At BaselWorld 2009, Breitling made a huge breakthrough with the launch of their Chronomat B01, housing the brand’s first movement developed and produced entirely in-house. The Chronomat Evolution was already one of their top-selling models, and Breitling figured it would be a good idea to put their new in-house chronograph movement in a case already well-received by Breitling enthusiasts. While the differences in case size and thickness of the two models are a negligible, .20mm and .10mm respectively, there are several differences between the two models that make them unique.
Mechanically speaking, the B01 houses the brand’s first ever in-house movement featuring 47 jewels and a 70-hour power reserve. The Chronomat Evolution houses the extremely reliable ETA 7750 chronograph movement, which features 25 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. The B01 is water resistant to 500 meters, and the Evolution is water resistant to 300 meters.
Aesthetically speaking, the two models have slightly different dial configurations, with the B01 having a textured square in its center. Both models are offered in many different colored dials, with either Roman numerals, Arabic numerals or stick markers; and the date display for every B01 dial is in between 4 and 5 o’clock, while the date display on every Evolution dial is located at 3 o’clock. The other prominent difference between the two models is the bezel. The bezel for the Evolution is subtle and marked with a 15, 30 and 45 so that people can use it to indicate elapsed time, should they not want to activate their chronograph. The bezel for the B01 on the other hand, is marked at every five-minute interval aside from 15, 30 and 45, and is fully polished.
Since the two pieces are so similar, the following question arises: which Breitling model do enthusiasts and collectors prefer more? The B01 movement is definitely superior to that of the Evolution, but is it worth the additional $1,850 in the retail price? Also, are the changes in the aesthetics for better or for worse?
Which do you prefer?