Breitling honors the 50th anniversary of the Patrouille Suisse by launching a new limited edition timepiece from the Chronomat line. The Swiss Patrol is Switzerland’s premier aerobatics team, which is composed of professional air force pilots. This model comes in an exclusive numbered series of 1000 pieces. 2014 marks two special anniversaries for Swiss piloting. The first is the above mentioned 50th anniversary of the Swiss Patrol, and the second is the 100th anniversary of the Swiss Air Force.
The case of the Chronomat 44 GMT Patrouille Suisse 50th Anniversary is crafted from satin finished stainless steel. The dimensions are 44mm for the diameter, and 16.9mm for the case height. The bezel on this model is bidirectional and carries engraved Arabic numeral markings in a graduated 24 hour scale. At the 12 position is a pearl, which is present on all of the watches from the Windrider collection. The main crown is screw locked with two gaskets providing a water resistance of 200 meters (660 feet). Protecting the dial is scratch resistant sapphire crystal, which has been glare proofed on both sides for enhanced readability.
The dial is personalized by the official logo of the Patrouille Suisse integrated into the small seconds counter at the 9 position. A red tipped skeletonized hand with the outline of a F-5E Tiger II indicates the second time zone on this GMT model. As with all Breitling watches, the rhodium toned hands and indexes are coated with Super-LumiNova for nighttime legibility. The chronograph is made to record ¼ of a second increments up to 12 hours. On the flange is a tachymeter, which can indicate average speeds over a set distance. At the 4:30 position is a conservative date aperture.
The case back on this model is screwed in, which helps to enable the water resistance on this piece. Powering this watch is the totally in house made caliber Breitling 04. The movement is COSC certified a chronometer, where it undergone 15 days of tests to ensure its consistent accuracy. This movement has many functional differences from the ETA based movements that can be found in other Breitling models. His Swiss made movement boasts a power reserve of 72 hours, and gains its energy from a ratcheted oscillating weight that works in both directions. In many mechanical watches it is important to have both hands pointing downwards, whereas in the Breitling 04 movement this consideration is negated. Breitling carries so much confidence in their movement that the brand offers a 5 year guarantee on it.
TAGS: 50th Anniversary, Automatic Watches, Bidirectional Bezel, Breitling, Chronographs, COSC, Date, GMT, Limited Edition, Mechanical Watches, Men's Watches, Power Reserve, Sapphire Crystal, Selfwinding Watches, Stainless Steel, Swiss Made, Swiss Patrol, Tachymeter, Water Resistant