By Bene Rullan, Contributor
Published in Life Style
Published on Tribune on Monday, 08 July 2013 08:00
I have always liked the way things work. Gears, contraptions, gizmos, machines of all kinds inspired a sense of awe and wonder as a kid. It was no surprise to see me taking radios and mechanical toys apart, just to see their inner workings. My heroes were Indiana Jones, MacGyver and the Autobots (Transformers).
This may be the reason I became a watch aficionado. For me, a watch is the perfect melding of science and art, one that became my creative, as well as technical outlet. And it is so easy to see that a Breitling is a model of precision and at the same time a watch that adds beauty to function.
Timekeeping is an art. With Breitling, timekeeping is science and art for travelers all over the world — executed perfectly in the Chronomat 44 and Transocean Chronograph Unitime.
World time traveler
Breitling’s DNA started when Léon Breitling opened his workshop in the Jura mountains of Switzerland in 1884. It began the pursuit of perfection found in Breitling’s watches. Time and time again, the company has proven itself with not only design execution, but also technological advances in watch and chronograph applications.
It is a well known fact that Breitling, the inventor of the modern chronograph, is already a master in high precision, multi-functional watches. Since 1884, Breitling has kept pace with the aviation industry’s technology, as the authentic partner of aviation professionals needing reliable and efficient instruments. Breitling reaffirms its horological mastery (high expertise in watch making) by introducing the Chronomat 44 GMT and the Transocean Chronograph Unitime.
It was in 1933 that Willy Breitling filed for a patent application for a wristwatch’s ability for cumulative timing, and the introduction of the Navitimer’s (Navigation Timer) innovative circular slide rule. Breitling’s mastery is again realized with these two watches that utilize movements created in-house. Manufacturing its own movements creates a confidence in ownership, proving that Breitling knows its watches inside and out.
Chronomat 44 GMT
The Chronomat 44 GMT brings elegance in style matched with its user friendliness. A simple pull out of the crown is all that is needed to set between the 24-hour time zones. It is offered in different case versions from steel to 18K rose gold, and a variety of dial colors to satisfy the wearer’s sense of style.
The “44” means it has a 44 mm case size. It has a bigger display of all the data that it provides and yet it is not too big to become unwieldy to wear daily. A thickness of 16.9 mm provides a bold statement yet it is comfortable on the wrist. Powered by Breitling’s Caliber 04 movement, vibrating at 28,800 VPH (vibrations per hour) provides the required precision. Because of its 70 hour power reserve and a self-winding mechanism, it provides energy for the watch to run continuously as long as it is worn.
With its 47 jewels, it is reliable and durable, preventing premature wear on its internals. For Breitling, the chronograph comes standard, with sub-dials located at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock position. Having a chronograph feature in a watch gives the user a multitude of applications requiring stopwatch functions.
With a glare-proof cambered sapphire crystal, a screw-locked crown and a screwed in case back (available in sapphire for the Limited Edition), this watch is rated at 200m /660ft (100m /330ft for the Limited Edition) — a capable watch in wet conditions.
The Chronomat is a high quality instrument packed with features. The dial presents all the information in a professional manner and does not clutter it with unnecessary design elements. The GMT hand is accented with a red arrow making it highly noticeable and yet unobtrusive. And with the Chronomat 44 GMT’s all steel construction, this watch will last for a very long time.
Transocean Chronograph Unitime
If you travel a lot, you will appreciate the Transocean Chronograph Unitime. Not only is it fully packed with a chronograph, it also has the ability to set to different timezones with utmost simplicity. With just one turn of the crown, it has the capability to change time to any of the major cities, making this watch a world-class traveler’s timekeeper.
Breitling’s Transocean Chronograph Unitime is a watch that has vintage elements to it. Underneath the subtle, classy design is encased one of Breitling’s movements, the Caliber 05 (in-house manufacture). With a self-winding mechanism and a 70 hour power reserve, it has more than enough energy to drive the time and the chronograph.
With the world’s time packed into this watch, reliability is a must. Breitling’s Caliber 05 movement vibrates at 28,000 VPH and it highly resists fluctuation from external influences that may affect precision. This is crucial to a world traveler.
When it comes to watches, more jewels is better. Jewels in a watch are more for function than for value. Synthetic rubies or sapphires act as bearings to reduce friction which causes premature wear. The Transocean Chronograph Unitime’s 56 jewels have the durability and reliability that we all want in a watch with a high complication.
The chronograph gives this watch versatility; it enables the user to do various timekeeping tasks. With sub-dials located at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, the Unitime offers a lot of stopwatch functionality. The features of this watch include a date aperture window, and the Unitime is equipped with a convex sapphire crystal that is glare-proof on both sides. This allows for a reflection-free reading of time when light conditions are bright.
Manufacturing its own movements not only proves Breitling’s horological mastery but also its keen business sense. Knowing the importance of creating them in-house reasserts that Breitling is a company that is serious about surpassing previous successes, and the continued push of the envelop of its horological innovations.
The wings on Breitling SA’s logo define the company’s drive to create high precision mechanical watches. Deep-rooted in aviation history, Breitling provides its expertise in precision timekeeping to pilots and astronauts. Whenever flight is involved, precision is an absolute requirement. Breitling chronometers have always been at the helm, and its innovations in precision show dedication to raise the bar in their watches.
Not only does Breitling’s logo represent the company’s drive for perfection, it also represents the fearless adventurer who will navigate the planet, the world class traveler who is at home in every city, and the individual who appreciates simple yet elegant timepieces that Breitling creates. Breitling continues to make advances in horology that gives the company an edge and purpose for its continued success.
The Chronomat 44 GMT’s ease of use and beautiful execution, and the Transocean Chronograph Unitime’s simplicity and classy yet robust design are two of Breitling’s best showcases. You can’t help but take notice of what Breitling watches have to offer: exclusive beauty, utmost simplicity, and high-precision timepieces.
Bene Rullan is watch aficionado based in Seattle, Washington, USA.