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    Adventure Watches

    Watches — 4 April 2017

    Brave face:
    Pioneering watches

    Whether you aspire to fly to the moon or dive to the ocean floor, these timepieces will inspire your next audacious adventure

    Photography: Milo Reid 

    Words: Simon de Burton

    Breguet Type XXI

    Breguet Type XXI

    Breguet Type XXI

    Watchmaker Abraham Louis Breguet’s great, great grandson Louis-Charles was a pioneer aviator whose aircraft company built notable planes such as the Breguet 19, which achieved the first non-stop flight from Paris to New York in 1930. His influence in early aviation made him the obvious choice to advise when the Breguet watch firm began making cockpit instruments and pilot watches – one of the most famous of which was the ‘Type 20’ of 1954. The latest Type XXI flyback chronograph pictured here harks back to the past with its slate-grey dial, buff markings and rugged calfskin strap. £9,900; breguet.com

    Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black

    Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black

    Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black

    To mark the centenary of the watchmaking company founded by Louis Brandt in 1848, Omega launched the first of its now-celebrated ‘Master’ series of pro tool watches – the Seamaster. It’s a name that’s since graced dozens of models, ranging from the Ploprof dive watch to understated dress watches, all of which earned the name by dint of being waterproof. The latest variation is this rugged Planet Ocean model featuring a one-piece case made from black ceramic that’s safe down to 600m. Inside you’ll find Omega’s ultra-accurate master chronometer movement with GMT function. £7,900; omegawatches.com

    Bell & Ross BR-X1 HyperStellar

    Bell & Ross BR-X1 HyperStellar

    Bell & Ross BR-X1 HyperStellar

    It’s been three years since Bell & Ross unveiled the BR-X1, created as a tribute to the rocket-powered Bell X-1 – the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in 1947, piloted by US Air Force captain Chuck Yeager. This HyperStellar version of it gets a special, ultra-light 45mm case made from titanium and blue-anodised aluminium and enhanced by protective blue rubber inserts. The open worked dial is made from grey-tinted sapphire crystal, and the movement can also be seen from the other side through a blue-tinted sapphire case-back. Only 250 examples of the watch will be made.
    £14,000; bellross.com

    Richard Mille RM 36-01 Tourbillon Competition G-Sensor - Sébastien Loeb

    Richard Mille RM 36-01 Tourbillon Competition G-Sensor – Sébastien Loeb

    Richard Mille RM 36-01 Tourbillon Competition G-Sensor – Sébastien Loeb

    Inspired by rally star Sébastien Loeb’s record-breaking drive up the 12-mile Pikes Peak course, Richard Mille’s RM 36-01 G-Sensor watch is designed to display the level of G-force being exerted on the wearer during similarly extreme situations. The rotary sensor measures just 17mm in diameter, contains 50 separate components and can show forces of up to 6G through a moving weight connected to a needle, which oscillates between green (mild force) and red (critical). A prod of the button in the centre of the dial will reset it.
    POA; richardmille.com

    Tudor Pelagos LHD

    Tudor Pelagos LHD

    Tudor Pelagos LHD

    If you want a classic dive watch but can’t afford a Rolex Submariner, the maker’s more affordable sister brand, Tudor, might have the answer. Despite being beautifully made and packing an in-house, mechanical movement, the new ‘left hand drive’ Pelagos costs little more than £3,000. And not only is it supplied with both a metal bracelet and rubber strap, it also comes with
    an interesting history, having been inspired by the Tudor dive watches supplied to the French Navy during the 1970s – sometimes with winding crowns on the ‘wrong side’ for the benefit of left-handed divers.
    £3,020; tudorwatch.com

    Breitling Chronospace Evo Night Mission

    Breitling Chronospace Evo Night Mission

    Breitling Chronospace Evo Night Mission

    Known for making professional watches for pilots and adventurers, Breitling likes to target buyers who consider themselves ‘on a mission’ – as is the case with the new Chronospace Evo Night Mission, featuring a lightweight titanium case blackened with a hard-wearing, carbon-based treatment. The deep-blue dial adds to the stealthy look, with functionality enhanced by a unidirectional dive bezel and a screw-down crown and pushpieces to ensure the watch is waterproof down to 100m. The split-second Breitling SuperQuartz movement makes for both chronometer-certified accuracy and an affordable price tag.
    £3,765; breitling.com