The 2012 Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime “worldtimer” brings you a still-rare complication that allows you to constantly be aware of the current time in any of the 24 main time zones.
Although, from the point of view of functionality and exterior design, the new timepiece strongly reminds me of the outstanding Girard-Perregaux WW.TC family of traveler’s timekeepers, the movement that powers the new Breitling is completely in-house, being developed, assembled, and finished at their own production facilities.
The last year was a year of resurrections for a number of Swiss-based brands and Breitling was not an exception here.
Their elegant and refined 2012 Transocean Chronograph 01 resembles the legendary Omega Speedmaster series of “historic” chronographs. Yet, in fact, it was a faithful tribute to the vintage 1969 Breitling Top Time chronograph.
This particular Transocean Chronograph Unitime is based on the less known Breitling Unitime Worldtime automatic travel watch from the 1950s (I can’t reproduce its image for copyright reasons, but I managed to find a short video of one of the surviving pieces. See it at the end of the article.)
Unlike the aforementioned Transocean, the new version of the Unitime doesn’t look much like its predecessor, though.
First of all, it is huge.
The timekeeper is presented in the massive 18-karat red gold body (there will also be versions in stainless steel,) which is whole 46 millimeters in diameter!
Although the manufacture-made Caliber B05 movement that powers this version is not terribly large, the dial is overburdened with three sub-dials that needed some breathing space and is equipped with a pair of rotating rings: one with a 24-hour scale and the other with 24 cities that correspond to each of main time zones.
Oh, the presence of a chronograph is the second thing that differs from the original and its, um, heir.
From where I sit, the watch would look a lot better if it was presented in a smaller case and lacked the chronograph function, but guys from Breitling probably wanted to outperform the model from Girard-Perregaux not only in terms of accuracy (it is a COSC-certified chronometer,) power reserve (it runs for more than 70 hours after being fully wound and left in a safe) and price but also in terms of sheer presence.
Compared to WW.TC, the Chronograph Unitime looks like a captain of a football team near a middle-school nerd.
As I have already mentioned, the watch will be offered both in gold and in steel and will feature at least two colors of its dial and bezel flange: black and Polar White. I am pretty much sure that soon there will be even more dial variations to choose from.
By the way, the dials are protected from the elements with convex sapphire crystals with anti-glare treatment on both sides.
The Unitime World Time is rated for 10 ATM of water tightness, which still doesn’t make it a diving companion, but makes sure that you won’t ruin it if you are doused by a wave during a boat trip in particularly nasty weather.
Here is a short video of the vintage Breitling Unitime Automatic. Enjoy!
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime World Time specification
Price: $11,600 (stainless steel) / $31,000 (rose gold)
Movement: Automatic, Breitling caliber B05, in-house, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 56
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph, world time
Power reserve: 70 hours
Case: Stainless steel or 18-karat red gold
Size: 46.00 mm
Lug width: 22 mm
Dial: Polar White or Black
Hour markers: Applied, gold or steel
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Barenia leather or crocodile leather strap; Ocean Classic bracelet (steel mesh, steel version only)
Crystal: Sapphire, convex, antireflective on both sides
Back: Solid, engraved