In my opinion, one of the most successful Swiss watches of 2020 is the Breitling Endurance Pro. Available in a variety of stylish colors, this is an easy-to-appreciate entry-level Breitling sports watch that is perfect for the era. Endurance Pro is also a series that is easy to miss for many. Most watch collectors want a mechanical watch rather than a quartz watch, and it’s not wrong to call the Endurance Pro a quirky G-Shock. This is not the essence of the Breitling polished metal fan base. But Breitling has a response to it all.
Under Mr Kern’s direction, the “new” Breitling is diversifying towards more entry-level and youth-oriented access. The Endurance Pro is still a lot of change at $3,000, but it’s also nearly three times cheaper than the brand’s new 2020 Chronomat B01 42, which offers a completely different but also very good wearing experience. Breitling is always lucky to have its “professional” watch collection in addition to its luxury base. This means the Endurance Pro can easily fit into a modern Breliting lineup at a lower price, as it’s not uncommon for brands to do so. It also lets Breitling compete at an interesting price point when you can’t get a Rolex, Omega, IWC, etc. at this price point. This is TAG Heuer territory, but for a different type of customer.
The design formula for Endurance Pro is also very simple. Breitling first decided to use its Breitlight material (carbon) again and focus on quartz movements. Note that while a regular Swiss-made quartz movement costs $3,000, the Endurance Pro does not include a regular Swiss movement. Inside the watch is the Breitling Caliber 82, which is a basic ETA heat-compensated quartz movement. This time, date and complication chronograph movement has a quartz crystal regulation system with a sensor that measures the temperature. Changes in temperature can negatively impact the ability of these already precise movements to operate at peak levels. Capable of compensating for the temperature changes typically experienced by watch movements worn on the wrist, the Caliber 82 is accurate to around 10 seconds per year.
You’ll see a “Chronometer” label on the watch face. This is also a true COSC Chronometer watch. Note that the Swiss COSC tests performance differently for quartz and mechanical watches. Predictably, testing for quartz mechanisms is much more rigorous. Once you understand how similar the time and effort this movement is to a traditional mechanical watch, you can not only better understand its value proposition, but also appreciate how it truly is a professional watch.
The Endurance Pro is the second generation of the product concept and actually predates Mr. Kern’s stewardship of the brand. In 2017, Breitling launched the Colt Skyracer (hands-on with aBlogtoWatch here), which offered a Breitlight case, a three-hand SuperQuartz movement, and a $2,000 price point. With the 2020 Endurance Pro, Breitling retains the core vibe of the entry-level sports watch theme, but tries to incorporate the design language more into the current collection. The Colt Skyracer is a pilot-style watch inspired by the world of sport flying. The Endurance Pro looks more like a triathlon watch for people who regularly schedule intervals or activities.
The name Endurance Pro is new, but the dials and hands are basically from the current-generation Aerospace Evo (which came out around 2013). Breitling actually fixed an issue with that design on the Endurance Pro, which was that the hands were polished and should be matte. Otherwise, the Endurance Pro is a fully analog chronograph version of the Aerospace Evo with a Breitlight carbon fiber case. Note that the Breitling Emergency II watch also belongs to the same design collection.
Small improvements in the design of the Endurance Pro help make it a very different watch from its predecessor. For example, there is a pulsometer scale on the flange ring – eliminating the tendency for sports watch makers to use outdated tachymeter scales. The pulsometer allows you to measure your pulse while operating the chronograph and counting some heartbeats. Since many Breitling Endurance Pro wearers will use it as a sports watch, it’s entirely conceivable that the pulsometer will occasionally be relevant and help make the text on the dial feel more functional and less casual.
At less than 65 grams on the wrist, the Endurance Pro is indeed a lightweight watch – and it’s not that small either. It’s great to wear because it’s light and comfortable. The case is approximately 44mm wide and 14mm thick, with a lug-to-lug distance of 53mm. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters, and above the dial is a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal. Around the bezel is a bi-directional rotating navigation bezel. These look cool, but I prefer the 60-minute scale on the smooth-touch rotating black carbon bezel.
This particular version of the Breitling Endurance Pro is available in white and black (Oreo cookies or Star Wars stormtroopers, depending on your mood) reference X82310A71B1S1. While I have a feeling there are more colors coming soon, the Endurance Pro model’s launch combo includes black and yellow, navy, orange, red, and the white model shown here. To add to its Star Wars flair, when the chronograph is running, I imagine the hands of the chronograph are dueling a red lightsaber. Speaking of dials, Breitling maintains a sharp look even for entry-level watches, with a nice finish and applied elements like hour markers. Some purists might not forgive Breitling for letting the chronograph subdials cut off the hour markers so much.
The Breitling-branded rubber strap that comes with the Endurance Pro has typical Breitling high-quality straps with a buckle with two holes for the strap excess to make it fit better on the wrist. The strap buckle is also made of the same carbon Breitlight material as the case and feels great in the hand.
What I love most about the Breitling Endurance is that it doesn’t celebrate any particular activity, but an attitude—one that moves forward with strength and sheer will. Wow, how did Breitling know that the most famous human power in 2020 is endurance? This makes the Endurance Pro unwittingly the perfect watch for this year’s hero. Endurance, as a state of mind is the new force the Breitling Endurance Pro aptly evokes, and I don’t even think the Breitling marketers could have planned for it better.