Breitling Chronomat 44: A Durable Chronograph
The Breitling Chronomat 44 is a remarkably robust pilot's watch with a chronograph function. It is even suitable for diving and is water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft). Top models feature a second time zone or are made of solid gold.
A Diving Chronograph
The Breitling Chronomat 44 is one of the most robust and functional watches offered by Swiss watch manufacturer Breitling. At 44 mm in diameter, it catches the eye no matter who's wearing it. Most models come in stainless steel and are water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft). There are also versions in 18-karat gold. These timepieces have a depth rating of 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), so while you can't take one diving, it can join you for a swim.
The bezel rider tabs at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock are this chronograph's most striking feature. Thanks to these four small protrusions, the unidirectional bezel can even be operated while wearing pilot or diving gloves.
Current models are equipped with the automatic in-house B01 caliber with a 70-hour power reserve. Top models like the Chronomat 44 GMT also include a GMT function for displaying the time in two locations simultaneously.
One of the most interesting GMT models is the Chronomat 44 GMT 50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse, which Breitling created in honor of the world-famous Swiss aerobatic demonstration team's 50th anniversary. This timepiece has a limited run of only 1,000 pieces and costs around 9,200 USD in mint condition. On the other hand, fans of black watches will enjoy the Raven and Blacksteel lines.
5 Reasons to Buy a Breitling Chronomat 44
- Top models with GMT and chronograph functions
- Ideal for diving: water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft)
- Chronometer-certified in-house caliber B01 with a 70-hour power reserve
- Limited run of 1,000 pieces: the Chronomat 44 GMT 50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse
- Raven and Blacksteel with stealthy cases coated in black
Prices at a Glance: Chronomat 44
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Water resistance, GMT function, material|
|Chronomat 44 18-Karat Rose Gold, HB011012||21,500 USD||100 m (328 ft), no, rose gold|
|Chronomat 44 GMT 50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse, AB04203J||9,200 USD||500 m (1,640 ft), yes, stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 Raven, MB0111C2||7,700 USD||200 m (656 ft), no, coated stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 Blacksteel, MB0111C3||6,700 USD||200 m (656 ft), no, coated stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 GMT, AB042011||5,300 USD||500 m (1,640 ft), yes, stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 Airborne, AB01154G||5,300 USD||500 m (1,640 ft), no, stainless steel|
|Chronomat Evolution, B13356||4,300 USD||300 m (984 ft), no, stainless steel and gold|
|Chronomat 44 Blackbird, A44360||3,900 USD||300 m (984 ft), no, stainless steel|
How much does a Breitling Chronomat 44 cost?
Prices for a Breitling Chronomat 44 range from about 3,900 USD for a pre-owned stainless steel model to roughly 22,000 USD for a mint-condition timepiece in 18-karat rose gold. Two-tone watches in stainless steel and gold fall in the middle of this range and sells for about 12,000 USD. The stainless steel ref. AB011053demands similar prices. This model features a light blue dial with diamond indices and a diamond-studded bezel.
All the watches listed above get their power from the in-house caliber B01, while the B04 ticks away inside timepieces with a GMT function. You can purchase a Chronomat 44 GMT for around 5,200 USD used and 5,300 USD new.
a 12-hour counter at 6, a small seconds at 9, and a 60-minute counter at 12 o'clock. The 44-mm case comes in your choice of stainless steel, solid 18-karat gold, or a combination of the two. A gold-only model will set you back roughly 17,000 USD. The stainless steel and two-tone models are much more affordable at about 3,000 and 4,300 USD, respectively.
Prices for the Breitling Chronomat 44 Airborne and Blackbird
The Chronomat 44 Airborne's design takes many cues from watches from the 1980s. Retro features include artificially aged luminous material, a textile military strap, and a rotatable bezel. The 44-mm polished case is water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft). For the movement, Breitling turns to the in-house caliber B01.
Be sure to set aside a solid 5,300 USD for a mint-condition timepiece. Pre-owned models demand about 1,200 USD less. The 41-mm Airborne edition sells for similar prices.
is a product of the caliber 44, a modified ETA 2892 with a 42-hour power reserve. Other Blackbird features include a tachymeter scale around the dial's outer edge and water resistance to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). Since it is no longer in production, you are most likely to find the Breitling Chronomat Blackbird on the pre-owned market, where it costs around 4,000 USD. With any luck, you may even find a mint-condition model for about 6,000 USD.
Collectors should consider the Breitling Chronomat Blackbird Limited Edition. Breitling only ever produced 2,000 copies of this timepiece. It features numerous red accents, including the frame around the oversized date window, as well as the "60" on the small seconds, the "12" on the hour counter, and the "30" on the minute counter. This rare timepiece bears the reference number A4436010/BB71/379A and costs around 7,700 USD new and 4,300 USD pre-owned.
Chronomat 44 GMT With a Second Time Zone
The Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT is the perfect 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 conventional hour and minute hands show the current local time.
Since the Chronomat 44 GMT is a chronograph, it also has a small seconds dial. The central second hand is part of the chronograph function. There is also an additional hour hand, which makes one full rotation every 24 hours. It is responsible for displaying the time in a different location, such as at home. A 24-hour scale on the edge of the dial and a bidirectional bezel make it easy to tell the two times apart. In fact, you can even set the bezel to display a third time zone.
The in-house caliber B04 powers the Chronomat 44 GMT. This movement is based on the B01 and features a GMT function. Thus, the B04 shares its main specifications with the B01, including a 70-hour power reserve and a balance wheel frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The final watch is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft), which is more than enough for recreational diving. However, since it is a GMT watch with a bidirectional rotatable bezel, it is not the best choice for beneath the waves.
For the case, you can choose from stainless steel, 18-karat rose gold, or a combination of stainless steel and gold. The solid gold model has the reference number HB0421L3 and sells for between 16,000 and 19,500 USD, depending on its condition. Two-tone editions are much more affordable at about 8,300 USD new and 7,300 USD pre-owned. You can save another 2,400 USD by purchasing a stainless steel variant instead.
The dial is available in black, blue, gray, brown, or silver. Breitling mounts the watch on either a five-piece link stainless steel bracelet or a leather or rubber strap.
Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT Details
- Chronograph with GMT function
- In-house caliber B04 with chronometer certification
- Water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
- Available in stainless steel, 18-karat rose gold, or two-tone gold and steel
Black as Night: The Raven and the Blacksteel
The Chronomat 44 Raven and Blacksteel bring a different look to the largely silver-colored series. Both models are predominantly black, but the Raven is especially eye-catching. The numbers on its bezel are bright orange, as are the chronograph seconds hand and subdial hands, creating a dynamic contrast with the black case and dial.
The edge of the dial also pops in the same orange hue and features a tachymeter scale, which you can use to calculate average speeds. Domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides provides a clear view of the dial below. Since it is almost as hard as diamond, scratches and scuffs are not a worry with sapphire crystal.
Thanks to the sapphire crystal case back, you get a clear view of the black rotor. The orange inscription "Breitling – Chronographe Certifie Chronometre" on the rotor contrasts with the otherwise black component. The Chronomat 44 Raven is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) and comes on a rubber strap.
Prices for a never-worn Raven ref. MB0111C2 sit around 7,700 USD. Pre-owned, this watch changes hands for roughly 6,400 USD.
Chronomat 44 Blacksteel
As its name suggests, the Breitling Chronomat 44 Blacksteel is a stainless steel watch with a black coating. Black dominates this timepiece at every level, including the numerals on the bezel. However, a red chronograph seconds hand, three red subdial hands, and beige luminous material on the hands and indices add few discreet splashes of color. The three square subdials are another truly unique feature. Breitling completes the watch with sapphire crystal on both the front and back.
If you flip the watch over, your eyes are immediately drawn to the in-house B01 movement and its striking black rotor. Last but not least, Breitling lends the watch a bit of a military touch by pairing it with a black textile strap.
A Chronomat 44 Blacksteel requires an investment of around 6,700 USD new and 5,600 USD pre-owned. The same watch with a bright yellow dial and round black subdials changes hands for between 4,200 and 7,300 USD.
Raven and Blacksteel Details
- Black-coated stainless steel cases
- Raven featuring orange accents
- Both watches with display case backs
- Powered by in-house caliber B01
- Water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
The History of the Breitling Chronomat
Swiss watch manufacturer Breitling developed the Chronomat collection with pilots in mind. Its name is a combination of the words "chronograph" and "mathematics." The second half of the name refers to the watch's use as a slide rule, a feature found on early Chronomat models from the 1940s. Using this watch, pilots could multiply, divide, convert units of measurement, and calculate distances.
The Navitimer followed in 1952 and improved upon this calculation mechanism. It enabled the wearer to calculate average values, gains and losses in altitude, and fuel consumption of an airplane.
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 bezel rider tabs 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. They function like grips, making it easy to turn the bezel with gloves on. Furthermore, both the crown and push-pieces are onion-shaped.
Thanks to a double gasket crown, the 1984 Chronomat was water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Today, the Chronomat 44 boasts an improved depth rating of 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft), which more than qualifies it as a genuine diving watch.
Breitling last updated the Chronomat collection in 2020. Since then, the chronograph edition has only been available with a 42-mm case. Furthermore, newer Chronomats bear a stronger resemblance to their predecessor from 1984. This is largely thanks to the stainless steel Rouleaux bracelet with horizonal cylindrical links.