When you hear the brands Breitling and Bentley, you would most probably think of high class and world class products. When these two brands join forces, then you can definitely expect to have a product that is of superior quality. This is the reason why everyone is raving about the limited edition Breitling for Bentley 24 H watch that was released in August 2013.
The two companies have decided to collaborate on this highly valuable timepiece to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Bentley’s historical first and second place finish at the highly anticipated 24-hour race at Le Mans in 2003. The limited edition watch was unveiled during the Monterey Auto Week that is held annually in Northern California. Indeed, it is a good opportunity for the two brands to rekindle their partnership which started when Bentley won the Le Mans in 2003.
The Breitling for Bentley 24 H is truly a limited edition watch as only 288 pieces of this model were created. It was unveiled together with the launch of the six Le Mans Limited Edition Bentley vehicles, to wit: Continental GT W12 Speed Le Mans Edition, Continental GT V8 Le Mans Edition, Continental GT V8 Convertible Le Mans Edition, the Mulsanne Le Mans Edition, Continental GT W12 Le Mans Edition, and the Continental GT W12 Convertible Le Mans Edition. Only 48 cars per model will be produced and each vehicle will bear a unique Le Mans Edition Numbered Badge.
The Watch Maker
Breitling is a luxury brand of Swiss watches manufactured by a private company, Breitling SA. It is an established name in the watch making industry since 1884 when it was founded by Leon Breitling. It is known for creating timepieces that are fully Swiss-made and precision-made. It is particularly known in the aviation industry. All of the watches produced by Breitling are made from Swiss components and are manufactured in Switzerland.
The Car Maker
Bentley is a luxury brand of British cars. It was established in 1919 by W.O. Bentley at New Street Mews in London. Since then, Bentley has created acclaimed motor vehicles coupled with a number of racing triumphs to back its outstanding performance. It won six victories at Le Mans in 1924 to 1930 and again in 2003. Bentley is known for building fast and the best cars in its class.
Since 1946, Bentley has been based in Crewe, England. In 1998, it was acquired by Volkswagen AG. To date, Bentley continues to produce powerful vehicles that can cross continents fast while allowing you to drive in a refined, comfortable, and stylish manner.
The Race that Brought Them Together
The 24-hour race at Le Mans is the world’s oldest sports car race in endurance racing. It was first held in 1923 and it has been held annually since then near the town of Le Mans in France.
This race is organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. It takes place at the Circuit de la Sarthe which contains a mix of closed public roads and specialist motor racing circuit. It is normally held near the peak of the European summer in June, which can expose drivers to extremely hot weather conditions. However, it is also common for rain to occur during this period.
The 24-hour race begins in mid-afternoon and ends at the same time the race started, the following day. The current record distance is 3,360 miles or 5,410 kilometers. This is estimated to be 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix.
The race is also called the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency. Teams have to learn how to balance speed with the cars’ ability to operate for 24 hours without any mechanical damage. They also need to manage the cars’ consumables such as the braking materials and fuel tires. Apart from testing the cars’ endurance and efficiency, the drivers’ own endurance and efficiency are also tested. Most of the time, drivers have to be on the wheel for more than two hours before they stop in the pits to allow a relief driver to take over. Currently, the race requires three drivers to share each competing vehicle.
The 24-hour race in 2003 was the 71st Grand Prix of Endurance that took place on June 14 and 15. Prior to this race, Audi had three consecutive wins. However, it did not officially field a team in 2003. This paved the way for Bentley to regain victory that it last held in 1930 in the Bentley Speed 8 where Tom Kristensen, a Danish driver, set a record with his fourth straight victory. It was a very historic victory for Bentley in 2003 where their teams finished first and second after the 83-year drought.
Bentley, a British company known for its exceptional car making prowess, and Breitling, a Swiss company with a tradition of fine watchmaking, have really worked hard to come up with the Breitling for Bentley 24 H watch, a one of a kind timepiece. Breitling made sure to capture the beauty and craftsmanship of a Bentley vehicle while at the same time reflecting the history of Bentley’s significant victory at Le Mans ten years ago. These minute details are reflected in the construction of the watch and its 100% in-house movement mirror. This will definitely be another popular timepiece characterized by its elegance, power, sportiness, performance, refinement, and style.
The Breitling for Bentley 24 H Watch is a welcome addition to the three Breitling for Bentley mechanisms that were unveiled earlier this year at the prestigious BaselWorld in Switzerland. These rare gems are all equipped with Manufacture Breitling movements that were entirely produced, designed, and developed at the Breitling Chronometrie workshops under the able and expert hands of the Breitling chronograph and technical watch specialists. These products combine peerless performance while retaining user-friendly and innovative functions.
This intricate timepiece has a lot of unique features that will surely capture the interest of watch and car collectors alike. It has a column wheel, more than 70 hours of power reserve, a hand-wound chronograph B02 caliber, a stunning 24-hour display, and a vertical coupling clutch. The Breitling for Bentley 24 H watch, similar to all Breitling for Bentley movements, is chronometer-certified by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres or the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, which is the only one based on international standards and provides the highest benchmark for reliability and precision.
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