Last month, with family households around the country festooning their living room windows with rainbow decorations to convey a message of solidarity and community in the face of the coronavirus crisis, a quota of just 250 Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition watches with rainbow-coloured indexes sold out in a flash.
Now, a new 1000-piece edition, this time with a blue dial, are available for pre-order with a view to a July delivery: and you get more for your outlay than a truly eye-catching timepiece – Breitling will be donating CHF500,000 (just over £420,000) of the proceeds of the watch to charities supporting the frontline healthcare workers in some of the most affected countries. In addition to this sum, Breitling’s retailers in the UK have also agreed to pledge an additional £1,000 per watch sold.
One recipient will be Fondation de France, which helps healthcare workers finance research projects and supports local social workers and charities that work with the most vulnerable; another will be the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) in Japan, an organisation providing medical treatment and research resources for infectious diseases including COVID-19; in Italy, support will be given to the Humanitas hospital group, which supports people affected by the pandemic in vartious ways.
Spain’s Ministry of Health and the American humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief will also receive much needed funds, while here in the UK, financial support will be given to NHS Charities Together, whose charities support NHS staff and COVID-19 patients.
As for the watch itself, it has a 42-millimeter stainless-steel case circumscribed by a bidirectional rotating bezel with an ultrahard blue ceramic bezel ring and a blue dial. The colour highlights marking the hours at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock and the Super-LumiNova® coating on the hour and minute hands, graduating from yellow to orange via green, blue, indigo, violet and red, make the piece even more chromatically striking.
The more flamboyant might take things even further though: As well as the standard gold-brown vintage-inspired leather strap with pin or folding buckle or an integrated Ocean Classic stainless-steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp, owners can also opt for the vibrant Outerknown ECONYL® yarn NATO strap, available separately in one of six colour combinations. The caseback, meanwhile, is engraved with the words “ONE OF 1000”.
The Breitling Caliber 10 self-winding mechanical movement – bidirectional with ball bearing and a 42-hour power reserve – lies within.
“We were amazed by the popularity of the Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition, which told us that we could do something for the incredible healthcare workers,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “They have sacrificed so much and we wanted to make it clear how much we care with this new version of our own rainbow.”