To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first selfwinding chronograph movement, Breitling is introducing two limited editions of its Chrono-Matic model, featuring a look inspired by the 1969 original and equipped with precious leap-year or perpetual calendars.
1969 was a great year for aviation, since it witnessed the first flight of the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet and that of the supersonic Concorde, two legendary aircraft that made an indelible imprint on aeronautical history. But 1969 was also a landmark year in watchmaking, thanks to Breitling’s pioneering launch of the very first selfwinding chronograph movement – an invention that led to the development of a whole range of aptly named Chrono-Matic chronographs.
Today’s 49 mm diameter Chrono-Matic is a tribute to this forerunner of ultra-large watches. The circular slide rule confirms its family likeness with the Navitimer line, while the distinctive modernism of its seventies inspiration is expressed through a case design based on taut, angular lines highlighted by a rubber-molded bezel.
Two limited series with calendars
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this movement and this legendary model, Breitling has created two limited series featuring refined horological complications. The first is a steel edition of 2,000 combining a chronograph with a calendar mechanism requiring adjustment only once every leap-year and thus endowed with a “memory” of 1,461 days – hence its name, “Chrono-Matic 1461”. The date, day and month are displayed on subdials by means of straight hands that accentuate the instrument panel look, while the optional woven steel Aero Classic bracelet lends an additional retro touch.
The avant-garde case of the second watch, crafted exclusively in red gold and issued in a worldwide limited edition of 125, houses a chronograph along with an ultra-sophisticated perpetual calendar system embodying a daring blend of modern and traditional elements. The mechanism of this “Chrono-Matic QP” is a miniaturized marvel composed of almost 500 parts. It is programmed to indicate the date, the day, the week, the month, the season and the moon phases while taking account of leap-year variations. Like all Breitling models, both of these limited editions are equipped with chronometer-certified movements.