It has been a while since we’ve seen an important update to the Chronomat or Avenger collections. The replica Breitling took an aggressive approach to revise the Superocean line with a dizzying slew of new models, followed this year by the controversial Navitimer collections. They peppered in some updates accompanied by their strong-handed promotion of the new-ish B01 movement.
The reason I bring up both collections is that the new Chronomat 44 feels like a fusion of the two. Let’s get down to the case. The brushed stainless steel case measures at an obvious 44mm with a relatively thick 16.95mm measurement of the wrist. The choice to go with the brushed case rather than the often standard polish found on almost all Chronomats, as for me, was just a step in the right direction.
A further step from the previously launched Chronomats is that instead of the oversized and thick 60-minute counter bezel, the Chronomat 44 utilizes a more reserved brushed steel bezel that’s not only slightly thinner but also modest. There aren’t huge military-style numbers at each 15-minute indicator, and the matte finish to the etched indicators looks great. The screw-down crown utilizes the updated bullet shape that isn’t as difficult to pull and adjust as I originally thought from press images of the Chronomat 44 Boutique Edition.
The dial has also gotten a modest refresh and looks great through the double-coated AR sapphire crystal. Breitling, instead of going the Navitimer or Superocean route, has only opted for two color options for the Chronomat 44, and that makes the watch easier to digest. The dial comes in either a “Blackeye Grey” or “Blackeye Blue” colors.
The new “B” logo has been stirring up some controversy, but it looks perfect here. The width of the logo often led to it dominating a dial or being awkwardly positioned – like at 3 o’clock. The concentration of text rather than having some up top, some in the middle, and some on the bottom of the dial gives replica watches some uniformity and flow that is often missing across Breitling’s collections.
There is no doubt that the major attraction here is the inclusion of the B01 movement. Shared with the fake Tudor watch, the movement has sparked lots of discussion since its release but has nonetheless been a staple requirement for a lot of collectors. The strategy has been to release a model or two with the B01 to a large extend, instead of a bunch of models without it.
All in all, this was a solid release from the Breitling replica. The Breitling B01 Chronomat 44 Chronograph was something I wasn’t expecting this year but it was a big surprise. When paired with the newly updated and revamped Navitimer 1 collection, I have been able to rest easy with Kern at the helm – because we had a rocky beginning at first. In the case of the Chronomat 44, going back to its modern tool roots while presenting a modern timepiece wasn’t going to be an easy feat, but I find it to be successful.