Breitling revived the classic 1984 version of the Chronomat just last year, right down to the signature Rouleaux bracelet. Now the brand introduces the Super Chronomat, a larger, 44 mm watch that’s available in two guises: the B01 chronograph and more interestingly, a chronograph combined with the “1461” four-year calendar that was once a signature complication for Breitling.
Then there’s the Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar, which features a semi-perpetual calendar. Formerly the flagship complication for Breitling, the calendar is known as the 1461 after the number of days in four years. Both useful and affordable, the complication was missing from Breitling’s catalogue for some time, so I’m heartened to see its return.
Along with the recently-launched Datora and the split-second Duograph, the Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar reflects the brand’s progression towards complicated timepieces
Starting at US$8,500 for the B01 chronograph on a rubber strap, the new Chronomat chronograph is slightly pricier than the smaller model, though not by much. The Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar costs US$14,600 on a strap, which is fair value given the combined calendar and chronograph functions, though its affordability is largely due to the modular ETA movement within.
Super Chronomat B01 44
A facelift of the smaller Chronomat model, the Super Chronomat B01 44 is essentially the same watch in a larger format with more aggressive styling. Still fitted with the trademark “rider” tabs at the quarters, the bezel now features a ceramic insert that’s virtually scratch-resistant.
All models in the Super Chronomat collection are available on either the Rouleaux (or “roller”) bracelet or a Rouleaux-inspired rubber strap. Moulded to have a tri-texture finish, the rubber strap has a three-dimensional front that is meant to evoke the namesake bracelet.
The Super Chronomat B01 is powered by the Caliber 01, Breitling’s in-house movement found in the brand’s higher-end chronographs, including the flagship Navitimer. Not only does it boast a handy 70-hour power reserve, it is also a finely constructed movement that features both a column wheel and vertical clutch.
The Super Chronomat is available in stainless steel with either a blue or black dial, or in 18k red gold with a brown dial.
Debuted in the mid 1980s, the UTC module is essentially a simple quartz movement within an enlarger bracelet link. Now costing an extra CHF1,200, the module is a surprisingly expensive option for what it is, but it’s a novel, retro extra.
Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar
The Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar is a semi-perpetual calendar, the calendar only needs adjustment during a leap year, or once every four years.
With a traditional and symmetrical four sub-dial layout, the dial features day, date, and month displays along with a moon phase, in addition to the chronograph registers. Despite the amount of information presented, the dial remains mostly legible. The quadrennial calendar Chronomat is available in steel with a black dial, or a two-tone variant with a blue dial.
Beneath the case is the Caliber 19, which is essentially an ETA 2892 with twin modules on top, one a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module and the other the in-house “1461” module. The movement is COSC-certified and has a 42-hour power reserve.
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