Breitling Chronomat 44: For Extreme Environments
The Breitling Chronomat 44 chronograph is a remarkably robust pilot's watch. It is perfect for diving thanks to its depth rating of 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft). Premium 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 caliber B01 and thus have a 70-hour power reserve. Top models like the Chronomat 44 GMT also boast 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. Fans of black watches will enjoy the Raven and Blacksteel lines.
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
Price Overview: Chronomat 44
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Water resistance, GMT function, material|
|Chronomat 44 Rose Gold, HB011012||17,000 USD||100 m (328 ft), no, rose gold|
|Chronomat 44 Raven, MB0111C2||6,500 USD||200 m (656 ft), no, coated stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 GMT, AB042011||6,500 USD||500 m (1,640 ft), yes, stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 Blacksteel, MB0111C3||5,700 USD||200 m (656 ft), no, coated stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 Airborne, AB01154G||5,700 USD||500 m (1,640 ft), no, stainless steel|
|Chronomat 44 GMT 50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse, AB04203J||5,100 USD||500 m (1,640 ft), yes, stainless steel|
|Chronomat Evolution, B13356||4,500 USD||300 m (984 ft), no, stainless steel and gold|
|Chronomat 44 Blackbird, A44360||4,400 USD||300 m (984 ft), no, stainless steel|
How much does a Breitling Chronomat 44 cost?
Prices for the Breitling Chronomat 44 range from about 4,400 USD for a pre-owned Chronomat 44 Blackbird in stainless steel to roughly 17,000 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 sell for between 4,800 and 6,500 USD. The stainless steel ref. AB0110 can also be found at this price point.
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 5,100 USD pre-owned and 6,500 USD new.
Fans of the famous Valjoux 7750 movement also have plenty of options among pre-owned Chronomat models. There, you'll find watches like the Chronomat Evolution with the typical Valjoux subdial layout: 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 15,000 USD. The stainless steel and two-tone models are much more affordable at about 2,700 and 4,500 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 rotating bezel. The 44-mm polished case is water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 ft). For the movement, Breitling has turned again to the in-house caliber B01. Plan to spend around 5,600 on a new copy. Pre-owned watches change hands for roughly 1,000 USD less.
The Chronomat Blackbird is another great option. You can recognize this model by its large date window at 12 o'clock. It also has a small seconds at 3, a 12-hour counter at 6, and a 30-minute counter at 12 o'clock. This dial layout 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 4,600 USD on a stainless steel bracelet. With any luck, you may even find a mint-condition model for around the 5,000 USD mark.
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 6,300 USD new and 4,000 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.
The in-house caliber B04 powers the Chronomat 44 GMT. This movement is based on the B01 with the addition of a GMT function. Therefore, many of the key features are the same, such as the 70-hour power reserve and balance wheel frequency of 28,800 vph. The watch is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft).
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 around 17,000 USD new and 14,000 pre-owned. Two-tone editions are much more affordable at about 10,800 USD new and 9,100 USD pre-owned. You can find stainless steel models in mint condition for around 4,800 USD.
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 a 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. A domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides provides a clear view of the dial below.
Thanks to the sapphire crystal case back, you get a clear view of the black rotor below. 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 an unworn Raven ref. MB0111C2 sit around 6,500 USD. Pre-owned, this watch changes hands for roughly 5,800 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 a 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 5,700 USD new and 5,400 USD pre-owned. The same watch with a bright yellow dial and round black subdials (ref. MB0111C3) changes hands for around 6,600 USD new and 5,700 pre-owned.
About the Raven and Blacksteel Models
- 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 horizontal cylindrical links.