Although I was not particularly impressed with the last year’s SuperQuartz version, I kinda like the design of the new Breitling Chronospace Chronograph Automatic model, which is now powered by a less accurate but still more charismatic mechanical movement.
Perhaps the reason for my sudden affection for the mechanical version is the lack of the digital displays on its dial that made it look too ‘professional’ for what is essentially a luxury timekeeper. This is, of course, purely a matter of personal preferences: I am sure that there are thousands of actual and desk pilots who prefer the digital members of the Chronospace family. After all, there is something great about a watch that only needs to be corrected after its standard battery is replaced.
The pair of LCD displays are now gone with three standard chronograph counters put in their place. Unlike the NVG-friendly digital displays, the sub-dials –at least, when it comes to the Volcano Black version (pictured)– are nicely blended into the dial and do not attract too much attention to themselves.
The square hour markers are still too huge to my taste, but they are somewhat balanced with the pair of broad sword-shaped hands that try to say something like “look, we don’t try to show-off, we are here purely for making the dial more readable, calm down”. Also, I suppose that the indexes will provide superior nighttime legibility since the amount of Superluminova on them would be adequate to paint RMS Titanic from stem to stern.
Well, thanks to the hour markers, even the oversized “12” numeral looks in its rightful place here.
As usual, the chronograph features a notched bezel that operates the signature sliding rule.
Its Breitling caliber 23 automatic movement is essentially a top-grade version of the ETA Valjoux 7753 chronograph.
Even being a COSC-certified chronometer, the movement cannot compete with the ETA E20.341 Thermoline quartz movement that powers the Chronospace SuperQuartz.
However, if you can’t imagine the very concept of a quartz-powered luxury timekeeper and are looking for a new Breitling, then the automatic version of the legendary Chronospace may be the watch you had been looking for.
The Breitling Chronospace Chronograph will be officially presented next month at Baseworld 2011 international trade show in Basel, Switzerland. There is still no information regarding the timekeeper’s price, but expect something in the vicinity of $7000.
See also: Breitling Montbrillant 01 Chronograph
Breitling Chronospace Chronograph Automatic specification
Movement: Automatic, Breitling caliber 23, (based on ETA Valjoux 7753,) 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight with Breitling logo, polished screw heads, Geneva Stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, chronograph, slide rule
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 46.00 mm
Dial: Volcano Black, Mariner Blue, Tungsten Gray, and Stratus Silver. Black chronograph totalizers
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Mesh bracelet