Last Thursday, we witnessed the very first Breitling Summit 2020 Webcast where the Swiss manufacturer announced a stunning range of Breitling watch releases. For us, the star of the show was the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 collection which features an all new and improved design inspired by one of the brand’s most legendary Chronomat models released in 1984.
For as long as we can remember, the Breitling Chronomat has held a significant place in the brand’s history. It was first released in the 1940’s and was one of the first in the world to boast a slide-rule bezel. Nevertheless, for most watch aficionados, the most notable Chronomat was one released in 1984 during a time when extra-thin quartz watches were the order of the day. In 1983, Breitling released the Frecce Tricolori chronograph, a mechanical timepiece designed in collaboration with the Italian aerial squadron of the same name. Its versatility was evident as its tachymeter scale caught the interest of Formula 1 teams anda its reversable rider tabs made it the perfect watch for regattas. Then for the 100th anniversary of Breitling in 1984, Ernest Schneider decided to create a new icon which he saw in the face of the Chronomat Frecce Tricolori.
Rather than following the herd and designing another quartz watch, Schneider took the courageous path and went against the increasing dominance of thin quartz watches with the release of an all-new Bretiling Chronomat. The 1984 watch became a huge success and was a key influence in bringing mechanical watches on trend again. This time, the name Chronomat expressed something entirely different, with the combination of words “chronograph” and “automatic” making up its name. The new collection of Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watches for 2020 pay tribute to their predecessor with a reinstated vintage Rouleaux bracelet, interchangeable rider tabs on the bezel and the staple Breitling B01 in-house mechanical movement.
Although not an entirely faithful re-edition, the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 has managed to balance the perfect amount of vintage aesthetic with modern improvements. The 42mm stainless steel case looks almost exact to the original with integrated lugs, robust shoulders, and a bevelled rounded crown. The pushers and crown protection have been modernised slightly for better integration and to improve the water resistant rating to 200 metres.
The Rouleaux bracelet is one of our favourite additions to the design, fully transforming the piece from just another modern sports watch to a vintage-inspired piece. The rifle-shell style links are bound together by polished inner links that blend seamlessly through the case and lugs. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the bracelet as integrated, but the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 is also available on a choice of rubber straps.
Another signature element is the addition of the interchangeable rider tabs on the unidirectional ratcheted bezel. Available in stainless steel, 18 carat gold or two toned with rose gold tabs, the bezel of the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watch showcases interchangeable rider tabs at positions 15 and 45. This means that the wearer can choose whether they want to use the timepiece to count up or count down. The choice of bezel material is also reflected in the case design also available in stainless steel or 18 carat rose gold.
Housed within the case is the indispensable Breitling B01 in-house automatic mechanical movement. The 47 jewelled COSC certified calibre provides classic central hands for hours, minutes and seconds, a date window at 6H and three subsidiary dials for continuous seconds, 12 hour counter and 30 minutes counter. The movement also promises a frequency of 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 70 hours. The functions are displayed on an array of dial colours including anthracite, blue, copper, black, silver or British Racing Green dials (the latter being a Bentley edition).
The first pieces of the 2020 Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watch collection are expected to be available at the end of April with more pieces coming out late May. For the impatient of us, you can pre-order any of these models in advance on the Jura Watches website. Be one of the first to take delivery of the new Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watches at Jura Watches today with interest free finance and free delivery available.
Specifications: Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Watches
- Case Size: 42mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel or 18 carat rose gold
- Bezel: Unidirectional with interchangeable rider tabs and 60 minute scale
- Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
- Crown: Screw down
- Case Back: Sapphire crystal
- Water Resistance: 200 metres
- Movement: Breitling B01 in-house automatic
- COSC: Yes
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph, date, chronograph seconds
- Power Reserve: 70 hours
- Jewels: 47
- Frequency: 28,800vph
- Dial: Available in silver, copper, blue, black, anthracite or green
- Strap: Black rubber or Rouleaux bracelet
- RRP: Starting from £6,650
- Release Date: April 2020