Remember the good-old, quartz-powered Chronospace? I mean, the one that was discontinued about 12 years ago? This year, Breitling decided to resurrect the popular model!
Featuring their iconic analog/digital display and powered by a super-accurate thermo-compensated SuperQuartz chronometer-grade movement, the Chronospace has become a lot bigger. But does bigger mean better, even in this particular case?
The form follows function. That’s the main principle of contemporary industrial design. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case with Breitling. Or, at least, Breitling slowly but steadily drifts away from this principle with its latest models. The re-edition of the long-discontinued 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 chronograph just had to feature an oversized dial with larger than life numerals and ultra-bright hour indexes, but I do not understand why did they make the “3” and “9” so damn 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 become bigger than that on the original? (In fact, sporting almost frightening diameter of 48 millimeters the new Chronospace 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 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 for a Breitling with an analog/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 choice for you.
And, guess what, both these models look a lot better than this oversized thing.
Breitling Chronospace SuperQuartz Chronograph specification
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: Stainless steel
Size: 48.00 mm
Dial: Volcano black, Mariner blue, Tungsten gray, Stratus silver
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather, rubber Diver Pro, rubber Ocean Racer/woven steel Aero Classic
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-treated on both sides
Back: Solid, engraved