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Breitling Chronomat

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Breitling Chronomat 44 Airborne Breitling Chronomat 44 Airborne $5,740

Breitling Chronomat: A Success Story

The Chronomat is Breitling's blockbuster hit. The timepiece gained its high-profile status thanks to its sturdy case, distinctive design, and reliable caliber technology. Even military pilots appreciate and use this handy chronograph.

Highlights

  • Chronometer with a chronograph function
  • Waterproof to max. 500 m (50 bar)
  • In-house calibers Breitling 01 and Breitling 04 (chronograph with GMT function)
  • Up to 70-hour power reserve
  • Case sizes: 38 mm, 41 mm, 44 mm, and 47 mm

Breitling Chronomat: A Calculator Disguised as a Watch

The Breitling Chronomat wristwatch has over 70 years of history to look back on. Breitling first introduced the watch in the early 1940s. The highlight of the timepiece was that it featured a circular slide rule scale which allowed the wearer to calculate measurements and do mathematical computations. With the watch, for example, you could convert units of distance and speed, as well as multiply, divide, and calculate the rule of three. Moreover, there was a chronograph function for timing. These functions clarify the origins of the watch's name - Chronomat is a combination of the words "chronograph" and "mathematics."
Breitling continued developing the watch and introduced the next version with even more calculation possibilities in 1952: the Navitimer. Pilots could use the chronograph to calculate fuel consumption, average values, and gains and losses in altitude.
In celebration of their 100th anniversary as a company in 1984, Breitling introduced a new version of the Chronomat. The pilots of the Frecce Tricolori (Tricolor Arrows), the Italian Air Force's aerobatic demonstration team, selected the new Chronomat to serve as their official watch. Over the years, the watch developed into one of Breitling's most successful models. This was partly in thanks to its distinctive design and impressive functionality. One striking feature was the presence of four bezel rider tabs at three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock. They protect the sapphire glass from damage and also act as grips, making it easy to turn the bezel even with pilot's gloves on. The tabs at 15 and 45 minutes can be switched so that the wearer can time forwards and backwards. The onion-shaped crown and push-pieces were also distinctive features. Thanks to the double gasket crown, the chronograph was waterproof to 100 m.

Buying Advice

Are you looking for a reliable chronograph with a distinctive design and sturdy case? Then take a look at the watches in Breitling's Chronomat collection and compare the individual models to find the best one for you. The watches are waterproof to 500 m (50 bar), so they're safe accompanying you while swimming and diving.
Different case sizes, ranging from 38 to 47 mm, are suitable for thinner and larger wrists. The smaller models are targeted mainly towards women. The women's watches are available with mother-of-pearl dials and diamond-studded bezels with diamond indices. Pre-owned models are available for around 3,500 euros. New, a Chronomat 38 costs around 4,500 euros.
The 41-mm and 44-mm versions are men's watches. The mid-sized versions are available pre-owned starting at 4,000 euros and new for around 4,500 euros. A pre-owned Breitling Chronomat 44 costs around 3,000 euros, while new, it costs around 4,000 euros.
The Breitling Chronomat GMT is well suited for those who travel often. The watch's GMT function displays two time zones at once, such as the local time and the time back home. The GMT versions also have a chronograph function and are available with a diameter of either 44 or 47 mm. New, you can buy a Chronomat 44 GMT for around 5,500 euros. The 47-mm model costs around 4,500 euros pre-owned. New models cost about 500 euros more. An older Breitling Chronomat with a GMT function and 40-mm diameter only costs around 1,700 euros. These more affordable watches are from the 1990s and 2000s.

Breitling Chronomat 44: A Chronograph for Diving and Flying

The Breitling Chronomat 44 catches the eye with its case size of 44 mm. Like the Chronomat from 1984, the current 44 model also has four bezel rider tabs at three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock. Thanks to its sturdy case and screw-down crown, push-pieces, and case back, the chronograph is waterproof to 500 m (50 bar). The bezel is uni-directional and has a luminous marker at 12 o'clock. It fulfills all the requirements of a diving watch and can compete on the same level as famous diving watches such as the Rolex Submariner. The Rolex watch is waterproof to 300 m (30 bar) and doesn't feature a chronograph function.
The Breitling Chronomat 44 is available in many different versions: stainless steel, stainless steel with solid gold bezel rider tabs, solid 18-karat gold, and stainless steel with a gold bezel. There are also different dials available in black, blue, silver, or gray. Textile, leather, rubber, or metal bands are all available. Some models are worth more due to the presence of diamonds on the bezel and as indices. The domed sapphire glass features anti-reflective coating on both sides.
Newer models outfitted with the in-house caliber B01 feature a small seconds subdial at nine o'clock, a 30-minute counter at three o'clock, and a 12-hour counter at six o'clock. The date display is located between four and five o'clock. Older models powered by the Valjoux 7750 display the date at three o'clock. On these models, the small seconds is located at nine, the 30-minute counter at twelve, and the 12-hour counter at six o'clock.

Chronomat 44 Features

  • Case diameter: 44 mm
  • Bezel grips at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock
  • Stainless steel, solid gold, or stainless steel and gold case
  • Stainless steel bracelet or alligator leather, rubber, or textile strap

Breitling Chronomat 41: For Every Wrist

If the 44-mm Breitling Chronomat is too large for your taste, then the 41-mm version may be an option for you. The smaller model is available in stainless steel, solid gold, or stainless steel with a gold bezel. You can also find versions with diamond-studded bezels and diamonds as indices. Unlike its larger sibling, the 41-mm version is only waterproof to a maximum of 300 m. However, its dial and strap options are just as extensive as the Chronomat 44's.

Breitling Chronomat 38: Designed for Women

The Breitling Chronomat 38 is the model designed for women. With a smaller 38-mm diameter, it fits better on smaller wrists, although it's still on the larger side for a women's watch. Its smooth, glossy, tungsten carbide bezel emphasizes the overall feminine design. Tungsten carbide is also especially sturdy and scratch-resistant, making scratched-up bezels a thing of the past. This material is also used on the ridged bezel of Omega's Globemaster. The Chronomat 38 is only available in stainless steel with options of either a plain or diamond-studded bezel. Breitling offers the dial in black as well as mother of pearl. The mother-of-pearl dial is available with or without diamond indices. Like the larger models, the Chronomat 38 has the option of a leather or rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet.
The Breitling 13 caliber ticks inside this watch. It's based on ETA's Valjoux 7750, one of the most successful automatic chronograph calibers in the world. Breitling's automatic caliber has a power reserve of 42 hours, has 25 rubies, and can measure 1/8th of a second. Breitling has had the caliber certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which guarantees its accuracy and precision.

Breitling Chronomat with In-House Calibers

Breitling has been using their in-house caliber B01 in the Chronomat since 2009. Unlike the classic chronograph caliber Valjoux 7750, which has a power reserve of only 42 hours, the B01 has a power reserve of 70 hours. The movement's winding rotor ensures there's a continual supply of energy, making hand winding unnecessary. The balance wheel has a frequency of 28,800 A/h, which is equal to 4 Hz. This allows you to time to 1/8th of a second. Like the Valjoux 7750, the B01 has a diameter of 30 mm. At 7.2 mm, however, it's 0.7 mm thinner than the 7750. The B01's dimensions make it easy to replace, which is one of the reasons Breitling uses it in many of their models.

Caliber B01 Technical Details

  • 70-hour power reserve
  • Balance frequency: 28,800 A/h
  • 47 rubies
  • 346 individual components