Why the Watch Worn by the Tour de France Champion Should Be on Your Radar
Tadej Pogačar finished the race in a Breitling Endurance Pro
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For those who missed the truly spectacular finish to the Tour de France in Paris, there are three moments to note.
First, in importance and competition, is Tadej Pogačar, who became the youngest winner in the post-WWII era at 21 years old (in what amounts to possibly the greatest of all birthday presents, Pogačar turned 22 the day after he climbed the podium). The Slovenian also became the first of his countrymen to win the race, and the first to win the yellow, polka-dot and white jerseys in the same year, thanks in large part by making up a miraculous 57-second deficit on the penultimate day. Second, despite several Tour staff members testing positive for COVID-19, none of the riders did.
Third, in a move that has mostly stayed in the realm of watch blogs, Pogačar finished out the race wearing a peculiar timepiece: a yellow Breitling Endurance Pro.
Introduced to the public back in August, the Endurance Pro seemed to be a sports watch built for people who can’t stomach giving Apple space on their wrist but also want something more affordable and, frankly, practical than other Swiss-made competitors. Whether you missed the release, skipped over it at first because Breitling isn’t on your radar, or wrote it off because it features a quartz movement instead of a mechanical, it’s worth your time to reconsider, and Pogačar wearing it has certainly made people come around.
Yes, this is a $3,000 quartz watch, if we want to indulge in that inane, Twitter-esque oversimplification. But if you look past the bullet points, there’s a compellingly built and styled timepiece here for people who want a daily wear that can make the transition from morning jog to the office (or, you know, home office) to the evening bike to the brewery. (Breitling calls it “the ultimate athleisure watch.”)
The movement is, specifically, a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz, which is not only 10 times more accurate than your run-of-the-mill quartz ticker, but it’s certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, or Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute). In short, this is a respected chronograph movement among watch nerds who know what they’re talking about, but also one that doesn’t require you, the sporty but not necessarily horologically inclined wearer, to deal with power reserves or winding or any of that. But there are the chronograph subdials, an inner pulsometer scale and compass scale bezel for some tool-watch-level functionality.
As for just the overall look on the wrist, are we dealing with a sort of unbuttoned LeBron situation, where the watch looks better on Pogačar because he’s a world-class athlete (with a matching yellow getup, no less)? Sure, that’s a factor. But even in a year of some truly outstanding colorful watches, the Endurance Pro is a unique champion of color, smartly incorporating the available hues of yellow, orange, red, blue and white. The dial itself is maxed out, with a date window squeezed in there with some oversized numbers, but among the plethora of maximalist watches on the market, this one remains perfectly legible, which a sports watch should be.
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