Some video ideas come from editorial rooms, and others come from lunches at the restaurant with one of the most prominent players of French watchmaking in general, and Lyon watchmaking in particular. Jean-Louis Maier is the founder of the Maier group, which gathers several watch boutiques in Lyon. He said: “Nowadays, the style of your watch can have no connection with the style of your outfit”. Frank answered, “That is interesting, we should make a video about this”. “Okay but I had the idea, so you should come over to Lyon to shoot it!”
And that is how this video about the Breitling and TAG Heuer boutiques in Lyon came to be. These two manufacturers are specialized in sports watches, but we still wear their creations under any circumstances. With Arthur Maier as a guest, this should be interesting… Follow the guide!
BREITLING: THE WINGS OF ELEGANCE
A bit of history…
To understand the DNA of the new Breitling models, let us look backwards in time. In the past, Breitling first focused on functional watches that were designed as true practical instruments. In 1938, Breitling funded the HUIT Aviation Department to meet the needs of the military and civil aviation industry. Navitimer (a contraction of Navigation timer) is now the most successful collection of the watchmaker and one of the most famous watches in the world. It seems to stem from years of experience of the members of the HUIT Aviation department. In 1952, Willy Breitling dreamt of making a wrist chronograph that would allow the pilots to calculate everything they need once in flight, such as average speed, covered distance, fuel consumption or rate of climb. He started to work and found an idea: adapting the logarithmic slide rule of the Chronomat for aviation and integrating the whole thing into a beaded rotating bezel to make manipulating easy even with pilot gloves on.
Navitimer B01 Chronograph
The Navitimer myth was born. In 2022, Breitling celebrated the 70th anniversary of the model. On the occasion of this platinum jubilee, the brand released the Navitimer B01 Chronograph collection. The general look of the watch was kept as is, but many details make it more modern. For instance, the slide rule is flatter, and the sapphire is cambered, which gives a more compact profile to the piece. Furthermore, the case is available in three different dimensions (41, 43 and 46 mm), two different materials (stainless steel and red gold), and new pop and colourful nuances of blue, green, and copper. The wings of the AOPA (the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association that made the Navitimer its official timepiece) are also back on the dial just like in 1952.
Navitimer Automatic 36 and Navitimer 32
Last year, the 2022 Navitimers may have left some fans of the watch wanting more because of their maybe too “consistent” dimensions. Amateurs of more moderate dimensions seem to have been heard by Breitling, as the brand decided to bring the Navitimers up to date – and in style. The new Navitimers sport a slimmer 36 mm format – also available in 32 mm. Quite a surprise, as these watches let go of the chronograph function for a more elegant and urban look. Mainly aimed toward women, the new Navitimers still want to appear unisex.
The slide rule and the beaded bezel are here again, coupled with a mint, silver, or anthracite dial. Baton indices complement the dial, also available in white mother-of-pearl and set with lab-grown diamonds. For Breitling, this choice guarantees end-to-end traceability and comes within the scope of “mission to do better”, a process that aims to have a social and environmental impact. On the technical aspect of the watch, this three-handed piece is animated by automatic calibre movement Breitling 17, which is chronometer-certified by the COSC.
On the 32 mm versions, the coloured dial is also punctuated with lab-grown diamonds, which gives it an undeniably precious quality. These watches are animated by a SuperQuartz™ movement, reliably COSC-certified as well.
Released in 1957, the Superocean carried Breitling beyond the skies, meeting the increasing demand for diving watches. The brand released many new pieces inspired by the design of the 1960 and 1970 Superocean, such as the “Slow Motion”, a watch without a seconds hand, replaced by a main hand of the chronograph that spins in slow-motion, in an hour rather than in a minute. These colourful and relaxed divers are perfect for chic and sporty moments. This collection has four different case sizes to satisfy the needs of all wrists: 46, 44, 42 and 36 mm.
The pop-coloured dials topped with a ceramic unidirectional bezel are available in three metals: stainless steel, stainless steel and gold, or bronze for fans of nice patinas. Each watch is delivered with two bracelet options to choose from: one of them is rubber and sporty, and the other is steel with three rows, a new addition to the maison’s features. On the technical side, the Superoceans are water-resistant to 300 meters. Inside, beats the automatic Breitling 17 calibre, ensuring a 38-hour power reserve. A successful connection between the past and the present by Breitling.
TAG HEUER: CHRONOGRAPHS IN THE RUNNING
The automotive world is closely linked to the TAG Heuer manufacture. Car lover and engineer Jack Heuer conceived the first automatic chronograph and insisted that his watches have perfect visibility so that they could be easy to look at during a race. He quickly understood the importance of having brand ambassadors. That is why renowned pilot Jo Siffert sported the colours of Heuer.
The stroke of luck came with the movie Le Mans in 1971, produced and directed by Steve McQueen, who also acts as the main character, a pilot. His idol? Jo Siffert. McQueen tried to be a perfect copy of the pilot in the movie. He wore the same Heuer racing suit as him and, most importantly, the same watch. Jo Siffert wore a Heuer Autavia during the races – a contraction of automobile and aviation. But not enough models were available for the shooting of the movie. Jack Heuer thus gave Steve a Monaco, a square automatic chronograph, instantly recognizable. The watch then went on to become iconic. That is how the legend started…
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche Edition
In 2021, the partnership between TAG Heuer and the German car manufacturer started a new era, with the release of a 42 mm two-faced model: stainless steel and gold. Like the precedent versions, this watch combines elements from the watchmaking and automotive world. Here, the mythical 911 is in the spotlight. It is also celebrating its 60th anniversary, just like the Carrera – the watch.
At the heart of the instrument is a new automatic motor that allows a precise measure of short intervals. As a nod to the 0-100 km/h in 9,1 seconds, the central hand speeds up and progressively slows down for 60 seconds before speeding back up at full throttle.
Click here to read the technical details of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in steel – €9,450.
Click here to read the technical details of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche in pink gold – €23,900.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Red Bull Racing
TAG Heuer – the watchmaking partner of Red Bull Racing – just released a new Formula 1 model, 36 years after the first edition of 1986. This collection especially grew in popularity thanks to the legendary Ayrton Senna at the beginning of the 90s. Sporty and dynamic, this chronograph is made for the road and displays a 43 mm steel case that is water-resistant up to 200 meters. To complete the look, an aluminium bezel displays a tachymetric scale. A blue bezel with contrasting red and bright yellow details gives a confident racing style to the watch. Three sub-counters (1/10 second, seconds, 30 minutes counter) are reminiscent of the counters of racing cars. Animated by a quartz chronograph calibre, the watch – also available on a blue rubber strap – has a satin-finished steel bracelet.
TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Skeleton – “Original Blue”
The famous square-cased chronograph designed by Jack Heuer in 1969 strips down its gears. Indeed, this model appears completely skeletonised for the first time. Its 39 mm case is in titanium, a material that is also present on the bezel.
This blue sandblasted dial – a tribute to the original colour palette of the TAG Heuer Monaco – is completed by a unique mix of red and white details. Under the bonnet, this Monaco is animated by the automatic Heuer 02 calibre, which can be seen through the back of the case. Offering the hours, minutes, seconds, date, and a chronograph – with a 30 minutes counter and a 12 hours counter – the movement has an 80-hour power reserve. At last, this watch comes with a strap combining blue calf skin and rubber, for optimal comfort and style.
Click here to read the TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Skeleton – “Original Blue” full technical sheet – €10,850.
Here are the two other models available:
TAG Heuer Carrera Date
To (re)discover the TAG Heuer Carrera Date collection, here is the article that we dedicated to it this summer:
Maier Horloger – 99, rue du président Édouard Herriot, Lyon 2nd arrondissement – Phone: 04 78 42 08 81.
Maier Vintage – 16, rue des archers, Lyon 2nd arrondissement – Phone: 04 37 57 54 50.