Breitling – The Official Timing Partner of Malle London


Breitling – The Official Timing
Partner of Malle London


The phone rang precisely at 9.00am on a Monday morning. ”Good Morning, this is Mr Georges Kern from Switzerland, I work with Breitling, we don’t know exactly what Malle does, but we like it a lot!”. After several meetings with the Breitling team at their townhouse on Regent Street and a mutual appreciation of motorcycles, a short conversation very naturally and quickly formed into a partnership, a partnership based on a need and based on time. With every experiential project that Malle works with, time and timing are one of the key elements. An area that the Malle team have little authority on, but Breitling have paved the way for generations.

The Great Malle Rally x Breitling


In late June, as restrictions we’re lifted nationally, we were finally given the green light to host ‘The Great Malle Rally 2021’ the longest motorcycle rally ever hosted in Great Britain, with 100+ riders on custom and classic motorcycles venturing 1500 miles from the most southern tip of England to the very Northern tip of Scotland, 6 stages, 5 checkpoints a day, 25 Rally teams and at the end, one winning team! But this is not a Rally based on speed, or agility, this is a cross country adventure based on time.

As we packed up the last Land Rover in London, about to head for the start line on the Southern tip of Cornwall, the Breitling timepieces arrived for The Malle Rally Squad. The Marshalls, team leaders, engineers and the official time keeper each took a Breitling chronometer on their wrist, all synchronised and now with complete authority we could time each stage, checkpoint and mile down to the second, all 1500 miles of them.

Only the official time keeper of the Malle Rally knows how long each stage should take a team to complete and the exact time they should reach each checkpoint. For every minute early or late the team loses a point. The team with the closest score to the perfect time takes the lead that day – and this brings a new and fun challenge to the Rally experience. But for everyone who has ever completed a cross country trip, a long distance event or a motorcycle Rally, they know that it’s all about completing and not competing. The journey is the adventure and to a certain extent what will be, will be! Mechanical issues, unexpected weather conditions, lost components and many other known and often unknown factors all create the unique experience for the Rally teams and the support crews as they all pull together, with the joint focus of crossing that finish line together, by any means necessary.

The winning team completed the 1498 miles on the 2021 Rally in precisely 2326 minutes, riding a mixture of custom and classic motorcycles. As the sun set on the desolate Northern tip of Scotland and the golden sunset flooded the Rally camp, the sound of a champagne cork and a hundred cheers filled the tents and marked the end of a wild trip, that brought so many people together, over a share passion for motorcycles, travel and adventure and after 18 months of lock-down across the UK, this was more needed than ever.

The Malle Mile X Breitling


Later in the summer we had the pleasure of welcoming the Breitling team to The Malle Mile festival – 3 days of racing and Malle motorcycle culture, hosted in a beautiful medieval castle and 600 acres of deer park in the heart of the British countryside.

‘The Dash’ was the first ever speed trial to be hosted at ‘The Mile’ in 2021, with an array of custom and classic race motorcycles entered into the 1/8th of a mile trial, with over 150 motorcycles entering in total. Each rider is given a test lap to check the machine and track, followed by 2 attempts to log the fastest time over the 201 meter course, which leads up the Royal entrance of the Castle.

If this first Dash taught us one thing; never judge a book by its cover! While most riders were sporting full race leathers, one rider appeared at the start line in a pretty summer dress, black tights and red lipstick. Possibly more suited to the evenings after party than the race track, but for those who know The Mile, anything goes, and in this case, anything goes fast! If you looked a little harder, beneath the tights; full body race armour and abrasion resistant kevlar sleeves, this was no first time racer and after she logged 2 consecutive fastest times against all of the other riders, coming in at 8.25 seconds, this unknown rider not only took the fastest time overall, but was obviously the best dressed too! Rumour has it that motorcycle racing and stunt riding might not just be a hobby for her.

Another first for The Mile in 2021 was ‘The Art of Sprint’. A head to head, invitation only drag race, from the gates of the castle up the North Avenue. Every machine exhibited in the Mile art-show ‘The Art of Sprint’ are invited and for the first time we invited 2, 3 and 4 wheel participants. Rolling in on 2 wheels we have high-end and highly customised drag bikes from Royal Enfield Including their famous LockStock bike and he Sinroja Sprit bike, all based on the lightweight Enfield 650 Interceptor), a custom BMW, an electric Energica, a classic Ducati and a vintage Norton. With a custom Morgan 3 Wheeler being the only official trike and on 4 wheels, a beautiful Hot-Rod from Krazy Horse and Old Red from Craig Callum. Being a single track, head to head drag race, it’s wide enough for 2 motorcycles, but everything with more than 2 wheels was timed as part of the sprint race. As the start line flags dropped, two Breitling chronometers would start and stop as soon as the finish line flag dropped, as the motorcycles and hot rods sped across the finish line.

To celebrate the start of the partnership between Breitling and Malle, Breitling very kindly gifted a beautiful Breitling watch to Malle to mark the occasion. Since the very first Malle Mile, our focus has always been on bringing the motorcycle community together, creating new culture and fun to the motorcycle world and like most of the riders at The Mile we’ve never been too focused on winning. But this year, secretly before the racing started, we decided that whoever won ‘Man of The Mile’ would win the Breitling watch, this would not be repeated in any other year.

One very talented rider, who has been racing at The Mile for several years kept arriving back at the start line again and again, in every race event all weekend, if nothing else he was already in the lead to take ‘most dedicated rider’ award and always with a grin from ear to ear. He was riding an Electric Zero dirt bike and very quickly this combination of electricity and racing talent were proving hard to beat, after Joe Banks took the win in the final race of the final day up The Hill Climb, after 2 false starts, he narrowly took the win over a very quick and very hardworking custom CCM. At the awards ceremony, Joe was welcomed on stage to win the customary Malle Mile goodie bag and a bottle of whiskey, but to his surprise he was awarded the winning Breitling Mile timepiece and very well deserved.

The Malle Mile Beach Race


In our final race event of the summer, we were once again back on the beautiful Margate Sands for The Malle Mile Beach Race 2021, with Breitling as the official timing partner and the final heats fro each class were timed and logged to set the bench mark for the 2022 beach races.

Finding like-minded brands and creative people with a shared vision is paramount for a successful partnership and collaboration. In 2021 we planted another 2904 trees, as part of our ‘One Bike One Tree’ project, with one tree being planted for every motorycle that enters each Malle experience – with the International Tree Foundation. Our modest forest of now 6139 trees is growing larger each year. The more we travel and explore the world, the more we need to protect it and the wild spaces we want to explore in the future. We have been inspired by Breitling’s work for a more sustainable future with SUGi and share their values for a wilder planet. A huge thank you to Breitling for their support and help to keep the Malle squad on a mission and on time in 2021.

Next year expect to see more from Breitling across all of the Malle experiences, from racing at The Malle Mile festival, to The Great Malle Rally in Britain and The Great Malle Mountain Rally, with riders crossing the entirety of The Alps mountain range, from east to West, from Austria to Monaco.