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 didn’t seem to be marketable. It wasn’t until Swiss watchmakers 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 43.5-mm-wide case, complete with two levels of diamond decoration for this new Diamondworks collection, the difference being whether you prefer additional diamonds on the lugs or not. Seen here is the most diamond-populated version in 18-karat rose gold matched with 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, while wearing precious attire, to $29,580 in white gold and diamonds, and $57,880 in rose gold and even more diamonds.