top of page
Clock Gears

THE BREITLING CHRONOMAT: CREATION, RE-INVENTION AND EVOLUTION

The Birth of a Pioneer


In 1941, amidst the turmoil of World War II, Breitling patented a groundbreaking watch that would shape its future. The Chronomat, unveiled in 1942, not only encapsulated Breitling's expertise in chronographs but introduced an innovative slide rule, a prelude to the brand's penchant for blending functionality and style. While the Mimo Loga predated the Chronomat in featuring a slide rule, the Chronomat's fusion with a chronograph set it apart, becoming a symbol of innovation and resilience during wartime.


Fast forward to 1984, marking Breitling's centenary. Ernest Schneider, recognising the Chronomat's potential to redefine mechanical chronographs, aimed to revolutionise the industry. The "Frecce Tricolori" chronograph laid the foundation for a new era, symbolising Breitling's philosophy and mission. This marked a pivotal moment, reaffirming the chronograph's allure for a trendy clientele, shattering stereotypes around its perceived obsolescence.


In 2009, Breitling ushered in a new era with its first in-house movement, the Caliber B01. With a column-wheel chronograph and COSC certification, it powered the Chronomat B01, reasserting the model's significance in Breitling's lineup. As the flagship alongside iconic models like the Navitimer, the B01 movement laid the groundwork for subsequent innovations and complications.


The 2020 edition of the Breitling Chronomat signifies a modern and refined aesthetic. With a slightly enlarged stainless steel case at 42mm and 44mm, the watch boasts a contemporary and sporty feel. The bezel, still unidirectional, integrates rider tabs seamlessly, reflecting a more streamlined and engraved design. Notably, the bezel's innovative feature allows the unscrewing and switching of tabs for countdown or count-up functionality.


You can find out more about the Flecce Tricolori here.


Breitling Chronomat advertisements from the 1980s with the Flecce Tricolori

Evolving the Legacy


Originally conceived as "chronographe mathematique" in the 1940s, the name evolved in 1984 to represent the blend of "chronograph" and "automatic." This transformation symbolizes the watch's self-winding capabilities and versatile applications.


The rider tabs on the Chronomat serve a dual purpose—protecting the glass and marking every quarter-hour. The tabs at 15 and 45 can be unscrewed and inverted, offering the flexibility of using the bezel for countdown or count-up, an invaluable feature for various adventures, from flying to racing and sailing.


A notable feature of the contemporary Chronomat is the reintroduction of the Rouleaux bracelet, reminiscent of the 1984 original but refined. With brushed cylindrical links featuring polished rings for contrast, the bracelet represents a harmonious blend of vintage aesthetics and modern craftsmanship. The Rouleaux rubber strap, inspired by its steel counterpart, offers three textures, providing comfort and complementing the Chronomat's design seamlessly.


Visit Breitling to find the whole range of Chronomat timepieces and more.

 

Available Now


The Breitling Super Chronomat B01 44 Blue Dial AB0136161C1S1 is a high-performance timepiece inspired by the original 1980s Chronomat designed for aerobatic squadrons. This supercharged watch is the boldest in the Chronomat series, featuring several ceramic inserts on the bezel, chronograph pushers, and crown, along with a distinctive Rouleaux-inspired rubber strap. Check out this stunning chronograph from Breitling in unworn, preowned condition below:



Breitling Super Chronomat B01 blue dial and rubber strap being held in front of graffiti background

Comments


bottom of page