Breitling has just released a new Chronomat B01 42 model, available in a variety of dial colors and precious metal mixes. What I have here today is the stainless steel option with a blue dial.
I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this model since the first day it launched. There’s been a lot of uproar on social media about this new release, with people saying “this is a breath of fresh air for Breitling”, “this is the best looking Breitling of their entire collection” and I agree with that.
Breitling seems to be missing some of their usual DNA from this model, as if they have stepped back and looked at the competition to create something classic but modern, intertwined with the Breitling DNA. The watch has been completely toned down aesthetically, exuding a modern, rounded look.
This new version is the Chronomat reissued 40 years ago in celebration of Breitling, and when comparing old and new watches, you can see how they have been styled in a nice way.
The absence of the signature beading on the bezel, the simplification of the dial and the shortened lugs are just a few of the standout changes that make the new Chronomat a different mens replica watch and a potential future classic.
The new chronomat is definitely big on my 6.5″ wrist, it’s 42mm in diameter, but it’s more like a 44 on me. This is a fairly chunky and heavy watch that will take some getting used to, although there’s no denying that a lot of engineering has gone into this piece.
It’s also fairly thick at 15.10mm, which isn’t ideal if you want your watch to slip easily into your cuff. On the other hand, its presence is very good, and it can have a good conversation with any watch lover who notices it.
The sunburst blue dial is absolutely stunning, and depending on the angle and light conditions, it seems to shift from a deep navy blue across the spectrum to a light turquoise Adriatic blue. Breitling absolutely nailed the dial to this chronograph, and it might just be the watch’s best feature. It’s very clear and uncluttered without feeling overly spacious, while exuding luxurious warmth.
The bracelet is another highlight, it’s a relatively rare “Rouleaux bracelet” aka “Bullet Bracelet” that is very comfortable to wear and looks unique because of the large number of active links that are contoured around the wrist . It has a double snap closure that feels very secure and has a compression quick release for easy removal.
The chronograph is powered by the in-house Breitling 01 movement, which is self-winding with 47 jewels, and the beast of this movement can be seen from the back through the showcase.
The watch functions very smoothly, with audible clicks when starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph. The chronograph hands slide effortlessly, while the sub-dial keeps track of the counts. The bright red hands are also easily distinguishable and can be easily tracked.
For most people, this is the Holy Grail watch, a must-have for fake Breitling collectors and even pilots looking for a reliable and capable watch.