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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:58 am 
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This afternoon I was in town, which was pretty much my first trip into town for 7 months, mainly due to Covid but also due to work, and I finally got to see the new Chronomat in the flesh! Most of you have probably already seen them, so I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new, but just thought I'd share my impressions anyway.

As Fred will know, I was madly keen on getting hold of the Frecce version from the day it was released, but I ended up not taking the plunge for two reasons. Firstly I'm just not a huge fan of the current shade of blue that Breitling are using. From the publicity shots I was hopeful of a really deep but vibrant blue (kind of like the blue Tag Heuer are using on their new Carrera, or what Rolex calls 'Bright Blue'), but all the IRL pictures I've seen show it as more similar the blue currently being used on Breitling's black-eye-blue models, which I personally find "washes out" somewhat in certain lights. (Not a criticism, just a personal view, but reason enough not to risk a sight-unseen purchase). And the second reason I didn't take the plunge without seeing one in person, was the butterfly clasp. Again I'm just not a fan of them as I see them as more of a "dress clasp" rather than a "sports clasp", and I'm a real stickler for an EXACT fit on my wrist : nothing irritates me more than a watch that is too tight or too loose, and gambling on getting an exact fit on a butterfly clasp watch just wasn't something I was going to risk. So long and short of it is that I didn't jump on the Frecce despite really wanting it.

Fast forward a few months and today I was in town and got my first chance to try on the Panda and Reverse Panda variants. All I can say is, WOW! Both are stunning, but the Reverse Panda was absolutely gorgeous to my eyes. The head is an absolute thing of beauty, and the bezel (which I was a initially a little unsure of given the ticks in the top half only) is actually fantastic - I really see what Fred means about how well it just works on this design. The case is gorgeous, the dial is wonderfully executed, the handset is perfect, and the all round finishing is fantastic (Oh and the date window hidden at 6 - SUPERB! :D ). The Rouleaux bracelet is also very nice, and definitely well made, but I must be honest the butterfly clasp and that lack of fine adjustment is a real issue for me. Yes it looks very seamless and very true to the original design, but I'd personally happily forgo that little nod to history for a bit of micro-adjustment and a sports clasp. (Yes I get that the links are small so a reasonable fit should be easy to find, but it's still a risk I'm unwilling to take).

However, I did get the sales-woman to dig out a black leather strap from their store and hold it up against the head so I could get a view of what it'd look like on a strap....., and it would look incredible! As nice as the Rouleaux is, I think I'd definitely wear this one on a strap - probably a black croco, or potentially even rubber.

So the upshot is, YES it's a truly beautiful piece, and YES I really do want to get one :D - the Reverse Panda would be my choice 100% - but I'm going to wait until/if it becomes available on a strap because I really don't want to pay for a bracelet I probably won't use.

(PS - Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I was trying to touch as little as possible in the AD!)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:25 am 
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I have had the chance to see it and touch it a few times at my AD. It looks sharp for sure. At the price for an in house chrono and finishing it’s definitely appealing.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:19 pm 
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Great to hear your review Driver. Like you, I haven't been to an AD in months and probably won't be until springtime when I'm in Florida. I think the watch would look amazing on this strap that I have for my Chronomat.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:47 pm 
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I haven't seen it IRL, but I agree that the head of the watch looks beautiful, also the reverse panda is my favorite.

The only thing I wish it had is the wings logo, I think it would turn a very nice looking watch into a must-have! And that must-have feeling is the one that makes you spend no matter what.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:02 am 
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jnelson3097 wrote:
Great to hear your review Driver. Like you, I haven't been to an AD in months and probably won't be until springtime when I'm in Florida. I think the watch would look amazing on this strap that I have for my Chronomat.

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Agreed Justin - I think it would work pretty well indeed. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:54 pm 
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I don't want to offend Breitling, but why don't they just offer the Chronomat with a strap option. People may like the bracelet option, but there are those like Justin and Driver who would prefer it on a strap. Please don't respond and tell me that Breitling was trying to recreate what was originally offered, in this day and age you would think that Breitling would be looking to sell as many watches as possible!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:07 pm 
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56scooter wrote:
I don't want to offend Breitling, but why don't they just offer the Chronomat with a strap option. People may like the bracelet option, but there are those like Justin and Driver who would prefer it on a strap. Please don't respond and tell me that Breitling was trying to recreate what was originally offered, in this day and age you would think that Breitling would be looking to sell as many watches as possible!!!
Scooter are you suggesting Georges should offer a “strap on”

I’m sure the AD could just pull the bracelet and offer you whatever strap fits.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:41 pm 
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boogiebot wrote:
56scooter wrote:
I don't want to offend Breitling, but why don't they just offer the Chronomat with a strap option. People may like the bracelet option, but there are those like Justin and Driver who would prefer it on a strap. Please don't respond and tell me that Breitling was trying to recreate what was originally offered, in this day and age you would think that Breitling would be looking to sell as many watches as possible!!!
Scooter are you suggesting Georges should offer a “strap on”

I’m sure the AD could just pull the bracelet and offer you whatever strap fits.


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I am sure that they could do that but what would they then do with the bracelet which is specifically designed for the chronomat? I am not sure that they would be willing to eat the cost of the bracelet!


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