Ten Essential Luxury Watches – Watch Number 6
Breitling Chronomat 44 Flying Fish
Experts generally agree that when it comes to Breitling, the Chronomat is the most popular collection in their redoubtable range. For this reason, the Chronomat is another essential watch in your luxury watch collection.
Originally created to equip the famous Frecce Tricolori flight team, the Chronomat has constantly evolved over the years, both technically and aesthetically. We picked on the Breitling Chronomat 44 Flying Fish. It’s been described as a perfect blend of power and performance, and like all watches in the Chronomat range it has a no messing, macho charisma to it that hints of deesp sea diving, plunging from planes in the dead of night, synchronising watches and all that exciting manly stuff.
Breitling don’t go in for fancy artistic limited editions with more complications than there are church sermons on a Sunday. They deliver handsomely designed, powerfully engineered watches built to be worn day in and day out, often by professionals such as pilots and military personnel. For this reason, Breitling has developed a worldwide reputation for quality and dependability, and if anything, probably punches above its weight.
There are many Breitling dials that contain a lot of information, information the average man in the street will probably never need, but with the Chronomat, the design is clean and although packed with information, also uncluttered in terms of its layout and looks.
The Chronomat 44 Flying Fish has a modern dynamic, some would say futuristic font on the bezel. The original Chronomat issued a few years ago was the first timepiece from Breitling to feature an in-house made Breitling movement. The Chronomat B01 with the in-house made and designed caliber 01 movement, and it’s this movement that powers the Flying Fish. It’s a self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of 70 hours.
This particular version of the Chronomat was created for world record breaking free diver Herbert Nitsch, the only man in the world to dive without the aid of oxygen to a depth of 700 feet, even though unfortunately there were serious health complications resulting from the dive when he suffered neurological damage after attempting to surface. This resulted in the diver being out of action for over a year.
On the road to recovery, Nitsch, nicknamed the Flying Fish, (hence the name of the watch), can hold his breath for more than 9 minutes and has set 32 world records in all of the 8 recognised disciplines of free diving, which is unrivalled in the history of the sport.
The Chronograph on the Breitling Chronomat Flying Fish, as with all watches in the range, is 1/4th second, 30 minutes, and 12 hours. Water resistance on this model is 500 metres, far deeper than even Herbert Nitsch can manage. All Breitling watches are COSC certified, meaning the chronometer has been independently tested for accuracy following a series of rigorous tests. The watch comes on the Diver Pro rubber strap or a macho Pilot steel bracelet.
Many regard Breitling not merely as a luxury watch choice but a professional tool watch. A Chronomat should definitely be part of your luxury diver’s watch arsenal. The Chronomat 44 GMT is hefty and reassuringly solid, a pleasure to wear on the wrist. Fans of the Chronomat include actor John Travolta, who wore a Chronomat in From Paris With Love.
So how much should you expect to pay for your own Flying Fish? Retail the watch is $9,060. If you see cheaper versions on Ebay be very cautious, it’s best to always always buy from an authorised dealer.
Ten Essential Luxury Watches – Synopsis:
1. The Rolex Day-Date President
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Bumblebee”
3. TAG Heuer Monaco
4. Omega Seamaster 300 M Co-Axial 41MM
5. Cartier Tank
6. Breitling Chronomat 44 Flying Fish
7. Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days – 47mm PAM 00514
8. IWC Da Vinci Automatic
9. Patek Philippe Calatrava
10. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711