Swiss watchmaker Breitling enjoys a versatile life within the world of high-end horology. Founded in 1884, the brand has remained resolute in its commitment to producing some of the finest chronograph watches targeted at aviators. You will also find, however, Breitling has a number of quality diving watches on its roster too.
But Breitling has also always been a brand to innovate wherever possible, offering customers features rivals can’t provide, and ones that can prove to be invaluable.
Breitling recently set itself the task of owning the space occupied by watches aimed at those with active lifestyles, and the result is the Endurance Pro. DMARGE has already helped to show off the Endurance Pro’s active credentials, with five of Sydney’s greatest athletes competing in an intense morning workout session on Bondi Beach.
However, some of us are still in the aspirational phase of achieving similar physiques, and since Breitling markets the Endurance Pro not only as a “lightweight watch for athletes” but also as a “casual, everyday sports watch”, we felt compelled to strap one on our wrist for a few days to see how it wore and if its price is justified.
So, what exactly is the Breitling Endurance Pro? It’s a sports watch, but maybe not quite as you know it.
Sports watches, if you were to search the term online, will bring up a plethora of models with digital screens, applications and short battery lives. Sure, these watches can keep an accurate record of your daily workouts and fitness regimens, but the inconvenience of daily charges and costly repairs is enough to deter many potential customers.
You could also, of course, apply the term sports watch to pretty much anything that isn’t a dress watch: diver’s, pilot’s and racing. These watches will most likely have delicate automatic movements and heavy stainless steel cases (or those made from other proprietary materials).
While these watches may serve up the necessary functions to record lap times by way of chronographs and sub-dials, for example, they’re not exactly built for life in the great outdoors. You wouldn’t want to take a chunk out the stainless case of your prized $15,000 timepiece now, would you?
This is where the Breitling Endurance Pro suddenly becomes the only watch you need if you keep active, appreciate exquisite craftsmanship and don’t wish to succumb to a life viewing a digital display.
The first thing you’ll notice when you take the Endurance Pro out of its box is just how light the thing is. Breitling has used its own ‘Breitlight’ composite for the 44mm case, an ultra-light polymer that claims to be 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel. We’re certainly inclined to believe those claims. Wearing the Breitling Endurance Pro is an absolute dream, we can’t think of a watch that is more comfortable to wear for long periods; it really is that lightweight.
Secondly, you can’t help but notice the outlandish colouring. Our loan model was a stunning yellow, but you can also have the Endurance Pro in red, blue, orange or white. This is a watch for fun, after all, so loud and out-there colours are welcomed with open arms. The majority of the colour is afforded to the Diver Pro rubber strap, which also aids with the aforementioned comfort. It’s soft, malleable, and offers enough adjustment to wrap around even the largest of wrists (we all have to start our fitness journey somewhere, right?). Kelly Slater’s Outerknown brand also has a range of ECONYL NATO straps available for the Endurance Pro that add an unmistakably surfer/boho look that we feel suits this watch perfectly.
Moving onto the dial and while it may look a tad busy at first glance, it’s actually very well proportioned. Breitling’s iconic wings logo takes pride of place at 12. 3, 6 and 9 numerals are enlarged, with small portions covered by the three sub-dials, catering to the chronograph function and small-seconds. You’ll also find a small date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Around the internal bezel, you’ll find a pulsometer, which you can use in conjunction with the chronograph counter to measure your heart rate. No more relying on your fancy Apple Watch.
We love the look of the Endurance Pro. The dial is clearly legible (Breitling’s longstanding knowledge of aviation watches creeping in) and for those who like to keep moving, this is a fun, adventurous timepiece that is just begging for a bruising. It won’t replace that stainless steel sports watch you have in your collection, but for all your outdoor exploits, it’s the perfect companion.
Cosmetic appearances aside, the question we imagine is on the lips of many is what makes this a AU$4,490 watch? The fact this Breitling is a battery-powered quartz model will, undoubtedly, cause many to sneer at the price tag. For not a lot more money you can score yourself a luxury watch with a self-winding automatic movement, surely a more attractive proposition? Not for us. When you consider what this watch has been designed for, it makes complete sense.
For starters, it’s not just any quartz movement lurking inside. What you get is the Breitling 82: a COSC-certified thermo-compensated SuperQuartz movement. What does this mean? Well, quartz movements by their very nature are more accurate than their automatic counterpart. Thermocompensated quartz movements maintain that accuracy in the face of adverse temperature changes, ideal for the Endurance Pro then, as it allows you to wear it in all manner of conditions, both hot and cold, while keeping highly accurate time.
Moreover, a quartz movement is going to be able to withstand bumps and shocks far better than an automatic or mechanical movement, and if you’re going to be wearing your Breitling rock climbing, swimming (the Endurance Pro is waterproof to 100-metres) or any other extreme sporting discipline, you’re going to want the best possible protection for your watch’s precious innards.
Features such as these, we feel, perfectly justify Breitling’s asking price. Not only are you getting a watch that has a supremely capable and accurate movement, but with ample protection to keep it running. Naturally, you’re also paying for the Breitling name, which carries incredible weight within the watch community.
As for serving a purpose, the Endurance Pro more than delivers. If you keep active or are simply after an incredibly comfortable everyday watch that you never need to worry about winding, we can’t think of many better options.