Introduced in 1983 in response to the Italian Air Force’s famed “Tricolori” aerial demonstration squadron’s need for a new, technologically advanced chronograph, Breitling answered the call with the Chronomat. For almost 50 years, the Chronomat has offered two design features that make it unique. The first, are the four “rider tabs” at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Added to create protective space between the bezel and glass to prevent damage, the 3 and 9 o’clock tabs can be cleverly unscrewed, reversed, and reattached to provide countdown functionality. The other iconic feature is the rouleaux “bullet” bracelet. Like no other bracelet, this has helped make the Chronomat so identifiable that Seinfeld fans could immediately tell the watch Jerry was wearing on-screen.
Today’s sample is unique – with a highly polished steel case and two-tone italic bracelet, it has substantial heft yet conveys a feeling of motion and elegance. The gold subdials stand out against the royal blue dial while the 3 o’clock date window balances the myriad features across the watch face. The unidirectional bezel turns with a satisfying click while the bracelet will fit watches up to 7.5” in size. The 39mm case houses a Breitling 13 movement.