Breitling’s flagship model
Known for its functional design and outstanding precision, the Breitling Chronomat is a world classic amongst aviation watches. It's striking bezel with four rider tabs is considered to be one of the trademarks of the Breitling collection and can now be found on alternative models including the Breitling Galactic and the Breitling Avenger.
The history of this unique wristwatch is far from boring since the Chronomat has been reinvented and reinterpreted countless times. Today’s Chronomat (Ref. AB014012 or Ref. AB011610) bears hardly any resemblance to the original model of the collection (Ref. 769). In the 1940s, Breitling created a sensational watch that offered not only a time display and a chronograph function, but also an integrated slide rule. This allowed the wearer to perform various calculations by simply rotating the bezel. The manual-wind chronograph was named “Chronomat”, pointing out the chronograph function as well as the mathematical function of the watch.
The famous Navitimer was introduced in 1952 and is a more complex successor model of the Breitling Chronomat. The Navitimer continues to delight aviation enthusiasts with its slide rule function. The connection between the Navitimer and the original Chronomat is evident at first glance of the latest Navitimer collection.
From a pilot watch to a chronograph classic
Nowadays, the Chronomat that we know and love first saw the light of day in the 1980s. The Breitling business was taken over in 1982 by Ernest Schneider and along with business changes, came changes to the Breitling Chronomat.
In 1983, the skilled entrepreneur collaborated with the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Air Force “Frecce Tricolori”, in order to develop a new aviation watch.They did not keep the world waiting as Breitling successfully presented the new generation of the Chronomat in 1984. The design of the new chronograph (Ref. 81950) took into account all wishes of the “Frecce Tricolori” pilots: the wristwatch was not only equipped with a tachymeter and a scale accurate to one-hundredth of a second, but also included conspicuous rider tabs that improved the grip of the watch and protected the sapphire crystal. The crown and the chronograph pushers are also designed to help pilots handle the watch without any difficulty. The robust features of the men’s watch along with it's comfortable operations were immediately met with the approval of aeronauts.
Various special editions - e.g. the Breitling Chronomat Hong Kong Royal Air Force (Ref. A13050), the Breitling Chronomat US Air Force (Ref. A13050), or the Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT (Ref. AB04203J) - are reminiscent of the fact that the Chronomat is not only a brilliant chronograph but, first and foremost, an excellent aviation timepiece.
Blackbird, Evolution, Airborne
The many faces of a timeless classic
Stylish and versatile: Hardly any other watch in the Breitling assortment has such a variety of colours, materials and dials as the Breitling Chronomat. Thanks to numerous special and limited editions, older, second-hand watches from the Chronomat series remain as high in demand as current models.
/Stylish and versatile: hardly any watch from the Breitling collection displays as great a variety of colours, case materials, and watch faces as the Breitling Chronomat. Owing to numerous special limited editions, both older, second-hand watches of the Chronomat series along with the latest models are in high demand. The Chronomat Blackbird (Ref. A13050), first presented in 1996, soon became one of the most popular Breitling watches and enjoys - together with its successor models - a special status among the admirers of the Swiss manufacturer.
/With the Chronomat Evolution, Breitling gave the famous chronograph a new character in 2004. With a diameter of 43.7 millimetres, the automatic chronograph offers the perfect format for admirers of solid cases. The Chronomat Evolution (Ref. A13356 and Ref. B13356) soon replaced the preceding Chronomat with its fresh design that stays true to the original spirit of the collection. The characteristic non-slip rider tabs continue to adorn the bezel, and the onion-shaped crown cannot be overlooked. Decorated with bold Arabic numerals, the totalizers add that je ne sais quoi feel to the Chronomat Evolution.
/Breitling celebrated the 30th anniversary of the “Frecce Tricolori” Chronomat by designing a remarkable special edition. At the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show 2014, the manufacturer presented the Chronomat Airborne (Ref. AB01442J) that honours the long-standing cooperation with the Italian aerobatic demonstration team. The homage to the original model of the series as well as the watch design of the ‘80s is unmistakably mirrored in the Chronomat Airborne. With its cream indices, this watch captures the hearts of vintage-connoisseurs. The interior of this unique watch somewhat clashes with its design: the automatic chronograph is driven by the innovative manufacture calibre B01 that can be found in all current Breitling Chronomat models.
The Breitling Chronomat 01
2009 was an exciting year for Breitling. After years of research, the company presented the first original Breitling automatic chronograph movement: Breitling B01. A caliber of this quality demands a new, unrivalled watch and the manufacture movement was therefore installed in the brand-new Chronomat B01. This generation of the Chronomat (Ref. AB0110, Ref. BB0110, Ref. HB0110, Ref. JB0110) differs from its predecessor on all levels.
Watch enthusiasts will immediately notice the new bezel equipped with large numerals. The new Chronomat B01 also differs when it comes to the watch face design since the totalizers of the chronograph are arranged in the classic way - at nine, six, and three o’clock. These changes are sometimes too extreme for clientele, however, as many Breitling-collectors still search for second-hand Chronomat-models from earlier years. But the new design has also captured admirers quickly: these individuals have made the Chronomat 01 one of the most sought-after Breitling watches.
A broad choice
Chronomat 41, Chronomat 44, and Chronomat 44 GMT
The design of the Chronomat 01 has set the standard for further Chronomat watches. The Breitling collection offers a wide range of models. Admirers of bigger cases lean toward the Chronomat 44 (Ref. AB011012 or Ref. AB011610), whereas the smaller Chronomat 41 (Ref. AB014012) is ideal for more delicate wrists. Frequent travellers have the choice between the Chronomat 44 GMT (Ref. AB042011), or the 47-millimetre Chronomat GMT (Ref. AB041012). The collection continues to delight with a broad choice of materials, colours, and bracelets. All watches of the series are equipped with a manufacture movement that is as always, certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute COSC.
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