New Member Joins the Avengers: Extremely Skilled in Combat!

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New Member Joins the Avengers: Extremely Skilled in Combat!

[Cultural Technology] We rarely use the term “tool watch” to describe a wristwatch nowadays, as the utility aspect of watches has diminished under the influence of electronic products. However, when it comes to tool watches, I think of Breitling as an example.

Image Source: Breitling promotional advertisement in 1934 featuring a dual-button chronograph design.

Founded in 1884, Breitling initially started out manufacturing timing instruments, and later developed one of the first wristwatches equipped with a chronograph function, laying the foundation for the development of contemporary chronograph watches. In 1938, Breitling established the HUIT Aviation Division, becoming the preferred supplier to many military forces including the Royal Air Force, marking the beginning of Breitling’s enduring connection with the aviation field. Breitling currently has nine watch collections, three of which are closely related to aviation, including the Avenger line, the youngest series in Breitling’s “Air” domain.

Image Source: The Breitling Avenger Hurricane.

For those who frequently follow watches, they should be aware that Breitling recently released the new Avenger series globally. Instead of launching a single model, Breitling updated and upgraded the entire Avenger series. We had the opportunity to attend a preview event in Beijing and compare the new watches with the old ones. The new Avenger watches have obvious upgrades both in terms of design and craftsmanship, and I want to share it with you today.

– Development of the Avenger Series

Compared to Breitling’s most iconic series such as the Chronomat mechanical chronograph born in the 1980s and the Navitimer aviation chronograph series that gained fame in the 1950s, the Avenger series is a relatively young collection that was introduced in 2001 under the “Air, Land, and Sea” concept of the brand, specifically falling into the “Air” category.

Image Source: Breitling Chronomat mechanical chronograph.

The original Avenger series was created by Breitling specifically for modern aviation adventurers, and its design bears some resemblance to the more recent Chronomat mechanical chronograph series, incorporating features such as the 15-minute interval “rider tabs” on the bezel. The purpose of the “rider tabs” was to provide some protection to the watch against impact during cockpit opening, similar to a bumper protecting the watch’s crystal glass. Additionally, this design makes the bezel easier to rotate and highly recognizable.

While the Chronomat mechanical chronograph is defined as an “all-purpose” watch, the Avenger series exclusively belongs to the “Air” domain and exudes a more rugged character. In the same “Air” category, the Avenger series differs from the Navitimer aviation chronograph. To put it metaphorically, the Navitimer is suitable for a “captain,” while the Avenger is more suitable for “airborne adventurers.” The difference also stems from the fact that these two series were introduced nearly 50 years apart, with the former having a more classic design and the latter a more modern style.

After Georges Kern took over as CEO in 2017, the brand underwent an adjustment and renewal, streamlining its product lines. By 2019, the Avenger series absorbed the military watch style of its former brother, the Colt Challenger series, making its current positioning and characteristics more distinctive and clear.

Image Source: The Breitling Avenger GMT.

Today, we can see that the new Avenger series has undergone upgrades and renovations, presenting a more refined craftsmanship and a more fashionable design language.

– Delicate case design, upgraded aesthetics, comfortable wearing experience

Old Avenger series watches, from left to right: 43mm, 45mm, and 48mm models.

One characteristic of rugged-style watches is their larger case sizes, and Breitling is no exception. The old Avenger series had three sizes: 48mm, 45mm, and 43mm, all of which were generally larger, especially the 48mm version, which was more challenging to wear.

The new Avenger series lineup.

In the new Avenger series, the brand has made some adjustments to the sizes and introduced a smaller 42mm model with a three-hand date function, a 44mm GMT model, and the flagship chronograph model. Of course, those who prefer larger watches can also look forward to more options in the future. Personally, I believe Breitling will continue to update this series, and there may be a 46mm model coming out.

The new Avenger three-hand date model.

In addition to the size changes, the new watches feature more meticulous polishing and details in the case. We can see that the new watches have a combination of polished surfaces on the bezel, crown, and chronograph pushers, but a large part of the case is still finished with a satin-brushed technique, creating a compelling yet restrained overall look.

The new Avenger Night Mission with a black dial.

The lines on the mid-case of the watch have become smoother compared to the old Avenger, and the distance between the case and the strap has also been reduced, making the watch appear more compact and cohesive.

The new Avenger Night Mission with a black dial.

Furthermore, the bezel design retains the classic “rider tabs,” but with improved polishing. The edges of the rider tabs on the old watches were relatively sharp, which could accidentally scratch the hand while rotating the bezel. The new watches feature chamfered edges on the rider tabs, increasing both the sense of detail and wearer comfort.

The new Avenger Night Mission with a black dial.

Another noticeable change in the design of the new watches is the logo – the Breitling wing emblem. Many watch enthusiasts associate the wing emblem with the idea of free flight, which seems to symbolize Breitling’s splendid achievements in the aviation field. However, the new Avenger series now features the brand’s “B” logo. Personally, I prefer the “B” logo as it appears more youthful. Placing a large wing emblem at the 12 o’clock position might make the dial appear too crowded. Looking back at the brand’s history, most of the Breitling watches now feature the company logo that was introduced in the late 1940s and has been used ever since. The brand’s logo, the “B,” and the capitalized word “BREITLING” first appeared around 1948 and has been featured on most Breitling watch dials since then. The return to the “B” logo is a way to both return to its roots and pay tribute to the past.

The Avenger Night Mission chronograph with a black dial.

The night mission versions of the watches have a different hour marker design compared to the regular chronograph models. They feature Arabic numerals, making them more convenient and easily readable. This design enhances the professional nature of these watches. Additionally, both the hour markers and hands are coated with luminescent material, allowing for easy reading in dark environments.

The Avenger Night Mission chronograph with a black dial.

In terms of movements, the watches are powered by Breitling’s in-house Caliber 01 movement, and the transparent case back allows for a clear view of the movement in action. The Caliber 01 movement has a power reserve of approximately 70 hours and operates at a frequency of 4 Hz, certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute. Watch enthusiasts who delve deeper into watches would know that the vertical clutch and column wheel configuration of this movement belong to the high-end category among chronograph movements, and its excellent performance is noticeable when operating the watch.

It is worth mentioning that Breitling recently introduced a free 8-year warranty policy. Any watch purchased from a designated Breitling store or authorized dealer from January 1, 2023, onwards is eligible for the extended warranty service. Apart from being a customer benefit, this move demonstrates Breitling’s confidence in its products and long-term commitment to its customers.

The Avenger Night Mission chronograph comes with a military-style leather strap that has a braided-like appearance, giving the watch a more cool and sporty look. Other models in the same series offer stainless steel bracelets with adjustable clasps, allowing for easy adjustment of the bracelet length. Apart from providing a better fit on the wrist, it also allows for effortless placement over a shirt cuff when desired.

In conclusion, looking at the new Avenger watches, I believe Breitling has put a lot of thought into the design. It manages to retain the brand’s unique bold and rugged character while making some refinements to cater to modern aesthetic trends. The overall look of the watches exudes a sense of modernity, fashionable retro style, and attention to detail that is rarely seen in watches of the same level. Of course, when discussing watches, we cannot ignore the price. The Avenger Night Mission chronograph in black is priced at 67,700 RMB, which is comparable to other Breitling watches equipped with the Caliber 01 movement, such as the previous year’s release, the Navitimer. However, the Avenger Night Mission not only features a full ceramic case and a carbon fiber dial but also showcases more meticulous craftsmanship. I believe watch enthusiasts who particularly appreciate the Avenger style would find it well worth the investment, becoming a cool and stylish “airborne adventurer.”

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