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Breitling Chronomat 44

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Breitling Chronomat 44 AB011012/A690 Breitling Chronomat 44 AB011012/A690 US 65 2012 $4,950

Breitling Chronomat 44: Size Matters

Breitling's Chronomat 44 is a large chronograph meant for pilots. Modern, sturdy technology allows this watch to time precisely under extreme conditions - even underwater, as the watch is waterproof to an impressive 500 m (50 bar).

Highlights

  • Striking, highly reliable chronograph
  • Very sturdy: waterproof to 500 m (50 bar)
  • In-house caliber B01 with chronometer certificate
  • Case diameter: 44 mm
  • Available in stainless steel, solid gold, or stainless steel and gold

Flying High with the Breitling Chronomat 44

The Swiss manufacturer Breitling developed their Chronomat collection for pilots. The name of the series is a combination of the words "chronograph" and "mathematics." A chronograph is a watch with a stopwatch function; with such an instrument, you can time events and calculate speeds. The second half of the name refers to the watch's use as a calculator, which first came into play in the early 1940s with the first Chronomat models. Using this watch, pilots could multiply, divide, convert units of measurement, and calculate distances.
The Navitimer watch, introduced in 1952, improved on this calculation mechanism. It was possible to calculate average values, gains and losses in altitude, and fuel consumption of an airplane with the Navitimer chronograph.
The Chronomat came back with a whole new design in 1984. Since then, its look has barely changed: The watches in this collection still have the four characteristic tabs on the bezel at three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock. They function like grips, making it easy to turn the bezel even if you have gloves on. Furthermore, both the crown and push-pieces are onion shaped. Thanks to the double gasket crown, the timepiece is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar). However, today, the Chronomat 44 has more to offer in terms of waterproofness. The chronograph is waterproof to 500 m (50 bar), making it a genuine, hardy diving watch. However, if you're looking for a watch for extreme depths, you should consider the Superocean Chronograph M2000 from the Superocean series; it is waterproof to 2,000 m (200 bar).

Buying Tips

When buying a Breitling Chronomat 44, you should be aware that the watch looks best on larger wrists, as it has a diameter of 44 mm. The 41 or 38-mm models are better suited for thinner wrists; the 38-mm model is popular as a women's watch. The Chronomat 44 follows the trend of larger watches, competing in size with the watches from Panerai. Panerai is well-known for their large, imposing diving watches. Actors Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both worn Panerai watches.
You can find pre-owned Chronomat 44 watches for around 3,500 euros. New models are more expensive, costing around 4,500 euros. If you want a chronograph with a GMT function, look for the Chronomat 44 GMT. This watch displays not only the local time, but a second time zone as well, such as the time at home while you're on a business trip. Pre-owned models are available for around 5,000 euros, while new models cost around 5,500 euros.
The special edition Chronomat 44 Airborne costs around 4,500 euros pre-owned. New, it's 500 euros more expensive. Breitling introduced the Airborne in 2014 in celebration of the Chronomat's 30th anniversary. The Airborne is reminiscent of models from the 1980s with its functional design. It's available in stainless steel only with either a five-link stainless steel bracelet or a textile strap. The textile strap is very durable, which is typical of military watches.

Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven and Blacksteel: Black as Night

The Chronomat 44 Raven and Blacksteel bring a different look to the series. Both models are predominantly black; the Raven is especially eye catching. The numbers on the bezel, as well as the chronograph second hand and the small subdial hands, are bright orange, creating a dynamic contrast with the black case and dial. The edge of the dial also pops in orange and features a tachymetric scale which you can use to calculate average speeds. Domed sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating on both sides protects the dial and provides a clear view. Scratches are essentially a thing of the past thanks to the sapphire glass, as it is almost as hard as diamond.
Thanks to the sapphire glass case back, you have a clear view of the black rotor, which automatically winds the in-house caliber B01 when the watch is on your wrist. The orange inscription "Breitling - Chronographe Certifie Chronometre" on the rotor contrasts with the otherwise black piece. The caliber is certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, ensuring it runs incredibly precisely. The caliber's power reserve lasts around 70 hours; this means you can take your watch off for the weekend and put it on again on Monday and it will run perfectly. The chronograph is waterproof to 200 m (20 bar) and features a rubber strap.
The name of the Breitling Chronograph 44 Blacksteel already suggests that it's almost entirely black. The red chronograph second hand and the three small, red subdial hands are some of the only discreet splashes of color on this timepiece. The three square-shaped subdials jump out at you. Like the Raven, the Blacksteel is protected by sapphire glass. It also has a sapphire glass case back, giving you a perfect look at the heart of the watch. The in-house B01 movement powers the chronograph and features a striking and unique black rotor which immediately draws your attention. Last but not least, Breitling gave the watch a bit of a military touch with their selection of a black textile strap.

Raven and Blacksteel Details

  • Black-coated stainless steel cases
  • Raven featuring orange color accents
  • Both watches with see-through case backs
  • Powered by in-house caliber B01
  • Waterproof to 200 m

Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT: Pilot's Chronograph with Two Time Zones

The Breitling Chronomat 44 is the perfect pilot's watch for long-haul pilots. Thanks to its GMT function, the watch can display the time in two time zones at once. This is especially practical if you often fly back and forth between time zones. The usual hands for the hours and minutes show the current local time. Since the Chronomat 44 GMT is a chronograph, it has a small seconds subdial. The central second hand serves as the chronograph second hand. There is also a second hour hand which makes one full rotation every 24 hours. It is responsible for displaying the second time zone, such as the time back home. A 24-hour scale on the edge of the dial and the bi-directional rotatable bezel make it easy to read the second time.
The in-house caliber B04 powers the Chronomat 44 GMT. The movement is based on the B01 and adds a GMT function. Therefore, important main details such as the 70-hour power reserve and balance wheel frequency of 28,800 A/h are the same. The GMT watch is waterproof to 200 m (20 bar).
For the case, you have the choice between stainless steel and a combination of stainless steel and gold. The dial is available in black, blue, gray, brown, and silver. Breitling offers either a five-link stainless steel band or a leather or rubber strap to keep the watch on your wrist.

Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT Details

  • Chronograph with GMT function
  • In-house caliber B04 with a chronometer certificate
  • Robust design, 44-mm case diameter
  • Black textile strap