If it is classic functionality, with elements of vintage design that you are searching for in that one special piece to add to your collection this year, Breitling has found it for you. Intended as a pilot’s watch, the Breitling Chronoliner is just the ticket for that long haul flight or to add the finishing touch to evening attire. The mid 20th Century saw the expansion of commercial air travel, a time when Breitling was already beginning to supply their timepieces to professionals of world aviation. By drawing inspiration from their earlier Navitimer collection, Breitling have combined both aspects to create a completely new piece for Basel 2015.
Although Pilot’s watches today tend to accentuate all their technical features, the new Chronoliner has played down any fancy modifications and stripped it back to basics with a bold and archetypal piece to add to their already well established aeronautical range. The new Chronoliner has similar characteristics from many other models of the past, including that of the co-pilot and the 75 AVI stemming back from the 1950’s. This new innovation with piston pushers and a 3 o’clock window to show the date takes us back to an era when Breitling really pushed forward with their skilled engineers to construct a rigid AOPA, reliable piece of equipment for accurate speed. Other advantages would allow an easily readable display for fuel consumption and time reading. The Chronoliner’s coated onyx black hue 24 hour rotating bezel allows any skilled user to read a third time zone, operating on a highly accurate ratcheted system. This new piece offers a Chronograph of the highest quality with counters placed at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock on a panda face for optimal contrast, a look that differentiates itself from that of the Avenger and the Superocean range, where the sub dials are commonly seen at the 3, 6 ad 9 o’clock positions. The Chronoliner also has a 24 hour hand which gently tapers towards the red arrow tip for easy reading and clean white oversized luminous minute and hour hand. Sitting inside the heart of the watch is the calibre 24 using the movement ETA Valjoux 7750 (25 jewels). It beats at an impressive 28,800 vph and is enclosed by 48 millimetres of stainless steel case with solid caseback. Like all Breitling watches, the Chronoliner is COSC certified. Elegantly engraved onto the back of the stainless steel case are two airplanes mounted on top of one another, harking back to Breitling’s historic logo. The model is also 100m water resistant. The choice of either the classic strap or Milanese bracelet is down to personal choice. The latter however clearly adds to the overall vintage look. Just imagine how beautiful this watch would look on a textured brown strap?!
Even after having discussed those slightly more modern additions, the Chronoliner is still sure to put a smile on the faces of many dedicated Breitling collectors, who will see that there remains plenty of old school spirit in there. I cannot help but look at the Chronoliner and think of the rather short lived Navitimer Cosmonaute 809 24 hour version in all black dial, which was soon superseded by the silver dial range in around 1962. Soon after this transition period, more versions of the model were made available in gold filled, steel or 19k gold, so it is easy to appreciate how special the all black dials were at the time. Basel 2015 is set to impress this year with many watch brands pulling out all of the stops. However, we at CW Sellors have been anticipating the release of this new watch for quite some time. Those of you Breitling lovers will be more than familiar with the brand’s usual tendencies to improve an old model or release a revamped version of an already successful piece, so a new creation is always welcomed with eager wrists! Slick looking, simple and holding remarkable composure, this fresh faced Chronoliner promises to combine retro with recent and is a must for anyone wanting to fly in style this year.