Wed 23 Mar 2011
Breitling has finally released a new movement (kind of) with their Caliber 04! It resides in the new Breitling Chronomat GMT, which is quite the watch. Its a beastly 47mm Chronomat with a GMT complication. And like the Rolex GMT-II and the Omega Seamaster, the main 12-hour hand is used for local time and is indexed to the date so it can be used more easily for travelling. A nice touch and good move on Breitling’s part to do this rather than the opposite which is much less useful for travel. The only thing this watch is lacking is a 24-hour bezel. Instead you get a dive-countdown bezel and the 24-hour scale is printed on the dial.
However, I think most exciting is the prospect that buyers will now be able to purchase a Chronomat in a larger 47mm format. Many of the guys on the BreitlingSource forum have been yearning for a larger Chronomat B01… now they have it.. The Chronomat GMT B04!
THE AUTHENTIC TRAVEL CHRONOGRAPH
Adjusting instantly to the time and date of the place of arrival, while maintaining a 24-hour home-time display and without losing any precision in counting the minutes, must be every traveler’s dream. A dream now come true with the new Chronomat GMT, a travel watch from Breitling boasting unprecedented user friendliness. The wearer need only pull out the crown and turn it forwards or backwards to move between timezones in an outstandingly simple manner. Equipped with the new Breitling Caliber 04, entirely developed and produced within the company workshops, the Chronomat GMT is one of the rare chronographs to offer such a smoothly functional dual timezone system. With its exclusive design and its dial featuring subtle three-dimensional effects, it is the new benchmark for all those who want to experience high performances in all parts of the world.
AN INNOVATE MECHANISM
From the famous world-time Unitime, the star of the 1950s, to the current Navitimer World models with dual timezone display, travel watches have always had a special place in the Breitling collections. A natural vocation for the favorite pilots’ brand that became “official supplier to world aviation”. Today, Breitling is returning to the forefront in this field by unveiling a new instrument distinguished by its smart and convivial operating mode. To ensure peerless user friendliness, the firm’s watchmakers and engineers have developed a differential system – for which a patent has been duly filed – serving to disconnect the local hour hand from the gear train when changing timezone. This operation thus has no effect on the precision of the watch, nor on the performances of the chronograph.
A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CHRONOGRAPH
The fact that the Chronomat GMT is such an exceptional instrument is also because it combines this extremely practical dual timezone system with a chronograph – and not just any chronograph. The brand-new Breitling Caliber 04 developed for this model is indeed derived from Breitling Caliber 01, the sturdiest, most reliable and most high-performance of all selfwinding chronograph movements, entirely designed and produced within the company workshops. It features the same original architecture and the same cutting-edge characteristics, including a column wheel, a vertical coupling clutch guaranteeing high-precision activation, and an over 70-hour power reserve – along with various innovative special characteristics such as the patented recentering device for the zero-resetting hammers. Designed to provide maximum operational functionality and security, Caliber 04 is manufactured using a high-tech production-chain system revolutionizing traditional movement assembly processes. Breitling thereby guarantees the authentic reliability of its “instruments for professionals” on a large scale. As is the case for all the brand’s movements, this highperformance “engine” is chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), the highest token of precision.
A POWERFUL STYLE
The new Chronomat GMT is based on the powerful, unique and quintessential design of Breitling’s leading model, with its imposing steel case featuring ultra-sturdy construction and water-resistant to 500 meters (1,650 ft), as well as its unidirectional rotating bezel engraved with exclusive numerals. However, its dial available in six colors with tone-on-tone or contrasting totalizers has been redesigned to give it a personality all its own. The applied hour-markers are fitted with highly original bases, inspired by Roman numerals. This refined detail accentuates the square shape of the central gridwork-patterned central zone that stands out in subtle ways depending on how it catches the light. The triangular openworked red-tipped hand points to home time on a 24-hour graduated scale partially covered by the inner bezel – thereby giving the dial even more life and depth by playing on the third dimension. The home-time hands and hour-markers are enhanced by a luminescent coating guaranteeing excellent readability by day and night. Entirely made in Switzerland and treated to extremely meticulous finishing, the Chronomat GMT may be teamed with a choice of various straps and bracelets offering a variety of styles and uses: the classic touch of Barenia or crocodile leather, the sporty spirit of rubber straps, and the sturdy masculine nature of the steel Pilot bracelet. A whole world of elegance and performance for the authentic travel chronograph.
The new Chronomat GMT is equipped with two central hour hands. The first matches the minute hand and runs over a 12-hour scale, while the second is tipped with a red triangle and runs in 24-hour mode. When the user is in his home country, the two hour hands move in a perfectly synchronized manner.
To adjust the 12-hour hand to local time, the user simply pulls the crown out to position 2 and turns it in either direction by the number of notches corresponding to the number of hours composing the time difference. The date display is indexed to this 12-hour hand and changes automatically if required, both backwards or forwards. The red-tipped hand keeps track of home time on a 24-hour basis, thus enabling one to distinguish between day and night and avoiding the risk of waking family members, friends or business contacts by phoning them when they are sound asleep. And if the traveler makes stopovers in several different timezones, he need only repeat the same operation on each occasion and then, upon returning home, reset the two hands to the same time. It’s hard to imagine anything simpler!