Breitling has recently presented yet another “limited-edition” version of its flagship Chronomat 41 automatic chronograph. The guys at Breitling didn’t bother employing new materials or trying some face-lifting here and there. To an untrained eye, the new edition looks almost identical to any other Chronomat that sports a steel body matched with an onyx black dial.
However, there are some minor enhancements that make this model worth a second look if you don’t already happen to own one of its numerous older siblings.
As I have already noted, there are only minor differences that make the new limited edition model stand out from the crowd.
First of all, the watch now comes in a smaller body that, as you may have already gathered from its name, is only 41 millimeters in diameter: a size that will perfectly match a skinny wrist of a normal office worker.
The body is also finely polished now, which not only makes it dressier and more elegant, but is also easier to keep in perfect shape since you can easily remove small scratches and dents by re-polishing the surface.
The second thing is, of course, the dial, which has become more readable thanks to its new black and red color scheme that makes it easier to read the chronograph indicators and also serves as a better background for the hour and minute hands.
The third difference will not be visible until you take the gadget off your wrist: unlike the other models, the new Chronomat 41 Limited Edition comes equipped with a display back.
Covered with a sapphire crystal, the back provides an unobstructed view of the relatively new Breitling Caliber 01 automatic chronograph movement, which is claimed to be designed and manufactured solely in-house. As usual, the movement has undergone thorough testing at the Swiss-based COSC certification authority and is officially recognized as a chronometer.
The rest is pretty much the same.
According to Breitling, the new Chronomat 41 will be offered in a limited lot of just 2000 pieces, so there is a good chance that the watch will become a rarity fairly soon. The list price of $9500 USD (MSRP for the model with reference number AB014112-BB47-378A, may vary depending on your local taxes and customs duties) will not help much either with selling this watch out to enthusiasts.
UPDATE from 26/04/2016: In fact it’s been more than three and a half years, and it is still available at a number of online stores at about two-thirds of the MSRP!
Whether this may be a good or bad ‘investment’ is totally for you to decide. Yes, it is a nice accessory and I would love to have one, especially taking into account its relatively compact (for a Breitling!) size and its overall understated appearance. However, I have an impression that it won’t hold its resale price as well as one would probably have hoped.
Breitling Chronomat 41 specification
Price: $9500 (MSRP, ref. AB014112-BB47-378A)
Movement: Automatic, Breitling caliber 01 (B01), in-house, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 47
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 70 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date, tachymeter
Case: Stainless steel, polished
Size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 15.40 mm
Lug width: 20.00/18.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Polished stainless steel Pilot multilink bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, cambered, antireflective on both sides