Watches: Breitling New Releases
By Thierry Ané on December 10, 2014
Considering Breitling’s sales figures, no wonder hardly a month goes by without another watch introduction. As I am not particularly drawn to most of their creations, the articles published on Watch Agora rarely reflect this great productivity but with no less than four models unveiled in the course of the last four weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to at least review these timepieces in a brief “combo article” for all the watch lovers with a weakness for aviation-inspired models.
Interestingly enough, these four pieces also show how versatile the brand can be as they cover a wide range of styles and clearly highlight that the targeted customers span a large spectrum of the total watch enthusiasts’ palette.
The Chronospace Military is the kind of watch I really don’t want to talk about on Watch Agora. I would never feature a quartz watch in a stand-alone article but for the sake of exhaustiveness I have included it in this rag bag article!
This 46 mm watch in black PVD steel is an electronic multifunction pilot’s chronograph housing the brand’s calibre 78 with its mixture of analog and LCD 12/24-hour display. Functions include the 1/100th second chronograph with split times and a digital perpetual calendar as well as an alarm, a countdown timer and a second time zone with its independent alarm.
In this version, the watch plays on the stealth all-black look with relatively elegant beige Super-LumiNova markings. I personally don’t like the choice of a mesh black PVD steel bracelet for this very sporty model in the version presented here but another rendition with a more appropriate rugged military-type fabric is also available.
Being mechanical, the Galactic 44 is the first “true” watch of this selection. Design-wise, this COSC-certified model in stainless steel with a unidirectional rotating bezel and onion-shaped grooved crown is what you would expect from Breitling.
This time, though, the famous “Galactic” model has adopted a more contemporary 44 mm size and the black rubber-inlaid hour markers on the bezel emphasise its masculine look. The black dial also adopts the beige markings of the Chronospace Military but they somehow work less harmoniously here where the case is not blackened. The black fabric strap secured with a folding steel buckle makes the watch easy to wear in all situations.
Inside beats the self-winding calibre 45 offering a date and day of the week display in addition to the time of the day. The layout of these additional indications is absolutely classical of these day/date models with the usual date window at 3 o’clock and a large aperture at noon for the day of the week in full letters. A really classic-looking Breitling model…
Chronomat 44 Raven
With strong touches of bright orange on an otherwise all-black watch and the choice of rubber for the strap, the Chronomat 44 Raven reveals another side of Breitling’s know-how. The watch is bold and flashy and clearly intended for a younger and trendier clientele.
One does not have to be old and old-fashioned, however, to be a true watch enthusiast and to acknowledge the fact that not all watch lovers fall in the “classic watch” category, Breitling equipped this Chronomat 44 Raven timepiece with its manufacture calibre 01. This self-winding chronograph with 70 hours of power reserve meets the highest benchmark in terms of reliability and precision.
Aesthetically, the orange rubber-inlaid numerals on the bezel and orange index chronograph and small seconds hands are a perfect complement to the colourful orange flange with the tachymeter scale. The sapphire case back lets you admire the in-house movement and a nice blackened pin buckle secures the rubber strap embossed with the brand’s name. All in all, this is a very graphic and good-looking interpretation of the famous “Chronomat” model.
Transocean Chronograph Edition
I have obviously saved the model that will retain the attention of most seasoned watch enthusiasts for last. With its retro-look obtained through classic round push-pieces, the absence of crown protectors, a classic (not onion-shaped) fluted crown, and a fixed bevelled bezel without inscriptions, the “Transocean” line is definitely the most Fine Watchmaking-oriented offer from Breitling.
It features perfect everyday-watches like the Transocean Day & Date model, luxurious chronograph in red gold, useful second time zone models like the Transocean Chronograph GMT watch with its nice vintage looking mesh bracelet, more sophisticated Transocean Chronograph Unitime with 24-hour display for the world timer function.
It also includes complex models like the [111024 Transocean Chronograph 1461] featuring an annual calendar and a moon phase indication, all the way to a magnificent perpetual calendar timepiece, the Transocean Chronograph QP, that I particularly love in red gold with a superb blue dial and alligator strap.
The latest addition does not try to outdo these fine models on the pure watchmaking side as the Transocean Chronograph Edition is “simply” a chronograph watch housing the in-house calibre 01 we have just discussed for the Chronomat 44 Raven model. Its appeal lies elsewhere: it pushes the vintage look of this line one step further by adding a double caseback complete with a cover.
This traditional half-hunter case typical of pocket watches of yesteryear works beautifully with the mesh steel bracelet and retro look of the watch case. The two-tone mercury and silver dial with gold markers also adds a touch of vintage refinement to this beautiful model presented in 43 mm. The Transocean Chronograph Edition is a fine choice for someone in search of an aviation-inspired model that pays tribute to the past while retaining the performances of a modern mechanical watch.
I believe it was interesting to present these new Breitling models contemporaneously as it highlights the versatility of a brand that offers models on the entire watchmaking spectrum while always managing to incorporate its own aviation-inspired style.
For more information please visit the Breitling web site.