Wayne Gretzky has won almost every award in the world of professional hockey, but he has never landed on any best-dressed lists. Maybe that’s why it’s taken until 2014 for the most celebrated of all hockey heroes to get his own namesake watch.
Recently, Gretzky has been relaxing into a distinguished gentleman style (as demonstrated here in Toronto earlier this month). It’s a look that’s sporty, and his Breitling Chronomat GMT Wayne Gretzky is a perfect fit for this new sartorial phase. Launched last October, this watch is a limited edition of 99 pieces (in honor of his famous jersey number) and available only in Canada to make it even more rare (if you can’t make it across the border, this watch is the next best thing).
On paper it would appear that this is a timepiece aimed at rabid collectors and fans. But look closer and you’ll notice that this handsome model is free of most of the logos and team branding associated with most jock watches. In fact, the only visible call out to the former L.A. Kings captain is the Gretzky name and number etched on the case back.
The Chronomat’s understated styling makes this tool watch appealing to any Breitling fan. With the chronograph dials and world time hands and rings, this complicated watch could have been too busy-looking to read. But the monochromatic markings (punched up with a red chapter ring) and stainless steel case and strap create a clean, unfussy frame for all of the functions.
There are plenty of other reasons why the Chronomat and Gretzky make such a good team. Both made a big splash in the ’80s—The Chronomat’s distinctive bezel and Winged “B” logo first appeared in 1984, the same year Gretzky won his first Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers. And his legacy is all about timing. The Chronomat GMT Wayne Gretzky’s Manufacture Breitling Caliber B04 self-winding movement is certified for accuracy by Switzerland’s official chronometer testing agency, the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres.
Finally, the crown-adjustable two time zone system lets the user easily reset the hours while traveling without having to reset the minute hand display. The rotating bezel provides a third time zone reading. Like Gretzky’s on-ice persona, Breitling Chronomat GMT is quick and smart.