At the Breitling Summit in London

Monday morning, I took the early flight to London to attend the first Breitling Summit, where the brand’s new Premier collection and additional distinguished products in all of their four universes, Air, Land, Sea, and Professional were introduced. The day started already beautiful with a breathtaking landing over the city in full sunshine.

A brand with a rich heritage

Breitling was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling with the mission to create toolwatches with optimum functionality. Based in the Swiss Jura, he specialized in chronographs and precision timers. Until today, the watch company has been famous for its pilot-themed chronographs.
In 2017, Breitling, one of the last family-owned watch brands of note, was sold to one of the biggest private equity firm in Europe, CVC Capital Partners. I was curious how the watch company had evolved during the past 12 months after Georges Kern took over the helmet as CEO and also as an investor.

Breitling CEO Georges Kern

The day started with a presentation about Breitling’s journey over the past year and its vision for the future by Kern himself. For me, he is a marketing genius. In this short amount of time, he managed that Breitling is on everyone’s lips and he is proud of this achievement himself. His mission and energy to create a #legendaryfuture seems well on its way. With him in charge, the brand has a great chance to live up to its own spirit and to be flying high again.

Let’s take for example the #squadonamission campaign that is throughly thought through, celebrating the collective spirit of squads united in pursuit of their mission and featuring leading figures from the worlds of aviation, exploration, cinema, and sport. It was a pleasure listening to iconic photographer Peter Lindbergh who appeared on screen to tell us how much fun he had shooting Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and Adam Driver for Breitling’s Cinema Squad campaign.

Kern said that «this clearly differentiates Breitling from the rest of the industry as Breitling is communicating with teams instead of individuals.» In a round table discussion he also wheeled out his top team.

My favorite: the new B01 Chronograph in Bentley Racing Green

His first steps to turn the brand around was to simplify the product range to four categories of Land, Air, Sea and Professionals and to speak to a broader customer base. On Monday, Breitling also announced new watches in each segment. One presented during the summit will be launched in partnership with Bentley, a collaboration that has been running since 2003, and that will be renewed in 2018 with the new B01 Chronograph in Bentley Racing Green – my favorite watch seen this Monday in London.

Combining purpose with style, the new Premier collections are worthy of Breitling’s legacy.

It is part of the probably most important launch, the elegant and stylish Breitling Premier collection that will be available from the end of October 2018. A reintroduced name that has a special significance for the brand as it was in the 1940s, when Breitling introduced its first collection of truly elegant watches, which were defined by their fash­ionable flair. Willy Breitling wanted to attract a new customer base and Kern wants to achieve the same with these new watches. Kern is clear about the role the Premier watches play in the brand’s product portfolio: «This is the first modern Breitling collection dedicated to everyday elegance. With outstanding quality and performance, these watches bear our unmistakable brand DNA, but they have been created with a focus on style that beautifully complements their purpose.»

Breitling’s new Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown

Going with the zeitgeist and focusing on the sustainability aspect, Breitling’s new Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown celebrates the brand’s partnership with Outerknown, a sustainable clothing company committed to improving environmental conditions for the entire planet. The watch features a first for Breitling: the strap is crafted from ECONYL® yarn, an innovative materi­al created from nylon waste, one source of which is fishing nets from oceans around the world.

Preview at the summit: Navitimer 8 inspired by Curtiss will be launched in 2019

Another very cool model that will hit the shelves in 2019 is for Breitlings’ aviation watch enthusiasts and «flying tigers»: the Navitimer 8 camouflage green dial will be produced in conjunction with Curtiss, an aircraft company best known for its WWII P-40 Warhawk fighter jet that is painted with a shark’s mouth under its nose.

Breitling Boutique in Zurich

During the round table Kern explained a little more about his sales strategy. He will increase their own retail and decrease wholesale. He closed most of the stores in South America and opened new ones in Asia and the US. In Paris, Breitling will open a flagship store in the next weeks featuring the new very masculine look, imagine a loft apartment with a pool table and a living room area with leather sofas, brick and concrete walls. «We call it modern retro,» Mr Kern said. Through their interior design, all stores offer an outstanding buying experience. Something that is key for Kern.

His biggest advantage in his new challenge? The independency of Breitling which gives him the capability to act faster than in a conglomerate. Kern is involved in every little step, even the design process of the watches.

Trying the new Premier Chronograph 42 with blue dial and brown alligator leather strap

An outlook for the upcoming year: Ladies, great news is that 2019 will mark the launch of a designated women’s watch collection. Stay tuned!

To a legendary future… I am wishing the whole Breitling team good luck for this thrilling journey!

LoL, Sandra

Photo: Courtesy of Breitling
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for Breitling
@Breitling #breitling #squadonamission #legendaryfuture #premierstyle

My Look: Arachnophobia

This was my outfit that I wore to the BREITLING store opening last week. Definitely not for the faint-hearted that suffer from arachnophobia as this mint-green cotton shirtdress from the Prada S/S 2018 runway is decorated with an eye-catching cartoon of six black, yellow and pink tarantulas above a swishy leopard-print skirt.

My look: Multi-print shirt dressicon, frame comic-print leather bagiconcomic print choker with spider charm and iconcadillac sunglasses, all by Prada, Adriana leopard-print calf hair and snake-effect leather platform sandalsicon, all by Marc Jacobs.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Breitling Boutique Opening in Zurich

Last night, I attended the opening celebration of BREITLING‘s newly designed boutique, situated in a prime location on Augustinergasse in Zurich. During this dazzling, high-profile red-carpet event, VIP guests and customers were treated to a cocktail party and dinner, followed by a concert performance by Swiss pop star Baschi. A full-scale mock-up of a Breitling Jet Team aircraft in front of the boutique caught the eyes of passersby, who took the opportunity to be photographed with the impressive flying machine.

#SquadOnAMission – Me surrounded by the Swiss Air Force’s Patrouille Suisse elite aerobatic squadron at the Breitling opening.

BREITLING CEO Georges Kern was joined at the opening event by an impressive roster of special guests, including former World Cup Alpine ski racer, Winter Olympic gold medalist, and pilot, Dominique Gisin, multiple Ironman champion and duathlon specialist Ronnie Schildknecht, celebrated Swiss chef René Schudel, Breitling Jet Team leader Jacques Bothelin, and members of the Swiss Air Force’s Patrouille Suisse elite aerobatic squadron.

With Breitling CEO Georges Kern at last night’s opening.

Georges Kern was excited about introducing Breitling’s new industrial-loft point-of-sale concept in Zurich, one of the brand’s home towns: «Our redesigned boutiques respect Breitling’s long heritage, but they do so in a stylish, contemporary environment. It is essential, as a global brand, to have a significant presence in key cities around the world. We have already launched flagship boutiques in Beijing and London, and today we are opening our doors to a new generation of Breitling enthusiasts in the country where the company was founded in 1884.»

Breitling’s newest brand ambassador, internationally renowned model Ronja Furrer, was also in attendance along with her boyfriend singer Stress.

Redefining industrial-chic luxury, the boutique’s interior space is divided over two floors. On the ground floor, Breitling’s watches are presented in vitrines and display cases whose design reflects the urban-loft ambience.

Upstairs is a bar and lounge area where visitors can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the boutique’s doors and enjoy a drink while exploring some of Breitling’s iconic collections.

Ronnie Schildknecht, Breitling CMO Tim Sayler, Jacques Bothelin and Dominique Gisin at the boutique opening.

Along with Adrian Bindella, CEO of Zett-Meyer, Steven Biedert, Breitling’s Brand Manager in Switzerland, and the brand’s celebrity guests, Georges Kern cut the ribbon, officially opening the Breitling Boutique Zurich.

Following the boutique opening, guests enjoyed cocktails an «unplugged» concert performance by Baschi, one of Switzerland’s most popular musicians. The singer arrived in style on a motorcycle created by iconic British brand Norton, one of Breitling’s partner companies.

The mock-up of the Breitling Jet Team aircraft – with its imposing dimensions (a height of 12.3 meters and a wingspan of 9.46 meters) – attracted attention throughout the event. It served as a stage for Baschi’s concert, and also provided a perfect photo opportunity.

A great night with a lot of fun, thank you, BREITLING, for having me!
Stay tuned for the outfit post coming up soon…

LoL, Sandra

Photos by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for Breitling
© Getty Images

My Look: Dogs & Watches

Thursday night, I attended Breitling‘s red-carpet event at Zurich’s Hallenstadion. The innovative Swiss watch brand celebrated the debut of its new Navitimer 8 collection and Breitling’s new global CEO, Georges Kern introduced his brand’s next chapter. The event was the European stop on Breitling’s international tour, which debuted in Shanghai in late January and which will move on to New York City at the end of February.

As 2018 marks the Year of the Dog, I’ve chosen an offbeat ode to one of my favorite four-legged friends with this dog print gown and hope that you will like it as much as I do.

My look: Dog print silk chiffon gown by Dolce & Gabbana, classic Paris D’Orsay pumps with bow and metallic-trimmed leather clutch, bothicon by Saint Laurent, necklace by Dior, and Mitza ring by Dior Haute Joaillerie.

LoL, Sandra

Georges Kern, CEO Breitling, introducing his brand’s next chapter.

With Patrick Liotard-Vogt

Always fun talking to former soccer player Günter Netzer and his lovely wife Elvira.

Walking into a #legendaryfuture…

Exploring Breitling’s versatile history and the new Navitimer 8 collection…

My Dolce & Gabbana gown is an ode to the Year of the Dog.

Having fun on the dance floor with Barbara Becker.

Thank you, Georges Kern, for this fantastic night!

Photos: © David Biedert Photography, Courtesy of Breitling © Alexander Scheubel, © Harold Cunningham, © Hervé Le Cunff for Blick, © Sandra Bauknecht