Breitling made a lot of news this year at Baselworld when it was simultaneously announced that they used Tudor’s movement inside their Super Ocean Heritage II dive watch and that conversely, Tudor used their in-house chronograph caliber inside the new Black Bay Chronograph.
Breitling has a strong background in the field of chronographs, such as being accredited with the invention of the first independent pushpiece at 2 o’clock (1915), the second independent pushpiece (1934), and they were also part of the team that developed one of the earliest automatic chronographs in (1969).
This split-seconds chronograph has two special (patented) innovations worth highlighting. The first is a system that isolates the movement by disconnecting the split-seconds hand when it is stopped. Thanks to this isolating system, the use of the split-seconds hand has no impact on the precision of the timing, nor on the power reserve.
To achieve this Brelting replaced the cylindrical pin, which drives the split-seconds lever, with a stamped part enabling it them to more precisely the component’s shape, and enhancing the sturdiness.
The second innovation relates to the mechanism for stopping the split-seconds hand. According to Breitling, “Watchmakers traditionally use a wheel (either smooth or with extremely fine toothing) that is clamped in place. This system is complicated to produce and can lead to a certain degree of inaccuracy. Inspired by cycle brakes equipped with rubber pads, Breitling’s engineers had the idea of surrounding the wheel with an O-ring seal that would be compressed by the clamp. This results in extremely precise stopping and a system that is simpler to produce and thus more reliable.”
Uniquely, the split-second chronograph hand counterweights work together to form the Breitling emblem. One has the “B” on the end and the other has the anchor logo.
Housed on the end of the crown (at 3 o’clock) is the split-seconds pusher, which allows the wearer to stop and restart the split-seconds hand as often as desired during a timing operation – in order to measure split times or to compare the results of several competitors.
The Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante comes in a 45 mm diameter stainless steel or 18K red gold case (250), with a “Panamerican bronze” dial. The rotating circular slide rule bezel is there on the outer chapter ring and flange. The movement runs at 4Hz, has 46 jewels, and 70-hour power reserve, along with 1/4th of a second accuracy and 30-minute/12-hour counters.
Learn more at Breitling.