Monochrome Watches
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The Collector’s Series – a Londoner Gentleman and his Breitling Transocean Chronograph

| By Frank Geelen | 4 min read |

The Breitling Transocean was originally released in 1958. We are familiar with its current form. A fresh, contemporary take on the classic chronographs of the 1950s and 1960s. So, let’s say you’re a suave gent, city dweller maybe…why (other than seeing David Beckham wearing one in their ads) would you buy one? We found out this week on the Collector’s Series, by sitting down with one of London’s true gents to discuss his Breitling Transocean Chronograph.

James Massey is one of the most well respected men in luxury. Having worked in London for the past few years, it simply isnt possible to go to an event and not see James or mention him (in a good way James). He is omnipresent when it comes to luxury.  Having started his early career in communications at Nestlé as an Assistant Brand Manager, he soon found himself at LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and spent seven years in their marketing department. In 2007 he joined Finch & Partners, as Head of their Press Division and in May 2010, he took over his family PR and Communications firm, the Massey Partnership, focusing on providing representation to the finest brands in the world. ”We’re lucky enough to represent some extraordinary brands, from Acqua di Parma, Vilebrequin, Crockett & Jones and Gieves & Hawkes, to Shangri-La and Ritz Carlton”. As Managing Director of the company you can imagine he is a busy man. However we caught up with him last week to discuss why the Breitling Transocean and what’s next.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph B01 - Collectors Series - 1

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When did you first get into watches James?

My father used to be given lots of watches in his job so I always paid attention.

Tell us about how and when you came to own your Transocean?

I just fell in love with the Transocean when Breitling launched it. It was an easy call.

What drew you to Breitling as a brand?

Its an important brand and its still independent, which is rare. I don’t think any serious watch lover doesn’t admire the Navitimer – it’s a genuine icon.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph B01 - Collectors Series - 2

Why the Transocean model from their range?

I felt it was less known than the Navitimer – perhaps more modern. But beautiful.

What is your favourite feature of the watch James?

Clean dial, classic logo, modest size, great bracelet

Can you tell us more about the movement of the Breitling Transocean, James? 

Well it’s Breitling’s first in house chronograph movement. The 01. Lots of brands seem to make claims and counter claims. But Breitling built the factory and they built the movement. Quite straight forward. Much like Breitling in fact.

What is the case material? 

Stainless steel with traditional Breitling’s mesh bracelet, also in stainless steel.

How much wrist time does it get?

Really quite a lot. 3 days a week? I rarely wear a watch at the weekend as my 3 year old son associates them with me leaving for work.

What sort of day/event do you find yourself strapping it on?

Everyday timekeeping. It’s a highly versatile watch. You really can wear it with a suit or shorts.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph B01 - Collectors Series - 2

Do you seek advice of anyone before buying?

Not really. For a serious investment, yes of course. But for everyday wearing, it seems to me to be about whether you want to wear it everyday or not.

What three words first come to mind when you think of your Transocean?

Robust, aviation, 50’s

In your experience, do you think a collector ever be fully satisfied with his/her collection?

Gosh I hope so. I just can’t wait to give mine (which is tiny and worth very little) to my sons

If a friend who wasn’t into watches asked for three reasons to start collecting what would you say?

There is one reason. You can tell an awful lot about a man from the watch he wears.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph B01 - Collectors Series - 7

What piece of advice would you give to someone considering starting a collection?

I’ll really start off with buying something you like. I think there is a difference between between a collector and an investor.

When collecting do you think its important to stick to a brand or a category (Patek/IWC or Aviation/ Dive)

Probably. If you want to become an expert (which I certainly am not!)

Breitling Transocean Chronograph B01 - Collectors Series - 6

What (if anything) have you got your eye on next?

The only one is my Dad’s Rolex Submariner. He was given it by Rolex when he trained with the 1983 British entry to the America’s Cup. And well. He’s my Dad.

Is the Breitling Transoocean a keeper? 

Of course!  I love it.

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