In step with their ongoing brand refresh, Breitling recently announced an update to their Chronomat Colt range that offers a new look in both 44mm and 41mm sizes. While the 41mm diameter is not new to the Colt line, it does represent something of a sweet spot in terms of sport watch size and Breitling has included a pair of new dial colors in this low-key but welcome rethinking of the everyman’s Chronomat.
Typically characterized by a chunky steel bezel with Breitling’s signature “rider tabs” for added grip, the Chronomat line has traditionally housed a wide and varying array of watches that all loosely fall into the “all purpose” category. Tough, burly, and often quite large, Breitling has seen fit to continue the Chronomat’s placement within their lineup, distinct from their newly defined Air/Water/Earth organization scheme (which is represented by the Navitimer, Superocean, and Transocean, respectively). The Colt has traditionally been one of the entry-level models from Breitling and it has always blended a sort of military appeal with the basic philosophy of a dive watch.
For this Baselworld 2018 refresh, the format remains unchanged, with a 41mm steel case sporting a wide steel bezel, chunky lugs, and the option of either the Pilot steel bracelet or a black leather strap. The design is nicely utilitarian, with a simple, legible, and balanced dial, with long hands, and a pop of red on the arrowhead tip of the seconds hand. Just as sport-ready as it looks, the Colt has an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw down crown, a solid steel caseback, and 200 meters water resistance. With a fuss-free and nicely-executed date function at three, the Colt remains a very solid everyday sports watch.
Along with the dial design, the most noteworthy aspect of this Colt refresh comes down to dial color. Now offered in either “Silver” (seen below, more of a matte creamy light-grey) or “Tempest Gray” (metallic, with a brushed sunray finish), both versions of the Colt look really good. I especially like the unexpectedly modern feel of the matte Silver dial as it is surrounded by the brushed steel of the Colt’s bezel. While both dial options work well for the Colt design, the Tempest Gray dial is classic Breitling while the Silver dial is just a bit strange (in a good way).
While certainly heavy on the Pilot steel bracelet, being 41mm wide and 12.4mm thick, the Colt wears really well and I think it would be even better on a simple leather or canvas strap. The bezel action is smooth, and aided in grip by the rather baroque rider tabs. In this size, the Colt has presence and heft, but not so much that it overpowers my seven-inch wrist. Despite my preference for a light-toned dial, in either color I think the Colt is one of Breitling’s most well-rounded offerings and an attractive option for anyone wanting a tough everyday sports watch that isn’t especially flashy.
The Chronomat Colt Automatic 41 uses the ETA-based Breitling 17 movement (base, ETA 2824) with time and date, and a power reserve of around 40 hours. Priced at $3,240 on a leather strap, or $3,620 on the Pilot steel bracelet shown in these photos, the Colt will not be without fierce competition from all sides. Offering an entirely wearable spin on that attractive Breitling sports watch motif, the Colt 41 manages to nail the appeal of a solid, well-built, all-rounder.