Next year, Breitling will be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their first Blackbird watch. Originally designated to be a ‘stealthier’ alternative to the Chronomat of the time, the 1995 Breitling Blackbird was a brushed steel chronograph in a subtle 40mm case. Roll the years forward to 2014 and the new Breitling Avenger Blackbird, and that subtlety has been firmly thrown out of the window, because at 48mm, this baby is about as subtle as a sonic boom!
The new Breitling Avenger Blackbird is an imposing beast, its purposeful presence accentuated all the more by the brooding all black shadow it casts, but being constructed in a grained black titanium case, and served up on a lightweight, water resistant military fabric strap, the weight of the watch belies its wrist-conquering size.
The size of the Avenger Blackbird means that beneath the sapphire crystal, the dial is expansive, and the ubiquitous noir is countered with white lettering and markings, and its almost magnolia lume (which has a reddish glow) on the hands and indices, and so day or night legibility is about as good as it gets. The date too is highlighted at the 3 o’clock position with a neat white box around its window and the slender seconds hand which starts out black is nicely tipped in red with a diamond of lume.
It’s an all action behemoth with a strong heart too: the bi-directional rotating bezel looks like it was forged by hammer and tong, and the chunky grenade-like crown screws home to safely seal from harm a Breitling B17 automatic, self winding COSC officially certified chronometer movement which beats with unerring reliability within.
Flipping the watch over reveals a lighter hue of titanium has been used for the screw-in caseback which features the Avenger collection’s unusual but strangely practical novelty with a simple weights and volumes converter engraved into the solid titanium around that legendary Breitling logo.
At 48mm the Avenger Blackbird is the largest of the Avenger family, and boasts resistance to water pressure to 300m; however whereas it is a worthy contender for the serious adventurer for whom his watch is an essential part of his survival kit, it is very large on the wrist if wearing anything with a cuff, and even so, not every wrist can carry it off successfully anyway, so it’s definitely not for the slightly built or faint of heart! Price: £3,760.00