The recently presented 2011 MY Breitling Colt 44 collection is not just bigger than its predecessors. It also offers a more refined dial and not-so-rugged-looking body, as well as a less in-your-face rotating bezel with the traditional 60-minute diving scale.
Those who follow closely the evolution of the brand, which specializes in making “professional” luxury watches and doesn’t feel uncomfortable equipping them with high-grade quartz movements, may have noticed that Breitling timepieces are getting more elegant with every new iteration of any given collection.
While still offering their customers chunky pieces of steel (or more precious metals) with COSC-certified chronometer movements ticking inside them, Breitling is doing its best to overcome its traditional lack of legibility and excessive, um, “toolness” of the watch and to make the product look worth the high price it commands.
Sometimes it even goes too far.
Like many of the recently introduced models, the new Breitling Colt 44 mm model comes with its dial lacking the signature “striped” decor.
Although the rectangular hour markers, as well as the hour and minute hands, are covered with generous amounts of Superluminova, the three bold Arabic numerals at 6, 9 and 12 hours seem to totally lack any lume, so at night the timekeeper’s dial may look somewhat awkward.
On the other hand, thanks to a bigger case (the watch is almost 3 millimeters bigger in diameter than the outgoing model) and somewhat thinner bezel (well, at least it looks thinner to me,) the dial area has also been slightly bigger, giving the numerals and the rest of elements more room to breathe.
The dial is constructed in such a way that an owner will be able to grasp the current time with just a single glance, which may become especially handy for those planning to use the watch for serious diving or simply have a bad habit of constantly conferring to a wristwatch while driving in busy morning traffic.
Yes, despite its more elegant appearance, the new Breitling Colt 44 still retains its impressive water resistance rating of 500 meters. Credits go to a thick, double glare-proofed sapphire crystal and a screw-locked setting crown.
The rotating bezel with the inevitable diving scale also offers a high degree of usability. At least, it is easy to grasp even with gloved hands, although it features only one luminous dot on its surface at 12 o’clock.
As I have already noted, the watch uses a COSC-certified Breitling 74 SuperQuartz caliber. Based on the well-known ETA Thermoline 955.652 ebauche, this thermo-compensated movement is ten times more accurate than a normal quartz caliber that you can find in a mass-produced watch.
Of course, there is a common prejudice that a Swiss-made watch must always be equipped with a mechanical (preferably handmade or at least hand-decorated) movement, but if you search for a real tool watch that you can also wear on your wrist while visiting your local Porsche dealer, this timekeeper may very well be a movement of your choice.
Breitling Colt 44 specification
Price: $3200 (MSRP)
Movement: SuperQuartz, caliber Breitling 74, based on ETA Thermoline 955.652, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: About 8 years
Case: Stainless steel, polished and satin-brushed
Size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 22/20 mm
Case height: 14.00 mm
Case weight: 103 gr. (without strap)
Dial: Volcano black, Gun blue, Stratus silver
Hour markers: Steel, luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Diver Pro rubber strap with tang-type buckle; Professional bracelet in steel; Leather strap with tang-type buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Solid, engraved