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#TBT Hands-On together with the Breitling Chronomat 808While it has been overlooked or under discussed when we talk about the most incredible vintage chronographs, the Breitling Chronomat 808 warrants consideration.It might be easy to cast this watch aside like a less-equipped type of the much more popular Navitimer, but because we'll see, it really is a patently unfair categorization. In terms of both intent and history, the Chronomat is a significant watch.I've waited quite a long time to write down a dedicated article on the Breitling Chronomat 808. We've featured the model included in the Breitling Experts Interview article coming from a couple years ago, but there's been little said since. The reason being really quite simple; the culmination of my procrastination along with the proper diagnosis of how to fix a dilemma about the watch essentially ended in this piece being away from commission for roughly a couple of years. To be clear, my lassitude affected about 70% of their timing. The good news is the 808 is back also to quote that oft cited line from Peaches and Herb, we're "reunited, also it feels so good".In a excellent posting on Watch U Seek, user "altro" details the long history of the Chronomat. One can observe that this watch's slide rule function was patented in 1941 and released between this season and 1942. Because of this the watch predates the release on the Navitimer by roughly 12 years - a sizeable stretch of time that's often forgotten by most. Initially released with rectangular pushers and as the reference 769, the first incarnation soldiered lets start on many evolving dial variants till the late 1950's. During it is a pointer, the 769 was always outfitted while using hand wound Venus 175, a gem of an column wheel movement that's essentially merely a 2-register version of the Breitling-standard Venus 178. It came in both steel and gold editions and also rare triple register (Venus 178 equipped) variants were offered. In the late 50's, some say around 1959, the updated Breitling Chronomat 808 was introduced.The Breitling Chronomat 808 introduced an important change versus its 769 predecessor along with more subtle updates. Gone were the rectangular pushers favoring round pump pushers. Big dagger hands replaced earlier needles. Additonally, a more substantial signed crown joined the fray that can help the Chronomat are part of other Breitlings in the era. Dial-wise, applied baton hour markers replaced former versions often found with Arabic numerals. The Venus 175 remained in position ad the Brevet (patent number) moved with the dial on the snap-back case back. Sadly, although I quite like the sentiment this watch now contains, my version's case back was polished off to make room with an inscription that shows it absolutely was have for "Marvin" in 1962. Lucky guy…When digging in the initial history of the Chronomat, and this also carried finished the Breitling Chronomat 808, the watch wasn't actually intended for navigational purposes. Unlike the later Navitimer, watches it appears that the Chronomat was made for engineers, omega railmaster mathematicians and people who caused it to be their task to unravel problems. These posting on Watch U Seek, maintains that the Chronomat was second to your market to be a slide rule watch, however it seems it was first to mix the practical tool which has a chronograph. In any case, we will certainly report that this Breitling was the 1st popular watch that has a Slide Rule. The article also states that no mention of the watch's use for pilots is found until a late 60's AOPA advertisement definitely makes the link (the 808 gave way to an extremely different, automatic Chronomat within the late 60's). Think of this as being a dressier 1940's form of the 1980's Casio digital calculator watch and you're in the same ballpark, er - classroom.When having a detailed look at the cosmetics of this Breitling Chronomat 808, it becomes clear that this is one amazingly attractive chronograph. Having its slender, chamfered lugs, a Breitling phone, 36mm case size and 18mm lugs, the Chronomat straddles the thin line between oral appliance elegant watch.But investigating the watch in the side to see how a bezel overhangs the situation and angles outward, it actually measures in at exceeding 37mm in diameter. That angling attribute, by the way, is exceedingly like the ultra rare "wide bezel" Cosmonautes that had been later introduced when Scott Carpenter requested such piecesfrom the emblem for space exploration purposes. The bezel, that's beautifully beaded, is simple to make but includes a bit more tension compared with the Navis and Cossies I own.Dial-wise, there's only love from my side when it comes to the Breitling Chronomat 808. The design and spacing are simply perfect. When viewed at merely the best angle, the silver color takes on an eggshell sheen - it's gorgeous plus the quality is as good or a lot better than anything from the age for me. A similar can be stated in regards to the range of orangey red with the central chrono hand, rightmost sub register hand and font. It's this sort of unique color choice in comparison to the typical black or chrome and delay wonders with almost any brown leather strap. Those nickel plated main hands produce a fairly bold statement and work well with the dial - trying out a little more space as opposed to hands found in earlier Chronomats.When there's one "beef" I've with vintage Cosmonautes and Navitimers, it's their particular crystals portray a huge expanse of fragility. Combine this which has a total insufficient water proof and bezels that spin as freely as Robert-Jan on his Technics SL1200s and i also must confess that wearing these big replica watches feels precarious. refurbished rolex watches Yes, they're deservedly considered icons, however are not that practical if you don't live in a dry room made solely of pillows. The Breitling Chronomat 808, in my opinion, gets it right. You may have all of the trademark Breitling looks, but the size is a great deal more wearable also it feels a little more solid. This is all despite a slim profile of roughly 11.5mm.On the wrist, the Breitling Chronomat 808 is really a dream. Light, comfortable in addition to being happy being coupled with a sit because it is jeans along with a flannel, this watch may go anywhere providing anywhere is not the beach! Using a lug to lug amount of over 44mm (a Navitimer comes in at 49mm), it needs to meet the grouches around decry the I have found the round pushers more to my liking when compared with earlier rectangular pusher versions, however that truly comes down to personal preference. I paired the watch with a modern Breitling strap and flip buckle. I favor it and may likely let it sit, on the other hand could easily go with hourra - @watchfred won't stop saying how it can certainly make the dial "pop".I got myself this Breitling Chronomat 808 roughly couple of years ago from the dealer in Philadelphia around $1400. This has been a pleasant deal then, however it is a steal today. Good Chronomats regularly cross the $3000 mark and rare versions (like early 769's) now see $4000+ with relative regularity. Check for dial damage - this place has a touch, however it is deemed as quite presentable in Breitling circles - very often causes redials. Additionally, incorrect hands and other parts are typical also.I'm able to remember receiving this Breitling Chronomat 808 - my partner brought it with her from elsewhere in the us and handed if you ask me as i was severely jet-lagged at the hotel in New York City. I swapped the Breitling strap for any brown suede piece and visited dinner. During my lethargic state, I assumed something was using the watch, on the other hand left it prior to the next morning. Upon waking, I took a peek and, yes, the reduced left lug was bent inwards. Disappointment from, but Fred told me it has to be a straightforward fix. Well, I waited for over a year before sending it to Paul, our resident watchmaker, and the man wasn't overly comfortable with giving the earlier lug a yank (I even attemptedto persuade him to accomplish it from a couple drinks of Kentucky's finest), so he sent it off to a different one watchmaker friend (this business possess a network!) who specializes in things like this. Then, the issue was solved instantly now the watch is back. Anyhow, the moral with the story should be to check on might be found - something I've now stopped taking with no consideration.We've featured a respectable amount of Breitling on #TBT e-mail, readers, you'll encounter more. With the appointment of Georges Kern in the helm on the storied logo and our friends @watchfred and @rene_jk commencing to have a bit of involvement in what will likely be seen as reinvention with the marque, we feel there's cause of excitement. If they'd like to recapture a section of the magic from replica watches such as the Breitling Chronomat 808 later on releases, then consider our collective interest piqued.