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Thread: Review: Breitling Avenger Hurricane

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Review: Breitling Avenger Hurricane




    Background

    This time we turn back the tape to 1952 (1954 according to some) when Breitling released the model Navitimer in some sort of collaboration with AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). The Navitimer was specifically developed for pilots and boasted both a chronograph movement and an "internal bezel" specifically developed to enable calculations regarding descent speed, fuel consumption and other things related to flying.



    1962 Breitling released a 24 hour version specifically developed for space, the Cosmonaut. This is a very convenient feature when working three shifts in space or in a submarine where the wearer is unable to know if it's AM or PM.

    So...what is the connection to the Avenger Hurricane?

    Well, through the decades composite materials have been used within both the airplane industry and space industry. A composite material is a material consisting of two or more non metallic materials which combined results in a material with new characteristics. There is usually a sort of binding material and a fiber material. The result is a hard and light material which has the positive "side effect" of also being antimagnetic.



    During WW1 plywood revolutionized flying, the interlaced wood material resulted in fibers in many directions which led to a hard and light material.

    Plywood has since mostly been replaced by glass-fiber reinforced plastics (usually called glass fiber) and carbon fiber. The possibilities are endless and the watch industry is very keep on developing new composite materials.

    The connection between the airplane industry and Breitling makes the Avenger Hurricane very logic and interesting since it has a 24-hour chronograph movement and is made in a so far secret composite material called Breitlight.


    Breitling Avenger Hurricane


    Specifications
    Diameter: 50mm.
    Thickness: 17mm.
    Material: Breitlight.
    Strap: 24mm/20mm rubber with textile upper lining.
    Weight: 69 grams without strap, about 110 grams including strap.

    Movement: Breitling cal B12 (in house) automatic chronograph (12 hrs) movement with 24 hrs analog time display, 70 hrs power reserve, 28800bph, hack and manual wind.

    Crown: Screw down.
    Chronograph pushers: Non screw down.
    WR: 100m.



    Breitlight

    The material is the main feature of this watch so let's start by exploring Breitlight.

    Breitlight, you have to love the name. It is clear right away that the material is developed by Breitling and that the main characteristic is its low weight.

    Breitlight is according to Breitling 3,3 times lighter than titanium and 5,8 times lighter than steel. Breitling also claims that the material is exceptionally resistant to scratches, harder than steel, heat resistant, allergy friendly, resistant to corrosion and antimagnetic.



    The material is warm to the touch and extremely light weight. The impression of the light weight is enhanced by the fact that the case is 50mm.


    My materials expert says

    Upon first inspection the case seems to be made of some sorts of forged carbon composite. The easy to see fibers are random in orientation and about 1mm long. The fibers are most likely bound with either a vinylester or polypropylene matrix, but that is guessing. There might possibly be a third reinforcing material used to further strengthen the composite. The material is a little uneven and porous.



    The case seems to be made by either injection moulding or forging and thereafter it has been machined to the right shape, including for example the bezel numbering and the lug holes. The parts have then received a light or intermediate polish depending on the part resulting in a semi gloss finish. The doesn't seem to be a surface material applied.



    All in all the Breitlight material has a great appearance and looks promising. We will of course have to wait for Breitling to tell us what the material actually consist of but my guess is that we are probably looking at a revolutionary material when it comes to carbon composites.

    If Breitlight is what it appears to be, then it should withstand time better than the similar watches we see from for example Audemars Piguet and Panerai.


    Case and bezel

    The case is semi glossy and has an interesting structure. There are some porous parts but overall the impression is a smooth surface.



    The case has distinct but not sharp edges and angles. The fitting between parts is flawless as expected. The proportions look great despite the fact that the case diameter is 50mm.
    The lug holes are positioned high resulting in a great fit between the strap and the case when the watch is on the wrist. The bottom of the case is slightly rounded of.



    The crown and pushers are protected by integrated crown guards. The crown has a signed Breitling "B" and the pushers have a cross pattern to improve the grip.



    The 120 click bezel turns distinct and with no apparent play in any direction. The raised "rider tabs" positioned at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o clock offer great traction for turning the bezel. The bezel is fixated by tiny screwes on the side which makes the bezel resistant to blows.

    Breitling has chosen to reinstate the old type bezel style on the Hurricane, featuring an inner circle closest to the glass. This is a smart way to prevent the large bezel from looking too big and broad. The bezel meets the slightly domed double sided AR coated glass perfectly.



    Caseback

    The casbah is convex with minimal amount of text. The military type font matches the font on the dial well but it's a little strange that the caseback says "AVENGER" instead of "HURRICANE".


    Strap and clasp

    The strap is vulcanized rubber with a textile inlay. The inside shape of the strap is concave
    which results in only the border of the strap laying against your wrist. This is good for two things; it helps keep the weight down while not making the strap too thin looking or too stiff and it prevents heat and sweat from building up between the rubber and the wrist. The strap tapers from 24mm in width to 20mm and also tapers in thickness.

    A nice detail is that the upper thread is black to match the textile while the lower thread is yellow to match the rubber. The yellow parts match the yellow details on the dial resulting in a cohesive look.



    The black PVD folding clasp has a very sturdy feel and is opened by double push buttons on the sides. The clasp also has a micro adjustment feature which enables the strap to be adjusted about 1cm in length by a simple pressing action. This is of course a very convenient feature to have for a strap which needs to be cut to be shortened.

    The Hurricane is also available with rubber or military fabric strap but I strongly recommend anyone interested in the model to buy it on this "military rubber". I hope the strap will be released in more colors in the future.

    PLEASE NOTE:
    This is an exhibition example and the examples hitting the stores soon will have a Breitlight clasp, not the PVD-clasp featured in this review. There are a few sold pieces out on the market already and they all have the PVD clasp


    A closer look

    There is a lot happening on the dial and on pictures the chronograph subdials look a little small but the proportions are great IRL.

    The military type font showing 24 hours in combination with the rest of the dial markers make for a great tactical and instrumental look. Usually I'm usually skeptical to accent colors on dials but there is just the right amount of yellow on the Hurricane dial to be interesting without being in your face.



    The dial is matte and the subdials are slightly thinner than the rest of the dial. All the hands have a matte grey finish and the only glossy part on the dial is the Breitling logo. The dial would probably look too busy with all white chronograph hands but I would have liked to see a white sweeping seconds hand.

    I had some hesitations regarding the 24 hours display before putting the watch on the wrist but my mind got used to it very fast. I first had some issues telling the minute hand position since there are double the normal amount of markers, but after only a day I got used to it.


    Lume

    Super luminova on the bezel, dial and hands keeps the watch legible for most of the night.

    On the wrist



    50mm is a size that in theory is crazy for a Swiss made premium watch. The watch looks big of course but it sits surprisingly well on my 18,5cm wrist. The very low weight and the fact that the watch temperature becomes the same as my body heat makes me even forget I'm wearing the watch. I promise you, this is not an exaggeration, I slept with the watch on the wrist last night.

    A large part of this phenomenon is the very well made strap and clasp which makes the weight distribution pretty much perfect.
    I briefly tried the watch with another (non Breitling) strap and it kind of worked but the original military rubber specifically developed for the Hurricane makes a world of difference.


    Final verdict

    I have to admit that I fell in love with the Hurricane very fast. When I first saw the watch during the release at Baselworld I couldn't wait to get to know it better to find out if my initial impressions would be discarded or confirmed.

    The overall instrumental design language in combination with the 24 hour display and the "high tech" composite material makes the Hurricane pretty much embody the Breitling slogan "Instruments for professionals".

    The Hurricane is huge, brutal, instrumental and innovative. At the same time it's surprisingly wearable and the overall quality is high. I consider the Hurricane a home run and I hope Breitling releases more instrumental looking 24 hour watch models and that they keep experimenting with new materials.

    -
    Special thanks to Breitling for the loan and to Jonte, my material guy. :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    And this is the worlds first in depth review of the Hurricane. :)
    Last edited by yonsson; 1st September 2016 at 10:22.

  2. #2
    Master sean's Avatar
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    Wow. Either you're particularly large-wristed or Breitling has made a very wearable 50mm watch!

    Great write up. I hadn't heard about the new Breitlight material before, so that was interesting.

  3. #3
    Master ordo's Avatar
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    Wonderful. Nice pictures.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    What a review... Top.

  6. #6
    Master Thorien's Avatar
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    Looks great on you, would look comical on my tiny wrists!
    Great review!

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    Stunning and clever the way the curves make it look less gargantuan than it is.
    It'd look ridiculous on my 16cm wrists though.

  8. #8
    I tried one of these a while ago. So light and has a lovely feel to it.
    If they did a small size I would definitely get one

    Andy

  9. #9
    Master
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    Great review of a technically interesting watch, much better than usual Breitlings. But...the size...why does stuff have to be so big? Still, interesting watch.

  10. #10
    Wow, that is amazing, fantastic reviewer, you could get paid to do these reviews. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  11. #11
    I love the sound of that new material - I'm all for lighter Breitling watches. 50mm is huge though, not sure why they are going for bigger and bigger watches.

    Thanks for the review and pictures, an interesting read.

  12. #12
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Thanks for this review - very interesting, especially the new material... Even though this is on paper a massive beast of a watch, it looks very wearable and the light weight must help a good deal.

    Plus, the bolts holding the caseback on are super-cool... ;-)

  13. #13
    Wow, what a great review!
    The watch looks great and the strap is awesome.
    Well done and many thanks for posting.

  14. #14
    Grand Master andrewcregan's Avatar
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    I love my Breitlings, and a lot of things on this watch.
    However, what on Earth are they doing with those numbers?
    The positioning on some is poor, and there are too many, especially when you see the lume shot.
    Where does 24 exist in the 24 hour clock? 2359 becomes 0000.
    Perhaps (hopefully) they will be sorted for the production models?

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    Great review. I saw this in the display at a breitling dealer and really liked the look of it. I had no idea the material was a carbon type composite. Thankyou.

  16. #16
    Although the watch is way too big for me, you carry it well.

    Great looking watch, love the details.

  17. #17
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Thanks for for the positive comments guys. I rushed like crazy to be first reviewing this model. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by dashfield View Post
    I love the sound of that new material - I'm all for lighter Breitling watches. 50mm is huge though, not sure why they are going for bigger and bigger watches.

    Thanks for the review and pictures, an interesting read.
    My guess is to accentuate the impression of the light weight material. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewcregan View Post
    I love my Breitlings, and a lot of things on this watch.
    However, what on Earth are they doing with those numbers?
    The positioning on some is poor, and there are too many, especially when you see the lume shot.
    Where does 24 exist in the 24 hour clock? 2359 becomes 0000.
    Perhaps (hopefully) they will be sorted for the production models?
    This is the production model so there
    will be no "correction". I say the 24 makes perfect sense, but that's me. :)

  18. #18
    Craftsman tanatron's Avatar
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    Watch looks fantastic, dial even more and I love the yellow accents . Everything screems Breitling....but why 50mm?
    It's a niche watch allright but this is giving fuel to breitling detractors.

  19. #19
    Grand Master Daddelvirks's Avatar
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    Quality stuff as usual Yonsson.

    It will be interesting to see how this material will hold up after years of use and abuse.

    Light and comfy on the wrist it may be, but it still looks like an egg timer with it's 50mm and long lugs.

    The overal design is kind of cool though.

    Thanks!

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  20. #20
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Thanks Daddel!

    Here are some shots next to my Aerospace Evo, 43mm.



  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Super review, well done! Thanks for sharing.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Daddelvirks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post
    Thanks Daddel!

    Here are some shots next to my Aerospace Evo, 43mm.
    Great shot :)

    It dwarfes the Aerospace, looks like a "girls" watch!

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  23. #23
    Master
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    Nice looking watch but at 50mm, it's just too big.

    I wonder if they might consider a smaller size in the future?

  24. #24
    Master
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    great pics and a great review!

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