The Avenger Hurricane Military by Breitling is truly super-tough in its looks, and its gigantic 50 mm case requires a bodybuilt wrist to wear it. I’m always a bit suspicious about unfit people wearing camouflage trousers, who make me think “Hey, come on, who are you kidding?” with the same sort of annoyance that I feel when my view ahead on the motorway is blocked by an enormous off-road vehicle whose spotless appearance indicates that the only off-road driving it does is riding up onto the pavement to park more easily.
But there is a lot of genuinely tough stuff in the Avenger Hurricane Military. First of all, the case, in Breitlight. This proprietary material is presumably some sort of carbon polymer, and its principal characteristic is its lightness, a third the weight of titanium and a sixth the weight of steel. It has a high scratch resistance and it doesn’t expand or contract much with heat or cold. Moulding and machining this stuff can’t be easy and probably contributes quite a bit to the watch’s price tag of €8,510. It has a mottled grey look that visually resembles a sort of metal but it’s strikingly light and warm when you take it in your hand. The bezel, complete with its four rider tabs, rotates unidirectionally. So you can use the zero marker on the bezel, with its dot of beige SuperLuminova, for countdowns using one of the hands. The rider tabs are slightly raised and help protect the watchglass. The case is water-resistant to 100 metres which means that it can be used in conditions of water spray and splashes, for surface swimming, snorkelling and water-skiing. Not for diving. The chronograph pushers must never be used underwater or in the presence of any water. The crown is screw-down, and the caseback is solid, no display window. The thick sapphire watchglass has an anti-reflective coating on both sides to ensure good visibility. The strap has a textile exterior with a black rubber lining and sides.
It would take me a while to get used to a 24-hour watch like this. Reading the minutes is intuitive, but I’d have to look at the hour hand more carefully. There is a complete quarter-second scale for use with the chronograph seconds hand, and a hundredths scale on the inner bezel flange. I guess that in some situations it’s easier to add two times together when the minutes are decimal, i.e. 1.6 hours instead of one hour and 36 minutes. Hour and minute hands, and the numerals and hour markers, have a coating of beige SuperLuminova. The subdials are conventional, 30 chronograph minutes and 12 chronograph hours, continuous seconds on the left. The date is positioned diagonally, jammed in between the 8 and 10 numerals, but there is a positive feature about this date display: it can be adjusted at any time of day, even at the midnight hour at which most brands say that their watches mustn’t be date-adjusted at this time. This is a Breitling patent.
Another reason for the €8,000-plus price tag is the Breitling Calibre B12 movement, a self-winding chronograph calibre with 24-hour time display. It was designed and built in-house, and it has a column wheel controlling the chronograph functions, with a vertical clutch. The movement is chronometer-certified by COSC. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz), and provides over 70 hours power reserve.
Price and availability
The Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, price €8,510. Further information from the Breitling website.