Breitling Super Chronomat 44 B01
Today Breitling has released the new, bigger brother to its popular Chronomat. The new Super Chronomat is the boldest and, perhaps most ambitious, addition to the Swiss brand’s sports chronograph collection. Breitling says that the Breitling Super Chronomat is the “ultimate choice for those who want a timepiece mastering the balance between sturdy and stylish”. Marketing spiel aside, I’m inclined to agree, as my initial impression is that they look incredibly sturdy, and they’re also rather stylish to boot. Of course, I’d expect nothing less from a Breitling — just look at that stunning Four Year Calendar model!
The Frecce Tricolori watch that Breitling created for the hotshots of the Italian Air Force’s aerobatic fleet in 1983 provided the inspiration for the Super Chronomat. The Frecce Tricolori Chronomat was a classy little number in its own right, and Ben bought one when it was first released last year. It marked a waistline reduction from 44mm to 42mm and refreshed 2018’s Chronomat reboot. Breitling has now seen fit to reintroduce the 44m case size, to complement the 42mm.
In keeping with the original Chronomat, Breitling kept the signature riders tabs at the cardinal points on the unidirectional bezel. Thus, they have the added benefit of helping protect the large sapphire crystal from harm. But, of course, with AR coating on the outer surface and the inner, any help protecting the Super Chronomat’s crystal from scratches is more than welcome. Wearers also can switch up the 15 and 45 markers to change the bezel function from count-up to count-down. It’s a subtle touch, and I always say, “it’s nice to have something you don’t use than not having it at all”.
As the name might suggest, the Breitling Chronomat B01 44 is the next size up from its smaller 42mm brother. The 44mm case adds a little extra heft for those who like to physically feel the sturdiness of their watch. There are three primary “flavors” of the B01 44. Two are cased in stainless steel with an option of blue or black dial/bezel combinations. The third is a rich chocolatey-brown dial/bezel combination with a case in 18kt red gold. The bezels all use ceramic inserts – a first on a Chronomat. All models feature contrasting silver chronograph counters powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, which provides about 70 hours of power reserve. To top off its go-anywhere-do-anything personality, the Super Chronomat is water-resistant up to 200 meters.
For those wanting something a little unusual, there’s a black dial version of the Super Chronomat with a UTC-module embedded in a Rouleaux bracelet. Referring to Universal Time Coordinated, this provides a way to keep track of an additional time zone and is a quirky Breitling feature dating back to the 1980s. It’ll add a bit more weight to what is already a reasonably chunky watch, but looks alone make it totally worth it.
Breitling offers wearers a choice of two strap options for the Super Chronomat. For the bracelet lovers among us, the classic Rouleaux bracelet, or for a more edgy and sporty look, there is a new Rouleaux-inspired rubber strap available in blue, black, or brown, with a butterfly clasp. I have only seen the images so far, but the strap looks great. On paper, I don’t like the sound of a bracelet-inspired watch strap, but the design team seems to have done a slap-up job.
The Chronomat’s new rubber strap is created with state-of-the-art injection molding techniques. The three distinct textures give it remarkable depth without looking tacky. I wear many of my watches on rubber straps, so I’d love to see this one in the flesh sometime. The blue dial/bezel on the blue rubber is probably my pick of the bunch so far!
Breitling decided it was not content with the B01 44 being the life and soul of the Super Chronomat party. So, it also introduced a complicated annual calendar version, named the Breitling Super Chronomat 44 Four Year Calendar. It may not be the catchiest of names, but it’s straight to the point! The Four Year Calendar has an annual calendar date complication that only needs adjusting once every leap year. That is once every 1461 days.
This nifty little number comes in two versions. Firstly a black dial with tone-on-tone chronograph counters, stainless-steel bezel with a black ceramic bezel insert, and 18tk red gold elements. The other option? A fetching blue dial featuring tone-on-tone chronograph counters and a bezel in 18kt red gold with a blue ceramic insert. The Breitling Caliber 19 powers this timepiece; a COSC-certified chronograph movement with a semi-perpetual calendar with a moonphase indicator.
In all, the Super Chronomat is an excellent addition to the Chronomat stable. Breitling has made a supercharged, all-purpose sports watch that’s elegant enough for the evening as well. Pricing starts from €8,150 (full breakdown below). You can find out more on Breitling’s website.