The brand new Breitling Chronomat is an all-purpose sports activities watch that recollects the return of mechanical timekeeping within the Eighties and Breitling’s function as a chronograph pioneer. The distinctive Rouleaux bracelet brings a classy retro look to the wrist, whereas trendy manufacture Caliber 01 factors the way in which towards the long run. We assessment it on this function from our March-April 2021 concern.
When Breitling relaunched the Chronomat in 1984, it despatched a transparent sign — it heralded the return of the mechanical watch, which had all however disappeared in the course of the Quartz Disaster of the Seventies. Breitling had already used the identify “Chronomat” within the Forties, as a mixture of “chronograph” for the stopwatch perform and “arithmetic” for the slide rule, which might later change into the hallmark of the Navitimer. However in 1984, the time period gained extra which means: the primary two syllables continued to consult with “chronograph” for the stop-time perform, however now the third syllable alluded to “automated” for the mechanical automated motion that drove the timepiece, at a time when quartz watches had been the order of the day. Initially, Valjoux Caliber 7750, which had been launched in 1973 and whose manufacturing was later resumed by ETA, offered the facility. The model utilized by Breitling had undergone varied particular modifications.
One other quarter of a century would cross earlier than Breitling launched its personal chronograph motion. Caliber 01 premiered in 2009 inside the distinguished Chronomat. This sturdy caliber is nearly taken with no consideration these days and is tough at work, in varied modifications, inside quite a few Breitling chronographs, so we’d prefer to remind our readers of some of its exceptional qualities.
A Motion Appropriate for On a regular basis Use
Caliber 01 is a column-wheel chronograph with vertical coupling. Because of the trendy applied sciences used within the manufacturing of latest column wheels, fabricating them is a a lot much less daunting process than it was once. Vertical coupling ensures a clear begin for the stopwatch perform with out the infamous preliminary shudder of the elapsed-seconds hand. Not like standard techniques with impartial counters for the elapsed hours, right here the coupling itself creates the connection to the counters for elapsed seconds, minutes and hours. The patented self-centering system of the center lever for the zero-return perform can be revolutionary. This mechanism additionally ensures that the chronograph can’t be broken by defective operation, for instance, by triggering the zero-return command with out first stopping the chronograph. The calendar mechanism is equally secured towards mishandling. It’s designed in order that the person can reset the date at any time of the day or evening with out damaging the mechanism. The premise for this can be a almost instantaneous date change: our take a look at watch routinely superior to the brand new date at roughly three minutes earlier than midnight. With an eye fixed towards future GMT and world-time fashions, the fundamental building of the date show helps the choice of resetting the date backward through the hand-setting perform.
Caliber 01 contained in the Chronomat not solely presents 70 hours of energy reserve, which is now thought of state-of-the-art in trendy calibers, however has additionally earned a chronometer certificates, as is common for all Breitling watches. Seen via a pane of sapphire crystal within the case’s screw-down again, Caliber 01 stored time in our take a look at look ahead to days and weeks with nearly no deviation, no matter whether or not the mainspring was totally wound or already considerably slackened and likewise no matter whether or not the chronograph was switched on or off.
Helpful for Measuring Brief Intervals
The facade is made up of a 42.94-mm-diameter and 15.23-mm-high case of stable stainless-steel with a rotating bezel that clicks into place in half-minute increments and may solely be rotated counterclockwise. This function — together with stress resistance to twenty bar (200 meters) and a screw-down onion-shaped crown — qualifies the Chronomat to be a divers’ watch. The 4 distinctive cursors have returned from the Eighties. They not solely make the bezel straightforward to grip and due to this fact safe to make use of, however are additionally interchangeable. It takes a little bit of drive and energy to take away and reinsert them, however for those who interchange the 15- and 45-minute cursors, the rotating ring can be utilized as a countdown bezel. To-the-minute calibrations within the bezel’s higher part make the countdown straightforward to learn. Previously, the Chronomat’s countdown perform was utilized by yachtsmen. Along with the tachymeter scale on the steeply sloping flange, it will possibly additionally serve its function for motor sports activities.
Should you take an in depth look beneath the tachymeter scale, you will notice crimson numerals and strokes dividing the minute into 100 increments. Connoisseurs will acknowledge this element from earlier Breitling fashions. It may be helpful for industrial timekeeping as a result of it shows the minutes in decimal format. For instance, it reveals a workday as 7.75 hours as a substitute of seven hours and 45 minutes. Together with the central seconds hand, an elapsed interval of 36 seconds, for instance, may also be seen as 0.6 minutes, throughout which period a automobile was pushed at a median velocity of 100 kilometers per hour.
The elapsed seconds are proven exactly by a slim crimson hand that extends precisely to the flange and ends in a kite-shaped tip full of luminous materials. As befits a chronograph pioneer, all the opposite fingers related to the stopwatch perform additionally glow in the dead of night. The symptoms for the extraordinary time show, together with the regularly operating seconds hand and the faceted hour appliqués, are equally luminous — a welcome however reasonably hardly ever discovered element.
A Sporty All-rounder with Retro Fashion and Trendy Design
Two oval push-pieces set off the chronograph’s features. Their styling has a contemporary look and, in contrast to their counterparts on earlier fashions, they’re not screwed down. This contemporary element contrasts with the retro contact added by the built-in Rouleaux bracelet, which has returned for the primary time since 1984. The rollers are elliptical cylinders with a brushed matte end; their edges, just like the connecting components, are polished. The rollers result in a purposeful double folding clasp with lateral push-pieces. The Chronomat 01 thus meets the necessities of a sporty all-rounder all the way down to the final element.
Producer: Breitling Chronometrie SA, Allée du Laser 10, 2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Reference quantity: AB0134101C1A1
Capabilities: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph (central elapsed-seconds hand, counters for 30 elapsed minutes and 12 elapsed hours), date, tachymeter scale, screw-down crown, uni- directional rotatating bezel that locks into place and has interchangeable cursors
Motion: Breitling 01, automated, 28,800 vph, 47 jewels, COSC licensed, copper beryllium stability, Nivarox hairspring, superb adjustment through eccentric screw, Kif shock absorption, 70-hour energy reserve, diameter = 30.0 mm, peak = 7.20 mm
Case: Stainless-steel with curved sapphire crystal above the dial anti-reflectively handled on each side, sapphire crystal in caseback, water-resistant to 200 m
Bracelet and clasp: Stainless-steel Rouleaux bracelet, double folding stainless-steel clasp
Fee outcomes (deviation in seconds per 24 hours, totally wound / after 24 hours):
On the wrist +0.8
Dial up -0.8 / -1.1
Dial down +1.5 / +1.1
Crown up -1.0 / -2.2
Crown down +2.4 / +1.5
Crown left +0.5 / -0.3
Biggest deviation 3.4 / 3.7
Common deviation +0.5 / -0.2
Flat positions 315° / 303°
Hanging positions 284° / 266°
Dimensions: Diameter = 42.94 mm, lug width = 22 mm, peak = 15.23 mm, weight = 200.0 grams
Variations: With silver-colored, copper-colored or black dial (Ref. AB0134101G1A1, AB0134101K1A1, AB0134101B1A1, $8,100); Bentley Version (Ref. AB01343A1L1A1, $8,100); Frecce Tri- colori Restricted Version (Ref. AB01344A1C1A1, 250 items, $8,250); variations in rose gold or in metal and rose gold