Breitling Chronomat 44 Watch Hands-On
7 January, 2015 at 5:38 am in Buy & Sell
When I think of Breitling IB011012/B968-TT watches I think of spacey designs, micro-mechanical marvels, and innovative engineering. Not hand-engraved gold dials that remember the Chronomat 44 civilization. Despite the fact that this Chronomat 44 watch feels like a serious departure from what I expect at Breitling, I still have a lot of appreciation for what this highly limited edition watch is.
Breitling attempted to educate me on the nature of the engraving, the meaning of the glyphs, and something about the Rolex Daytona Automatic Two Tone with White "Long Count" calendar which is a lengthy period of 144,000 days. The character in the middle is called baktun, or represents baktun (whatever that is). The dial is rich with Chronomat 44 numerals and other symbols that have great meaning to Chronomat 44 historians. Also perhaps it has meaning to "end of days" lovers that think that in 2012 the world is going to go kaput. Or was that the Aztec calendar? I keep getting ancient calender systems confused. There are at least 12 of those people with enough love (and cash) to pick up one of these more than $100,000 watches right? Where do all the modern day http://www.hhibt.com/cheap-rolex-submariner-automatic-with-green-bezel-and-dial-watch-3h9u.html millionaires reside? Good question.
I didn't have much time to take highly detailed photographs of the dial - but you get the idea. It really is a neat piece of artwork thanks to engraver Michele Rothen. The dials are solid gold, and engraved by hand to replicate the Chronomat 44 iconography as well as to give the dial the appearance of aged rock. The hour indicators are blue, which are hand-applied blued steel pieces. The most special aspect of the dial in my opinion are the hands. Here you get to see some Breitling DNA in their shape. They are also made from sapphire crystal with blued tips. This is not only an exclusive Breitling process, but the clever hands allow you to see the dial details mostly unobscured while reading the time.
Inside the watch is a manually wound in-house produced Breitling caliber DB2005 movement. It has a long six day power reserve and indicates just the time. The movement further features a silicon balance wheel. You can see the unique looking Breitling movement through a sapphire crystal on the back of the watch. Both sapphire crystals use a lot of AR coating for good legibility. While the movement isn't that complicated, it is attractive alright.
44mm wide, the Chronomat 44 case is in 18k white gold with those noticeable hollowed out lugs. These don't hinge like those on some other Breitling timepieces. This is one of Breitling's more classic looking cases. Attached to these is a supple black alligator strap.
The Chronomat 44 is also know as the Chronomat 44 Underworld. Again, I don't know what that means and to be honest the story is cool but I don't really care about the details. I think the art is nice and Chronomat 44 culture sounds fun and all. Though I don't have a connection to it, and if I ever traveled back in time I would avoid the entire region for fear of my head being sacrificially severed... and my heart then perhaps eaten. The artistry is amazing and I do appreciate the watch for that a lot. This is probably not going to be your first Breitling watch - as for the price I would recommend more suitable entries into the brand.