Remember the good old Breitling Chronospace quartz chronograph watch that was discontinued about 12 years ago? This year, the Swiss brand decided to resurrect the popular model.
Featuring their iconic analogue/digital display and powered by a super-accurate thermo-compensated SuperQuartz chronometer-grade movement, the watch has become a lot bigger. But does bigger mean better, even in this particular case?
Form follows function. That’s the main principle of contemporary industrial design. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case with Breitling. Or, at least, the Swiss watch maker slowly but steadily drifts away from this principle with its latest models. The re-edition of the long-discontinued Breitling Chronospace is the latest evidence proving the theory that each year Breitling’s watches become less of a professional tool for the real pilots and more of an accessory for people searching for the bling stuff.
Of course, some may argue that, positioned as a professional time measuring device, the watch just had to feature an oversized dial with larger than life numerals and ultra-bright hour indexes, but I do not really understand why did they make the “3” and “9” so huge? Is there some dark numerological secret behind this decision? Why is the emphasis on this pair of numerals? And why did they remove the “6” and “12” from the dial if it has actually became bigger than that on the original watch? (In fact, sporting almost frightening diameter of 48 millimeters the new watch sports dial that is bigger than the original Chronospace’s body!)
Is the new SuperQuartz COSC-certified chronometer movement so big that they couldn’t fit it inside a smaller body? I don’t believe so, since the Breitling Caliber B78 is based on the ETA E20.341 Thermoline quartz movement, which is only 30 mm in diameter and the Caliber B56 that ticked inside the original Chronospace was about 22mm x 26 mm: not particularly small, either.
Perhaps, they wanted to differentiate the resurrected model from the Emergency, Aerospace, and the Airwolf that feature less bombastic dial layouts. Or, maybe, someone at the marketing department simply decided that the “bolder” the design, the better the watch will sell on today’s market.
To my opinion, if you are searching a Breitling with an analogue/digital display, you will be much better off getting yourself the new Aerospace model, which is delivered in a 42 mm by 10 mm titanium case and offers almost the same set of functions. Or, maybe, the last year’s Breitling Airwolf Raven Special Edition quartz chronograph that features a 43.5 mm stainless still case with molded rubber will be the right watch for you.
And, guess what, both these models look a lot better than this oversized thing.
Breitling Chronospace SuperQuartz Chronograph watch specification:
Price range: $4800
Movement: Breitling Caliber 78, base ETA E20.341 Thermoline, SuperQuartz, 30 mm in diameter, Swiss Made
Complications: 1/100th of a second chronograph with split times, analog and LCD 12/24-hour display (NVG compatible) , alarm, countdown, dual timezone display with independent alarm (GMT), Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), perpetual calendar, battery end-of-life indicator.
Power reserve: 2-3 years
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 48 mm
Case height: No data
Dial: Volcano black, Mariner blue, Tungsten gray, Stratus silver
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather, rubber Diver Pro, rubber Ocean Racer/woven steel Aero Classic
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-treated on both sides
Case back: Solid