Breitling Chronomat Caliber 11 1808 Vintage 48mm Auto

Your Price: $3,999.00
Inventory Code: QA406
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The "slide-rule" Chronomats
The Breitling Chronomat with its rotating slide-rule was patented in 1941 as war raged through Europe and other parts of the world, its design offering a welcome respite from the plethora of military and military-inspired watches of the period. The Chronomat's emphasis on engineering and mathematics, science and industry seemed to offer hope for a future when the war would be over and reconstruction could begin. 

In 1952, the outstanding usefulness and success of the Chronomat inspired the birth of what has since become the most famous Breitling of all, the Navitimer, a chronograph with the slide-rule redesigned for civil aviation pilots. 

The Chronomat went on to be produced in many forms including a version of the first automatic chronograph watch in the late 1960s and a quartz non-chronograph during the 1970s. Then in the 1980s it was reborn in a very different form as a pilot's watch and without the slide-rule. This new incarnation was designed with input from Italian military pilots. 

The Chronomat has remained one of Breitling's most successful watches for over sixty years. Contrary to general belief, it is not the Navitimer but the Chronomat that has in recent years proved to be Breitling's most popular model and biggest seller.

1968 - The "big case" Chronomats
A completely new type of case with a patented geared bezel mechanism is developed for the Chronomat (and the Navitimer and Cosmonaute chronographs). The first Chronomat to be released for sale is the manual version, the ref 818. The ref 808 also continues in production and initially the 818 is powered by the Venus 175 like the 808 and the previous ref 769. It is thought that later 1970's examples of the ref 818 have the Valjoux 7733 movement.

1969 - The First Automatic Chronograph
It is thought the first automatic version of the "big case" Chronomats may have been made available to the public in late 1968, but certainly it is for sale by 1969. The automatic ref 1808 is powered by the newly developed "Chrono-matic" microrotor movement with the crown on the left. Initially this movement is known as the calibre 11 but after a year or so it is slightly altered and called the calibre 12.

(credit: Watchuseek)

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