Breitling’s new Chronoliner celebrates the brand’s long association with flight and provides a truly practical aviation watch, with chronograph and GMT function. It has a hand for a second time zone, and the bidirectional bezel makes it possible to set yet another time zone. This model has some period features, such as the piston-type pushers, the rotating bezel and the Milanaise bracelet which is one of the two bracelet options, but it is wholly contemporary in the choice of material for the bezel, black ceramic, and the use of a 24-hour scale on the bezel instead of the slide rule bezel and tachymeter on the 1952 Navitimer that, in the days before calculators and electronics, enabled flight plan calculations to be made. The Navitimer is still made, a 43-mm watch, while the Chronoliner is a distinctly large piece at 46 mm and just under 16 mm thick. I personally think that it looks superb in the Milanaise bracelet version, and perhaps shows a renewed interest in the mesh bracelet pattern on the part of watch brands and consumers.
The new piece has a dial arrangement previously seen in the Breitling Colt Ocean (A130035) and, amongst the models currently in production, the Superocean Chronograph Steelfish. It is the classic black aviator with three white subdials, for chrono minutes and hours (top and bottom) and continuous seconds (left). One of the distinctive features of the Chronoliner consists of six markers on the top subdial. Apart from this, everything is logical: the red-tipped hand for the second time zone, the seconds scale subdivided into quarter-second units corresponding to the movement speed of 28,800 vph or 4 Hertz, date in a window at 3 o’clock, luminescent coating on hands and hour markers, bidirectional bezel, and a solid screw-in caseback that contributes to the water resistance of 100 metres. The Chronoliner has the Breitling 24 calibre automatic movement which is in fact the Swiss-made ETA Valjoux 7754, with a power reserve of about 42 hours. The watch is COSC precision-certified.
Price of the Chronoliner has not yet been announced. The Navitimer 01 costs about €6,420, but this has a manufacture calibre, and so the Chronoliner which doesn’t have an in-house movement could possibly cost less. The two Chronoliner versions available differ just in the bracelet, the “Ocean Classic” which is the Milanaise steel mesh type shown in the photos, and the “Navitimer”-type bracelet. This is a Baselworld preview and so hopefully we should hear more about pricing later in March.