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Breitling Chrono-Matic

A watch revolution: in 1969, Breitling presented the Chronomatic and along with it, one of the first chronograph movements with an automatic winding. Since then, the men’s watch, Chrono-Matic, has been reminding us of this crucial milestone in the history of watchmaking. A wide range of Chrono-Matic watches honours the past while delighting with spectacular models, a modern case, as well as an explicitly masculine design.

All Breitling Chrono-Matic Watches

A pioneer in the world of watches

The Breitling Chrono-Matic

The Breitling Chrono-Matic

The athletic and bold Chrono-Matic presented in the late ‘60s, along with its numerous successors, are characterized by a strikingly large case in the typical Breitling-design.

At its launch, the Chrono-Matic caused a sensation as it was one of the first chronographs with a self-winding movement in the history of watchmaking. Subsequently, all Breitling chronographs equipped with an automatic movement were called Chrono-Matic, including the Chronomat Chrono-Matic and the Navitimer Chrono-Matic.

A common design feature of these models and most Chrono-Matic successors is the winding crown on the side of the case positioned at nine o’clock. The stylistic element points out that with this chronograph watch, there is no need for daily manual winding as it is wound by the natural movement of the wearer’s arm.

Breitling Chrono-Matic

The first Breitling with the legendary Chronomatic-calibre was presented in 1969. Almost 100 years after the launch of the very first chronograph, the Breitling Chronomatic constituted the next big innovation in the measurement of intervals lasting just fractions of a second.

A new technology was developed during a cooperation of four companies, among them, the famous watch brand Heuer. The common enterprise was internally dubbed “Project 99”. The result of this joint collaboration was the automatic chronograph movement, Chronomatic, available in four different versions.

Calibre 11 was the main focus of the presentation - although the Calibre 12 with a higher frequency of 21,600 oscillations per hour, as well as Calibre 14 and Calibre 15, with additional features, were also presented. The new movements were installed in numerous Breitling models: Chronomat, Navitimer, Co-Pilot, and finally in the brand new model Chrono-Matic.

All wristwatches have incorporated the crown on the left side of the watch, based on the construction of the Chrono-Matic movement. Additionally, the left-hand crowns highlight the fact that the watch does not need a manual winding when worn regularly.

Breitling Chrono-Matic

A new 21st century look

At the start of the new century, Breitling decided to reintroduce the Chronomatic into the Chronolog - Breitling’s watch catalogue. Honouring the classic model from 1969, Breitling launched the Chrono-Matic SE (Ref. A41350) limited to 1,000 pieces. Again, this retro wristwatch was created with its crown on the left side - keeping to the style of the original Chrono-Matic - and was available in either steel or gold. In 2006, Breitling relaunched its classic with the Breitling Chrono-Matic (Ref. A41360) with the crown - true to the original - on the left side. The model Chronomatic 49 (Ref. A14360) followed in 2008, with a more modern 49-millimetre case and a winding crown that was now attached on the right side of the watch at three o’clock. The watch still offers the combination of chronograph and automatic.

Honouring the classic model from 1969, Breitling launched the Chrono-Matic SE (Ref. A41350) limited to 1,000 pieces. Again, this retro wristwatch was created with its crown on the left side - keeping to the style of the original Chrono-Matic - and was available in either steel or gold. In 2006, Breitling relaunched its classic with the Breitling Chrono-Matic (Ref. A41360) with the crown - true to the original - on the left side. The model Chronomatic 49 (Ref. A14360) followed in 2008, with a more modern 49-millimetre case and a winding crown that was now attached on the right side of the watch at three o’clock. The watch still offers the combination of chronograph and automatic movement, but today, this conception is no longer unusual. The new Chrono-Matic stands out due to its rubber slide-rule bezel that gains stability, grip, and character, thanks to the unusual use of the material.

The new Chrono-Matic stands out due to its rubber slide-rule bezel that gains stability, grip, and character, thanks to the unusual use of the material. A limited edition of 2,000 pieces made entirely out of steel is Chrono-Matic 1461 (Ref. A19360) that is equipped with an additional function, the four-year-calendar. Another special edition is the Chrono-Matic 24H (Ref. A22360) with a flyback mechanism as well as a 24-hour display. The Chrono-Matic QP (Ref. R29360), comprised of 18 carat rose gold, is another remarkable version of this Breitling chronograph.

By now, the Chrono-Matic has disappeared from the Chronolog. But nonetheless, with a little luck, Chrono-Matic watches - both new and used - can still be found for reasonable prices. It would come as no surprise, however, if the watch soon became a part of the Breitling men’s watch collection once again.