United under the "winged B", Breitling and Bentley form an alliance based on their shared values of exclusivity, prestige and performance. Know-how and tradition are two other such values.At Bentley, these reach their fullest expression in the exclusive Mulliner workshops, where several hundred uniquely talented specialists devote their experience and knowledge to personalising a Bentley. Craftsmanship, perfection and individuality are the guiding principles behind their work, culminating in the creation of even more exceptional automobiles. The culture of tradition and exclusivity is equally important for Breitling. It is in this frame of mind that the chronograph specialist has crafted a rare specimen of Haute Horlogerie dedicated to Bentley.The Grande Complication Bentley Masterpiece is a one-of-a-kind creation assembled on the basis of a century-old ébauche or movement blank from the Breitling archives. Over a year's work was required to produce it.
The Caliber 117 powering the Bentley Masterpiece is equipped with Minute Repeater, Perpetual Calendar and Chronograph functions. Not only does this mechanical masterpiece strike the hours, quarters and minutes (on request), but its perpetual calendar also indicates the date, the day of the week and the month - taking account of leap years - and even reveals the different phases of the moon during its rotation around the earth. Its single-pushpiece chronograph mechanism indicates 1/5ths of a second.
The finishing of this 19-lignes movement isextremely refined. The decorative "côtes de Genève" ribbing combines with circular-grained motifs; the surfaces of the components are drawn out with a file to create elegant parallel lines; the steel parts and bridges are meticulously hand-bevelled and their chamfer is polished, as are the screw-heads and the jewels. The spectacular beauty of this complex architecture is revealed through a transparent caseback. The 18-carat gold hunter-type case is composed of six parts and adorned on the cover and back with a signature Bentley motif.
The Bentley Masterpiece is a one-of-a-kind model that cannot and will never be duplicated, since the blanks required to manufacture such a watch are rare to the point of now being unobtainable. An official price has indeed not yet been set for the Bentley Masterpiece and its future owner will need to wait until the autumn of 2004 to acquire it during the Sotheby's year-end auctions in London.