With its 2011 Chronomat GMT chronograph Breitling presents its new in-house movement, the Caliber B04. Can’t say anything about mankind, but for a brand that for all of its modern history used to equip its ultra-luxury timekeepers with nothing more exciting than ETA blank movements that were re-finished and fine-tuned to qualify for COSC certification, this is a huge step forward. I just hope they won’t stumble.
Also being a natural-born chronograph movement, the Caliber B04 shares a great number of its components, such as a column wheel, a vertical coupling clutch, and a guaranteed power reserve of at least 70 hours, with a last year’s Caliber B01 that basically started the quiet revolution.
However, according to Breitling, this is not just a makeover, since the new movement also employs a number of new solutions, some of them (like the re-centering device for the zero-resetting hammers) patent-pending.
As always, the movement is officially certified by the Swiss COSC organization as a chronometer, which means that the device not only adheres to the strictest standards of accuracy but is also made using top-grade components.
The Chronomat GMT’s other major selling point is its GMT complication.
When the second time-zone is activated, the red open-worked arrow-shaped hour hand runs in a 24-hour mode and when the owner comes back to his hometown, both the main and the secondary hour hands can be set to move in sync.
As usual, the watch will be delivered in a great number of versions with different color combinations of the dials/subdials and straps that will be available in Barenia and crocodile leather, Ocean Racer, and Diver Pro rubber bands, and the stainless steel Pilot bracelet.
No info on pricing yet*, but it will surely be expensive.
See also: Breitling Chronomat 01 Diamondworks
*UPDATE ON PRICE: Breitling will offer this model with a price tag of $10,000, which probably means that fairly soon after the official launch you will be able to find one online at $7500-$8000 USD. For a piece with an in-house caliber and a logo as famous as it is, this is actually not terribly expensive. Definitely not a bargain-basement level, but at least it is now comparable to similarly styled (although you can’t out kitsch the king of kitsch) models made by Omega and the likes.
Breitling Chronomat GMT specification
Price: $10,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber Breitling 04, 47 jewels, 28,800 vph, COSC-certified chronometer, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight, Geneva stripes on bridges, polished screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT, 1/4-second chronograph, tachometer scale on the flange
Power reserve: 70 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 47.00 mm
Lug width: 18.35 mm
Case height: 24 mm
Dial: Onyx black, Metallica, Blackeye blue, Blackeye grey, Sierra silver, or Metallica brown
Numerals: 24-hour second time-zone scale
Hands: Steel, luminous, polished
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Barenia leather, crocodile, rubber Ocean Racer, rubber Diver Pro or steel Pilot
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides, convex
Back: Solid, engraved