We usually talk about watch models and brands, but movements are just as important. There are the legions of ETA- and generic movement-powered watches, but in-house units are what we’re here to talk about. Breitling created magic several years ago with the creation of its B01 chronograph movement, and its use has grown over the years. Let’s take a closer look.
Breitling builds the movement with 47 jewels and a unique auto-centering mechanism for parts of its chronograph function, making manufacturing simpler and less expensive. The modular construction simplifies servicing, and the movement’s design offers a three-register layout on the watch’s face. The 9 o’clock register counts 60 seconds, the 6 o’clock register counts 12 hours, and the 3 o’clock register displays a 30-minute counter.
Breitling has put a lot of weight behind the B01 and other chronograph movements and has even built a factory to focus only on the B01 and others. The 7.2mm-thick movement has blossomed into a line of related units, and Breitling understandably wants to get as much mileage out of its investments as possible. The B01 has inspired the B04 and B05 movements, but Breitling uses the original movement in several watches.
Its flexibility and utility help the company offer a variety of watches with the same movement, making them all more affordable. The legendary and iconic Navitimer now uses the Breitling B01, and with the accurate chronograph movement beating away under the hood, the watch offers the reliability and accuracy a pilot’s watch needs. Breitling introduced a new Chronomat a few years ago that also uses the movement. It’s also used in the Transocean and other chronographs, and most feature a display case back to show off the attractive but factory-built movement underneath.
The Breitling B01 is so significant that Tudor teamed up with the company in 2017 to use the movement in its Black Bay Chronograph watches. Breitling got Tudor’s MT5612 movement in return. Still, the B01 has expanded Tudor’s ability to turn out new chronographs, and the result is a stunning line of Black Bay models at reasonable prices.