Exactly 80 years ago, Léon Breitling patented a chronograph with a circular slide rule. Two years later, in 1942, the now venerable Chronomat was born, and it was shown to the public for the first time as the Reference 769. The name Chronomat comes from the words chronograph and mathematics. This is because, thanks to this new rotating bezel, certain calculations, such as the “rule of three” calculations, as well as multiplication and division can be calculated.
In 1952, an extended version of the Chronomat came out, and many today most likely see it as the epitome of a slide rule watch, rather than the 1942 model. The 1952 806 was slightly more advanced, capable of more complex calculations, which were especially important for aviation. The slide rule of the 1940s Chronomat and its original version was primarily designed for scientists and technicians, and what eventually became the pilot’s watch was the Navitimer.
Breitling Breitling and Chronomat New Designs
In the 1980s, Chronomat’s design changed dramatically. In 1983, Breitling developed a new Chronomat for the “Frecce Tricolori” squadron of the Italian Air Force. It has nothing in common with the slide rule of the past. In 1984, on the occasion of the brand’s 100th anniversary, the new Ref. 81950 was introduced to the public and produced commercially. In its place is a slide rule, and a striking bezel rises from the case with an applied rider label. The onion-shaped crown and pushers commonly found on pilots’ watches also grace this watch. Instead of “chronograph” and “math”, they now use the words “chronograph” and “automatic” to justify the name “Chronomat” – luckily, it still has significance.
In addition, the hand-wound chronograph Venus 175 was replaced by the high-precision automatic movement Valjoux 7750. As early as 1969, Breitling fake was already using an automatic chronograph movement in a Chronomat watch (Chrono-Matic) equipped with the famous Calibre 11, which, together with some other Swiss manufacturers, became the first automatic chronograph for a watch one of the cores. At a time when Swiss watchmaking was still reeling from the quartz crisis of the 1970s, Breitling’s Chronomat in 1984 was one of the first mechanical chronographs to re-enter the market.
As a tribute to the 1984 anniversary model, Breitling is launching a new line of Chronomat timepieces. Some of their features are closely related to the retro styles of the past, but interpreted in a modern way. Perhaps the most striking feature that will please many fans of the collection is the integrated Rouleaux bracelet, reissued for the first time since 1984. The stainless steel of the bracelet has a brushed finish and polished interconnects, giving it a quirky, modern and retro look.
In addition, the new Chronomat watch inherits the iconic rotating bezel, highlighted by the rider label. Not only do they protect the crystal, but they also historically made the bezel easier for the “Frecce Tricolori” pilots to use. Also, tabs have another very useful feature. The two tabs at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock are interchangeable, so the wearer can use them as a “count up” or “count down” function.
Chronomat is a multi-sport watch
But who exactly was the 1980s Chronomat made for? Of course, due to its 1950s history, it was very popular with pilots and remains the main pilot chronograph in Breitling’s portfolio to this day. A wide range of styles are available, offering different sizes, colours, materials and special editions to appeal to a wide range of immatation watches lovers.
The Chronomat is a masculine and sporty style that can also be worn with a suit. As such, it’s more versatile than the bulky Colt or Avenger models. Its versatility added to its appeal in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as its speedometer attracted the interest of Formula 1 teams, while the reversible driver tag proved useful for regatta.
Today, Breitling continues to provide customers with the versatile and versatile Chronomat. It comes with several different metal and dial variants – however, currently, this model only offers a uniform 42mm case size, a bracelet option, and no additional features like a second time zone (GMT). This leaves some room for creativity for more exciting releases in the years to come.
Chronomat B01 42 and Chronomat B01 42 Bentley
The new Chronomat B01 42 (refs AB0134101G1A1, AB0134101K1A1, AB0134101C1A1 and AB0134101B1A1) feature a contemporary silver, bronze or blue dial with black contrasting counters. It also offers a black dial with silver contrasting counters.
The Chronomat B01 42 Bentley (Ref. AB01343A1L1A1) has joined the collection to celebrate a long-standing relationship with the British luxury car brand. It has a green dial with black chronograph counters and “Bentley” engraved around the transparent sapphire caseback, adding to the attention of this particular model.
In the spirit of the 1980s, when gold and two-tone watches were truly in their heyday, the new collection also incorporates an 80s vibe. Chronomat B01 42 ( Ref. IB0134101G1A1 ) with 18k red gold crown and pushers and 18k red gold rider label, numerals and hour markers. This exquisite two-tone watch features a silver-tone dial and tonal subdials on a stainless steel Rouleaux bracelet with a butterfly clasp.
Two more Chronomat B01 42 references have been added to the two-tone collection. Their main difference is that the Rouleaux bracelet is also presented in two colors – stainless steel and 18k red gold. The Reference UB0134101C1U1 features an elegant blue dial and tone-on-tone counters – Reference UB0134101B1U1 features an anthracite dial with black contrasting counters.
Chronomat B01 42 Frecce Tricolori Limited Edition
In homage to the original model from 1983 that inspired the modern Chronomat collection, Breitling also presents the Chronomat B01 42 Frecce Tricolori Limited Edition (250 pieces) with a blue dial and tonal counters. The words Breitling on the dial have been replaced by the “Frecce Tricolori” logo. “ONE OF 250” is engraved on the case back. Like the other new Chronomat models, it features a Rouleaux bracelet with a butterfly clasp.
Each chronograph in the new Chronomat collection is powered by the precise Breitling Manufacture 01 calibre, which stands out for its long-lasting power reserve of 70 hours. Like all Breitling watches, the Chenomats are COSC-certified chronometers. Interesting – when Breitling launched its in-house built Calibre 01 in 2009, it was first introduced in the Chronomat 01.