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Chronomat 01 Limited Edition
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Author:  Chronomat01LE [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Hi all Breitling Fans,

I bought my very first luxury watch in my lifetime 2 months back- The Chronomat 01 Limited Edition. I don't have very deep profound knowledge about watches so I did many months of research before I finally decided on this. I am sure that this decision would raise many eyebrows among watch enthusiasts.

I wanted a very quality automatic timepiece that is timeless that I will never get tired looking at, durable, functional, etc, that I can wear it for the rest of my life and pass it down to my children and future generation like a family heirloom. In short I wanted a watch that is an "all rounder". Watch experts that I see in most reviews recommend Brands like the Patek Philippe. However besides the cost issue I wanted something that is more functional and practical, as in that I wouldn't have to worry about bringing the watch for swimming, showering or even get drenched in the rain. Most likely I wouldn't do that but I feel that these basic practical essentials shouldn't be compromised in a watch, especially when I am paying a premium for it. So a stainless steel watch seems to be the one I wanted. I am not at the level to understand and really appreciate the very high ended brands like PP yet cos those are more like pieces of art and collectibles to me that only people in the know will really know about. So brands like Rolex and Breitling fits into what I wanted since they are 2 of the most popular brands producing high quality stainless steel watches. Brands like Omega wasn't in my consideration. Sorry if u are an Omega Fan becos as much as I respect the brand, I don't really like their designs as they give me a "Rolex wanna be" kind of feeling. Omega definitely is a prestigious brand that produces high quality watches but just that their design and style was not really for me(well it's a personal thing so no offence). I was eyeing on the Rolex Sub and a few Breitling models. As a newbie to luxury watches, I was also influenced by the Rolex Bug like most. I have seen a lot of good reviews about the Rolex Sub and agree that it is one of the very few that is an all rounder and suitable for any condition and outfit. However becos it is such a good watch to own that I find many people on the streets owning it. I wanted something that not many has and since I had to pay so much for a watch and I also wanted something that could do more than just telling the time, preferably with more complications. Good automatic watches are extremely hard to make, let alone those with more complications. Well guys tend to like things that can do more than their size, even though we might not need to use those additional functions. Therefore I was hoping for a Chronograph watch instead. I have always liked Chronograph watches and The Chronomat series just caught my eye and ranked one of the top in my list. I decided to keep my options opened still. The Navitimer is Breitling's trademark and one of the all time favorites among watch frantics but I gave it a miss as it looked too professional and niche to me that I feel it looks best with a pilot suit.

I went to all the luxury watches dealers that I could find to physically try on the watches cos that's normally the best way to decide and go with the guts feeling. I tried on the sub for about 6 to 7 times on different occasions but unfortunately it didn't work out for me and just couldn't convince me despite the excellent reviews in the forums. I had no doubts with the quality of the Sub but it just looked weird on my wrist. I didn't wanna buy it becos experts say it's good or just simply becos it's Rolex. The only Rolex that looked "ok" on my wrist was the GMT Master. I tried on a few Breitling models including the Navitimer on a few occasions and as expected I was most impressed with the Chronomat series. The longer power reserve in the in-house movement matters to me as the watch could still keep going without the need to do a manual wind if I do not use the watch for about a day or 2. I tried on different Chronomat models like the Flying Fish and also different versions/colors for the rest on different occasions and the Limited Edition series and Flying Fish impressed me most. However I took a few months before I finally decided on which to get becos I was worried of making a rush decision. I read many reviews and negative comments about the Chronomat series, especially the limited editions.

The most common review that I read about the Chronomat series is the huge numbers engraved on the bezel that looks cheezy and dated. Also the overall design looks too complicated and busy, that it will eventually go out of style. I have also read reviews on the limited edition series that the black dials look boring and ugly, that its better to choose the normal range where there is a larger choice of colors. I thought over the comments but everytime I went to a Breitling outlet to try on the different colors/versions, I just felt that they don't look perfect and tend to "distract" my attention as the colors of the sub-dials and the main dial are different. Looks like having 3 timepieces in a timepiece. The limited edition, although black for both dial and sub-dial looks more classic. They contrast perfectly with the highly polished hour and min hand that anyone sitting across the table could see the time clearly. The red hands on the sub-dials matches perfectly with black that it enhances visibility when using the functions without distracting the main focus and design of the watch as a whole. I extremely like the seconds hand on the main dial because the Breitling logo at the bottom enhances it's authenticity look and the red tip enhances visibility when it's being used. In fact I was considering the other chronomat limited editions too as they look almost the same(Chronomat GMT LE, Chronomat 41 LE, etc). The other LEs has the entire Sec Hand on the main dial, red(except the bottom with the Breitling logo)and only the Chronomat 01 LE has the polished Sec hand with red only at the tip. I prefer the sec hand to be polished as I like the shiny look but I love the red tip. So the Chronomat 01 LE was perfect for me as it's the best of both worlds although it was the oldest model among the Chronomat LEs. I don't agree completely with some comments saying that the Chronomat series including B01 looks complicated and will go out of style. Timeless to me is something that if yr son wears the same watch 50 to 60 years down the road it will still look like a newly launched model. Maybe some of the chronomat versions will eventually look outdated due to the colour choice. However I feel that the limited edition series won't given the classic color. The Chronomat design is very classic and doesn't have any additional designs in the watch that are not necessary cos that might make it look outdated after sometime. I think it appears "busy" to some simply because it is a Chronograph watch with additional reading functions like the Tachymeter. Breitling is a pioneer in Chronograph watches and Chronograph watches have been around for decades that it will never go out of style. If u observe the timepiece carefully, every single detail in the watch are designed for a reason and not just meant for "beautifying" purposes. The only debate I think is the font of the numbers on the Bezel. They are engraved big to enhance visibility. I personally feel that the numbers on the bezel looks very original and sturdy that I don't feel that they look dated at all.

The size of Chronomat 01 LE was perfect for me becos it is not neither too small to notice a presence or too big to look too dated. I nearly wanted to go with the Chronomat 41 LE but I felt that the face is a little too small to contain the details of the watch. Therefore Chronomat 01 LE works best for me. There are other Chronomat LEs with the same size but due to several reasons with some mentioned above, I decided to go with the former. At first I wasn't too comfortable with the Satin finish on most areas of the watch but I appreciated it later on becos it doesn't get finger stains and scratch marks that easily as polished finishing. Anyway the sides are polished so it still gives the classy look especially when I move my hands as the polished sides reflect the lights.

The size, design, movement, features and specs of the Chronomat 01 LE was perfect in everyway for me that there was nothing that I wasn't happy with. It was the dream watch that I wanted. The only thing left was to pay for it and hope for the best. It has been 2 mths and I use the watch almost everyday. I wasn't expecting much on the precision part at first since it is an automatic timepiece. However the precision of the in house movement was so amazingly accurate that it blew me away. The crown gets a little slippery whenever I wind the watch and tries to screw it back, but I am ok with it because I love the look of the crown. Some of the reviews about the hands jumping at times didn't exist for me as I tried to observe the movement on several occasions. The crystal caseback was such an entertainment for me that I would remove my watch to admire the in-house movement whenever I had nothing to do. The entire design of the watch expectedly didn't bore me, instead I just grew to love it day after day that I couldn't stop admiring my watch until my wife was angry with me for ignoring her. I was glad that I took a few months to review my choices before finally deciding on the timepiece.

Many feel that it's not worth paying that additional few thousand dollars for the LE as the quantity(2,000) isn't really limited. However the color choice and the Sapphire Crystal caseback was the main reason why I chose the LE. I didn't mind paying a little more since the watch will follow me for the rest of my life and will be passed down to my descendants. I certainly hope that Breitling will not change the outlook for the future Chronomat models and even other models because consistently changing the outlook will likely shun Watch Enthusiasts away and make the brand more like producing fashion watches than timeless quality pieces. For now I don't think they would especially for Chronomat series because it has been their best selling model. So I don't see why they would want to change the outlook when they are so popular. Even if so one day, the timepiece will not look outdated given it's classic design. Chronomat 01 is the very first model to house Breitling's very first In-House movement. So this timepiece will be a true vintage with symbolic value many years down the road as it marks Breitling's very first step towards a true luxury brand. Breitling watches might not hold as strong resale value as brands like Rolex now but who knows it will be on par or even better many years down the road. I have no intentions of using the watch for investment or sell it anyway becos I can always invest the money in other areas if I had wanted to grow it. However out of curiosity can anyone tell me if Breitling watches appreciate in value over the years and whether one would even earn profits by selling his watch many years down the road?

I am extremely sorry for the very long review because I seem to be writing my own f#%ÔéČing story instead of giving a real constructive review over here. Thank you so much if u manage to finish reading it. I look forward to learning more from you guys and no worries abut dropping negative remarks about my watch if u don't like it. I see it as a positive sign that the more people don't like it, the lesser chances of people wearing the same watch as me:p

Have fun with yr watch collections:)

Author:  jnelson3097 [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Nice review. The best solution between the Sub and Chronomat 41 is to get both, here's my SubC and Chronomat 44 LE.


As for going up in value one day, don't count on it with the Breitling, limited or not.

Author:  wessa [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Great review and warm welcome to the forum.
The only thing that would make it perfect is a wrist shot :poke: :wink:
I agree with most of your comments and I must say it is one of the favorites in my collection.


Author:  Chronomat01LE [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Thanks for the photo contribution pals:)

Wessa: what's the number on yr watch? Mine is 79/2000.

Jnelson3097: I have not seen yr Chronomat model before, it's LE right? is it only offered in certain countries? Ya hope that the sub can fit well on my wrist one day that I can add it into my collection. An absolutely boring but yet so stunning watch....

Author:  jnelson3097 [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Chronomat01LE wrote:

Jnelson3097: I have not seen yr Chronomat model before, it's LE right? is it only offered in certain countries? Ya hope that the sub can fit well on my wrist one day that I can add it into my collection. An absolutely boring but yet so stunning watch....

It's a limited edition that my AD had made for them. There are 50 of them. Instead of the red accents on your LE, this one features yellow. It also comes with the display back.

Author:  Chronomat01LE [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Jnelson 3097: Nice;)

Author:  Dr J [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Great review Chronomat01LE, and welcome!


Author:  kaiserphoenix [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

I totally agree with your comments! I also feel that the Chronomat is indeed a beautiful but solid watch. What I like about it is the "instrumental" look. Breitlings take their chornographs very seriously. A good example is the Zenith El Primero Chronograph that I have, although reknowned as one of the best chronograph movements in the world, the current line which I have is very poor in terms of legibility. Ie they overlap the dials which is ridiculous!!! The Breitlings on the other hand have a "precision" look whilst keeping it elegant and practical.

I also agree that the Limited editions are the ones to go for. I love the red hands on mine and my wrists are thin so I went with the 41 but I love the sapphire back as well.


Author:  Lenny [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

The more I see this watch the more I am taken a back by its beauty and all-rounded form.

Gentlemen, you have yourselves an epic watch

Author:  Chronomat01LE [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Thks Lenny;)

Kaiserphoenix: Yr Chronomat 41 LE is indeed a beauty. In fact I was planning to go for this but later due to some minor reasons with size as the major factor I decided to go with Chronomat 01 LE. So far the Chronomat LE versions have looked almost the same which I hope that Breitling will keep it going. However each Chronomat LE has their own unique identity that stands out in their own way from the rest. If I had the money I would have purchased all the Chronomat LE models as it would be an interesting collection! To what I remember yr Chronomat 41 LE is the only LE that is full polished while having the sapphire caseback. So the shine on yr watch compensates for the smaller size to cause a presence on yr wrist. But gotta be careful when u wear yr watch though cos polished surfaces are more prone to scratches and finger prints so gotta take extra care when handling it. Definitely a stunning watch that u have;)

Author:  Chronomat01LE [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Who says u can't match a Breitling Chronomat with formal wear? The LE definitely can;)

Author:  kaiserphoenix [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Yeah youre right, I wore my Chronomat 41 today with a suit, I didnt think it will go well, I wanted to wear my JLC but I am having strap issues with it so cant wear it at the moment, but the chronomat surprisingly fit quite well! I actually looked pretty sharp with it :)

Author:  Chronomat01LE [ Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Making of Breitling watches, featuring the casing up of Chronomat 01 LE in the process....

Author:  wessa [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

Chronomat01LE wrote:

Wessa: what's the number on yr watch? Mine is 79/2000.....

Sorry for the late response. 1969, my favorite number, at least the last two digits :twisted:

Author:  wristwatchguy [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chronomat 01 Limited Edition

I recently found an 01 LE as well and jumped on it. Very nice watch front and back. Mine is numbered 1252/2000. Congratulations to the OP.

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