The Chronomat marks one of Breitling's first big breakthroughs in the watchmaking industry. In 1941, the brand patented its rotating slide rule technology, and with it, they debuted a new model: the Chronomat. To this day, the Chronomat continues to be one of the brand’s flagship models. It’s also particularly significant because it inspired the creation of one of Breitling's most iconic models, the Navitimer. Buying a Breitling Chronomat watch means owning a piece of the brand's history. Enjoy browsing our selection of exceptional used Breitling Chronomat watches for sale.
WWII spurred a number of watchmakers to produce pilot watches in the 1940s. This prompted Breitling to work on developing their rotating slide-rule bezel technology, a feature primarily used by pilots to perform a number of calculations needed during flight. They patented their rotating slide-rule bezel in 1941 and debuted it in a new model called the Chronomat.
The increased demand for pilot watches inspired Breitling to create the Chronomat. However, they wanted to distinguish it from the popular military watches of the era. Instead, they decided to market the model toward the scientific community like engineers and mathematicians. This strategy ultimately helped the Chronomat’s success to continue long after the war. By the 1950s, the Chronomat's reputation as the watch for the hard-working man who was ready and eager for a new era of progress and achievement.
1969 was an important year for Breitling and the watch industry as a whole. That year, the brand took part in a top-secret endeavor called Project 99 along with Heuer, Buren, and Dubois-Depraz. Together, they made one of the most monumental horological advancements: the invention of the self-winding chronograph movement.
This groundbreaking feat influenced the next generation of Chronomat models, with the release of the first automatic variation. The Chronomat received another major update about fifteen years later in 1984. This version paid homage to the original 1940s model, designed with aviators in mind. To hone the design specifically for pilots, Breitling partnered with the Italian Airforce Aerobatics team. One of the most notable features of the newly reimagined Chronomat is the now-iconic rider tabs on the bezel. This distinguishing feature allowed pilots to easily grip the watch while wearing gloves in the cockpit.
Shortly after the new millennium, Breitling introduced a new iteration of the Chronomat in 2004: the Chronomat Evolution. This variation was a more extreme departure from earlier models, featuring a heftier and more contemporary design. In more recent years, Breitling expanded upon the collection. For example, in 2018, the brand added a refreshing new variation to the Chronomat lineup, the B01 Chronograph 44. The model features a more refined design with a brushed case and new dial treatment. In addition, the Chronomat B01 Chronograph 44 gets an upgrade in the form of Breitling's in-house B01 caliber.
The Chronomat is one of the most popular and classic models in the Breitling family of watches. It has unarguably been a success in its own right. However, the Chronomat is also particularly significant because it inspired the creation of one of Breitling's most iconic models, the Navitimer. Still, the Chronomat marks one of Breitling’s first big breakthroughs in the watchmaking industry. Today, it continues to be one of the brand’s flagship models.
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