February 8, 2023
Despite originally being created as a chronograph for mathematicians, the Breitling Chronomat has become the brand’s multi-purpose sports watch collection. Consequently, it only makes sense that the Chronomat would be the model frequently chosen to serve as the basis for various sports-centric limited edition pieces. 2023 marks the second season that Breitling will be the Official Timekeeping partner of Six Nations Rugby, and to celebrate the occasion and the recent forming of Breitling’s new Rugby Squad of ambassadors, the brand has just announced a new limited edition series of Chronomat B01 watches.
Consisting of six different models, with each dedicated to one of the unions and federations that make up Six Nations Rugby (England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, and Italy) the new Breitling Chronomat B01 Six Nations collection is heavily based upon the design of the current stainless steel Chronomat B01 42 chronograph. This means that with the exception of their dials and caseback art, all of these new models are virtually identical to the standard-production 42mm stainless steel Breitling Chronomat watches, with the only differences being the special dials and caseback art featured on them.
With onion-shaped screw-down crowns, oblong chronograph pushers, sapphire crystals above their dials, and generous 200-meter depth ratings, everything about the new Breitling Chronomat Six Nations watches is exactly in line what you expect from the contemporary lineup. Additionally, they even feature the same stainless steel rotating timing bezel with “rider tabs” at the 15-minute markers, along with the model’s signature “Rouleaux” bracelet that was revived with the most recent generational update to the Chronomat collection. Similarly, just like regular versions of the Breitling Chronomat B01 42, the new Six Nations Rugby limited edition models are powered by the brand’s manufacture COSC chronometer-certified B01 automatic chronograph movement, which runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
Although the dials of the Six Nations models all follow the same overall layout as the standard 42mm Chronomat chronograph with a trio of registers and a date window at the 6 o’clock location, each one appears in a different color and features the emblem of its specific Six Nations Rugby union inside the sub-dial at 9 o’clock. The England model is fitted with a silver dial, the Ireland edition gets a green dial, the Wales version receives a red dial, and the France, Italy, and Scotland watches all have blue dials, although each one is different, with Scotland being the darkest and Italy the lightest in order to correspond with each of the competing union’s national colors. Similarly, while all six of the models have screw-down sapphire display casebacks, each one features the same team emblem from the dial also printed on the underside of the caseback window.
In addition to the new series of 42mm Chronomat B01 Six Nations watches, Breitling is also announcing its recently formed Rugby Squad, which consists of seven high-profile players from each of the Six Nations Rugby teams. Representing Wales is top scorer George North; from Ireland is three-time champion Conor Murray; from England is powerhouse prop Kyle Sinckler; from Italy is star fly-half Paolo Garbisi; from France is 2022 Grand Slam winner Gaël Fickou; and from Scotland is both Hamish Watson (the 2021 Player of the Championship) and Stuart Hogg, who has twice been named the Championship’s top performer. While these seven players make up the initial Breitling Rugby Squad, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other members added to it in the future should this initiative end up resonating well with the public.
Each of the six models that make up the new Breitling Chronomat B01 Six Nations series will be limited to 150 examples worldwide, as indicated by the “One of 150 engraving on their casebacks. Additionally, each of the new Six Nations Chronomat watches will be accompanied by an official retail price of £7,400 GBP (or $8,950 USD), which makes them slightly more expensive than the standard-production versions of the 42mm stainless steel Chronomat B01 chronograph. Although I imagine the vast majority of the people interested in purchasing these will be die-hard European rugby fans, I could also see some collectors buying one of these limited-edition Chronomat models simply because it allows them to get their hands on an unusual small-batch variation of one of Breitling’s most famous models. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.