Just over a year ago, Breitling rolled out its revived Chronomat collection, which brought the watches’ design more in tune with their most direct inspiration, the Frecce Tricolori models released in 1984, and winnowed their case sizes down to a more modest but still assertive 42 mm. Last week saw the release of the Super Chronomat, a “supercharged, all-purpose sports watch” that takes the base Chronomat model in a bigger and bolder direction, one that will likely appeal to longtime fans of Breitling who fondly recall some of the brand’s more defiantly macho timepieces.
Differentiating the “Super” version of the Chronomat from its siblings are primarily its case size, 44 mm, upsized from 42 mm; its use of colored ceramic inserts in its unidirectional, ratcheting bezel; and the choice of either Breitling’s Rouleaux-style steel bracelet or an all-new rubber strap with three distinctive textures (matte, slick, and woven-look) achieved through state-of-the-art injection molding. Like last year’s first wave of modern Chronomats, and the 1980s model that served as their template, the Super Chronomat models feature interchangeable “rider tabs” at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock on the bezels, which the wearer can use for countdowns or count-ups.
Two of the three total variants of the Super Chronomat B01 44 have stainless steel cases, one with a black dial-and-strap combo, the other with blue; the third uses 18k rose gold for the case and features a rich brown hue on its dial, bezel insert, and strap. All three have tricompax dials, with silvered subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, for chronograph readouts and running seconds. All contain the Breitling manufacture Caliber B01, a COSC-certified automatic movement integrating a column-wheel chronograph function with a vertical clutch and a 70-hour power reserve, which is on display behind a sapphire caseback window. For those seeking an even more high-tech tool-watch look, Breitling offers the black-dial model on a special bracelet with an embedded, 1980s-inspired UTC module, powered by Breitling’s quartz B61 caliber, to track a second time zone.
The other member of the new family combines the signature chronograph function with a rare “semi-perpetual” calendar display. The Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar is available in two executions, both in stainless steel cases, with tone-on-tone subdials for the calendar indications and chronograph counters: one with black dial and black ceramic bezel insert, with 18k rose gold details, the other with the same elements in blue. The bezel of the latter model is in 18k rose gold and its Rouleaux bracelet (all the models are offered on both the bracelet and the rubber strap) is similarly two-tone, with both steel and rose gold components.
Inside both models, behind a solid steel caseback, beats another self-winding, COSC-certified caliber, the Breitling B19, which is built on an ETA 2892-A2 base. In addition to its central hour and minute display, small seconds, and 1/4-second chronograph, it is equipped with a calendar function with day, date, month, and moon-phase that requires adjustment only every leap year, or precisely every 1,461 days — a very user-friendly complication that occupies the middle ground between an annual and perpetual calendar.
The Breitling Super Chronomat collection is available at retail now, with pricing set as follows: $8,500 for the steel versions of the B01 44 on the rubber strap; $9,000 for both those models on steel bracelets; $10,000 for the B01 44 on steel bracelet with the added UTC module. For the 18k gold B01 44, it’s $23,650 on the strap, and $35,000 on the gold bracelet. The Four Year Calendar in steel with black dial retails for $14,600 on the strap and $15,200 on the bracelet; and the blue-dialed, two-tone version, for $15,750 on the strap and $17,250 on the bracelet.