Breitling Chronomat B01 42 (2020) – A Timeless Classic with a Pilot’s Soul

Breitling Chronomat is the most popular product line of Breitling launched in 1984, when quartz watches were booming and preferred by many people. Breitling made a bold decision to introduce a mechanical chronograph watch at the golden age of quartz watches and succeeded in making Chronomat a symbol of watchmaking that collectors and enthusiasts love until today.

The original Chronomats were inspired by the watches made exclusively for the Italian aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori. Although inspired and designed for the team, Chronomat is a versatile sports watch that many Formula 1 racers use and even many celebrities wear on the red carpet.

The latest Chronomat model was introduced in 2020, featuring a classic design and the most advanced technology of the brand with the goal of bringing back the glory for Breitling as when the first Chronomats were launched in 1984. Breitling CEO Georges Kern shared: “Chronomat 1984 played a very important role in Breitling’s entire history, it was a statement of the brand to the watch industry that was obsessed with quartz watches at that time that Breitling still produced and succeeded with mechanical sports chronographs. This message resonated and contributed significantly to the development of the brand. The Chronomat collection is a tribute to this great watch and a connection to Breitling’s heritage and history.



As the name of this new Chronomat suggests: Chronomat B01 42, the watch has a face size of 42mm, water resistance of 200m with screw-down main crown, and 2 oval-shaped chronograph buttons for a pleasant pressing experience. With a lug to lug length of 50mm and straight lugs, this Chrnomat will suit wrists from 17cm.

The steel bezel rotates one way with rider tabs that are kept from the 1984 design and carry Breitling’s DNA, helping you rotate bezel easily while also protecting anti-reflective AR layer which is a very valuable aesthetic feature of Breitling.


DIAL + Bracelet

My Chronomat B01 42 is a Reverse Panda with black dial and white subdials located symmetrically at 3-6-9 positions. The subdials are decorated very meticulously with black dividing lines and concentric circle patterns creating high contrast. The hands and main hour markers are also polished, lumed and combined with red chronograph hand to create main highlight for whole watch.

The Roleaux bracelet on Chronomat B01 42 is kept from 1984 design. I rate it as one of most beautiful steel bracelets on current watch market although there are still some limitations:

Butterfly clasp folds on both sides is neat, thin, fits wrist but has no micro/quick adjustment ability, quite inconvenient with cold morning hot noon weather in Northern Vietnam, wrist will expand unevenly at different times of day.
Punch lock is quite inconvenient when changing strap holes.


Inside Chronomat B01 42 is in-house movement B01 second generation with 47 jewels, 70 hours power reserve, 28800bph frequency, using Column Wheel mechanism. Date window has been moved from 4:30 position to 6 o’clock position creating perfect balance for face of watch. This is probably point I like most about this new movement. Another feature is that on Chronomat B01 42 Breitling has equipped sapphire crystal case back so wearer can admire complex movement and chronograph mechanism of it.




Chronomat B01 42 is a large size watch and not for those with wrists under 17cm. Although beautiful but with size of 42mm with long straight lugs, thickness of 15.2mm Chronomat B01 42 is quite bulky and you need wrists from 17cm to wear this one beautifully. In addition to clasp not having micro/quick adjustment this is also a minus point for this Chronomat but can be completely overcome by using leather or rubber strap.

Compared to Chronomat Airborne 41 I prefer this 42mm one more, maybe balance on dial and fit with wrist size decide this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *