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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:22 am 
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This is not meant to be a technical review at all, there are a lot of websites dedicated to this particular watch; my favorite is this one: http://www.donindiano.net/watches/breitling/b-1/ . It's more a "lots of pictures" post.

I'd like to introduce my newest acquisition and my second HAQ watch: a Breitling Chronometre B-1.

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It's my first Breitling, my first Swiss quartz watch and my first ana-digi. It was sold in 2007 so it's probably one of the last produced, as Breitling discontinued the B-1 line in 2006. The dial says "Chronometre B-1" meaning that the watch is equipped with the B78 movement, a SuperQuartz re-branded from the ETA Thermoline E20.341 (rated at 20spy).

It has two digital windows that alternately show the many functions that this caliber has. Everything is operated by the (signed with the B logo) crown. The most important function for me is the perpetual calendar but it also has a triple timezone feature (one is reserverd for the UTC time), a 1/100th of a second chronograph, a timer and two different alarms. Another very nice feature for me is the time signal, a small "Beep" at minute 00. Pushing the crown activates the light that makes the digital windows visible at night.

It's a relatively big watch, 43mm without the crown; it's also very hefty and a real physical presence on the wrist but surprisingly it's very comfortable even with the Fighter bracelet, which is quite massive.

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That bracelet is equipped with SEL and the links are alternately polished and brushed. The clasp is signed.

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and so is the deployment buckle.

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The previous picture also shows the caseback which is really peculiar, resembling a turbine.

I bought the watch second hand but luckily the previous owner has been gentle with it, so it's in very good conditions. Moreover, he also bought the original Breitling rubber strap with the signed security buckle.

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Unfortunately that band is simply too long for my 6.5'' wrist and thus I won't be using it. Not a big deal, however, as I have a very nice leather strap that I can use; also, I'm more a bracelet guy. Here is a wristshot on leather.

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The sweep second hits the markers perfectly; the minute hand movement is not continuous but it jumps every thirty seconds, so it's perfectly coordinated with the second hand. As the movement is obviously hackable, I've been able to synchronize the watch with an atomic clock with a gap of only 5/100th of a second, so in the next few months it should be easy for me to track the watch accuracy.

Here is a close-up of the dial, showing the calendar function (much more visible in real life),the outer slide ruler, the beautifully shaped hands, the applied markers and the luminova treated digits. The lume is quite intense and easily lasts the whole night even without charging the luminova. The sapphire crystal is so clear that it's totally invisible even in this picture.

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The set is probably the most complete I've ever seen in a watch. There is a cardboard outer box, the famous bakelite inner box, a couple of service manuals, the warranty paper, a (quite big) slide rule usage manual with another paper slide ruler, the chronometer certification, a plastic bezel protector and some spare links.

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There is also the user manual showed in front. As you can probably see, at Breitling they did not bother to update it when they changed the caliber and thus the manual is still referring to the older B68 non-SQ movement, rated at 5 spm. Anyways, all the functions are operated the very same way so it's not a big deal.

Finally, a wristshot on bracelet. Hope you liked this review; suggestions or critics are welcome.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:07 am 
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Great shots and an enjoyable write-up, congrats on the acquisition. (If you want to know when it was manufactured, there is a date-stamp between the lower lugs - see http://www.breitlingsource.com/articles_dating.shtml.)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:27 am 
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TomP wrote:
Great shots and an enjoyable write-up, congrats on the acquisition. (If you want to know when it was manufactured, there is a date-stamp between the lower lugs - see http://www.breitlingsource.com/articles_dating.shtml.)

Oh, thanks for the kind words and for the info. My bracelet is also etched with the very same number S4204 showed in the pics; the case says 0205 B4, so i guess January 2005.

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Last edited by fmc000 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:33 am 
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Nice review. I am on the look out for the exact same model of watch. You got a good package. I'm very jealous!

Enjoy!

Mark


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:34 pm 
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MSL1505 wrote:
Nice review. I am on the look out for the exact same model of watch. You got a good package. I'm very jealous!

Enjoy!

Mark

Thanks. To make you even more jealous, consider that it was a trade for a watch I didn't wear and that I had paid about 1450€… I saw on Chrono24 that the B-1 equipped with SQ calibers go for about 2300€ so I guess I did good enough.

The watch is almost mint; the only drawback is that the bracelet showed lots of wear and had dings everywhere. So I decided to brush it leaving only the SELs polished. I like the result for now; if I change my mind in the future I will restore the original polishing with some Cape Cod work.

Sent from my SGS using Tapatalk.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:05 pm 
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B1, one of the best....did you by any chance test it for accuracy, how accurate it is, I assume very high accuracy since it is SQ.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Optik22 wrote:
B1, one of the best....did you by any chance test it for accuracy, how accurate it is, I assume very high accuracy since it is SQ.

Actually the first month was very disappointing. The watch lost about 2.5 seconds, in the range of the -30spy, well outside the specs. I'm monitoring the issue and post updates to the thread.





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:26 am 
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Great review - I have a B1 incoming now....can't wait!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Great review - B1 high on my list.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Very nice review of an iconic breitling

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:25 am 
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I just noticed that I failed to update the thread after the watch was completely serviced by Breitling Italia. Well, the results are just amazing. The watch gained 3 tenths of a second in 45 days! Better to write that as 2.4 spy.

So, before the service the deviation was 2.5 sec / month; after the service 2.4 sec / year!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:15 am 
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I have had the B1 now for some year and have to say it is the most insanely accurate watch I have ever owned. That said I am about to go down the automatic route having just ordered a Chronomat GMT 47...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:34 pm 
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Nice review about to pull the trigger on a B1, I'm most certain it's what I want.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:40 pm 
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gin47 wrote:
Nice review about to pull the trigger on a B1, I'm most certain it's what I want.


You wont be sorry if you get one, it is honestly seriously accurate. the reason I also got the Chronomat GMT 47 is that I wanted a bigger watch and also always wanted a mechanical watch. At first the GMT was 2-3 seconds fast but now after almost 4 months of settling in time its +/- 1 sec a day. You wont have this issue with the B1


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