INNOVATIVE CONSTRUCTION

Breitling reaffirmed its mastery of chronographs by unveiling its own split-seconds chronograph movement in 2010 – a sophisticated horological complication. Developed in the spirit of instruments for professionals, this Manufacture Breitling Caliber B03 (protected by two patents) is distinguished by its innovative construction ensuring a maximum of precision, sturdiness and reliability.

To present this major technical breakthrough, Breitling has chosen its most emblematic model, the famous Navitimer, interpreted in steel or gold with an exclusive bronze-colored dial. Few watch brands have their own mechanical chronograph movements. Fewer still also offer a proprietary split-seconds movement genuinely developed and produced in-house. In launching Manufacture Breitling Caliber B03, officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, Breitling is once again confirming its leadership position in the field of mechanical chronographs.

With its two superimposed central chronograph hands, of which one can be stopped so as to measure an intermediate (split) time, before catching up (rattraper in French) with the first one still sweeping onwards, the split-seconds chronograph is considered one of the hardest watchmaking mechanisms to create. That is why this Grand Complication is generally produced in small series and requires watchmakers to perform a lengthy process of adjustment and rating (correcting the clearance of the split-seconds wheel and pinion, adapting the tension of the springs, adjusting the degree of penetration of the clamps, etc.).

In developing its own split-seconds chronograph movement, Breitling has adopted an innovative approach to this exceptional mechanism. True to its philosophy of instruments for professionals, the specialist of technical watches has opted to focus on sturdiness, precision and reliability as applied to large-scale production: Quality in series, as a 1940s Breitling slogan already proclaimed. The aim was to develop a system ensuring optimal performance with a minimum of components and serving to eliminate the lengthy adjustment process. In a nutshell, to find a simple and effective solution to a complicated problem – a task that took several years of research and testing.

To highlight its exceptional new engine, Breitling has chosen its famous Navitimer, the doyenne of all mechanical chronographs produced worldwide (since 1952). Equipped with a 45 mm case, the Navitimer Rattrapante comes in steel as well as a 250-piece red gold limited edition (equipped with a transparent case back). Both watches are distinguished by their exclusive bronze-colored dial, serving as a backdrop for the silver-toned counters and inner bezel reflecting the classic Navitimer look.

In an extremely refined detail, the B logo with its anchor symbol generally adorning the base of the Navitimer chronograph hands is in this instance divided between the two seconds hands: with the B on the red chronograph hand and the anchor on the split-seconds hand. This means the two elements are separated when the split-seconds hand is stopped, before reforming the brand signature when the hands are again overlaid. The split-seconds pusher, housed in the 3 o’clock crown, serves to stop and restart the split-seconds hand as often as desired during a timing operation – in order to measure split times or to compare the results of several competitors.

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