Flying in from runway to runway
ARTMAGEDDON - Igan D’Bayan (The Philippine Star) - August 1, 2012 - 12:00am

Never knew that the iconic dude who does the shimmy in Saturday Night Feverand Pulp Fictionis a certified pilot. John Travolta owns a fleet of airplanes (five reportedly) and his home in Florida has its own runway and taxiway right to the main entrance to the manor. The Swiss brand is preferred by aviators — including Mr. Travolta — who rely on its precision, craftsmanship and aesthetic cool.

“We supply the major aircrafts manufacturer, making clocks for the cockpit,” explains Tristan Boyer De Bouillane, Breitling sales director for Asia Pacific and the Middle East. “And we keep on making watches that are reliable, precise and well-made. When you make timepieces for pilots, there is no room for error.”

The brand, according to De Bouillane, makes its own movement, to make sure that “everything is a 100 percent the best of what we can do.”

Breitling is one of the few to produce its own in-house movement, entirely developed and manufactured in its own workshops. Breitling is also one of the last remaining independent Swiss watch brands.

He also points out that Breitling does not go from aviation watches to sport watches to whatever the trend is at the moment. “We don’t make strange-looking watches to please this or that demographic.” 

It’s A Baselworld After All

Breitling featured the Transocean Chronograph Unitime and Chronograph 44 GMT at the recent Baselworld 2012 collection, with the Swiss watchmaker showcasing its unique ability to design exquisite timepieces that exude timeless elegance and sheer functionality. 

Tristan Boyer De Bouillane, Breitling sales director for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, explains, “We keep on making watches that are reliable, precise and well-made. When you make timepieces for pilots, there is no room for error.” Photos by FERNAN NEBRES

“The Philippines is an important market for Breitling and we are very pleased to showcase the Baselworld 2012 collection here. Each piece in the collection speaks volumes about Breitling’s unrivaled expertise in wrist chronographs, which are showcased in these timepieces.”

He adds that it’s not too difficult to launch luxury watches in the Philippines because the country is a growing market and that the future is in Asia. De Bouillane likewise mentioned that having Lucerne, the exclusive distributor of Breitling in the Philippines, as a reliable partner is an advantage.

“Filipinos have an enduring love affair with fine watches. We’re confident that Breitling’s Baselworld 2012 collection will be warmly received by Filipino watch connoisseurs,” says Emerson Yao, managing director of Lucerne.

The Air Up There

Breitling travel watches have also played an important role in the brand’s history with the winged B. In sharing the finest hours in the conquest of the skies, Breitling accompanied the boom in air transport and long-distance travel.

During the Fifties and Sixties, Breitling distinguished itself by introducing a sophisticated model named Unitime, a self-winding “world time” watch that has since become a much sought-after collector’s item. Today, Breitling is further extending its invitation to enjoy travel and performances by combining universal time and the chronograph function within a new model in the Transocean rage — a collection that showcases all the refinement and prestige of luxury long-distance journeys.

The Transocean Chronograph Unitime features a “world time” chronograph equipped with a new caliber entirely developed and produced in-house. Associating innovative technology with stylish aesthetics, the Transocean Chronograph Unitime is distinguished by its modern, pure lines and the infinite care lavished on the smallest details — such as its dial bearing a globe pattern. 

Featuring the new Caliber 05, which is based in the high-performing Caliber 01, Breitling engineers have reinvented the world time mechanism via an adjustment system with unprecedented user-friendliness. 

The Transocean Chronograph Unitimes features two mobile disks: a 24-hour disk and a disk bearing the names of 24 cities representing the world’s 24 time zones. The time shown by the central hands corresponds to that of the time zone displayed at 12 o’clock. The city disk also bears indications serving to take account of “summer” or daylight saving time (DST).

When changing time zones, users only need to pull out the crown and turn it forwards or backwards in one-hour increments in order to correct the hours, the city disk and the 24-hour disk in one smooth move. Meanwhile, the calendar is easily adjusted in both directions to the date corresponding to the local time. During these maneuvers, the minute and seconds hands continue turning normally without any loss of precision and without disturbance to any chronograph timing operations in progress. 

The Transocean Chronograph Unitime comes in steel or red gold versions with the city bezel available in several languages.

The Chronomat 44 GMT is distinguished by its rotating bezel serving to provide a 24-hour third time zone reading. The ingenious Breitling Caliber 04 guarantees unprecedented user-friendliness, since the wearer only needs to pull out the crown and turn it forwards or backwards in order to juggle time zones without losing any precision in keeping track of the minutes.

Big Things To Come For Breitling, According To Tristan Boyer De Bouillane

The man knows his Breitling only too well. He remembers his first one: a 1990 Chronomat beauty. “I bought it in Hong Kong,” he recalls. “That model signaled the birth of the Chronomat. When Breitling reintroduced them, the chronographs became quite popular again.”

De Bouillane is wearing a more modern Breitling. He loves it for its versatility. “It’s a model you can wear anywhere — with a suit, or with jeans. I can play tennis with it, or play golf. I go to the beach with my kids. I travel a lot, so my weekends are for my kids.”

With those words, you can imagine the man’s mind flying elsewhere — to his kids, his hometown, or the next stop in his exciting Breitling tour.

* * *

Breitling watches are exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Lucerne. Breitling is available at the Breitling boutique in Greenbelt 5, and a Breitling corner at Lucerne stores. For information, call 756-0561 or 728-3838, or visit

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