Featuring a sexy combination of deep matte black and bright, almost electric, orange, the new Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven Caliber 01 (ref. MB0111C2/BD07-153S) is so far one of the most attractive members of the family. Add to this the same COSC-certified Caliber 01 automatic movement that the Swiss brand builds in its own manufacturing facility, as well as an extremely legible layout of the dial, and you get yourself a winner. The only thing that spoils the fun a little is, as usual for Breitling, the price.
Okay, here comes yet another limited edition from Breitling. As usual, the company took one of their best-selling model and refreshed it a bit to be more of liking of the kind of people that always dreamed about joining Navy SEALs, but somehow wound up as senior analysts and financial advisors. Featuring their beloved “black steel” finish with sexy (and still quite popular among those seeking a “tactical” luxury timekeeper with a nice twist to it) bright orange accents, the new model is based on the popular Chronomat range of luxury chronographs.
Delivered in the same slightly oversized 44 mm body, the watch is by no means stealthy, which is a good thing: many previous iteration of their “black” models looked way too dark, too somber (almost depressing) with their dark matte finish that was accented only by luminous elements on their dials. This one looks a lot more jovial: the overly bright orange numerals on the unidirectional rotating bezel, as well as the internal tachymeter scale of the same color on the flange look like they were inspired by a similar color scheme of a Porsche GT3 RS.
As the other members of the family, the watch is powered by their relatively new Caliber B01 automatic chronograph movement. This in-house job, the first one that was introduced by the brand as a part of their mighty push towards becoming a true luxury brand, in officially certified by COSC as a chronometer and offers healthy seventy hours of continuous operation without losing its top-notch precision.
Frankly, I am not very impressed with the way Breitling has personalized the mechanism for this particular model: the black oscillating weight with, again, orange (a bit sloppy to my taste) inscription somehow cheapens this otherwise gorgeous timekeeper.
As for the ergonomics, the device is still quite easy to operate thanks to its oversized, onion-shaped crown and long chronograph push-pieces. The dial of the piece is easily readable even despite the blacked-out hands and hour markers: the strips and dots of beige-colored Superluminova make the timepiece legible not only at night, but also at day, especially in situations when you can only spare a short glance to get its reading.
Perhaps, the only thing that disappoints me a little is the rather limited choice of ways the Chronomat 44 Raven can be attached to my wrist. According to official press release, the watch will be offered only with black Ocean Racer or Diver Pro rubber bands, so, if you are more of a solid steel bracelet guy, you will probably have to spend (a lot) more time trying to find a bracelet that is more to your liking.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven Caliber 01 watch specification
Price: $9825 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 01, in-house, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 47
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 70 hours
Movement decoration: Geneva stripes, black oscillating weight with orange inscriptions
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Black steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 16.95 mm
Lug width: 22/20 mm
Dial: Black, orange accents
Hour markers: black, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black Ocean Racer or Diver Pro rubber band
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides, cambered
Case back: Sapphire