By Kien Lee
With Chinese New Year just weeks away, harkening the arrival of the Year of the Dragon, Breitling combines Chinese culture with Swiss watchmaking heritage, releasing a limited edition Chonomat B01 42 Year of the Dragon for the auspicious occasion.
Breitling's Chronomat was originally designed as the official watch of the Frecce Tricolori, the famed Italian aerobatics squadron. However, its popularity would extend beyond aviators, as the Chronomat’s speed measuring tachymeter scale attracted the interest of Formula 1 teams in the 1980s and 1990s. Its reversable rider tabs would cut across to the fields of diving and yachting regattas as well. The Chronomat has since become Breitling’s all-purpose sports watch, combining style and function.
The watch will only be available in a run of 88 pieces. Available exclusively at Breitling boutiques in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and South East Asia, it is the latest addition to Breitling’s Chronomat series. The Chronomat B01 42 Year of Dragon features the characteristics of the main collection, from the onion crown to the raised rider tabs to protect the crystal. Unique to Breitling, the rider tabs at the 15-minute and 45-minute positions are interchangeable, making it possible to use the rotating bezel for either “count up” or “count down” functions.
The distinctive design of the Chronomat B01 42 Year of Dragon includes a burgundy dial that symbolises good fortune and prosperity, triple chronograph counters in black, as well as a dragon insignia positioned in the subdial at 9 o’clock. The hands are coated with luminescent Super-LumiNova® for enhanced readability in low light.
On the caseback, each watch is individually numbered out of 88, along with a larger version of the dragon seen on the dial.
Its case is sized at 42mm case, in stainless steel with a platinum bezel plate, and is powered by the self-winding Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, a COSC-certified chronometer that delivers a power reserve of about 70 hours. It is water resistant up to 200 meters, and comes with a sleek and sporty rubber strap.