Now Reading
Point of View: Why The Breitling Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham Will, Indeed, Spice Up Your Life

Point of View: Why The Breitling Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham Will, Indeed, Spice Up Your Life

1. February 2024

It’s been 16 years since Victoria Beckham launched her eponymous clothing line. Now, in 2024, the Victoria Beckham brand is a key fixture at Fashion Week, offering playful blends of masculine and feminine tailoring alongside unfailingly sophisticated designs. What better partner, then, than horology house Breitling, which continues to be recognised as one of the coolest, up-to-date brands on the watch scene, with an increasing number of millennial and Gen Z fans joining their ranks.

Together, Breitling and Victoria Beckham are introducing a new line of limited edition watches, which will be dubbed the Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham collection. The limited edition line will consist of a mere 1,500 pieces: 400 each of the three steel versions, and 100 of three gold iterations.

Design Inspiration: Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2024

The Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2024 fashion line centred itself around the British countryside as well as ‘ballet’s emotional and somatic impressions on clothes and the way the body carries them.’ The latter inspiration owes itself to Victoria Beckham’s early years, in which she studied classical and contemporary ballet. For this year’s collection, Beckham played with a diverse range of designs using sheer materials, transformative shapes, leotards, flowing garments as well as elegant silks. Within the collection, the ‘dove grey’ and ‘peppermint’ colours are particularly prevalent, while the ‘midnight blue’ makes a couple of memorable but seemingly less frequent appearances. Pink also plays a role in the collection, although Victoria Beckham evidently opted to keep this particularly feminine colour out of her collaborative Breitling watch line.

Special touches on the case and bracelet

The new watches match well to Victoria Beckham’s brand, with her own line’s popularity owed largely to its chic, all-purpose designs. Accordingly, the 36 mm cases of these limited edition Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham models retain all of the Chronomat‘s hallmark features. This includes the metal rouleaux bracelet and raised rider tabs at the 15-minute mark. Excitingly for fashionistas and horology fans alike, the watches will not only be available in steel but also in yellow gold – a material specifically revived by Breitling for use on this special line. Another nice touch is the subtle integration of the VB/Victoria Beckham logos across the bracelet’s clasp. As always, these watches are water-resistant to 100 m.

No surprise: An alluring array of dial colours by Victoria Beckham

The dials also showcase some special features in light of the collaboration – but the first thing to strike you upon seeing these watches is the very attractive colour palette. First up are the four steel pieces, appearing with either a midnight blue, peppermint or dove grey dial – with the latter also subtly integrating diamonds on the hour markers. As fans of VB will know, these colours are all extracted from Beckham’s own Spring/Summer 2024 palette. Meanwhile, the gold versions’ dial colours include midnight blue, peppermint, as well a more neutral sand tone. The midnight blue stands out (particularly in yellow gold) thanks to its deep, rich colour, which gives it a luxe aesthetic that, in my mind, evokes the Vacheron Overseas rose-gold models with equally intense dark blue dials.

Further unique details on the dial

Just like the case and bracelet, the Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham dials integrate a few finer points not found on your typical Chronomat. In honour of the collaboration, the dials feature both the Breitling logo on the dial as well as Victoria Beckham’s initials, which were innovatively added to the seconds hand. In addition, beneath the proud inscription ‘CHRONOMETER’, emphasising that the watch is COSC-certified, the dials bear the words ‘One of 400’ for the stainless-steel pieces, and ‘One of 100’ for the glowing gold limited editions.

How to style it

Whether Beckham’s ‘British countryside’ aspect overtly comes out in the watch collection is debatable, but the steel models would certainly pair nicely with your classic green Barbour and Hunters on a country stroll in Oxfordshire, while I can picture the handsome gold editions flashing over brunch at Daylesford Organic. The Chronomat is a famously versatile model, and Beckham’s sophisticated colour pairings make these new limited edition pieces equally easy to style.

The movement: Breitling Calibre 10

What a delight to have not only an indubitably stylish watch, but one with an excellent movement. As always for the current Chronomat 36, the reliable calibre 10 ticks away inside. A staple movement at the manufacture using an ETA base, it can also be found in a handful of other watches such as the Superocean Heritage 57. Offering hours, minutes, seconds and a date function at 6 o’clock (this function is surely a must for a boss like Beckham), the watch has a decent 42-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 4 Hz.

The Verdict: Breitling Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham

I genuinely love this Breitling Chronomat Automatic 36 Victoria Beckham collection because for all the collabs out there, it’s still rare to see such a prolific fashion designer work with a horology house. What’s more, Breitling and Beckham are a genuinely good fit for each other. Breitling continues to push forward as the ultimate ‘cool’ brand, as its edgy monochrome, celeb-filled campaigns in recent years have accentuated. Likewise, Victoria Beckham is the ultimate ‘it girl’ in the industry, not least since her and her husband’s recent documentary garnered attention for their open and approachable recounting of their turbulent years in the limelight and their humble or not-so-humble beginnings – ‘Be honest’ – ‘I am being honest!’

The former Posh Spice is a relatable and highly likeable British icon – and while her husband is firmly on the Tudor bandwagon, as we saw for ourselves during his appearance at the launch of the Tudor Ranger, it’s about time Victoria Beckham came into her own in the watch world. After all, the evidence would have us believe she’s already an avid enough watch collector, with the likes of a gold Cosmograph Daytona and Patek Nautilus Rose Gold Ref. 7118/1300R-00 making an appearance on her wrist.

“If you’re going to do something, do it properly, I think. Otherwise there is no point in doing it at all.”

Victoria Beckham – The New York Times

A final point that makes this collection such a triumph is the fact that prior to 2018, Breitling’s supply for its female followers was far less fruitful. A mere six years later, not only have the women’s offerings moved forward in leaps and bounds – not least with the introduction of the lab-grown diamond Chronomat 38 –  but, thanks to this collaboration, the brand has also now gained one of the most powerful fashion female faces possible.

Ultimately, it’s extremely impressive to see how much of her own style and character has been imbued into this iconic Breitling model while changing none of the hallmark features: but, as Beckham once told The New York Times, “If you’re going to do something, do it properly, I think. Otherwise there is no point in doing it at all.” Isn’t that what horology is all about? |