Originally introduced to the Professional line back in 2006, Breitling’s hi-tech Airwolf electronic chronograph with a digital-analog display is now available as the Airwolf Raven special-edition model.
Unlike the previous models that were entirely made of stainless steel, the Airwolf Raven Special Edition features black rubber-molded push-pieces inserts and a rubber bezel as well as a new strap, also made of the same material.
(As far as I understand, the Swiss brand also plans to offer the Airwolf on a more practical stainless steel bracelet. )
Well, all things considered, a black ceramic bezel would be a real hit, but even this “low-tech” solution provides the watch with menacing appearance, making it look like a real professional instrument.
And justly so.
Like the original model, the Airwolf Raven is powered by an extra-accurate SuperQuartz movement that is sophisticated enough to offer you a 1/100-second chronograph, alarm, countdown timer, second time-zone, and even UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) functionality.
Its digital-analog display, which is BTW a little bit overcrowded for easy reading, sports a special back-lighting system, which is compatible with night vision goggles. And its alarm system is said to be loud enough to wake you up from the dead.
Being a truly professional instrument, the watch is by no means small. Measuring just shy of 44 millimeters in width, the case is almost 17 mm in height and it tips the scales at almost 107 grams! However, it is nicely sculpted and will look good on a normal wrist, especially if accompanied by a bomber jacket and an oxygen mask.
The only draw-back here (at least, for yours truly) is the underwhelming (to say the least) water resistance rating of just 5ATM or 50 meters that looks surprising, putting it mildly, in a world where a watch of this design manufactured by a Japanese brand usually features at least 100 meters of water resistance, and often even more.
For a timekeeper of this size and, well, presence, the official 5 bars of WR is plain ridiculous: the Airwolf Raven just screams “take me diving,” but instead may take a leak while swimming in a pool or, for that matter, doing something as mundane as taking a shower. They need to do something with this annoying flaw before offering a refreshed version of the collection. I mean, it is ridiculous!
However, if you don’t expect to crash-land on the water in the foreseeable future and plan to wear the watch only in a controlled environment, you should consider getting yourself one. It is well worth the price, even if Breitling will ask almost $5000 for it.
Breitling Airwolf Raven Special Edition specification
Price range: $4700 (Retail)
Movement: SuperQuartz, ETA Thermoline base, quartz, Swiss Made
Functions: Chronograph, date, alarm, countdown, GMT, UTC
Case: Stainless still with molded rubber inserts
Size: 43.5 mm
Case height: 16.75 mm
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, glare-proof