The Breitling Chronospace Military (ref. M7836622.BD39.100W.M20BASA.1) chronograph delivers the usual combination of a high-grade SuperQuartz mechanism, a highly legible dial with the signature analog-digital display and packs it all in a blacked-out steel body. What it lacks is innovation. On the other hand, for innovation Breitling has the super-high-tech Emergency II model, while they carefully guard the rest of the pack against anything new.
All things considered, this new iteration of the legendary chronograph with its extremely legible analog-digital display brings to the table a timekeeper that looks like an ultimate tactical watch for ahem an office manager.
As you can see, the gadget comes in an XXL-sized body: it measures whole 46 millimeters in width.
The carbonized black steel case houses the Caliber 78 SuperQuartz movement based on the well-known ETA Thermoline E20.341 thermo-compensated movement that has a reputation of a high-accuracy caliber. It is allowed to lose or gain just 1/10th of a time usually allocated to a normal quartz caliber, which is usually more susceptible to variations in temperature.
The Chronospace Military also features the usual bi-directional bezel with a compass scale and scalloped notches that make manipulating the part comfortable even in heavy gloves. The usual pair of NVG-compatible LCD displays (well, it is actually a single display, which is visible through a couple of horizontal apertures) is also here, as are the trademark Arabic numerals at 3 and 9 o’clock.
The dial is highly legible and the list of functions is limited to just a few features that include an alarm, a countdown timer, a dual time zone display (UC), and, of course, a chronograph with split times.
The brutal fabric strap, which is available not only in anthracite but also in khaki color, gives the timekeeper an even more rugged appearance: something that we expect from a tactical timepiece.
What disappoints me here is that in fact, that the Chronospace Military is not as rugged as it looks.
Rated for the same 50 meters of water resistance as previous variations, the Chronospace Military is only good for swimming and not much else: something that you don’t expect from a “military” watch. Frankly, I don’t grasp the reasoning behind the decision to use such a “light” design: even a lot less expensive Tissot T-Race rates for a lot more appealing 100 meters of water-tightness. Same goes for the last year’s Aerospace Evo collection.
Well, perhaps, the reason is that originally Breitling marketed the Chronospace collection as a “pilot’s watch” (hence the much-touted compatibility of its LCD display with military night vision goggles), and pilots don’t dive a lot these days while in the line of duty. However, this particular variety looks more like a watch for a Navy SEAL and these guys spend quite a lot of their time underwater.
Still, if you are not a member of government-funded organization, prefer business dress to military uniform, and have a Breitling SuperOcean 1500M (or Omega Seamaster 600M) for you underwater adventures, this new version of Chronospace might be a nice accessory.
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Breitling Chronospace Military SuperQuartz specification
Price: €5300 (ref. M7836622.BD39.100W.M20BASA.1, MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Breitling Caliber 78 (base ETA Thermoline E20.341), Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, alarm, UTC dual time
Case: Black steel
Size: 46.00 mm
Dial: Black Volcano
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Black, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Anthracite or khaki-colored fabric strap / Black Ocean Classic steel mesh bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides, cambered