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Breit-Bling: Breitling Chronomat 01 Diamondworks Watch

It used to be that watch brands like Breitling didn’t offer highly diamond decorated watches direct out of the manufacture. Something about professional aviator watches studded with 4 carats of diamonds that didn’t seem to be marketable. It wasn’t until Swiss watch makers noticed a booming aftermarket watch ‘enhancement’ industry that they decided to offer jewelry pieces direct to watch buyers themselves.

Calling watches such as this Diamondworks version of the Breitling Chronomat 01 watch a jewelry piece isn’t quite accurate in my opinion. Jewelry watches are typically designed to be aesthetic timepieces meant to showcase (hopefully) elegant designs and emphasize precious materials and stones. Alternatively, the Diamondworks is a more luxurious, gold-cased model decorated with diamonds of what is essentially, a professional, or sports type watch. The practice of decorating such watches so decadently is an interesting phenomenon in the watch world, as many timepiece lovers are interested both in the sporty motif of such wrist watches, as well as displaying an envy-worthy jewelry piece.

Understanding this desire, Breitling has fitted the Chronomat 01 watch with either an 18-karat white or rose gold 43.5mm wide case. Complete with two levels of diamond decoration for this new Diamondworks collection — the difference being whether you prefer diamonds additionally on the lugs or not.

Seen here is the most diamond populated version in 18-karat rose gold matched to a brown reptile strap. The statuesque good looks of the Chronomat 01 case and dial are gilded with valuable materials, but retain the modern Breitling DNA that defines the core model collection. The watch dials are mother-of-pearl, while most of the hour markers are set with double diamonds. Hands for the time and chronograph are in gold, while the gold case and bezel of the watch are thoroughly blanketed in diamonds. The two Diamodworks models aren’t the first diamond studded version of the Chronomat 01 watch, but they do include the highest priced version.

Breitling’s Chonomat 01 collection is still rather new and represents a serious step for the brand. The automatic chronograph COSC Chronometer certified calibre 01 movement inside the watch is the first of its kind – being wholly developed and produced by Breitling in-house. This achievement is always a major step for watch brands, helping to assert their credibility among dedicated mechanical watch enthusiasts. The Chronomat 01 is one of Breitling’s easiest to read chronograph models (thanks to the clear, uncluttered layout of the dials and hands), and is the flagship chronograph model in Breitling’s current collection. It starts with a retail price of about $6,500 in steel (which is a good value for the watch), but is elevated here to $29,580 in white gold and diamonds, and $57,880 in rose gold with even more diamonds.

For more information, visit www.breitling.com.

1. 43.5mm wide 18k white or rose gold case
2. Contains in-house made Breitling calibre 01 automatic chronograph movement
3. Mother-of-pearl textured dial
4. Diamonds applied to hour markers
5. Diamond studded case, lugs, and bezel in two styles

Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014