A Lifestyle Statement in the Water, on the Track, and in the Air
Breitling took to the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz for the launch of its Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch, which comes in two versions: 18 k red gold and stainless steel. The brand also celebrated its powerful links to two thrilling sports – motorcycling and surfing. Since 2012, Wheels and Waves, the world’s leading motorcycle, surfing, and skateboarding festival, has attracted visitors from all over the world – who are drawn to the festival’s dynamic yet cool atmosphere – to the popular resort town.
Wheels and Waves is a festival like no other. Each June, thousands of visitors find their way to Biarritz, where they are treated to displays of world-class surfing, motorcycle racing, and skateboarding. This year, as Official Timekeeper, Breitling was on hand throughout the festival, which proved once again to be a platform that authentically embodies the Swiss watch manufacture’s Land and Sea brand worlds. The third world, Air, was well represented on Friday night as the Breitling Jet Team dazzled festivalgoers, flying through the skies above Biarritz.
The Wheels and Waves organizers are very excited about Breitling’s active role at the festival. Jérôme Allé said, “We’ve completely enjoyed working with Breitling and are thrilled by the support we’ve had from Georges Kern and his Squads. They share our passions and our commitment to engaging with our community. Breitling lives up to its reputation as a cool, inclusive brand, and the Squad brought those values to this year’s Wheels and Waves.”
Breitling CEO Georges Kern said, “At Wheels and Waves, we highlighted the passions we share with the festival: a cool, laid-back surfing lifestyle and sporty, elegant motorbikes. It also gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to people who, like us, are driven by action, purpose, and style – and we launched a watch that celebrates the festival that expresses those values.”
The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Wheels and Waves Limited Edition
One of the festival’s highlights was the launch of the Breitling Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition on Thursday, June 13. It has been produced in both an 18 k red gold version, limited to 100 pieces, and a stainless-steel version issued in a series of 500 pieces. The cases in both metals feature an engraved plate with a Breitling SPECIAL inscription on the left side.
These watches are set apart by their unique anthracite dial with golden hour markers, hour and minute hands, and a red central seconds hand. The dial features a black tachymeter scale on a white inner bezel, with a red tachymeter inscription. These COSC-certified chronometers have contrasting black subdials (a chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock) – a mark that they are powered by Breitling’s flagship Manufacture Caliber 01.
The in-house mechanical movement, which offers a power reserve of about 70 hours, is visible through a transparent caseback. The caseback for the 18 k red gold version is engraved with a “ONE OF 100” inscription; the stainless-steel model is engraved “ONE OF 500”.
The red gold and the stainless-steel versions are presented on a brown nubuck leather strap.
Breitling CEO Georges Kern points out how the Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch brilliantly reflects his brand’s partnership with the festival: “With this chronograph, we have created a very special version of our Premier, which is Breitling’s most elegant watch family. At the same time, they reflect the things we love about Wheels and Waves: the energy, the lifestyle, and, as I’ve said before, the coolness.”
Breitling and the sports showcased at Wheels and Waves
Some special guests were on hand to help Breitling celebrate Wheels and Waves. The brand was joined by celebrated French actor, director, screenwriter, and motorcycle enthusiast Guillaume Canet, Swiss top model Ronja Furrer, and WSL surfer Jérémy Florès, who is a member of Breitling’s French Squad.
On Thursday evening, a graffiti wall, with a Wheels and Waves-themed painting by artist Tristan Barroso, was unveiled at the Artride event. Georges Kern welcomed his guests and introduced the Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch.
On Friday, there was a Breitling Surfers Squad lesson with Jérémy Florès, who generously shared tips with participants of all levels. Some of Breitling’s guests were involved not only with the surfing tutorial, but also in the Deus Swank Rally Enduro Race on Friday, along with Breitling CEO Georges Kern and Guillaume Canet. A dedicated Breitling ride was followed by the main race, whose winner was presented with a Breitling watch.
The Wheels and Waves festival, with its unique focus on surfing and motorcycling, represents an ideal opportunity for Breitling to showcase its close links to both sports. Breitling already enjoys a partnership with Norton Motorcycles, the world’s oldest motorcycle brand, and it has a long and strong association with motor sports, including a link to Bentley. In fact, the partnership between Breitling and Bentley is the world’s longest-standing partnership between a watch brand and an automobile manufacturer.
Meanwhile, the Breitling Surfers Squad, which consists of world stars Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Sally Fitzgibbons, has elevated Breitling’s profile on the surfing scene. Indeed, Breitling is also set to serve as Official Timekeeper at the 2019 World Surf League’s Freshwater Pro in Lemoore, California.
Wheels and Waves – a new Breitling tradition
Breitling has always been a luxury watch brand, but in terms of its attitude, style, and the sports it supports, it is truly inclusive. At Wheels and Waves, thousands of visitors had a chance to interact with the brand and they were able to identify with Breitling, its stories, and its Squads. In Biarritz, Breitling took its message directly to the people, engaging men and woman of action, purpose, and style.
Breitling hopes to see you at Wheels and Waves 2020.