Right before getting into the thick of Baselworld 2018, Breitling has revealed the latest version of a longtime pilot’s favorite, the Breitling Chronomat B01 Chronograph 44. At first glance, we can see that the changes here are subtle but contribute to a newer and more subdued look for this big 44mm watch. Most notably, Breitling has opted for a cool brushed finish for the stainless steel case while simplifying the dial treatment. As a result, we see Breitling depart from some of their previous (sometimes blingy) design choices as well as the brand’s new approach to style and overall aesthetic – a sign of new and valuable leadership at the hands of Georges Kern.
Model: Chronomat B01 Chronograph 44
Dimensions: 44mm Diameter x 16.95mm Thickness
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire with double AR-coating
Movement: Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Pilot stainless-steel bracelet with folding clasp
Price & Availability: $8,720
Even with its 44mm case, I’ve always been attracted to the Chronomat and when I caught wind of the new models being revealed, I feared opening a press release filled with countless variations and color combinations plus different case materials blended into the mix. Thankfully, Breitling kept things basic and for me, these are the most attractive color options I’ve ever seen for the Chronomat. Something never really sat well with me whenever coming across the the previous, highly-polished Chronomats and I think it had something to do with the way the watches aged. This brushed tool-ish approach to the new models is by far more fitting and I think both the “Blackeye grey” and “Blackeye blue” dials will manage to pull in buyers that might’ve been disappointed with the available options before.
If I had to complain about anything at this point, it would be the tachymeter scale. It’s minor, I know, but I can’t help but wonder why so many brands find it necessary when the feature is practically useless in the day-to-day of most wearers. Logging hours in your Piper J-3? At most, you’ll mess around with the chronograph function to time your holding patterns – not recommended, but that’s it.
Personally these new approaches to the Chronomat are enough to put the watch back on my radar and remedy the option paralysis I experience whenever sifting through Breitling’s catalog. The shinier and more eccentric variants are still available on Breitling’s site if that’s still your thing but personally, I’m happy to see the Breitling Chronomat B01 Chronograph 44 in its simplified form. I’m willing to bet the Blackeye blue model will be especially popular and it should be exciting to get the watch hands-on. Price for the Breitling Chronomat B01 Chronograph 44 is $8,720 and be sure to stay tuned for more Baselworld 2018 coverage along with our hands-on impressions after we handle the watches at the show. breitling.com