Breitling introduced its first “Blacksteel” watches in 2012, and in the years since the brand renowned for its aviation roots has launched a veritable fleet of such timepieces. Nearly every one of its Breitling Chronomat 44 families now offers at least one model with the Blacksteel treatment, including versions of the Navitimer, Navitimer Cosmonaute, Colt, Avenger II, Super Avenger, and Avenger Sea Wolf.I’ve long admired the look of the Blacksteel models and finally had a chance to wear one of these pieces for a few weeks recently. Even better, the model I received for review was from one of Breitling’s most iconic and historically significant collections, the Chronomat, in its big-but-not-oversized 44-mm version.
By way of background, the modern version of the fake breitling Chronomat debuted in 1984, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Breitling company. It was a descendant of one of Breitling’s most significant milestone timepieces, the original Chronomat, which debuted in 1941 and featured the now-famous circular slide rule bezel, a common element of today’s swiss replica breitling watches, though not one present on today’s Chronomats. The 1984 revamped version introduced the hallmark “rider tabs” at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock on the unidirectional ratcheting bezel. And while I do appreciate the Navitimer in its many versions, one of the aspects I like about the Chronomat is the relative simplicity of its tricompax dial in comparison to the “busier” look of the replica breitling navitimer.The case is pure Breitling — masculine and martial, measuring 44 mm in diameter and 16.95 mm thick. In profile, from the side with the screw-down crown and chronograph pushers, it projects an imposing look; if you squint and use your imagination, it almost resembles artillery pointing outward. This is, of course, helped by the sleek, “stealth” finish of the blacksteel case parts, which in certain lighting has a gunmetal glint.
The black dial picks up the case’s military tool-watch character. The dial is surrounded by a flange with a tachymetric scale in white print. The hour and minute hand, as well as the edges of the applied hour indices, are treated with khaki-colored Super-LumiNova. Bright red is used for the central replica breitling bentley watches chronograph seconds hand as well as all of the subdial hands. The red-on-black contrast is helpful in reading the subdials’ readouts, as the numerals are tiny and otherwise somewhat challenging for the naked eye to read with precision.
Breitling refers to the strap as “military rubber,” which seems to be essentially a black rubber base overstitched with some kind of suitably gritty, sturdy black textile. It is definitely a rough-and-ready military aviator look, with a tang buckle made of Blacksteel and engraved with Breitling’s winged logo. It makes the best fake breitling very comfortable on the wrist, even though it’s a look more compatible with casual wear than with formal wear.