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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Now that Basel is over and Breitling has released it’s new lineup I would like to give my opinion and solicit the thoughts of other enthusiasts of the Brand. As far as the lineup is concerned, there are several new watches that I can see myself purchasing. The Navitimer8 lineup is interesting, although I was not a big fan of the name I now understand how and why it was done and it makes sense to me. I have come to the conclusion that a designated name should not be the deciding factor as to whether or not I purchase a watch.

I am big fan of the Super Ocean Heritage II three hander, although not too happy that they may have eliminated my favorite color combo. The updated Chronomat is nice, but I will hold off until I see the new version that WatchFred has mentioned. The rest of the new additions and or revisions will not have a huge impact on future purchase considerations. I am curious what will happen to both the Chronoliner and Rattrapant lines as I have not seen any definitive direction provided by Breitling.

Here are my concerns, is it really necessary for Breitling, as a brand, to align itself with literally every group or cause that exists. I can understand the Ocean Conservancy, but Norton Motorcycles? Breitling has never been about motorcycles, since when did Norton enthusiasts begin lining up at Breitling Boutiques to purchase watches? Years ago on US television, there were a couple of TV shows, the Mod Squad and another titled the A-Team. The actors in each of these shows cut a path across every demographic that could be tested. It seems that Breitling is following the same path, choosing ambassadors in every demographic in order to appeal to the masses. I understand the concept, but couldn’t Breitling limit itself to individuals related to Breitling’s Heritage? I realize that everyone was not thrilled with John Travolta as a representative, but he was at least a pilot who understood aviation and the brand.

In my opinion, Georges Kern is appealing to the masses in order to increase the interest in the brand. This in itself is fine, hopefully this interest will lead to an increase in demand for Breitling watches. Unfortunately, in the past, Breitling, as a company, has produced more watches than demand has called for. Here in the United States, this surplus has lead to a grey market that is fueled by this excess. This excess has lead to discounting that makes it extremely difficult for Boutiques and Authorized Distributors to compete based on price alone. As an enthusiast with over 25 Breitling watches in the family, the majority purchased through the Breitling Boutique, it has become difficult to watch the value of these watches plummet once I walk out the door. I understand the Boutique concept. As a good customer of the brand I have reaped many rewards and I am the recipient of exceptional service whenever I walk through the door. Unfortunately, this has come at an ever increasing cost.

With a vested financial interest in the future of Breitling, does Georges Kern’s interest lie in the continuation of flooding the market with watches in order to improve the bottom line, or will there be a concerted effort to address the grey market? It baffles me that Breitling has in the past cautioned individuals not to buy a Breitling watch online because chances were that it was a counterfeit. But yet, here in the United States they turn a blind eye to AD’s who sell “pre-owned” watches that appear to be brand new, complete with warranty, on auction sites with discounts as high as 50%! Unfortunately, Breitling makes it money once the watch is sold to a distributor. The distributor makes there money once they sell it to the AD’s. The people that suffer from this practice are the consumers who look to purchase through “authorized channels”.

I am not naive, I realize that the grey market will always exist until a brand takes draconian measures to punish those AD’s that participate. But, as stated above, they have already “made their money”. Do they truly care about the watch aficionado, or are they simply interested in the “bottom line”?

Now that the new lineup has been released, the new partnerships announced, and the new ambassadors ready to do whatever it is that they do, it seems that Breitling is ready to move forward. It will be interesting to me to see what Georges Kern does to address the grey market situation and restore additional luster to the brand.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:22 pm 
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I was one of those who was furious with what he did when I first saw the new lineup. However after truly digesting the new series and going through his interviews I agree what he is trying to do and it's the main thing missing in the brand now-connecting the old and Schneider Breitling into one. My main complain, is that he only focused on revamping the appearance of the lineups so far without a stronger justification to them.

The smaller Navis were such a great idea and considered a new line. It would have been great if they were packaged with in-house movements. The introduction of this new line with generic movements kind of kills its prestige.

I am one of the very few who is a great fan of the buck rogers design. I understood why the buck rogers was designed this way. They wanted to install every element of Breitling spirit into one watch. It is a divers, land racing and an aviation watch. It has a technical, futuristic and vintage, yet classic appearance. It can pull off as a formal or causal watch. It can fit aesthetically on any bracelets and straps. It is a mechanical watch with experienced craftsmanship required for many details but yet it could be produced like a quartz watch using high tech methods. It is the first head to toe Breitling and they wanted an instant recognizable look. I just simply love it more and more overtime as I went through every detail in the watch and I could feel the amount of hard work and meticulousness they put into designing every single part. I don't love and agree with all the variations, but I understood the design and feel I get more than what I paid for considering the amount of work put into the piece. I understand the mass prefers simple and easy to understand designs, and the airborne design is likely to be more accepted by the majority. I do like the design also, but I feel that a stronger overall statement could be delivered if more revamps could be done on the technical aspects, other than just the appearance. For example, designing a mechanism such that the user can easily change the straps/bracelets easily without scratching the lugs. Make the case flatter or slightly smaller so that it can fit better on more wrists. Since the new Chronomat is offered to "please the mass", more could have been done to the technical aspects to allow better usage for the everyday users, since they are not just for the professionals anymore. What they are doing now, appears a little like cost cutting IMO. It does not have the white gold wings logo anymore but instead a "B" made of metal(I stand corrected). Without the dial centre square they have one step less. The hour markers no longer need to be separately machined and more carefully hand applied to ensure that they are not crooked and have the same distance away from the Centre square, though for the new Chronomat, they still need to exercise caution to ensure that the minute hand tip will rest nicely within the lume. The end result is a "better looking" but cheaper and easier to produce Chronomat. If they had done some modifications and add new patents to the technical aspects, the new Chronomat would have been a milestone model instead of just a redesigned piece.

I agree with the colts generally because you can't expect too much from an entry level piece if you still want an entry level price. The Navi and Chronomat are 2 of the most important model in the Breitling line IMO so every major revamp to the design should be accompanied by new patents to justify as a milestone piece. You don't have to think how, just see what Rolex is doing. It's not about whether you like the design of that particular model but it's how you deliver statements in your models to create that consistent identity and prestige in your overall branding.

As 56scooter mentioned, one major concern is the quantity that Breitling had been producing is way more than the demand. Every model is so easy to get. If you cannot get the price you want, wait.... Sooner or later the unsold pieces will be thrown in garage sales and you get big bargains from there. End up all customers want better deals on Breitlings. Boutiques have no business. Nobody wanna buy price control Breitlings. Resale naturally also become bad. End up customers do not want to buy a poor value luxury watch brand. It's a systemic effect.

I believe George Kerns can bring excitement into the brand but I do hope he can also restore prestige into the brand, not just increasing the business revenue.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm 
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56scooter wrote:
Now that Basel is over and Breitling has released it’s new lineup I would like to give my opinion and solicit the thoughts of other enthusiasts of the Brand. As far as the lineup is concerned, there are several new watches that I can see myself purchasing. The Navitimer8 lineup is interesting, although I was not a big fan of the name I now understand how and why it was done and it makes sense to me. I have come to the conclusion that a designated name should not be the deciding factor as to whether or not I purchase a watch.

I am big fan of the Super Ocean Heritage II three hander, although not too happy that they may have eliminated my favorite color combo. The updated Chronomat is nice, but I will hold off until I see the new version that WatchFred has mentioned. The rest of the new additions and or revisions will not have a huge impact on future purchase considerations. I am curious what will happen to both the Chronoliner and Rattrapant lines as I have not seen any definitive direction provided by Breitling.

Here are my concerns, is it really necessary for Breitling, as a brand, to align itself with literally every group or cause that exists. I can understand the Ocean Conservancy, but Norton Motorcycles? Breitling has never been about motorcycles, since when did Norton enthusiasts begin lining up at Breitling Boutiques to purchase watches? Years ago on US television, there were a couple of TV shows, the Mod Squad and another titled the A-Team. The actors in each of these shows cut a path across every demographic that could be tested. It seems that Breitling is following the same path, choosing ambassadors in every demographic in order to appeal to the masses. I understand the concept, but couldn’t Breitling limit itself to individuals related to Breitling’s Heritage? I realize that everyone was not thrilled with John Travolta as a representative, but he was at least a pilot who understood aviation and the brand.

In my opinion, Georges Kern is appealing to the masses in order to increase the interest in the brand. This in itself is fine, hopefully this interest will lead to an increase in demand for Breitling watches. Unfortunately, in the past, Breitling, as a company, has produced more watches than demand has called for. Here in the United States, this surplus has lead to a grey market that is fueled by this excess. This excess has lead to discounting that makes it extremely difficult for Boutiques and Authorized Distributors to compete based on price alone. As an enthusiast with over 25 Breitling watches in the family, the majority purchased through the Breitling Boutique, it has become difficult to watch the value of these watches plummet once I walk out the door. I understand the Boutique concept. As a good customer of the brand I have reaped many rewards and I am the recipient of exceptional service whenever I walk through the door. Unfortunately, this has come at an ever increasing cost.

With a vested financial interest in the future of Breitling, does Georges Kern’s interest lie in the continuation of flooding the market with watches in order to improve the bottom line, or will there be a concerted effort to address the grey market? It baffles me that Breitling has in the past cautioned individuals not to buy a Breitling watch online because chances were that it was a counterfeit. But yet, here in the United States they turn a blind eye to AD’s who sell “pre-owned” watches that appear to be brand new, complete with warranty, on auction sites with discounts as high as 50%! Unfortunately, Breitling makes it money once the watch is sold to a distributor. The distributor makes there money once they sell it to the AD’s. The people that suffer from this practice are the consumers who look to purchase through “authorized channels”.

I am not naive, I realize that the grey market will always exist until a brand takes draconian measures to punish those AD’s that participate. But, as stated above, they have already “made their money”. Do they truly care about the watch aficionado, or are they simply interested in the “bottom line”?

Now that the new lineup has been released, the new partnerships announced, and the new ambassadors ready to do whatever it is that they do, it seems that Breitling is ready to move forward. It will be interesting to me to see what Georges Kern does to address the grey market situation and restore additional luster to the brand.


Why would Breitling want to align itself with Norton Motorcycle owners? The answer is simple, it comes down to two words: Disposable Income. Norton is a premium brand. For the same reason Breitling advertises in magazines like Cigar Aficionado, Wine Spectator or the Robb Report, Breitling recognizes Norton Owners fit the demographic profile of those most likely to buy their brand of watch. Simple. As logic follows, if a person has the disposable income to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a motorcycle that will be garage kept and seldom be ridden, because it’s largely considered to be a luxury toy/recreational vehicle and not a means of primary transportation and who will likely spend thousands more customizing the bike to fit the rider’s taste, then he can likely afford to buy a Breitling timepiece. Same reason why watch brands choose to align themselves with luxury automakers and pay licensing fees for the rights to market their brand name/logo on timepieces. At the end of the day...it all comes down to selling more product and making more money.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:31 am 
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Why would Breitling want to align itself with Norton Motorcycle owners? The answer is simple, it comes down to two words: Disposable Income. Norton is a premium brand.


I am well aware of the concept of disposable income and how it relates to purchases of luxury items, however you did not answer the underlying question. What does Norton Motorcycles have to do with Breitling watches? There are thousands of luxury brands out there, does a manufacturer seek to align itself with every one that it can? At the end of day I feel that Breitling may be casting too wide of a net, or I could be upset because I am a Harley-Davidson fan! :poke: :poke:



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:50 am 
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To a significant degree, Breitling as a brand is somewhat schizophrenic. There is a large vintage following who are drawn to the watches and vibe from the Willy Breitling era, while, at the same time, there is a significant group whose love for the brand essentially stems almost exclusively from the Schneider era (indeed, it often seems that many of the die-hard Schneider-era fans are somewhat oblivious to Breitling's more comprehensive history). Then, there are others -- and I count myself among them -- who are drawn to both worlds. Kern's job is not an easy one -- taking Breitling as he finds it and forging some kind of cohesive sense of what the brand is all about would seem to be a rather daunting endeavor. Quite understandably, feathers are going to be ruffled along the way.

I have read the interviews with interest, have followed the launches at Baselworld, and am digesting the new website -- all with an eye toward ferreting out where the brand is heading, and what it is becoming. When all is said and done, I just don't know. Things seem to be in transition, and will be for some time. I'm not sure where all of this is going to land.

As far as some personal reactions, here goes...

The new Navitimer 8 line leaves me cold. That's not to say there aren't some nice models -- there are. But, in the wider world of watches, there's nothing about the Navitimer 8 line that draws me in and would have me choosing a Navitimer 8 model over more interesting offerings from other brands. If the Navitimer 8 line strikes a chord with a particular demographic and increases brand presence, that's all well and good. But for me, personally, that launch is a rather neutral event.

On the plus side, I am glad to see models being offered in smaller sizes, which is a good and necessary development. I'm also a fan of the move toward the use of satin finish on cases and bracelets -- another development that is long overdue. I hope that both of these trends will continue going forward.

I really do like the look of the new Chronomat, and, if I wasn't set in that department already, I would seriously consider grabbing one of the new models. Very nicely done.

One thing I'm sad about is what appears to be a significant narrowing of options in terms of aesthetics -- i.e., dial colors, bezel/dial combos, strap offerings, etc. One of the things I have absolutely loved about Breitling is the wide variety of aesthetic choices available across most of their lines. It has made Breitling stand out from the pack in a creative and interesting way. Perhaps the need to start limiting these choices is connected to the dynamic that Scooter56 identifies relative to the gray market -- too many SKUs may well result in over-supply that must find an outlet outside of the Boutique/AD network. And, despite my own disappointment about fewer choices, I'm not on the other side of this equation looking at balance sheets that may indicate that this broader approach simply does not make business sense. Nevertheless, whatever the reason, and regardless of how understandable it may be, I'm sorry to see this element seemingly slip away.

I have long been a proponent of Breitling paying more attention to its heritage and bringing back (or re-inventing) some of its models from the past. My sense is that this will be happening, so I look forward to seeing where this goes. At the same time, there has been an energy and quirkiness stemming from the Schneider era that I hope will continue to be part of the brand. Admittedly, this creativity has often led to some over-the-top results in terms of styling, size, etc., but that's OK. I would be less than honest if I didn't admit that I wasn't drawn to that energy -- it has made Breitling unique and interesting, and, for me, has differentiated Breitling from other brands as it has traveled in its own lane. I would hate to see this energy disappear in a larger attempt to homogenize the brand.

When all is said and done, I think I will be assessing the "new Breitling" on its own terms. And, in this sense, Breitling is, understandably, finding its way. Perhaps by Baselworld 2019, we'll have a much better sense of what the new brand is all about. It is a fragile balance, however, and whether I am drawn to the brand in the same way when all is said and done is something that remains to be seen. I'm certainly hoping for the best...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:20 am 
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To be honest, I think it's still too soon to know how the Kern era is going to pan out. However, at the moment all I see is a bit of an "IWC-isation" of the Breitling brand, and IMO there is far less personality in a lot of the new models than we've come to expect from Breitling in recent years. That said, "personality" can often be a double-edged sword - if you like a design, then it's the best thing since sliced bread : if you don't like a design, then it can turn you off a brand completely. In that regard the new Kern watches (yes, even the Super 8 ) are way less divisive than what we've seen in recent years, so I'm sure they will appeal to a far wider audience than before.

Of course I'm the first to admit I've not been a huge fan of the "personality" that a number of Breitlings have had in recent years - my personal "Golden Age of Breitling" lasted from around 1990 to circa 2010 - but I'd still take personality over blandness.

It kind of makes me think of the Fosters Lager (or Budweiser) vs a real ale Stout : many more people like lager compared to stout because it's inoffensive and (in comparison) doesn't taste of much. However, those who really like stout find some lagers bland and tasteless. In an attempt to appeal to a wider audience (and be all things to all men), it is often necessary to become a little more bland, and I think that's happening here.

In terms of the new Breitling models, I like the B01 equipped Navitimers, although that's hardly surprising since they're almost unchanged. I don't like the 38mm non-Chrono Navis at all, and the Navitimer 8's are an exercise in blandness IMO...., with the exception of the Super 8 which looks interesting, although it will need to be seen in person as the official dimensions suggest it will be a monster. That said, Fred's pictures and comments suggest that the size is deceiving so this one is a wait and see for me.

I do like the 44mm SOH, although my favourite is the B01 equipped SOHC with the black dial. I'm pleased to hear the subdials will be enlarged a little as that was one of my first thoughts when I saw it...., and I STILL say they should've gone with a twin register variant of the B01 to keep that vintage look, but hey ho, it's still a decent enough looking watch.

I like the interim Chronomat changes apart from the limited choices of dial colour, so I'll be interested to see what the new version will be like. (Totally different no doubt).

I also actually like the Colt 44, but the good ol' B17 puts me off a little when for the same money you can get a Tudor Black Bay with a 70 hour power reserve, full in-house movement.

I'll be honest I don't like the new website at all, but I can only assume it's still a work in progress. It all looks a little (dare I say it again) bland compared to the old one. I particularly miss the 360 degree view, and the configuration tool, but then if you can't configure watches any more then there's no point in having the tool. Also, the strap situation isn't clear - what's been discontinued, what's available etc - and the decision to use 23mm straps in a world full of 22mm and 24mm straps is odd to say the least. :huh

Lastly, I don't understand the new "Squad" concept at all. Movie stars (and not of the JT aviation type), Norton motorbikes, and surfers? :idontgetit: Again I can only assume it's to make Breitling appeal to absolutely everyone.

Of more concern to me is the fact that Kern's attempts to make Breitling appeal to more people is completely and utterly in line with CVC's practices of doing everything to increase bottom-line at the expense of everything else. I personally wouldn't be surprised to see CVC milk Breitling for all it's worth and then sell it on in a few years time.

But as I say, I think it's ultimately still too early to say how the Kern era will go...... but at the moment I think I'm done. :|

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:46 am 
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Driver8 wrote:
...I personally wouldn't be surprised to see CVC milk Breitling for all it's worth and then sell it on in a few years time.

But as I say, I think it's ultimately still too early to say how the Kern era will go...... but at the moment I think I'm done. :|
I'm with you Mario. I'll probably join the rest of the dinosaurs like the wingwalkers and Connie team on the new "Gone Squad"...
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:13 am 
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O2AFAC67 wrote:
Driver8 wrote:
...I personally wouldn't be surprised to see CVC milk Breitling for all it's worth and then sell it on in a few years time.

But as I say, I think it's ultimately still too early to say how the Kern era will go...... but at the moment I think I'm done. :|
I'm with you Mario. I'll probably join the rest of the dinosaurs like the wingwalkers and Connie team on the new "Gone Squad"...
Best,
Ron


I think the brand is done and toast.



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:29 pm 
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I am not a fan of them losing the wings logo! Not a fan of the new navitimer 8 lineup. I think going forward I will only be purchasing pre-kearn era breitlings, as there are a couple on my wishlist still(Navi 01 blue sky & 01 red gold limited 200pc, Blue navitimer 1461, and possibly a Navi rattrapante).i think it might be time for me to move on and possibly start getting Rolex watches. I am not sure about the rest of the forum but not seeing the wings at 12 just looks odd for me. I am sure people will pull up pics of older Breitling Watches from the past, but since I became a fan the wings logo was just so cool to me. I do like that they got rid of buck Rogers bezel, but I will never own a chronomAt so guess it doesn’t really matter.

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I've given it some time and read all the replies and here's my thoughts, so take them for what they're worth. After spending way too much time looking at the new website, instagram pictures, and various other sites with Basel news, I'm actually really looking forward to what will become of the brand in the future. Sure, there are things that I don't necessarily agree with, like the removal of the wings logo, but that won't be the factor for me buying a watch or not. I do love seeing it on my Airborne and Colt, but I do like the simple B logo now.

Regarding the new Navitimer 8 series, I have mixed feelings. I really like the vintage aspect and the simpler dials of the chronos although at first I didn't understand it, Fred was a big help when he started to explain the reasoning behind it. I probably won't be buying one, but I think for a simple in house chrono, it's still a pretty good watch. I'm not a huge fan of the other Navi 8 models with the exception of the world timer but unfortunately, I have zero need for a watch with a world time function. I'm perfectly fine with the dial colors and combos available, but I could see where there could be a need for some others. I'll give it time and once I can see the models in real life, I think I could give a better idea. My opinions on the other Navis didn't really change since even though I love Breitling, the Navitimer has never really been a watch I considered. The 38mm versions seem odd to me since I didn't think there was a huge need for a Navi with the slide rule but no chrono feature.

The big plus from me that I've already mentioned is the new SOHC in blue. I know I've said it before so I won't repeat myself, but that's the one watch I will most likely own by the end of the year. I don't get the bezel on the chrono with the day-date movement since that's the only model they changed. Maybe in time they'll change it back to be more in line with the rest of the SOH series. I'm anxious to see what will happen to the regular Superocean series since I see those are still listed on the website and nothing has changed with them. I'd love to see them revert back to the same designs they had of about 10 years ago with the lumed arabics on the dials.

I was glad to see the Transocean series not touched but I didn't think they would be since I think that model has the most vintage inspired design of the current lineup already.

One of the reasons I love my Airborne is the bezel and how it didn't have the buck rodgers font. I like the cleaned up version of the chronomat dial without the square and while I'd love to see more colors, I realize there is only so much that can be done in one year. The blackeye blue dial looks great but I can easily see them adding a panda dial in time, something similar to the Airborne. I'm sure the 2 tone models will also get the same treatment in time. I like the simple Colts and how they're available in 2 sizes. Being able to buy them in a brushed finish is a big plus as well.

In regards to the professional models, it's a line that I hope will continue. I was never a fan until I tried on an Aerospace last fall and loved it. I'm disappointed to see only the black titanium version available online now but hopefully that changes.

As for some of the other changes that have happened, mainly the creation of all these squads, I don't get it. I could care less about celebrity endorsements but I can easily see how these appeal to people outside these forums. We're buying watches because we admire the history and story behind them but there are still many sold because they see a celebrity wearing them. I also don't understand the affiliation with Norton but I've also never been a fan of the Bentley series either. I just read on instagram that Kern said there soon will be a full line of cycling gear from Breitling, such as helmets, shoes, and even a race bike. For a guy whose bike riding is limited to the Peloton in my basement, I probably won't be buying any of those items either. I wouldn't mind some thrown in with a purchase though.

One of the issues as others have mentioned are the sheer volumes of watches on the grey market. I'm hoping that maybe a slimmed down product line could help reduce that number so our watches could hold their value a little better but that may be wishful thinking. I think a reduction in ADs would be a good place to start and I don't think the answer would be more boutiques.

I know I've kind of been all over the place but it's Good Friday and I'm just trying not to work. As others before me have said on here, I still think it's too early to tell what the future will be for Breitling. I came into Basel with high expectations and I don't want to say they weren't meant, but just kind of like, OK, let's see what next kind of attitude.


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jnelson3097 wrote:
I just read on instagram that Kern said there soon will be a full line of cycling gear from Breitling, such as helmets, shoes, and even a race bike.

:uhmmm: :huh
What the heck has cycling got to do with Breitling?! I wonder what we'll see next - maybe some nifty Breitling double glazing? Or perhaps a range of Breitling scented candles? Or how about some artisan Breitling bread? :roll:

As I said above, this kind of thing smacks of CVC simply using the Breitling name to sell "stuff" to generate revenue. I hope I'm wrong and that it will all come together somehow, but at the moment I'm lost for words.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:04 am 
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well.... what the heck has cycling got to do with Breitling?

looking at the brand history - a lot. In the 1950s Breitling was official timekeeper for the most prestigious cycling events in the 1950s, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and more, sponsoring the stars of the sport like Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi; selling special edition watches branded “Giro d’Italia”, massively advertising their cycling affiliation.

the only reason for the current plans are based on the fact that endurance cycling is Georges’ personal hobby and sport - and he wants to establish teams that will compete in a South Africa endurance event, trying to raise funds for charity. a niche project, clearly not planned to be a cash cow for CVC ;)

but I assume you can criticize anything ...



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:07 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
but I assume you can criticize anything ...

Yep, it looks that way, Fred.

To be honest I think you and I are going in completely different directions here, and that's absolutely fine by me - we can't all like the same things. You like Kern's vision, I don't - no problem.

I'm the first to admit I'm not as immersed in the brands history books prior to circa 1990 as you are, so for me Breitling is predominantly about the Schneider period - meaning aviation with some diving activity thrown in - and the whole "Instruments for Professionals" ethos. For me it's definitely not about Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron, motorbikes and surfer "squads", or the niche hobbies of the CEO no matter how tenuously they're linked to the brands' past.

I'd personally prefer evolution rather than revolution because, while I've not liked a lot of their designs since circa 2010/11, Breitling were by far my favourite brand for 20 years, and I liked their unique place in the market. I personally find the new designs generally rather bland, the new website poor, and I'd prefer not to require either a degree in Breitling History or to have to be on personal terms with the CEO to make sense of the current direction.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:28 am 
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we will all see how Kern’s vision plays out in a year or two - he is trying to take Breitling out of a very small market niche (yes, you need to succeed in China to grow the brand, pilots in China are considered as “sexy” as bus drivers), appeal to a broader market, covering segments that have played a huge role in the Breitling’s past - and you do not have to be “on personal terms” with the CEO, he’s actively communicating his strategy on social media, you just need to be interested enough to follow him or read the dozens of interviews ;)

the “Breitling Squad” concept will (I hope) become clearer when the advertising campaign is launched, none of them are meant to be “ambassadors” like Beckham used to be - we’ll soon see more such “squads”, next up is Triathtlon...



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:02 am 
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I agree we won't know how it's going to pan out for some time, but I must be honest I really liked the (almost) pure aviation angle that Breitling offered : no other brand really offers that. Yes I agree it's a niche (or a "niche within a niche" as Kern recently said), but that was a good thing IMO. I know the East doesn't have the same romantic affection for flying as the West does, but I also feel that diminishing one thing to increase something else (or multiple other things) often results in blandness. I remember reading a book by a business coach a few years ago - I forget his name now - but he talked about "making your spike spikier" - in other words, instead of spending time trying to improve all your weaknesses across the board, you should spend more time improving what you're actually already good at. i.e. truly excelling at one thing is often better than being distinctly average at a lot.

Anyway, time will tell, but in the meantime I'm going to fully embrace the old adage of, "If you haven't got anything nice to say, then it's best to say nothing at all". :thumbsup:

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