Next month, during the upcoming Baselworld 2012 industry fair, the Swiss watchmaker will introduce a new member to its constantly growing Chronomat family of chronographs. Called Breitling Chronomat GMT 44mm, the new automatic wristwatch will be presented in a less intimidating stainless steel body only 44 millimeters in size. Equipped with a second time zone indicator, a chronograph and a date display, the watch delivers practically all functions that you can expect from a “sporty” timekeeper.
Besides a more compact case, the new Breitling Chronomat GMT also has its 60-minute rotating bezel replaced with the same part that sports a more appropriate 24-hour scale, which makes it possible to make it display a third time zone in the usual 24-hour format.
Like the last year’s model, the new watch is equipped by the same Caliber B04 automatic movement, which is based on their own Caliber B01 engine with an added GMT module and some extra some modifications that increase its accuracy and reliability.
Trying to justify the timekeeper’s sky high price (the Chronomat GMT 47mm retails for almost $10,000 and I highly doubt that this smaller version will be significantly less expensive,) the Swiss watchmaker officially certifies the movements as chronometers with the local COSC authority.
Alas, while undergoing the weight-loss treatment, the sporty timekeeper has also lost a better part of its water resistance rating. According to official specs, the new device is now rated only for 200 meters.
Well, besides the new bezel and new size of its body, the watch is practically a twin brother of the last year’s model.
It sports the same tri-compax layout for its dial and its arrow-shaped second time zone hours hand is still red-tipped and open-worked. Well, judging by the photos, the lugs now seem a little bit more massive, and the rotating bezel is now satin-finished, giving the watch more rugged, professional look.
The choice of dial colors is still limited to their traditional Onyx Black, Metallica Blue, Blackeye Blue, Blackeye Gray, Sierra Silver, and Metallica Brown.
Well, that pretty much sums it up.
Regarding the price, I can only say that Breitling is going to offer this watch with a price tag of $8700 (MSRP) that doesn’t look as bad considering that this Chronomat GMT 44mm is powered by an in-house movement, which is unique to the brand. I always tend to look with a sort of suspicion at “proprietary” calibers in this (and, of course, lower) price range, but this particular situation wouldn’t worry me even a single bit: Breitling is big enough to have all qualified personnel in all authorized service facilities to be properly trained and supplied with all necessary parts long before your precious watch starts showing your age (or even require your first scheduled service.) So, again, an in-house mechanism doesn’t look like a liability in this particular case.
Breitling Chronomat GMT 44mm Automatic Chronograph specification
Price: $8700 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Breitling Caliber B04, in-house, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 47
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Geneva stripes, polished screw-heads, branded rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, column-wheel chronograph, GMT, GMT-2
Power reserve: 70 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 24 mm
Dial: Onyx Black, Metallica Blue, Blackeye Blue, Blackeye Gray, Sierra Silver, and Metallica Brown
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Barenia or crocodile leather strap; Ocean Racer perforated, or Diver Pro (with raised central ridge) rubber strap; Pilot stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid, engraved