Ever since Georges Kern took the helm as the CEO of Breitling, he has been on a rampage of sorts trying to turn the brand into more than just a one-trick pony. A little over two years into his leadership, the brand is scarcely recognisable and we mean that in the best way possible. They have managed to expand their reach to the land and sea with the Premier and Superocean collections but retained their emphasis on aviation-inspired watches. And the latest addition to this family is the refreshed Avenger collection.
Yes, the Navitimer is still a recognisable icon of the brand but with the introduction of the Aviator 8 collection, they could then make the classic pilot’s watch as well. And now, with the refreshed Avenger collection, they have an avenue to make watches befitting a modern pilot.
As with most collections, the Avenger also has a three-person squad and between them, it’s easy to see the type of consumer Breitling is aiming for with the collection. In the squad, they have Scott Kelly, an astronaut who has spent an astonishing 520 days in space during his four flights and the author of the memoir Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery; Rocío González Torres, a commandant in the Spanish Air Force and also the first Spanish woman to log more 1,000 flight hours at the controls of an F-18 fighter jet; and Luke Bannister, representing a new kind of aviator, one that is a world champion drone pilot with XBlades Racing.
In one fell swoop, Breitling hopes the new Avenger collection will appeal to women with a sense of adventure, and also the young generation of aviation enthusiasts (the Avenger collection will also phase out the Colt which was the most affordable Breitling option). As for space flight, they make a valiant effort with Scott Kelly and, interesting fact, Breitling reports that “on May 24, 1962, US astronaut Scott Carpenter wore a Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute, made at his request, on his Mercury space flight, making it the very first Swiss wrist chronograph in space.” But when it comes to watches in space, it’s quite hard to pick a fight with the Speedmaster, especially when you’re competing at similar price points.
As for the watches themselves, the Avenger will come with the very recognisable bezel with its huge indicators at each quarter. Made to appeal to a wide audience, the watches come in three sizes from the casual 43mm to the 45mm for those with bigger wrists and they even have a 48mm diameter case for those who love the big, bulky Breitling watches from the last couple of years. If you think in Asia there won’t be a place for bigger watches, you would be mistaken. According to a Breitling representative, in China, a place where they say everybody is looking for smaller watches, 44 per cent of Breitling’s sales come from the Avenger collection and on top of that list is the 45mm case diameter with a bright yellow dial.
Each of the sizes will have a brushed stainless steel case or a black-DLC coating on titanium with the code name Night Mission. Another thing to note is that the former comes with mostly baton-style indices while with the latter you will get military-style Arabic numerals. Functionality ranges from the standard automatic movement Breitling Caliber 17 (based on ETA 2824-2), to a chronograph Breitling Caliber 13 (based on ETA 7750) and a GMT Breitling Caliber 32 (based on ETA 2893-2).
With so many choices and so many functions to choose from, the only question to ask yourself is: do you like the Breitling Avenger design. And if you do, you’ll have more than enough options to find one that will fit your needs and wants.
Case: Stainless steel / Black-DLC coating on titanium
Case size: 43mm / 45mm / 48mm
Crystal: Sapphire, convex, double anti-reflective
Movement: Breitling Caliber 13 / 17 / 32
Water Resistance: 300m (except for the Automatic 45 Seawolf which is 3,000m)
Price: From MYR15,950 to MYR24,350