One of the most famous designs of Breitling, an icon of the 80s: the Chronomat. The first watch to bear this name was a 1940 chronograph, which was one of the first watches with a slide rule bezel. However, for most watch enthusiasts the name Chronomat refers to an icon from the 80s, one of the most powerful designs in the world. Breitling. And today, the brand has revived it with a very eye-catching case and bracelet Rollers, also presenting several limited editions, including the "Frecce Tricolori"Re-Edition.
The story of breilting it has a lot to do with pilot's watches and chronographs. One of the brand's most important watches was created in the mid-20th century and was one of the first watches with a sliding bezel, a tool made to help pilots perform calculations while in flight. But only later, with a patent from 1940 that included a rotating bezel with a sliding circular scale, the brand launched a watch called Chronomat (or a "chronograph for math"), First advertised in 1941 and most likely available to the public in 1942. This chronograph with slide rule gave birth to another icon of the house, the Navitimer.
During the 60s and 70s, many watches Breitling they still had the inscription Chronomat printed on the dials, but no model would ever come close to Navitimer in terms of popularity. After some problems in the late 70s, the brand ceased production until the early 80s when the name returned to the fore. Chronomat. In fact, in 1983 the brand presented the watch "Frecce Tricolori" (picture below) , a striking mechanical chronograph with a blue dial, a rotating bezel with pilot tabs and a unique bracelet with a “rolls". This watch was developed in collaboration with the famous Italian air squadron, precisely the Tricolor arrows.
A year later, while the industry was still dominated by quartz, Breitling launched a new watch, the Chronomat in 1984, coinciding with the Breitling centenary celebrations. But this time, the word Chronomat expressed something different, it was in fact a combination of the words "chronograph"and "automatic". While the Navitimer was clearly advertised as a tool for pilots, the Chronomat it was more versatile and was noticed on the wrist of racing pilots or used during regattas. But it was also a luxurious object, perfectly in tune with the style of the late 80s and early 90s.
Over the course of his nearly 40-year career, Breitling Chronomat has seen multiple iterations, with bold, oversized designs like the 2010 release (picture below) and a current collection that has somehow lost the spirit of 80s watches. Today, with its new collection, Breitling brings a new generation, a modernized classic, a watch that echoes the original concept with more elegant design cues from the 20s. And like the original, it's a multi-purpose, multi-terrain chronograph, for use in the air, on the water, or on land, while still maintaining that striking style that suits the city well.
The 2020 collection includes multiple versions, in different materials, with various colors and even two limited editions. However, all of these watches are based on a single concept, with identical case, display, movement and strap. The new Breitling Chronomat brings back the shape of the original watches, with integrated lugs and sturdy shoulders. The case is 42mm in diameter and reveals mainly brushed surfaces with glossy accents: bevel on the sides, crown and pushers. Water resistant to 200m, the typical rounded crown is still present, however, the pushers and the crown protection module have been modernized for better integration.
One of the distinctive elements of the original Chronomat was its bezel, which returns in the 2020 version, but in a more elegant version, always presenting the pilot's tabs, which not only protect the crystal but make it easier to manipulate. Also in this new edition, the 15 and 45 are, as in the original model, interchangeable, so the wearer can use them both for the function of "stopwatch"And for the"countdown“, Depending on whether the timepiece is used as a pilot's or diver's watch or as a chronograph for the countdown of regattas.
One of the key elements of the old 1983 and 1984 watches was the bold, unique and very special bracelet, the so-called "rolls”(French word for“ rollers ”). Of course, it didn't win everyone over then, and it probably won't today, but this is certainly a bold move by Breitling that with its reuse, gives the Chronomat 2020 a great charm and a strong identity.
All models share the same movement and classic chronograph-style dial, with counters at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock and a date always at 6 o'clock. Breitling Chronomat 2020 it is equipped with the well-known internal chronograph Caliber B01, an integrated automatic movement with column wheel and vertical friction architecture, certified as a chronometer since COSC. A solid mechanism that beats at 4Hz and boasts 70 hours of power reserve, visible through a sapphire caseback. Like the original, the dials, rounded baton hands, and rectangular applied indexes, are less flamboyant than the case, and are both filled with Super-LumiNova. With the exception of the version "Frecce Tricolori”And a two-tone version, all have contrasting secondary counters.
The color of the dial depends on the material chosen. The all-steel version is available in the colors Silver, Copper, Blue, Black, Green (Bentley Edition) or Blue tone on tone (Frecce Tricolori).
The steel model with red gold tongues, pushers and crown features a tone-on-tone silver dial. The two-tone models (bezel, crown and pushers, medium link bracelet in red gold) have blue or anthracite dials. Finally, the solid 18-karat red gold model (with rubber strap) features an anthracite dial.
As we have already noticed, Breitling is relaunching the lauded and historically important “Frecce Tricolori” theme with a limited edition of 250 pieces inspired by the look of the original 1983 model. While the case, bracelet and movement are identical to other editions, some details are different, the The main update is a blue dial with tone-on-tone secondary counters and the Frecce Tricolori logo at 12 o'clock, positioned where the Breitling logo is normally placed. A rare and attractive edition that pays homage to the watch that launched the model and the rouleaux bracelet.
The first pieces of the new Breitling Chronomat B01 42 will be available in late April 2020, with more pieces available in May 2020. Prices will vary from 7.900 EURO for the steel versions and 8.100 EURO for limited editions Bentley e Frecce Tricolori, Up to 19.000 EURO for the solid gold model.