Breitling has announced its partnership with English motorcycle producer Norton Motorcycles that will lead to the creation of unique common products and features. The eventual products will be inspired by each brand’s rich history and inevitably involve materials used by Norton high-performance bikes.
Breitling and Norton Motorcycles were both founded in the nineteenth century, of course separated by many miles between them. James Lansdowne Norton found his bike company in 1898 with the first product out in 1902, while Willy Breitling at that time had already been making high-quality timepieces for more than a decade, up in the Swiss Jura mountains.
Both companies are renowned in their own realms and beyond – Breitling has a strong reputation and link with the aviation sector, together with its role in the development of chronographs. Norton Motorcycles, on the other hand, is the famed bike manufacturer from Britain, famous for its products that reach out to all types of buyers, on or off the racetrack.
But it is the innovative factor that links the two companies. “Both companies are innovative and entrepreneurial, and have powerful legacies. At the same time, we are looking ahead toward what we at Breitling call ‘our legendary future’,” says Georges Kern, Breitling’s CEO.
Stuart Garner, who bought Norton Motorcycles in 2008 and has driven its extraordinary revival, agrees, saying, “I’ve always said that the key to a company’s success is to let the brand be the brand. This has been essential both at Norton Motorcycles and Breitling. We haven’t tried to change the nature of our brands or deny their histories. In fact, we revel in those histories and take inspiration from them while focusing on the future.”
The new watches will incorporate DNA elements from both brands, offering wristwatch and motorcycle fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to express their individuality by flying – at once – the colours of an emphatically Swiss watchmaker and the ultimate “British-made” motorcycle manufacturer.