Breitling is arguably an unrivaled watchmaker when it comes to quality in craftsmanship and the use of fine quality materials. Those of us who hold the brand in high regard appreciate the innovative designs and the use of the latest technology in the horologic realm. Of course, this is an opinion that reflects a definitive bias, but quite a few of us share this point of view. Breitling's partnership with Bentley produced a line of high-end luxury watches featuring a tourbillon version. I'm an avid fan of tourbillons so, I went in search of more, with the hopes of discovering the five best tourbillons ever made by Breitling. It was exciting to discover a variety of Breitling tourbillions on the market. Although they were hard to find, I queried further into the reputation of the sellers and for verification of authenticity. To my dismay, I learned that just one model with a few variants existed with this complication. The rest were replicas.
The authentic Breitling Tourbillon
Breitling collaborated with Bentley Mulliner in the design of the Bentley Mulliner 18841 collection of chronograph timepieces. This tourbillon is a bespoke model that is as high-end as they come. The watches are offered to Bentley customers when they purchase a vehicle from the elite automaker. Each Breitling watch in the line is customized to suit the new owner's preferences. The cases come in all types of gold and platinum. A choice of either white or black dials is available with multiple strap options. Newsbreak staff help to unravel the mystery a bit. The Bentley Mulliner is not a watch that is easy to find. There are a few things about the movement to discuss. For starters, It is a watch that appeared in 2005. This rare watch combines a tourbillon complication with a chronograph function. It's an elite watch for an automobile of equal status.
Not a Breitling movement?
The wonderfully complicated movement that powers the chronograph and tourbillon functions called the Breitling caliber 18B. It's a Swiss-made movement but is not produced in-house BY Breitling, but rather for them. It makes sense since there are no other authentic Breitling tourbillons to be found. The details of the movement are exquisite, nonetheless. Both functions integrate within a single hand-wound movement. A date complication is also featured, further complicating the timepiece. Most notably, this movement is COSC chronometer certified. The dial reflects the date window and the sub-dials for the chronometer functions. The tourbillon openly displays at the bottom (6 o'clock).
The bespoke Mulliner Tourbillon features a white or black dial with a hand-cut mother of pearl applied as the hour markers. The texture of the bezel mirrors on the tourbillon bridges. The detail is worth mentioning. Authentic wood is used in a choice of veneers to ring the periphery of the movement. It's displayed through the exhibition case back that reveals the beauty of the movement beneath. The case measures 49 mm in width, suggesting that this is a men's watch.
Variants of the Breitling for Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon Chronograph
The exclusive tourbillon was offered in several variants, broken down into sub names including the K18841 with an 18k yellow gold case, the L18841 in an 18k white gold case, and three other versions titles K, H, and J for the starting character of the sub-name. Breitling can make watches with all forms of gold cases as well as platinum. Both black and white dials are available, with a series of crocodile strap options.
Why is the Breitling for Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon Chronograph so hard to find?
A Blog to Watch sheds a bit of light on the dilemma. This model first appeared in 2005 at the behest of Bentley for their exclusive Mulliner line of automobiles. You won't find them advertised on Breitling's website. This masterpiece is a carefully hidden watch, even though the partnership is still in force. Some wonder if this is a legitimate Breitling because of its scarcity. The answer to the question is yes, it's the genuine article, but it's a model reserved for a limited clientele. The details of dispersion have neither been shared by Breitling nor by Bentley.
The Bentayga Tourbillon
Although it's not a wristwatch, there is one other form of a Breitling tourbillon around. The complication is in the guise of a clock installed in the dashes of some Bentley vehicles. The Bentayga offers the option of adornment with the Breitling Mulliner Tourbillon, but it doesn't come as stock. Owners have the option of ordering the bespoke clock for an additional cost of $168,100, according to Automobile Magazine.
The value of a Breitling for Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon Chronograph
You can find several advertisements for this Breitling that offer used watches for $50,000 to $75,000. Although some of them are authentic, you have to be careful because of so many counterfeits that are circulating. The cost ranges from $175,000 to $262,000. The rationale for the price difference exists because each is a bespoke model. The value depends on the condition and the materials used in its construction. The average price is $175,000.
The Breitling Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon has led me on a journey of discovery. Buying a Breitling isn't as easy as one would think. Who would have guessed that there are so many replicas in circulation? You must read the fine print carefully and insist on firm evidence of authenticity with a backup call to Breitling for confirmation to be safe. For the record, Breitling has made one tourbillon chronograph, but you're not likely to find an authentic version for sale. Although there isn't a Breitling tourbillon within my grasp, I'm perfectly content with their outstanding chronographs.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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