The Modern Breitling Chronomat

The 1980s nostalgia is strong, and watchmakers feel it too. One of the icons to be revived recently is the Breitling Chronomat. Introduced in 1984, it is a robust watch designed to conquer every pursuit. Its bold aesthetic and distinctive design are reminders of the era’s fascination with fighter aircraft.

In 2020, the emblematic timepiece made a comeback and now comes in a contemporary design – not to mention a wide range of sizes and metals. Here’s a closer look into the new Breitling Chronomat:

 

Breitling Super Chronomat B01 Rose Gold Brown Dial RB0136E31Q1R1

 

A 1980s Classic

The Chronomat holds an important place in Breitling’s history. In the early 1980s, thin time-only quartz watches were still the order of the day, but the brand placed its bets on a mechanical watch. Breitling developed a chronograph in 1983 for the Italian Jet Team Frecce Tricolori – one that could easily work with a suit but also function well in a jet cockpit when needed.

 

Breitling 1983 Frecce Tricolori Chronograph 

 

The brand was particular with one aspect of the design – the crystal had to be recessed in order to prevent shattering. To do this, four rider tabs were added to the bezel, which protects the glass. Moreover, it marks every quarter of an hour, particularly on 0, 15, 30, and 45 markers.

For its 100th anniversary in 1984, the brand intended to bring the mechanical chronograph back to center stage. With the Frecce Tricolori serving as the foundation of the new timepiece, they introduced the Chronomat – a name that combines “chronograph” and “automatic.”

 

Breitling 1984 Chronomat 81950

 

The four rider tabs on the bezel become the distinguishing elements of the watch, whose success is widespread. Apart from this, it also features a recognizable onion-shaped crown, a sleek profile, and a “Rouleaux” bracelet, which instantly adds a character to any ensemble.

The Chronomat has remained in production since then and is considered one of Breitling’s best-selling pieces to date.

 


 

A Modern Spin on the Breitling Chronomat

In 2020, Breitling introduced the new Chronomat collection. It kept the signature design codes and vintage appeal of the original Chronomat and “Frecce Tricolori,” while incorporating modern touches.

True to the 1940 edition, the updated Chronomat has four rider tabs to protect the crystal, but they are more subtle and integrated with the bezel this time. Moreover, wearers can now unscrew the tabs at 3 and 9 and switch their positions anytime they want. This new feature allows one to use the bezel as either a countdown or count-up timer.

 

Breitling Chronomat B01 Bentley Green Dial Steel AB01343A1L1A1

 

Whereas previous versions of the watch had five-piece links, the new Chronomat brings back the Rouleaux bracelet – a visual connection to the “Frecce Tricolori” model. The Rouleaux, which is French for “rollers,” features a tight row of cylinders to make the bracelet, held together by a polished butterfly-style clasp.

Inside, the modern Chronomat watches rely on the Manufacture Caliber 01, which is a self-winding column-wheel movement with an impressive 70-hour power reserve.

 

Breitling Chronomat B01 Bentley Green Dial Steel AB01343A1L1A1

 


 

Wide Variety

The 2020 Chronomat editions came in 32, 36, and 42mm models made from either steel or gold. In 2021, Breitling added the Super Chronomat in a 44mm case to the collection.

All Super Chronomat models are available in steel and 18k red gold, while Chronomatmodels are available in these finishes, plus a combination of both metals. Dials come in blue, slate, black, and green hues – with options of mother of pearl for the women’s models.

The Super Chronomat, aside from its larger case, is distinguished by ceramic bezels and the option of a rubber Rouleaux-inspired band with a folding clasp.

 

Breitling Super Chronomat B01 Rose Gold Brown Dial RB0136E31Q1R1

 

Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar models were also released, which have a powerful semi-perpetual calendar mechanism that requires adjustment once every 1461 days only.

While their water-resistance rating is reduced to 100 meters, they are powered by a COSC-certified movement called the Caliber 19. This mechanism has semi-perpetual calendar function and day, date, month, and moonphase displays.

 

Breitling Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar I19320251B1S1

 


 

The new Breitling Chronomat collection feels familiar and new in just the right proportions. Explore our selection of Breitling Chronomat watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.

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