I wasn’t particularly kind to the new Breitling Endurance Pro in our New Watch Alert. Like all the watches in the NWA, I passed judgement sight unseen. But I am nothing if not a fair man. So I hightailed it down to a local dealer to spend some quality time with a Pro. (Thanks Ben!) My conclusion: it’s a really expensive quartz watch. But it’s also . . .Thanks to its thermo-compensated COSC-certified Caliber 82 SuperQuartz movement, the Breitling Endurance Pro will keep time to the tune of ±10 seconds-per-year. That puts it ahead of the pack, but behind the ±5 seconds-per-year $1350 Longines V.H.P. and $3800 Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Quartz. Close enough for rock and roll? Yes! Unless you’re looking for temporal bragging rights. For a $3k watch, I’m thinking that’s a thing. Fortunately, the Breitling has a few other tricks up its horological sleeve. Specifically, its weight. Or lack thereof.
The Breitling Endurance Pro is not for those who worry about the unbearable lightness of being – it weighs just 65 grams dripping wet.
The 65g carbon fiber Formex Leggera and 55 gram titanium OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra-Light are “proper” mechanical watches that are as light or lighter than the Endurance Pro. The OMEGA costs $48,600. The Formex clocks in at $1650. So there is that.
Credit the 44mm Endurance’s quartz movement and Breitlight case for the watch’s lack of heavy. Breitling’s carbon composite is 3.3 times lighter than titanium, 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, non-magnetic, thermally stable, hypoallergenic and “highly resistant” to scratches, traction and corrosion.And it makes the watch feel like a plastic toy. The Endurance Pro’s orange strap, second hand, crown guard, pusher tips and interior bezel do nothing to counter that impression, and much to enhance it.
Running the chrono dispels at least some of the frivolity. Press the Endurance Pro’s pusher – the action is sharp and precise. The orange second hand slams through the seconds, the right hand subdial goes nuts, spinning once a second, and the top left subdial counts the minutes.The bottom subdial also counts the seconds. Blame the redundancy on the bright orange pulsometer chapter ring, included to position the Endurance Pro as “the ultimate athleisure watch.”
In other words, Breitling’s marketing mavens are targeting well-heeled exercise junkies who don’t measure their heart rate with a smartwatch. Both of them.C’mon man! We all know the Endurance Pro is a fashion statement. Thirty minute timer? Crayola colors? If that doesn’t identify the Pro as a tool watch for pulse-quickening S&M (standing and modelling), what about the bezel compass?
The Breitling Endurance Pro bi-directional bezel compass is beautifully rendered; it glides around the dial like a curling stone on fresh ice. That said, if you’re lost in the northern hemisphere in a non-tropical wilderness and need to head in a particular direction, any watch will do.
To use your Breitling Endurance Pro watch as an approximate compass outside of the tropics in the northern hemisphere, hold the watch horizontal and point the hour hand at the sun. Half way between that point and the twelve o’clock mark on your watch points to the south.
The Truth About Sundials! Anyway, the Breitling Endurance Pro’s dial is a dog’s breakfast.Some bright spark decreed that the 12, 3, 6 and 9 indices had to be REALLY BIG and decided “we don’t need no stinkin’ 12! Put the Breitling logo there.”
Then the subdial monsters took a big bite out of the 3 and 6 (rendering them semi-legible) and pretty much devoured the 6. The same creatures all but eliminated the 2 and 10. Only six numerals made it through the attack.
Just for fun, there’s “ENDURANCE” below the dial’s midpoint on the left, bang opposite “CHRONOMETER.” It’s no surprise the date window’s retreated to a relatively quiet corner between the 4 and 5.I love the Breitling Endurance Pro’s featherweight fighting weight, revel in its durability, worship its amazing accuracy and smile at its technicolor dreamcoat (also available in yellow, blue, red and black).
But the Pro’s premium price and busy AF dial are genuine deal killers. Sometimes first impressions last.