Breitling’s new Chronomat watch replica, whose design is inspired by future classic watches in the 1980s. The new Chronomat watch replica continues Breitling’s upsurge of reexamining traditional watches in Breitling’s long history of watch models.
Under the leadership of Georges Kern, we saw that the Ref 806 watch in 1959 and the Ref 765 watch in 1953 have been revised. In addition, the recently released Breitling Top-Time watch replica also uses a bow-tie dial. But these watches are from the era of Willie Breitling. For some collectors, Breitling didn’t appear until the 1980s.
Breitling, during the 70s, was in a bit of a rut. This was true for many Swiss brands, left reeling from the onset of the quartz crisis. Rolex and Patek Philippe put their heads down and came up with the Beta 21 quartz movement to compete with the Japanese. Zenith went overboard and nearly scrapped all their movements. If it weren’t for Charles Vermot, who stowed the El Primero designs and machines away, at least one bonafide classic would have been lost. But the esoteric Swiss watchmakers, full of pride, stood by their traditions and ended up on the brink of collapse.
This is where we find Breitling watch fake. Close to bankruptcy, Willy Breitling sold the company to Ernest Schneider just before his death in 1979. Schneider now had a decision; take the blue pill and go with the herd and focus on quartz. Take the red pill, and remind the world of Breitling’s contribution of the twin-pusher mechanical chronograph. Let’s just say, Schneider wasn’t living in a dream-world. Launched in 1984, the Breitling Chronomat watch replica looked like a prop from Rambo. The bullet crown, the gun-belt bracelet, and prominent rider tabs on the bezel. This was a rugged, macho timepiece built for the wrists of muscle-bound action stars of the decade.
A new Breitling era
Chronomat, in name, dates back to the 1940s but took on a new meaning as a portmanteau of Chronograph and Automatic. The 80s Chronomat was a huge success and came to define a new era for Breitling. The design was so popular that it became the template for the Aerospace, the Colt, the Avenger, and Galactic. Now over the years, the Breitling Chronomat fake faltered for me. The rider tabs and bullet crown remained, but the overall look veered into the brash and flashy. The overly polished cases with bold Roman numerals just didn’t sit right with me, and replacing the Rouleaux bracelet with the standard 5-link just took away a large chunk of charm.
New for 2020, Georges Kern pays tribute to his predecessor with a nod to the Schneider-era Chronomat. Reinstating the quirky bracelet with modern finishing and production techniques. Also, within this re-edition is the staple B01 in-house movement. That $50million R&D investment for the auto-chrono with 70-hours power reserve in the early 2000s has undoubtedly paid for itself and then some by now.
2020 sees a long-awaited overhaul with the Breitling Chronomat B01 men’s watch fake and, in typical Breitling fashion, it happens with not one or two, but a host of model variations and special editions. Let’s dig in.
Now, I am pleased to say, the Breitling Chronomat replica is back to form with a completely re-designed, exciting look with a new case style and case size, new bracelet, and new dial options. All this is performed in tune with Breitling’s recent change of direction (a change that occurred almost exactly three years ago to date), which entails a more vintage-inspired remix of contemporary references. The Chronomat watch replica is finally no exception, with the bulky, shiny, brick-like allure of the Chronomat 44 now re-tuned for a 1980s vibe.
The new Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watch replica for 2020 comes in a 42-millimeter-wide case that is 15.10 millimeters thick and is notably rated water resistant to an impressive 20 bars, equivalent to 200 meters. If you have ever held a modern Chronomat, you’ll know that special, heavy, dense feeling — something that stems from the way Breitling’s cases are stamped over and over again. A little insider info, not in Breitling’s current press release, but something that has contributed massively to that uniquely “dense” feel of a Chronomat: Chronomat cases were stamped over the course of two weeks and over 15 times, subjected to a total pressure of 875 tons, heated to 1,100°C (2,012°F) before each stamping. So yeah, the Chronomat has always had a few tricks up its sleeve to attain that especially rugged and dependable feel. Last I heard (in November, last year), Breitling still uses the same Swiss supplier and the same methods for its steel cases, so I expect the same heavy-duty yet refined vibe from these new Chronomats, and nothing less.
The cases are available in all-stainless steel; stainless steel with 18k red gold bezel “rider tabs,” crown and pushers; stainless steel with a heavier reliance on 18k red gold in the bezel and bracelet; and finally, there is a solid 18k red gold cased version — albeit without an all-gold bracelet, sold on the Black Diver Pro II rubber strap with an 18k red gold folding clasp.
The big aesthetic changes to the case, beyond the downgraded diameter that went from 44 to 42, are the straighter lugs that hearken back to the original, and the flatter bezel. The rider tabs are still there, and God knows I’ve tried, but I simply couldn’t tell from Breitling’s images if these tabs are indeed rider tabs that slide above a fixed bezel when turned or turn together with a one-piece bezel like on a more ordinary watch. Perhaps not the most essential “update” — but I wouldn’t dare call myself a Chronomat fan if I didn’t want these rider tabs to work as they should.
The Rouleaux Bracelet
One of the key elements of the old 1983 and 1984 watches was the bracelet… A bold, unique and very special bracelet so-called “rouleaux” (French for rollers). Certainly, it didn’t win everybody over back then, and it probably won’t today. However, this is a bold move from Breitling and its comeback gives the 2020 Breitling Chronomat replica great charm and identity.
Certainly, the bracelet has been modernized with a sleeker profile, more angular links, a profile that follows the lines of the case and brushed surfaces enlightened by polished (steel or gold, depending on the models) mid-links. The sides of the links also present nice polished bevels. It features a concealed butterfly clasp with security pushers.
The four all-steel regular production models come with a choice of silver, copper, blue, or black base-colored dials with contrasting sub-dials. This “panda” look is in line with Breitling’s recently introduced rule that on regular models, the presence of its in-house manufacture B01 caliber (and its variations) is indicated by contrasting-color sub-dials. ETA/Valjoux 7750-equipped chronographs have sub-dials matching the base color of the dial. There is an exception to every rule, and those are special-edition Breitling watches: They’ll have uni-color dials matched to a manufacture caliber.
The Breitling Frecce Tricolori limited edition watch replica makes a return, as well. Pictured above, the first Frecce Tricolori (Tricolor Arrows) version was the reference that inspired the Chronomats introduced a year later to celebrate the brand’s centenary, and so it is an important and notable variation among the frankly countless different iterations the Chronomat has seen over the years. It returns with a blue-on-blue dial, the Frecce Tricolori at 12 o’clock, and a heavy-handed limitation of just 250 pieces worldwide.
Bentley gets its own special edition with reference AB01343A1L1A1, with the trademark racing green dial that we have been seeing on Breitling-Bentley co-produced pieces. Lumed hands and indices and blacked sub-dials are present here, as they are on every reference, and the Rouleaux bracelet isn’t missing either.
Beyond the vintage-inspired all-steel piece with a few gold components, there are three other references with greater amounts of gold, for that added touch of luxury and ’80s vibe. Judging from Breitling’s images, the 18k red gold looks great on the new Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watch replica — and although these clearly (and joyfully) do not wish to be exact copies of the originals, I wonder if an 18k yellow gold option would’ve also worked.
Regarding the movement, no surprises as this 2020 Breitling Chronomat replica is equipped with the well-known in-house chronograph Calibre B01, an integrated automatic movement with column-wheel and vertical clutch architecture, certified as a chronometer by the COSC. A solid mechanical offer that beats at 4Hz and boasts 70h of power reserve. The movement is visible through a sapphire caseback.
The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 two-tone is priced at $9,350 with the smaller gold accents, reference IB0134101G1A1.
The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 two-tone versions with gold bezels are priced at $12,100, references UB0134101C1U1 or UB0134101B1U1.
The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 steel versions are priced at $8,100 with the silver, copper, blue or black dials (references AB0134101G1A1 ; AB0134101K1A1 ; AB0134101C1A1 or AB0134101B1A1).
The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Bentley is priced at $8,250, reference AB01343A1L1A1
The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Frecce Tricolori is also priced at $8,250, reference AB01344A1C1A1.
Lastly, the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 in solid 18kt red gold is priced at $20,200, reference RB0134101B1S1.
Breitling’s new Chronomat watches come in a variety of styles, from dial colors to Bentley plaques, two-tone gold and stainless steel models, and the aforementioned Frecce Tricolori series. The latter is what I think is the best among them, but I feel there are many exciting changes still to come in this collection.
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