The Breitling Windrider collection was formerly the Chronoliner and Nightflight collections that have now been amalgamated into this collection. There are quite a few models to choose from including men’s and ladies’ watches as well as automatic mechanical and quartz movements. Here’s a quick run-down of various watches on offer.
I’ve been a huge fan of Breitling watches for many years. I stumbled across them after I’d made up my mind to buy a Tag Heuer watch and went into a store buy one. A very knowledgeable store assistant asked me to take a look at Breitling as well. After quickly comparing both watches I just fell in love with the slightly classic look and robust lines of the Breitling watch. I bought one and have loved wearing it ever since; it looks just as good as when I wear it with a business suit or when I’m relaxing in the garden in shorts and tee-shirt.
Most watches in the Windrider collection characterized by a dome shaped crown and bezel with rider tabs (small rectangular, raised tabs mounted on the bezel at the 3,6,9, and 12 position). The collection contains the Chronomat Evolution, which was previously just called the Chronomat and is the best-selling Breitling watch.
Unlike the Navitimer collection, which by necessity of the slide rule, is on the large size, the sizes of the watches in the Windrider collection vary from smallish to large and the collection features some nice ladies’ watches.
Most of the watches have automatic, mechanical movements, however some, especially the ladies’ watches, have a quartz movement – I’ve been told that making complicated mechanical movements small enough for a ladies watch is very hard and would make the price of a watch extremely expensive.
The Chronomat Evolution is the flagship watch of Breitling and is its number one best seller. It was originally created to equip the famous Frecce Tricolori flight team of the Italian airforce. Over the years the watch has evolved aesthetically and technically. Some would arguethat the currunt Evolution watch is the most accomplished to date. The present design has beenin production since 2005. Like most watches in the collection, it has 3 subdials; second hand, 10 minute interval and 3 hour interval. The dials are placed at the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions. The mechanical movement is the ETA Valjoux 7750. The casing diameter is 43.7mm and is 17.1mm thick.
The Chronomat Blackbird has a brushed finish unlike the polished finish of the other Chronomat watches. The matte black dial is also in contrast the typical gloss dials of this collection. All this gives the watch a very understated appearance. The casing diameter is 39.8mm with a thickness of 14.8mm. The movement and dial placement is the same as the Evolution.
The Crosswind is a more lavish affair, with an elaborate raised dial face complete with Roman numerals; the numerals and the six hands are luminous. Some versions come with diamonds mounted on the bezel. Again, dial placement and movement are the same as the Evolution.
The Callistino is a Breitling ladies watch. It features a quartz movement and diamonds mounted on the dial face at the hour markers. The casing diameter is 29mm and is 10.6mm thick. The Callisto is another ladies watch. Its main point of interest is the absence of subdials, thought the date aperture remains at the 3 o’clock position. Again, it features a quartz movement. For those wanting a mechanical movement, the Chrono Callisto should fit the bill. The movement is a Lemania 1873. However, this movement is not automatic. The mechanical movement also makes this ladies watch a little larger; the casing is 35mm wide. There are 3 subdials.
Finally, my favorite Breitling watch, the Windrider Shadow Flyback – it’s the model I bought instead of the Tag Heuer. It has an ETA 2892-A2 movement featuring chronograph and a flyback feature (stop watch secondhand return to zero). The subdials are what as known as a tri compax configuration – positioned at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock position. What I also like is that the date aperture appears between 4 and 5 o’clock.