Breitling Windrider Chronomat Chronograph, Evolution, B01 Watch Review
Chronomat stands out as the flagship line of the Windrider collection. A close relative of Cockpit watches, it shares with it several primary traits: the distribution of chronograph subdials at quarter hours except three o'clock, where the date aperture rests; large numerals/indexes and matching broad, gladius-shaped hands, rider-tab bezel, and more.
Conversely, while Cockpit timepieces approach Galactic models (which represent the dressy version of the Windrider department) by demonstrating a decorative square in the center of the dial, Chronomat avoid any kind of embellishment, keeping the professional aesthetic the focal point of each timepiece.
The sturdy build protects the crown and the push buttons from shocks, and guards the automatic movement (42 hours of power reserve) from water penetration (300 meters). Other editions include the Evolution, often furnished with luxurious mother-of-pearl and diamonds, and the B01, featuring Breitling's first fully in-house manufactured chronograph movement.
Mechanisms have been tested and certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute; the signature appears below the logo, near the date window.
Chronomat is one of the most visually versatile collections Breitling have to offer. The brand's goal here is to allow potential owners determine the character of the watch, and match it with their personality.
Most components can be customized: numerals (Roman or Arabic) or indexes; contrasting or blending (similar to Windrider Cockpit) subdials; a broad range of colors (white, black, blue, burgundy) for dials and leather straps; two tone or single tone bracelets; diamond and gold luxury decoration – and the list goes on. This impressive inventory of options proves that Breitling prefer their customers express their individual taste to imposing their own.
Manufacturing in-house automatic mechanical movements from the first detail to the last remains the most desired capability of contemporary watchmakers, Swiss or otherwise. Very few names can boast a membership in this exclusive club – Jaeger LeCoultre, Girard Perregaux, Vacheron Constantin, and Ulysse Nardin are among the best known brands that do – and now Breitling proudly joins them with the Chronomat B01.
Case and crown protection remain the same, whereas the lugs receive a slight curve, a change that gives them more grip on the wrist on the one hand, and extra visual interest on the other.
Blackbird presents a Chronomat based watch that introduces an important camouflage feature: a matted or black, carbon treated steel case, both reducing the possibility of being discovered by glare reflection.
Dial design is similar to the B01, while the date indicator has been elevated to the prominent 12 o'clock position. Here Breitling created a more military oriented timepiece.