Road test Breitling Chronomat men‘s and women’s watches.
Relaunched in 2020, the new-generation Breitling Chronomat is inspired by a model launched in 1984 to commemorate the brand’s 100th anniversary. Dominating the wrist with aviation-inspired glamour and performance-driven spirit, the original Chronomat was originally delivered to members of the Italian Air Force’s aerobatic team, Frecce Tricolori. After being released to the public, the Chronomat quickly became known as Breitling’s hot mechanical chronograph, not only extremely popular, but a rallying symbol against the proliferation of quartz watches at the time.
The revamped Chronomat collection continues to exude the same sharp look, flaunting iconic design elements such as the rotating bezel (at three and nine o’clock positions) with interchangeable rider labels, and a one-piece with butterfly clasp Rouleaux bracelet. At the same time, the watch also has new functions. In a nod to the Chronomat’s mechanical heritage, the key to the new series’ upgrades is the new engine, which features the in-house Calibre 01 automatic chronograph movement in the men’s Chronomat B01 42, and the Calibre 10 automatic movement in the women’s Chronomat Automatic 36.
Breitling CEO Georges Kern calls the new generation Chronomat his “desert island watch”. “It’s a versatile timepiece,” he added. “The Chronomat has elements like riders that you can change, it’s waterproof and versatile. You can wear it with jeans or formal wear.”
But we just have to find out for ourselves, don’t we? In this Battle of the Genders review, CROWN editors Alvin Wong and Melissa Kong put men’s and women’s Chronomat models to the test to see if the revered Chronomat lives up to its name.
Alvin Chronograph B01 42
Not gonna lie: I’m more of a third-hand watch guy. Still, I keep an open mind. I first got my hands on this watch at Breitling’s loft concept store in ION Orchard, and my first reaction was: “I can get into this!” I was assigned a model with a panda-style dial, and I believe this watch The understated steel-versus-silver combo was an instant win. The first time you use it, the polished and matte finish of the watch and the weight and weight of the chronograph jump out. Right off the bat, the Chronomat B01 42 feels both sporty and luxurious.
Black accumulators accentuate the watch’s main steel and silver tones, which are as understated as the new Chronomat collection. Nonetheless, this is a manly chronograph. The watch’s bezel with the claw rider tab, onion-shaped crown and traditional Rouleaux (French for “roller”) bracelet (below) are its most notable features, making the iconic Chronomat aesthetic its ‘s true colors. The panda-style dial that’s all the rage of late underscores the watch’s strong “modern retro” style, which Breitling has been marking in its most recent releases. Last but not least, the watch’s combination of matte and polished finishes – especially on the Rouleaux bracelet – really caught on and gave the model a sporty and luxurious feel.
easy to read
I was impressed by the legibility of this swiss automatic watches. Polished hands and faceted hour-markers provide depth and shade, ensuring they stand out against the sunburst-finished silver dial, showing the time effortlessly from any angle. Not only does the panda dial give it a retro-chic feel, but it contrasts with the hands on the accumulator. I barely started the chronograph, but I figured the central chronograph hand with the red arrow would definitely come in handy for easy reading. Finally, the night light on this watch is excellent. I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw it glow as I drove into the underground parking lot – and it wasn’t even that dark.
Wear resistance You can definitely feel the Chronomat
Weight of B01 42. The watch’s chronograph engine and sturdy steel construction complement each other. The case size is 42mm, and personally, given my wrist size, I can stretch it to any watch. While the watch is fairly large, thanks to its short, tapered lugs, it doesn’t have the annoying overhangs that usually plague plus-size chronographs. In addition to looking glamorous, this Rouleaux bracelet is also incredibly soft. When adjusting the length of the bracelet, boutique staff said that each link consists of two cylindrical tubes. Therefore, please note that it is not possible to add or remove just one of the tubes when adjusting the length of the bracelet.
Like most people, I usually prefer the beauty of a chronograph to the performance. That said, it was a pleasure to put the watch’s column-wheel-assisted movement to the test. The tactile feel of the stop/start and stop buttons is flawless – just the right amount of resistance and impact activates the chronograph, sending the accumulator on its normal track and the red central chronograph hands ticking smoothly. The watch’s automatic movement, Calibre 01, was developed and manufactured by Breitling in-house. Like all movements of the brand, it is COSC certified, promising a deviation of -4/+6 seconds per day. I didn’t put much thought into recording the day-to-day accuracy of this watch. But every time I check, the times match, so I’ll take Breitling’s word for it.
For those of you who don’t like chronographs by nature, the Chronomat B01 42 has really grown in my heart – and honestly, a lot faster than I expected. This watch’s effortless yet subtle expression of luxury, vintage design and mechanical grandeur certainly makes a convincing proposition for serious mechanical sports watch lovers.
Unfortunately (or luckily, depending on how you look at it), my wrists are tiny, so anything over 36mm would look too big on me. While this Chronomat Automatic 36 is the perfect size, it’s hard to get a perfect fit on a Rouleaux bracelet, and since they don’t do half-links, I had to choose a slightly looser or very snug fit. I opted for a looser fit because I value my circulation. Also, I think a slightly looser fit would be cool too. When I was about to leave the boutique, the salesperson asked if I wanted to wear it straight or put it in a box. Of course I want to wear it. In fact, I can’t wait to show off what has recently become one of my favorite Breitling models.
For me, the real highlight is the Rouleaux bracelet. I love that Breitling decided to bring it back from the 1980s (what can I say, I’m an eighties kid) and make it relevant today. It’s definitely retro chic, dare I say it, timeless. At a party, I was surprised when a friend pointed out that my watch had sparkles. It was only after careful consideration that I realized that there are little diamonds at the top of each index. I’m someone who doesn’t like wearing diamonds on everyday watches, but these diamonds are pretty unremarkable for my taste. Also, once I noticed diamonds, I couldn’t get over the subtle femininity they brought to the dial. OK, so maybe a little flash won’t hurt.
No complaints here. The dial is clean, with a nice sunburst finish, and the date window, while inconspicuous at six o’clock, is clear and large enough to keep the nearsighted me from squinting. Super-LumiNova hands and indexes also make the watch easy to read, even in low light. The convex, dual anti-reflective sapphire crystal is also a nice touch, eliminating glare when the sun does it well.
I don’t usually wear a watch (which is shocking, I know), and when I do, it’s a smartwatch. But the Chronomat Automatic 36 is surprisingly comfortable on the wrist. I say “weird” because I didn’t expect how it would feel on my wrist. Most of the time, I barely even noticed it—unlike my smartwatch, it occasionally vibrated on my wrist. Whether I’m going for a business lunch or shopping at a weekend market, it’s easy to pair with any outfit and occasion.
As a multi-sport watch, the Chronomat Automatic 36 is truly versatile. The one-way ratcheting rotating bezel is also easy to activate, with a smooth click with each revolution. However, because of the polished bezel, I get fingerprints every time I fiddle with it. Of course, that’s not a big deal, but if you’re obsessive, you may find yourself constantly rubbing off signs of your restless fingers.
At the end of the week, I have developed an attachment to the fake watches for sale because I know I will. I love how easy it is to wear, how comfortable it feels and how stylish it is on my wrist. . I’m not too demanding of a watch, ex