Breitling Chronomat ref 808

this watch is now on hold for a fellow collector

This vintage (circa 1960) Breitling Chronomat is in excellent condition. The stainless steel case is 37 mm in diameter. Silver dial with applied hour markers and steel hands, indicating hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph seconds, and 45 minute counter. The outer slide rule on the dial rotates with the beads of rice bezel. Manual winding Venus caliber 175.

The Breitling Chronomat with its rotating slide-rule was patented in 1941 as war raged through Europe and other parts of the world, its design offering a welcome respite from the plethora of military and military-inspired watches of the period. The Chronomat’s emphasis on engineering and mathematics, science and industry seemed to offer hope for a future when the war would be over and reconstruction could begin.

Although often thought to be the first slide-rule wristwatch on the market, the Breitling Chronomat was in fact the second. The Mimo-Loga, a non-chronograph, was introduced during 1941 before the Breitling. The Mimo-Loga, including a later version sold under the Girard-Perregaux brand-name, is virtually unknown today.

In 1954, the outstanding usefulness and success of the Chronomat inspired the birth of what has since become the most famous Breitling of all, the Navitimer, a chronograph with the slide-rule redesigned for civil aviation pilots.


CASE & BACK: This watchmeasures a large 38 x 44 mm not including crown and is 13mm to the top of the flush fit crystal. The heavy all-steel case does not appear to have ever been polished and still shows its original bevels and sharp lugs. There are very few superficial scratches and some nicks commensurate with a very lightly worn 40-year-old tool watch  — Fantastic vintage condition overall. The steel back has some very light and superficial scratches but shows its original Breitling nomenclature of the period on the outside , and the 1345214 serial number on the inside, which indicates a 1970 production, and correct 808 reference–also Excellent original cosmetic condition. The inner caseback shows no corrosion and has the correct internal Breitling engraving of the era.

BEZEL: The Stainless steel rotating bezel is correct and original and in Very Good condition . The bezel itself rotates freely in both directions as designed.

DIAL & HANDS: Absolutely Near Mint matte black dial with white printing and finely calibrated track and only the minor imperfections visible under a loupe All original hands which are in fantastic condition. The sliderule ring is wonderfully patinated with all numbers intact

CROWN & PUSHERS: Unsigned crown looks very clean and winds and pulls out to the time-setting position as it should. At the moment of purchase I will add an Original and correctly signed crown with the watch so it can be replaced at the next service. It sits tightly against the case. The two pusher caps are likewise in Excellent shape and both chrono pushers work as they should and also nice and crisply.

CRYSTAL: Large flush-fit acrylic crystal is Excellent+ without scratches and no deep marks and sits barely proud of the bezel, which I believe to be correct for this model.

MOVEMENT: Legendary Venus 175 chronograph movement is looking bright and working well with all correct Breitling nomenclature of the era and shock protection. WHat has been serviced in 2014 and it is keeping good time with a strong power reserve and all chronograph functions are working properly and returning to zero. This is guaranteed to be the case at the time of shipment.

SERVICE: This watch was just serviced in November 2016