Since its relaunch in 2020, the Chronomat has become a Breitling bestseller. It comes in a range of sizes that includes brawny 44 mm chronographs at one end and trim 32 mm three-hands models at the other. But, until now, there had been a size gap in the middle. Today, Breitling completes the assortment with the unveiling of the new Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 and Super Chronomat Automatic 38 in diameters designed to work for any wrist.
Not only of interest size-wise, each model brings something new to the table. The Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 swaps the chronograph found on larger models for a dual-time-zone complication and simplified look, while the highlights of the Super Chronomat Automatic 38 series are its oversized diamond bezel and Breitling’s first-ever traceable watch.
“With this release, we’re rewriting the definitions of the Chronomat and Super Chronomat and giving these pieces a character all of their own,” said Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “But, then again, this is a collection already known for pushing boundaries.”
The Chronomat’s story begins with the so-called quartz crisis of the 1970s, when traditional watchmaking went into upheaval following the commercialization of precise and inexpensive quartz movements. But throughout the decade of turmoil that followed, at least one category of consumer remained loyal to mechanical chronographs: pilots. In 1983, Italy’s national aerobatics team, the Frecce Tricolori, partnered with Breitling to create a custom watch for its members that would be tough enough for the cockpit but elegant enough to be worn off duty.
The all-purpose sports watch that emerged did just that while introducing the elements that would become its trademarks: four raised rider tabs at the 15-minute marks to protect the crystal, and a steel rouleaux bracelet designed for comfort and durable wear. The Frecce Tricolori watch caused a sensation when it launched and, a year later, was released to the public as the Chronomat. It was a defining moment in watchmaking that signaled an end to the quartz crisis and a return of the mechanical timepiece. Fast-forward to today, and this watch family is again making its presence felt.
Cities have opened up, a travel-deprived world is eager to get moving again, and, in response, GMT complications are back in a big way. Named for Greenwich Mean Time, the original international time-zone standard, the Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 is Breitling’s tribute to travel—not only for its dual-time-zone display, but also because of its easygoing aesthetics.
Subtle dial colors of black, blue, green, anthracite, and white, combined with an all-steel case and bracelet, work with any wardrobe. Breitling went for a tone-on-tone 24-hour scale to let the red GMT hand speak for itself.
The Breitling Caliber 32 powers the GMT complication. Its 24-hour scale lets the user track a second time zone and know at a glance whether it’s day or night. Its “onion” crown (a classic Chronomat feature named for its fluted dome shape) provides easy grip. As an all-purpose sports watch, meant to cross over between Breitling’s air, land, and sea universes, the GMT 40 has an impressive 200-meter water resistance.
As “a watch for every pursuit”, the Chronomat’s mission is truer now than ever because of the GMT 40’s practical size and understated style. Sturdy enough for the gym yet smart enough for black tie: if there’s one watch to travel with, this is it.
The Super Chronomat Automatic 38 is designed to make a statement, whether paired with a power suit or a T-shirt and jeans. You can tell a “Super” from the rest of the Chronomat family by its ceramic rider tabs and crown, and the rubber rouleaux bracelet only available with this supercharged line.
Along with its enhanced presence, the Automatic 38 also has a radiant side. Oversized lab-grown diamonds make the rounds of its 18 K red gold or stainless-steel bezel. Its three dial colors (silver, mint green, and ice blue) add just the right amount of aesthetic flair. Match a favorite shade to a choice of rubber rouleaux strap, polished metal rouleaux bracelet, or alligator leather strap.
The series’ other highlight is Breitling’s first traceable watch, the Super Chronomat Automatic 38 Origins, whose artisanal gold and lab-grown diamonds are sourced according to new, industry-leading standards. [Read the full story here.]
The Automatic 38 supports Breitling’s #SQUADONAMISSION to do better, a commitment to create beautiful products and experiences while driving for social and environmental impact all along the value chain. That mission includes transitioning the brand’s entire product portfolio to responsibly sourced artisanal gold and lab-grown diamonds by 2025.
A collection like the Chronomat requires a dedicated Breitling #SQUADONAMISSION to match its power and style. The new Breitling all-star squad is made up of four superstars of sport who represent a new superlative in each of their games. As the faces of the Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 and Super Chronomat Automatic 38, Erling Haaland (football), Giannis Antetokounmpo (basketball), Chloe Kim (snowboarding), and Trevor Lawrence (American football) show us what it means to be on the move. Whether they’re training for a home game or playing to win around the world, they need a watch that goes anywhere while always staying rooted to home. The all-star squad campaign takes us inside the moment they’ve spent their careers training for—the goal, the dunk, the jump, the pass—and how it feels to live it.
“I like what the GMT stands for. It means you can be in one place even when part of you is somewhere else,” said Erling Haaland, who chose the Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 with a white dial. “In my case, that’s back home in Norway.”
And speaking of the Super Chronomat Automatic 38 in stainless steel with an ice-blue dial, Chloe Kim said, “It’s important to me as an advocate for sustainability that this watch is socially conscious. Lab-grown diamonds allow for a level of traceability, responsible sourcing, and support for communities that wasn’t always present in the luxury industry before.”
From a game changer that broke through the quartz crisis, to a stylish allrounder with a story to tell, the timepiece that began with the Frecce Tricolori has left a legacy in the world of watchmaking. Now, 40 years later, it’s clear that the Chronomat is here to stay.