In a nutshell, the 2009 Breitling Chronomat B01 Chronograph rocks. Although some find combinations of steel and gold (especially rose gold) a bit distasteful, this version features just the right mix of two metals that make it look dressy and even elegant without even a hint of the usual pretense.
As much as I like the SuperOcean collection of diving companions, I resent their numerous editions of pilot’s or racing watches.
They just look way too busy, defying the very concept of the instrument, which is to offer a dial layout that allows you to grasp current reading at a glance.
Try to do this feat with Breitling for Bentley or the Navitimer with its famous slide rule and you’ll see, what I mean. They are just too busy with lots of decoration and a great deal of information pouring upon your head.
And, adding insult to injury, models with white dials are not contrasting enough for an average eye.
However, something is captivating about the Chronomat B01. It is still busy with information and I highly doubt that you will be able to tell the time on a bright day without squinting and swearing under your breath, but I like it, especially, the one, which is made in stainless steel and gold mixte.
What I like the most about the steel/gold version, is that the number of golden parts is limited to the crown, a pair of chronograph push-pieces, four details on the bezel, as well as the Roman numerals on the dial and all five hands. There are also golden links in the mirror-polished stainless steel bracelet.
The modest amount of the precious metal provides the new Breitling Chronomat B01 with an elegant look, without actually screaming ‘Look, look, look at me,’ which is a problem with most Breitlings wholly crafted in gold.
But the main head-turner here is their new COSC-certified Caliber B01 chronograph movement, which was developed solely in-house. Although the caliber still needs to pass the test of time to prove its reliability and robustness, there is no doubt as to its accuracy.
According to initial press releases, the German Uhren-Magazin is going to rave about the caliber’s accuracy in its upcoming printed issue. The publication says that, during their tests, the mechanism demonstrated such a high degree of precision that it even created the impression that “the Chronomat [was] equipped with a quartz movement.”
That says something, right?
Breitling Chronomat B01 Chronograph specification
Price: €7500 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber Breitling B01, automatic, 28,800 vph, 47 jewels, COSC-certified chronometer, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 70 hours
Case: Stainless steel and gold (two-tone)
Size: 43.50 mm
Case height: 17.00 mm
Dial: White, with three chronograph totalizers
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Barenia leather, crocodile leather, Ocean Racer, Diver Pro II / Pilot
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, anti-reflective on both sides
Back: Solid, engraved