Breitling’s Chronomat B01 With Manufacture Movement

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Breitling is practically synonymous with chronograph, and on May 28, 2009, Breitling will officially launch the Chronomat B01 with their new in-house automatic-winding chronograph movement, known as Caliber B01. Initially the watch will be available at only about 35 retailers in the U.S., with additional retailers coming on-line quickly. As of late March, about 2000 pieces had been produced. Production will eventually reach about 50,000 pieces annually.

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Caliber B01 has been in development for 5 years, and its launch coincides with Breitling’s 125th anniversary. A new, four-story addition to Breitling’s facility at La Chaux –de-Fonds houses the caliber’s construction. The movement incorporates a column-wheel switching mechanism and a vertical clutch, two hallmarks of a well-made chronograph. The vertical clutch assures that the chronograph seconds hand does not jump when the chronograph is engaged. The B01 has central chronograph seconds, continuous seconds at 9, and a jumping 30 minute totalizer at 3. The instant-change date is located at 4:30. The date can be changed at any time, including near midnight. The movement includes a patented system for adjusting the start, stop and reset hammers. The 47 jewel movement uses a flat hairspring and a smooth balance wheel. A single barrel provides 70 hours of power reserve. The B01 ticks along at 28,800 vph, and as with all Breitlings, the Chronomat B01 is COSC-certified.

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At Basel, Vice-President Jean-Paul Girardin said that Breitling decided to produce Caliber B01 to satisfy market demand for a manufacture movement, and to assure Breitling’s future. The company felt that it must have a reliable supply of mechanical chronograph movements, as this type of watch accounts for 55% of Breitling’s sales.

The Chronomat B01 measures 43.5mm in diameter and it will be available in four versions: all steel, steel with a steel bezel with four gold quarter-hour markers, steel with a gold bezel, and solid 18K (4N) red gold. A total of 18 different dials will be available The unidirectional bezel turns smoothly with 240 teeth. The sapphire crystal is anti-reflective coated on both sides. Steel and two-tone models are water resistant to 500 meters, while the all-gold model can be taken down to 100 meters.

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The Chronomat B01 starts at about $6500 for a steel model on a leather strap. The opening price for the two-tone version on a bracelet is $7770. An all-gold model on a strap will start at $21,610. The B01 tops out at $44,125 for the red gold and diamond version on a red gold bracelet.

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About Mike Disher

Mike Disher's interest in watches dates to 1972, and he caught the internet bug in 1997. In 1999 he combined these interests by joining TimeZone.com as its first full-time employee, and later that year attended his first Basel Fair. Disher managed TZ from 2000-2007, and joined WatchTime in 2008.

Comments

  1. Rolando castellon berrocal says:

    que reloj mas lindo es mi preferido es una ilucion tenerlo muchas gracias

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