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), all Breitling for Bentley movements stem from a carefully balanced association of hand and machine, of tradition and innovation. Paragons of reliability and precision, they combine the dexterity and experience of skilled artisans with the latest high-tech breakthroughs whenever the latter pave the way for superior performance.

A pioneer in the field of chronographs and technical watches, Breitling belongs to the highly exclusive circle of brands with their own mechanical chronograph movement, entirely developed and manufactured under its own roof. A calibre with an unusual structure featuring a column wheel, a vertical coupling-clutch and an over 70-hour power reserve, clearly designed to ensure maximum precision, reliability and functionality. Working on this base movement, the brand watchmakers and engineers have created several in-house calibres endowed with innovative functions, including ultra-practical second timezone and worldtime systems entirely adjustable via the crown, and a “30-second chronograph” mechanism stemming from a 1926 Breitling patent. These exceptional engines are stylishly accommodated within Breitling for Bentley chronographs.

Paragons of power, precision and performance, Breitling for Bentley chronograph movements are also distinguished by their original aesthetic and the care lavished on all details, even those that remain hidden from sight. Beautiful, well-built and well-finished “engines”. Every part composing these sophisticated mechanisms – each curve, each straight line, each edge and each metal surface – is meticulously fashioned with a concern for fine craftsmanship worthy of the great Swiss tradition and of the great British art of carmaking.

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THE FINEST HOURS OF LE MANS

1924 witnessed a sparkling feat when Bentley won the second edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours with a Bentley 3 Litre. The British firm repeated this achievement four times in 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930, the latter two victories coming with a Speed 6 model.

It was the era of the legendary Bentley Boys: Benjafield, Birkin, Davis, Rubin, Kidston and the most famous of them all, a multimillionaire South African diamond merchant named Barnato. Gifted sportsmen, authentic amateurs, often fabulously wealthy and irresistible charmers, the Bentley Boys raced mainly for honour, fired by a taste for challenges. Dedicated as much to partying as to winning, they were to leave an indelible imprint on the Bentley spirit: an unmistakable blend of performance and luxury.

In 2003, Bentley revived its glorious sporting past by making its grand comeback to the Le Mans track. It was a double win, with the two Bentley cars in competition sweeping the first two places in grand style. The 1930 180 HP Speed 6 had been replaced by the Speed 8, a high-tech supercar made of composite materials and delivering over 600 HP and a top speed of more than 350 km/h. As the main sponsor of Team Bentley, Breitling celebrated this victory by issuing a chronograph christened “Bentley Le Mans” in limited series that soon sold out. This launch marked the start of the great Breitling for Bentley adventure.

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THE HALLMARK OF STYLE

Embodying the quintessence of British chic, Breitling for Bentley chronographs make their way across continents in a blend of relaxed elegance, originality and nobility. These are watches with a soul.

A Bentley is far more than just a car: it is a full-fledged work of art, fashioned with a peerless flair for lines, volumes and details. A silhouette that is recognisable at first glance. A gem of timeless and highly contemporary style. Representing perfect companions for this exceptional universe, Breitling for Bentley chronographs assert themselves as creations combining luxury, character and aesthetic sophistication. These qualities are vividly expressed through their sporty yet refined cases, their powerful elegance, their generous and sophisticated volumes, as well as their play on curves and angles evoking those of the most beautiful automobiles.

To underscore the ties with the Bentley universe, designers have reinterpreted several signature characteristics of the British brand, such as the famous “honeycomb” radiator grille, the engine-turned motif on the dashboards, the typeface used for the instruments, the colours of the bodywork and the precious wood used in the Mulliner veneers. This wealth of style features lends a unique, original and exclusive touch to each timepiece.

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A PASSION FOR PERFORMANCE

Built for great accomplishments, Breitling for Bentley chronographs epitomise a passion for performance. They are all equipped with movements chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), the highest distinction in the field of precision and reliability – and also the only one based on an international standard.

To earn the much-coveted chronometer title, each movement must undergo 15 days and 15 nights of ultra-stringent testing, conducted in five positions and at three different temperatures, during which they must meet seven extremely severe eliminatory criteria – including when the chronograph function is activated.

Each of the stages involved in producing watches – all of which are 100% Swiss made from case to movement and from dial to strap/bracelet – also entails a merciless quality control process.

Entirely dedicated to the automobile world, Breitling for Bentley chronographs are distinguished by several exclusive technical features, including a “variable tachometer” based on a circular slide rule and serving to measure average speed whatever the time elapsed, the distance covered or the speed reached. This device boasts far superior operation to that of conventional tachometers, which are restricted to observations based on times of less than 60 seconds. Another distinctive characteristic of Breitling for Bentley instruments is the “30-second chronograph” inspired by a 1926 Breitling patent and which provides highly legible time readings accurate to the nearest 1/8th of a second.

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AUTHENTIC HAND-MADE LUXURY

In the Swiss mountain town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, just as in the English country town of Crewe, the passion for fine workmanship guides each and every gesture in order to ensure that each watch is a unique objet d’art.

To infuse Breitling for Bentley chronographs with vitality and beauty, the finest artisans take all the time in the world. Time to assemble a sophisticated construction part by part, and to appraise its aesthetic perfection with an expert eye. Time to hand-polish the lines of a case, to sublimate the radiance of a bezel, and to individually perfect the links of a bracelet. Time to carve an hour-marker in mother-of-pearl, to fit dial appliques, to facet a hand using a diamond-tipped tool, or to sew a piece of leather in order to give it a supple, plush feel.

Artfully fashioning the noblest materials, these heirs to expertise passed on from generation to generation cultivate a concern for hand craftsmanship and a quest for excellence extending to even the smallest details: in short, the very essence of authentic luxury and supreme refinement.