The pantheon of great watches is filled with names we all recognize.
The Omega Speedmaster, the Rolex Daytona, the Heuer Carrera, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus all have earned a spot in horological Valhalla. For Breitling, the most revered model is easily the Navitimer, the pilot’s chronograph that has become synonymous with aviation and has enjoyed an impressively long production run, despite numerous aesthetic and mechanical changes.
But the Navitimer owes its success to the inroads made by its predecessor, the Chronomat. Where the first Navitimers were produced in 42mm, the Chronomat was built around a sleek 36mm steel case, making it far more comfortable on the wrist. Further, with its white dial with red accents, the watch is as fetching as it is a joy to wear.
But despite its good looks and a very interesting history, the Chronomat hasn’t climbed into the clouds just yet. And while fans of this handsome chrono might bemoan its lack of fame, this has kept it off the radar of collectors, making it a compelling option for any fan of Breitling’s distinct aviator watches.
This particular Chronomat, dating to circa 1939, is housed in a 36mm stainless steel snapback case and features square pushers, an unsigned crown, a bi-directional telemetre bezel, and a multi-toned silver dial with printed Arabic indices, blued steel hands, and a dual-register chronograph layout. With heavy patina throughout the dial, it’s clearly lived a life — and seeing as it survived a world war, we’d say this only gives it more character!
An early chronograph from one of the most important brands in aviation-inspired watchmaking is nothing to scoff at.
Try this one on for size today!
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