Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chronomat by Breitling

B13048 Chronomat 
Since 1894 Breiltling has been putting out instruments that have measured and withstood the tests of time.  One of the most iconic lines of Breitling has been the Chronomat, and infact it has been their number 1 seller since 1984. 

The Breitling Chronomat has always been an important and quality time piece.  The original Chronomat's employed the famous slide rule also/later? found on the Breitling Navitimer.  The Modern Chronomat introduced in 1984 is a piece that is designed to be Rolex' better which it would need to be to compete against such an iconic and venerable brand. 

Although Breitling arrived to the "in-house" (movement) party late they instead focused on the case, the band, the function, the build, and execution of the movement used.  Breitling's are all COSC since 2000 and I've been told by Roff the Prof at that all modern Breitlings can be overhauled and regulated within COSC specifications. In all of these areas Breitling outpaced its competitors Rolex and Omega for years until the late 2000's. 

~94 - newer models use 25 jewel 7750 or B01 movements
The finish on a Breitling Chronomat is hard to describe.  The old Colt II could be considered on par build wise with a similar vintage submariner, with greater depth resistance classic styling in a small form factor.  The Chronomat has always been the "CEO father" of the "military son", the Colt, which took its design, dialed back finishing/cost, and improved its durability for military use.  The Chronomat is noticeably built better than the Colt and you can compare it's finish to a high end Rolex such as a Daytona but its not quite there (though each iteration bridges the gap). 

The Chronomat also has beautiful looks, while not balanced as well as a Daytona this was later solved with the Crosswind SE and the Blackbird which featured the Daytona sub-dial (sub) layout but with a date at approximately 4:30 on the dial.  The original Chronomat was built for years with evolutionary upgrades and name changes (to Chrono Cockpit) and wears and looks like a traditional sized sport rolex at 45mm lugs and 38.9-40.5mm diameter depending on how you measure, as Breitling originally measured the Chronomat diameter at 40.5mm and then later restated the size of all their crosswind pieces a bit smaller at 39mm.  The Crosswind was initially the same size but then grew to 43mm which takes a classically designed watch but makes it a bit bigger and adds even more finish including SL on all hands including chronograph. 

Chronomat (left) & COSC Colt (right)

Currently on sale is the Chronomat 44 and Chronomat 41 which is offered in 41mm and 44mm sizes respectively, with an in-house calander complete chronograph movement with 72 power reserve.  You can also opt for additional complications such as the Chronomat 44 GMT and Chronomat GMT.  The Chronomat GMT is a 47mm case and is likely the case for the next generation "super chronograph" as the later Blackbirds borrowed the Crosswind (Special) case.  The B01 has had some issues and requires somewhat frequent servicing. 

The new Chronomat offers up to 500m water resistance which is exceptional for a chronograph.  They have redesigned the bezel which doesn't click the way the classic ones used to.  I hope we will see a classic 01 with an in-house movement with a classic windrider bezel (perhaps like the Crosswind with deep indents for 5 minute marks).

k13048 (COSC?) I do not own this pic I will take down this awesome if requested

 --I'm going to add pictures more data and more links. 

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