With its massive body looking like it was machined out of a 22-inch light-alloy disk, the new Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 will surprise you with its lightness and superb ergonomics. However, if a Bentley Continental GT is not the “other” car you use for going shopping at the time when your Mulsanne is at the dealership for scheduled maintenance, this new product may be a bit too expensive for the combination of features and materials that it features.
When I first saw a press image of this watch, I thought something like ‘Gosh, Breitling finally comes to its senses’. But then I saw its technical specs and was relieved to know that some things never change: the Swiss watchmaker is still obsessed with the size of things that it produces. Although there is a growing trend, even among the numerous brands that specialize in “sporty” watches, to gradually downsize their products making them more suitable for the men that are not obsessed with bling, Breitling still thinks that a diameter of 49mm is just the right thing for a model that bears the “Bentley” inscription on its dial.
Visually, the Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 offers all the things that you expect from the exclusive collection including the massive body and the signature knurled pinion bezel. Like the recent Breitling for Bentley 6.75 Midnight Carbon Limited Edition, the new timepiece features an open-worked dial. Available both in Royal Ebony (pictured) and Tungsten colors, the dial gives you a glimpse of the Caliber B04 automatic movement that powers the watch.
Frankly, I don’t find the view particularly fascinating, but the dial finish still looks more impressive than the milk-and-water jobs of the previous iterations of the collection (especially that on the 2012 Barnato 42 Midnight Carbon Chronograph).
As many recently revealed watches from the reputable Swiss brand, the gadget is equipped with an in-house movement. Built on 47 jewels, offering a power reserve in excess of 70 hours, and officially certified as a chronometer by the COSC institute, the mechanism combines the usual chronograph with a second time zone functionality.
To make using the function easier, it is not only equipped with a secondary hour hand that moves across a 24-hour scale but also features an easy to use city disk, which is attached to the inner flange of the rotating bezel.
Compared to other Breitling chronographs, this new model features a new set of push-pieces that not only look good but are also more ergonomic than the traditional pushers on their other watches.
Styling-wise, the Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 makes a good first impression thanks to its brushed titanium body with polished edges, which is supported by chronograph and small seconds counters with brushed (aluminum?) rings and hour and minute hands with the sand-blasted finish. The combination gives the watch that “expensive” feel that radically differentiates it from numerous competitors that still think that mirror-polishing is the key to customers’ wallets.
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3/5
Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 Chronometer watch specification
Price: $13,660 (MSRP, ref. EB043210/BD23-222S)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber B04, COSC-certified chronometer, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 47
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 70 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, second time zone (GMT)
Case material: Titanium, brushed and polished
Size: 49.00 mm
Dial: Open-worked, Royal Ebony (pictured) / Tungsten
Numerals: Arabic (on the 24-hour scale)
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: GMT band in black rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides, cambered