Celebrating seven years of partnership with the most famous French aerobatics team, Breitling has issued the gorgeous 2010 Chronospace Jet Team limited-edition SuperQuartz COSC-certified chronograph. As usual, it combines a traditionally oversized body with a digital/analog display and the signature notched bezel that makes it easier to operate the slide rule: another trademark feature of Breitling. The price, which is set well above $5000, is also traditionally high.
During its first 20 years of history, the French civilian aerobatic display team changed four sponsors (those including the Martini brand,) three types of planes (the Italian piston-powered Aermacchi SF.260, the Swiss turboprop Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer and, now, the Czech turbofan L-39 Albatros) and was about to go bankrupt in 2003, when it was saved from disaster by the Swiss watchmakers thus becoming the Breitling Jet Team.
Thanks to Breitling, the Dijon-based team expanded from four to more impressive seven planes and at this time is regarded as one of the most popular aerobatics teams in the world performing at Formula 1 Grand Prix races, all kinds of air shows and, noblesse oblige, at Breitling’s corporate events. It was simply inevitable for them to deliver a 1000-piece limited-edition Chronospace Jet Team.
Just like the normal Chronospace, the Jet Team comes powered by the famous Caliber 78 SuperQuartz COSC-certified chronometer movement, which is based on the ETA E20.341 Thermoline quartz mechanism featuring the thermo-compensation technology that ensures almost unrivaled precision.
Unlike the base model, I very much adore the Jet Team version, mainly thanks to the lack of the gargantuan numerals on its huge dial, that are replaced with medium-sized hour marks. Covered in a thick layer of SuperLuminova, they provide highly-legible readings even in the worst lighting conditions without drawing too much attention to themselves.
The Breitling Jet Team logo, which is printed at 3 o’clock, is adequately balanced with a graphic L-39 representation at 6 o’clock and seems to be visually supported by the two NVG compatible LCD digital displays at the northern and southern parts of the white dial.
Of course, one could have expected the hour and minute hands to be slightly thicker, more proportionate with its huge case reaching 48 mm in diameter, but nothing is perfect, eh?
In its press release Breitling doesn’t say a single word about the price, but you should expect at least 20 percent premium over the normal Chronospace SuperQuartz Chronograph. With the latter selling for as high as $4800, this limited edition model may be offered at an MSRP of some $6000.*
Only 1000 individually numbered pieces will be made.
UPDATE: Well, it was offered at $5500, which is somewhat of a relief.
Photos: Breitling, ETA
Breitling Chronospace Jet Team specification
Movement: Breitling Caliber 78, base ETA Thermoline E20.341, 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: A couple of years
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 48.00 mm
Dial: Stratus silver
Numerals: Arabic, on the LCD display
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Woven steel Aero Classic bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-treated on both sides