One of the most prestigious fashion brands is the world, Burberry, is yet another fashion house which is trying to branch out and build up a reputation in the world of watchmaking. Albeit the British brand has previously launched several timepieces, its latest collection named Britain is a turning point since it is the first one which includes self-winding mechanical watches. Apart from three hand automatic timepieces, the series includes a flagship model with a power reserve indication. Additionally, the Britain collection also offers quartz models that can be with or without a chrono function.
From High-End Fashion towards Admirable Watchmaking
Founded in the mid 19th century, Burberry has come a long way from the manufacturer of an iconic trench coat to being one of the most recognized fashion brands, while its characteristic tartan pattern remains to be one of the most copied trademarks. Nowadays, after more than a century and a half, Burberry is established as a famous clothes, accessories and fragrances manufacturer with network of boutiques all around the world. Even though the new Britain series of timepieces is not the first one by Burberry, it shows its intention to establish itself as a more respected watchmaker, as was previously the case with some other fashion houses (for example, Chanel Premier Flying Tourbillon was selected as the best woman’s watch at this year’s GPHG awards, Dior VIII Grand Bal watch was also in the competition for this award, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton are also building quite a reputation in the industry).
The first watch series by Burberry which features automatic mechanical movements was designed by the Chief Creative Officer of the brand, the designer Christopher Bailey. The distinctive feature of the entire series is the presence of rounded octagonal cases with four screws on the bezel which are crafted in various dimensions, depending on the model and its functions (the largest being 47mm, while the smallest ladies’ models are 34mm wide). Likewise, there are differences in the value of the models: the highest priced ones cost around $4,000, while the cheapest ones are about $1,000. Unfortunately, the automatic models in the collection are exclusively intended for men, while woman’s timepieces are with quartz calibers.
The Star of the Series – Britain Power Reserve Watch
The flagship model of the collection is the model BBY1000. Apart from three hands and a date indication, it is also equipped with a remaining power reserve display (the power storage of the watch lasts for about 40 hours). The watch is running at the frequency of 4 Hz, thanks to its Soprod 9040 self-winding movement with 97 components and 24 jewels which includes Incabloc shock resistance system. Visible through the exhibition case back, the movement includes a rotor with circular Côtes de Genève pattern and Burberry’s logo engraving.
Its 47mm wide housing is made of stainless steel with gunmetal ionized plating. The entire case consists of 32 components and includes vertical brushed and beveled edge finishing. As for the water resistance, it can withstand pressure up to 50 meters. Burberry Britain Power Reserve Automatic timepiece has a matte gunmetal dial with luminous skeleton hands which is guarded with a sapphire crystal. For the attachment, the famous fashion brand chose a hand-stitched alligator leather strap with padding, made in the shade of brown that matches its iconic trench coats. Probably more caused by the prestige of the brand than the features of the timepiece itself, it has the price of $3,995.
The Best Bargain – Britain Automatic Three-Hand Watch
Arguably more elegant and much more affordable is the smaller (43mm wide) three-hand automatic model with the price of $1,795. It features the same shape, finishing and material of the case (just without the plating), as well as the transparent section on the back. In this case, the caliber is ETA 2824 movement with 25 jewels and Incabloc shock protection system. Likewise, the decorations on the movement match the ones on the flagship model. The list of shared traits also includes the material of wristlets (alligator leather) and the presence of a date display.
There are four variations of the model made with two different dial colors, as well as with two different bracelet materials. The first one of them is the version BBY1201 with a dial in the mentioned trench brown color. This watch is paired with a dark brown strap. Two other models with alligator leather attachments have matte black faces: the BBY1202 combines it with a tan colored strap; whereas BBY 1200 combines the dark face with a matching black wristlet. The final BBY1200 variation has the same black dial which is in this instance combined with a stainless steel bracelet with brushed finishing which fastens with a deployment buckle.
Quartz Models: Chronograph
The quartz model from the collection which is equipped with a chronograph feature has a larger case with the diameter of 47mm. The construction enables the highest water resistance in the collection – 100 meters. This men’s watch runs on Ronda 5050.D quartz caliber and it is, just like the previous model, available in four versions. The highest priced variation ($1,895) is the model BBY1003 with black ion plating on the case, as well as a matching matte black face and a black rubberized alligator strap. Additionally, there are two more black-faced chronographs with silver-colored housings: the BBY1000 ($1,395) with a black leather strap and BBY1002 ($1,695) with a steel bracelet. The last available chronograph is the model BBY1001 with a trench-colored face and a matte brown leather strap.
Quartz Ladies’ Watches
There are two basic sizes of women’s models from the Britain series, 38 and 34 mm. Regardless of the size, each of the watches is equipped with Ronda 703 three-hand quartz caliber. The price of these pieces is determined with the material of the strap and the presence of diamond decorations on the bezel. As for the larger-sized models, the most affordable ($995) ones, yet quite pricy for quartz timepieces are the BBY1500 (a skin colored dial and a trench leather strap) and the BBY15001 (a black face and a matching leather strap). The similar version with a black dial, but also with a stainless steel bracelet is worth $1,295, whereas the most lavish of 38mm wide models is the BBY1400. This model with the price of $3,995 also has a skin-colored dial and a trench leather strap, but it likewise includes 124 full-cut diamonds on the bezel (0.68 carats).
Finally, there are two models with the diameter of 34mm. The first one (the BBY1703) has a silver face, a stainless steel attachment and the price of $1,295, while the other one (the BBY1801) sports a white mother-of-pearl dial, a steel bracelet and it is decorated with 132 diamonds. The price of this diamond-studded version is $3,795. All women’s models have sapphire crystals and are water proof to 50 meters.