Two impressive models with sophisticated calendars, Chrono-Matic 1461 and its special version, are a part of the series that celebrates Breitling’s successful history and a great role in horological innovations, especially embodied by the launch of the first ever automatic chronograph. That groundbreaking model was of course Chrono-Matic, and the new models that share its proud name are made with elements that celebrate watchmaking innovation, as well as with new technical innovations to make them more current and attractive for the market today. They include complex calendar complications with the memories of 1,461 days (hence the name Chrono-Matic 1461). Despite the fact that only one of them has “limited” in its name, both models are actually constructed in a restricted number of pieces, while the “limited edition” is four times more exclusive. Their specifications are basically the same, while the difference is only in the color of the bezel.
Breitling’s models Chrono-Matic 1461 and Chrono-Matic 1461 Limited edition are extremely complex due to the inclusion of the sophisticated calendar complication that required a movement which is constructed of more than 450 parts. The models are a great complexity of the watchmaker’s expertise which is exceeded only in the new model from the series called Breitling Chrono-Matic QP (which has an additional moon phase display). The number in the name of the models gives away the limitations of the calendar system, since it requires an “occasional” adjustment. However, the setting is required only once when it is a leap year. Basically, the only adjustment comes every four years, or (you have probably guessed it right) every 1,461 days.
As it is expected from the company that can pride itself with the creation of the first ever self-winding chronograph, these models are made exactly with this type of calibers. This time, the watchmaking giant from the Swiss town of Grenchen utilized Breitling B 19 automatic mechanical movement (base movement ETA 2892-A2) which runs on the frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 v.p.h.), has 38 jewels incorporated in it and offers a power reserve of almost two days (at least 42 hours). It has a chronograph complication which provides the precision of 1/4th of second, and a full calendar display that shows a date, a day and a month.
Rubber-Molded Biderectional Bezels with Slide Rules
The overall appearance of these two products is executed in the Breitling’s recognizable direction of making “instruments for professionals” with several details that originate from the first Chrono-Matic that was presented in 1969. The most notable of them is the inclusion of the bidirectional bezel with a slide rule. The bezels are rubber-molded and in a gear shape, which leads us to the biggest differences between the limited and even more limited edition of the Chrono-Matic 1461. The basic model is made with a black rubber, while the special version includes a red bezel.
The overall appearance that resembles an aviation instrument is, apart from the slide-rule bezel, achieved with the addition of the retro rectilinear hands for hour, minute and subsidiary dials’ hands, while its red sweeping second hand has a neat arrow shape tip that achieves the same impression. Its calendar displays are integrated in the chrono counters, and while the dial shows a lot of information, it still doesn’t look overcrowded because of the general instrument theme that was the guide-line. The nod to the first Chrono-Matic is also visible in the inclusion of the vintage company’s logo.
Both models (or basically the same watch in two variations) are fitted in a circular stainless steel case of extremely big size, even by the current standards which in a way limits the number of people who will find them appealing. There are not that many people who would desire a chunky timepiece with the diameter of 49 mm, the thickness of 14.7 mm and the weight of 133.5 g (around 4.7 oz.), but the ones that do will surely be swept by the amazing styles and performances of Breitling’s Chrono-Matic 1461 and Chrono-Matic 1461 Limited timepieces. It is important to note that the first one has a white or black dial color and is made in the edition of 2,000 copies, while the “limited” version consists of even less, 500 pieces. In each of the cases, the crystal in use is cambered sapphire which is naturally antireflective on both sides for better visibility. Since the water resistance is just 30 meters, it is not recommended to use it for diving or even for swimming, since it is only limited water proof (basically for splashes, so it would not be harmed by a simple matter like washing one’s hands). Any more serious water adventures represent the risk of damaging its complex automatic mechanism. The only strap for the more limited version is perforated Ocean Racer rubber strap, while the other model is available with this band, or with a leather strap and Aero Classic mash-steel bracelet (which is virtually identical to Ocean Classic bracelet, but bears a different name for Chrono-Matics).