Were you under the impression that the “big watch” trend was over and done with? You might think that given the prevalence of sub 40mm watches of all types to hit the market in recent years that the days of the enormous watch meant to draw the attention of anyone in its orbit were over and done with, but Breitling seems set to prove otherwise with their latest release, the appropriately named Super Chronomat. The Chronomat, you may recall, was recently reintroduced in a series of watches both with and without a chronograph complication in various sizes, all the way down to 32mm. Those have been quite well received as they’ve tapped into a period of Breitling’s history in a charming and unique way (it’s all about that rouleaux bracelet). The Super Chronomat watches are very much what you’d expect from the name: that same Chronomat style, in a bigger, brasher, package.
The Super Chronomat comes in two basic flavors, with customization options present in each. The most basic is the B01 44. The name says it all: this watch is powered by Breitling’s excellent B01 chronograph caliber equipped with a column wheel and vertical clutch, and measures an imposing 44mm in diameter and about 14.5mm thick. The bezel insert is ceramic, and the tabs showing 15 and 45 are swappable, so this watch can count down or up depending on the needs of the user. The B01 44 is available in steel or gold, on rouleaux bracelet or rubber strap. In a move that should please Breitling fans from the 80s, and anyone who really wants their Super Chronomat to be, you know, super, Breitling is also giving you the option of a bracelet with a UTC module to track a second time zone. Have you ever wanted your watch to have its own watch? Well, here’s your chance.
Breitling has also made a Super Chronomat with a unique calendar complication, the Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar. This one has the same basic footprint and case profile as the B01 44, but in addition to the chrono the watch features a calendar that Breitling refers to as “semi-perpetual,” meaning it only needs to be adjusted once every leap year (that’s 1,461 days without an adjustment). The watch has a complex layout with four subdials that are filled to the brim with information giving you not just the date, day of the week, and month, but also all of the essential chronograph timing information you’d expect. Breitling never shies away from a busy dial, and if something like the Navitimer speaks to you, this might also hold some appeal. Like the B01 44, the Four-Year Calendar is available on the rouleaux bracelet, as well as a rubber strap that’s inspired by said bracelet. The Four-Year Calendar fully embraces two-tone (also very 80s and on point for these watches) and can be had in black and blue dials with varying amounts of red gold as an accent for between $15,200 and $17,250. The B01 44, by contrast, ranges from $8,500 for the steel model on a rubber strap, to $23,650 for the solid gold version. If you’re wondering about the version with the UTC equipped bracelet, that will set you back an even $10,000.
It goes without saying, but these watches would seem to fill a very specific niche for folks who are after a particular 80s fighter pilot aesthetic in a size that’s unapologetically modern. Will they revive the “big watch” trend? It seems unlikely they could do that single handedly, but it’s interesting to see these appear alongside the far more modest heritage inspired references Breitling announced a short time ago. Breitling appears unafraid to draw on all aspects of their history at this point, and that really underscores just how varied and lengthy that history is. The new Super Chronomat watches will be available this month through official Breitling channels. Breitling