Limited Editions of the Breitling Chronomat

A list of all known limited and special editions of the pre-2004 Chronomat

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Introduction

Breitling has a long history of special editions. Since the Chronomat has been a best seller for a long time, there were lots of special Chronomats—not even counting the complicated models. The scope of this article will remain the regular pre-2004 Chronomat—not the Evolution, nor Crosswind, nor Duograph, though each of those had SEs too.

Below are the PAN Frecce Tricolori 81950 and PAN Frecce Tricolori A13050, Blackbird, Blackbird Lancaster, Mosquito, Vitesse Série Spéciale, 10th anniversary, Tomcat, Tomcat (Jubilee), Breitling for Canada, Alfa Romeo, Hong Kong RAF, Chicago Bulls, USAF, Richthofen, Fei Gao, Jagdgeschwader 74, Blue Impulse, Red Arrows 81950 and Red Arrows A13050, The World is Yours, Blue Angels, Renault F1, Baltimore Ravens, NBA steel or gold, New York Knicks, Lakers, Boston Celtics, Breitling for America, Série Spéciale (81950), Série Limitée 13047, 13049, Longitude Thunderbirds, Fujitsu-Siemens, Marina Militare, Brazilian Air Force, Bombardier, first gold bezel, the Diamondworks—and possibly others.

Chronomat P.A.N. Frecce Tricolori special edition (81950)

Type
Limited edition of 4,000 pieces
Base watch
81950, stainless steel with yellow gold accents, dark blue face
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Frecce Tricolori”

The PAN Frecce Tricolori (Three-colored Arrows) is an Italian aerobatic demonstration team; it is cited as having expressed the specifications leading to the design of the Chronomat. This watch is probably one of the first Chronomats to exhibit a special logo on its dial. As far as I know, its caseback is the same as the regular model of this era.

It has been suggested that some of those watches were also produced in all stainless steel (without gold rider tabs). More information is appreciated.

Chronomat P.A.N. Frecce Tricolori special edition (13050)

Type
Limited edition of 4,000 pieces (in steel) + 100 (in gold)
Base watch
A13050.1, stainless steel, black face (3,000 pieces) or yellow face (1,000 pieces); K13050.1, yellow gold, black face (100 pieces).
Date of production
1994 or 1995


Chronomat “Frecce Tricolori”

This is the 2nd version of the Frecce Tricolori Chronomat. The back shows the face of a Aermacchi MB-339 PAN aircraft, and the other writings say:

1955 1995 - 40ème anniversaire

(which means 40th anniversary).
I still wonder what this anniversary is, since it was created in 1960 or 1961: in 1955 there were the Tigri Bianche (White Tigers), but there were teams non-stop from 1950 onwards.

There also exists a limited yellow gold version (K13050.1) of this watch, limited to 100 pieces. Main differences with the steel model are the hands (polished YG) and gold ridges around the subdials. To my knowledge, this particular model was only seen with a black face.

Chronomat Blackbird Série spéciale

Type
Special edition
Base watch
A13050 and A13350, stainless steel, black or blue face, brushed finish
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Blackbird”

The Chronomat Blackbird, named after the stealth fighter, is basically an all-brushed Chronomat. The differences between the several versions include the dial color (blue or black), dial markers (batons or Arabic numerals), dial markings, and bezel shape (normal or angular). The Pilot bracelet, used for the first Blackbirds, was later replaced by a “Pilot Special” bracelet with angular links, to go with the angular bezel and pushers.

The blue dialed Blackbird has unofficially been nicknamed “Bluebird”. It is a limited edition of 250 pieces for the A13350 reference number (its dial says Chronomètre Automatic – Édition limitée).

The Blackbird is also the name of a flight formation performed by the Breitling Jet Team.

Chronomat Blackbird Lancaster special edition

Type
Limited edition of 60 pieces
Base watch
A13353 Blackbird
Date of production
2001


Chronomat “Lancaster”

The Chronomat Lancaster special edition was made to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the WWII Avro Lancaster bomber (which happened in 1941).

Chronomat Mosquito special edition

Type
Limited edition of 60 pieces
Base watch
A13352
Date of production
2000


Chronomat “Mosquito”

The Chronomat Mosquito special edition celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Mosquito.

Chronomat Vitesse special version

Type
Limited edition of 60 pieces
Base watch
N/A
Date of production
2001


Chronomat Vitesse Special Version

This Chronomat Vitesse special version seems to be actually very rare. Its Pilot bracelet is half-brushed, half-polished.

Thanks to Haseeb H!

Chronomat 10th anniversary special edition

Type
Limited edition of 1994 pieces (in steel) and 194 pieces (in yellow gold)
Base watch
A13050 stainless steel; B13050 steel/gold accents; D13050 steel/gold; K13048 yellow gold; all silver face
Date of production
1994


Chronomat “10”

(This picture shows non-original subdial hands. The original ones were also blue but without the small counterweight.)

This Chronomat celebrates the 10th anniversary of its inception. It came with a special display box, and its dial offers design elements that will be later seen on all Chronomat models, like the applied White Gold or Yellow Gold logo, and ridges around the subdials. The dial itself is “silvered in the traditional style”, and the case back shows the outline of a Frecce Tricolori airplane.

There are four variants of the Chronomat 10 1984–1994 special edition: stainless steel, two-tone (with 18k yellow gold rider tabs), two-tone again (with 18k yellow gold bezel), and solid yellow gold.

Chronomat F-14 Tomcat special edition

Type
Limited edition of 60 pieces
Base watch
N/A
Date of production
1999


Chronomat “Tomcat”

The dial shows the planform of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. On the back is engraved the F-14 Tomcat slogan, "Anytime Baby".

Thanks to Paul!

Chronomat F-14 Tomcat Jubilee special edition

Type
Limited edition of 250 pieces
Base watch
B13050.1
Date of production
Late 1996 or early 1997


Chronomat “Tomcat”

More information is welcome.

Thanks to Duane Boren!

Chronomat Breitling for Canada

Type
N/A
Base watch
A13050.1, stainless steel, yellow face, black subdials
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Breitling for Canada”

This special version was not for sale, and apparently was given to top sellers in Canada.

Chronomat Alfa Romeo special edition

Type
Special edition, limited to 30 pieces
Base watch
A13050.1 “Blackbird”, stainless steel, black face
Date of production
1998


Chronomat “Alfa Romeo”

In 1998 the Fiat group (owner of Alfa Romeo) commissioned 30 pieces to give to top managers of the brand.

According to Luca:

The papers of the 30 pieces were all signed by “Gioielleria Tiglieri” in Turin [Italy], but this jewellery never had the watches in hands, they were directly transferred from Tradema (Breitling Italian importer) and Alfa Romeo.

Many thanks to Luca!

Chronomat HK RAF special edition

Type
Limited edition of 1997 pieces in stainless steel, and 97 pieces in yellow gold
Base watch
A13050.1 and K13050.1, black face
Date of production
1997


Chronomat “HK RAF” (18k picture credit: G. Schmutzky)

This limited edition was produced in 1997 pieces in year 1997, before Hong Kong became part of mainland China. The caseback shows the squadron emblem with the dates: 1924–1997. The four Chinese characters (from right to left, “cheng gao zhi yuan”) mean something along the lines of “Travel Far with Honor”.

Chronomat USAF special edition

Type
Limited edition of 500 pieces, and limited edition of 50 pieces
Base watch
A13050.1, Chronomat Blackbird (brushed), blue face
Date of production
1997


Chronomat “US Air Force”

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United States Air Force (USAF), Breitling produced a limited edition watch of 500 watches with a logo dial and logo caseback.

There is apparently another version of the same watch, but where the caseback clearly shows that this is a limited edition of 50 pieces.

Chronomat Jagdgeschwader 71 “Richthofen” special edition

Type
Limited edition of 450 pieces
Base watch
B13050.1, Chronomat Vitesse, two-tone, white face
Date of production
Around 2000?


Chronomat “Jagdgeschwader 71 Richthofen”

The Jagdgeschwader 71 “Richthofen” is one of the 4 traditional squadrons of the German Luftwaffe.

Chronomat Fei Gao/Hong Kong special edition

Type
Limited edition of 188 pieces
Base watch
A13050, stainless steel, red dial with black subdials
Date of production
1997


Chronomat “Fei Gao”

This Chronomat was produced in recognition of the anniversary of Deng Xiaoping's death. The Chinese writings on the dial say “Fei Gao”, which means “High flyer”. This calligraphy was performed by Xiaoping's daughter. The watch sports a custom caseback.

Chronomat BC Jagdgeschwader 74 (Mölders) special edition

Type
Limited edition of 500 pieces
Base watch
B13050.1, two tone, blue face
Date of production
1996


Chronomat “JG 74” Moelders

This Chronomat was made for the Jagdgeschwader 74 “Mölders” German fighter squadron, created in 1961. Please note that there also exists a JG 74 version of the A13322 Breitling Navitimer.

Chronomat Blue Impulse limited edition

Type
Limited edition of 1000 pieces
Base watch
A13048, stainless steel, grey face with gold subdials or grey face with blue subdials (both with textured sunburst dial)
Date of production
1997


Chronomat “Blue Impulse”

Blue Impulse (ブルーインパルス), or 11 Squadron, is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The custom caseback shows the Blue Impulse logo and the edition number.

Chronomat Red Arrows 81950 special edition

Type
N/A
Base watch
81950, steel with gold accents, red face, black rehaut, black subdials
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Red Arrows”

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Red Arrows A13050 special edition

Type
Limited edition of 1965 pieces
Base watch
A13050.1, stainless steel, red face, black subdials
Date of production
1995


Chronomat “Red Arrows”

This Chronomat Red Arrows was produced in 1965 exemplaries to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the team. This is actually the second model of Chronomat “Red Arrows” limited edition. The watch also has a custom caseback.

Please note that the Red Arrows commissioned several models of watches, including the B-1.

Chronomat The World is Yours special edition

Type
Limited edition of 40 series of 4 watches
Base watch
Chronomat Vitesse and Chronomat Longitude
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “The World is Yours”

These come inside a box which contains 4 watches: one red Longitude A20048, one yellow Longitude A20048, one black Vitesse (with italics Arabic numerals) A13050.1, and one white Vitesse (with italics Arabic numerals) A13050.1.

Chronomat Blue Angels special edition

Type
Limited edition of 1000 pieces
Base watch
B13048, two-tone, blue face, gold subdials
Date of production
1992


Chronomat “Blue Angels” (here with later small hands)

The “Blue Angels” Breitling Chronomat was created in recognition of the U.S. navy elite flight team in 1992 in a Limited Edition of 1000 pieces. See also the custom caseback.

Chronomat Renault F1 special edition

Type
N/A
Base watch
B13048, blue face with gold subdials
Date of production
1993?


Chronomat “Renault F1”

This watch was released during the first involvement in Formula 1 of the French car manufacturer Renault. It could have been produced in recognition of Alain Prost's performance, when he won the World Championship right before his retirement as a driver.

Chronomat Baltimore Ravens special edition

Type
Limited edition of 100 pieces
Base watch
A13050.1, stainless steel, black face, silver subdials
Date of production
N/A*


Chronomat “Baltimore Ravens”

* Not sure what year it was actually manufactured, but this watch could have entered production in 1996 at the earliest, as the franchise dates from that year. Prior to 1996, the Ravens were the Cleveland Browns, who moved to Baltimore in '96.

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Chicago Bulls special edition

Type
Special edition (more info would be appreciated)
Base watch
Chronomat Vitesse B13050.1, two-tone, black face
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Chicago Bulls”

This watch has the NBA caseback with reference and serial numbers engraved (just like with the Chronomat models for some other NBA teams).

More information is welcome.

Chronomat NBA special edition

Type
Edition of 20 pieces
Base watch
Chronomat GT, A13050.1
Date of production
2000


Chronomat “NBA”

More information is welcome.

Chronomat NBA 18k special edition

Type
Limited edition of 25 pieces
Base watch
Chronomat GT, K13050.1, silver or black face, gold subdials
Date of production
Around 2001?


Chronomat “NBA” in yellow gold

Its custom caseback says “NBA”. Both black and white dialed version have been seen.

Chronomat New York Knicks special edition

Type
N/A
Base watch
N/A
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Knicks”

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Lakers special edition

Type
N/A
Base watch
N/A
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Lakers”

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Boston Celtics special edition

Type
N/A
Base watch
Chronomat Vitesse B13050.1, white face
Date of production
1995


Chronomat “Celtics”

The caseback sports the NBA logo, plus the reference and serial numbers. There is no indication of the number of pieces produced (which may have been 50, according to one source).

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Breitling for America special edition

Type
Limited edition, possibly 50 pieces
Base watch
A13050.1, yellow face with black subdials
Date of production
Probably 1994


Chronomat “Breitling for America”

This special version was not for sale, but was offered to top sellers in the USA. The watches do not have a serial number, and instead only display “Noxxx” on the case-back.

Thanks to Matthew B!

A Breitling for America limited edition Chronomat is for sale (as of May 2016). Please contact me to get in touch with the seller.

Chronomat Série Spéciale

Type
Special edition
Base watch
81950
Date of production
1991? 1994?


Chronomat “Série Spéciale” with later hands

See also the Gold bezel special edition, which has a different dial (with no ridges around the totalizers). I am concerned that the watch above may have been fitted a dial from a newer model. But I'm keeping it as a separate entry until it is evidenced that this dial is incorrect for a 81950. More information is welcome.

Chronomat Série Limitée 13047

Type
Limited edition?
Base watch
D13047, silver face with golden subdials
Date of production
Around 1992


Chronomat 13047

I have very little information about this limited edition, with its nice silver sunburst dial and yellow gold bezel. The case-back says “Manufacturé en Suisse, Automatic, Série limitée, 100m, testé 20G”, in addition to the reference number and serial number (with no limited edition number). More information is welcome.

Chronomat 13049

Type
N/A
Base watch
J13049X
Date of production
Around 1994?


Chronomat 13049

This is the solid white gold model. It has a strange reference number; it is the only 13049 that I know of. A number (3 digits) is engraved in the case back, in addition to the reference number.

Chronomat Longitude Thunderbirds

Type
Limited edition of 1000 pieces
Base watch
Chronomat Longitude A20048, blue face
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat Longitude Thunderbirds (Photo credit: Martin C. Medenwaldt)

Please note that this watch is not based on the regular Chronomat, but on the Chronomat Longitude with its additional hand.

Many thanks to Martin!

Chronomat Fujitsu Siemens Computers

Type
N/A
Base watch
A13350, black face with silver subdials
Date of production
2002


Chronomat Fujitsu-Siemens

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Marina Militare

Type
N/A
Base watch
81950, two tone, blue face with gold subdials
Date of production
1990


Chronomat Marina Militare

More information is welcome.

Chronomat Brazilian Air Force Smoke Squadron special edition

Type
Limited edition of 100 pieces
Base watch
A13350, silver face
Date of production
N/A


Brazilian Air Force Smoke Squadron (Photo credit: Luiz T.)

This Chronomat was made for the Esquadrão de Demonstração Aérea demonstrations team of the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira), also known as “Smoke Squadron”.

Many thanks to Luiz!

Chronomat Bombardier Aerospace special edition

Type
Limited edition of 200 pieces
Base watch
A13050, black face (and there may also have been a blue faced version)
Date of production
April 1999


Chronomat Bombardier (Photo credit: Kenny)

Bombardier ordered 200 Chronomats from Breitling to send as a gift to new owners. About one hundred of those watches were left over and stored in boxes, until they have been found again several years later. As those watches now had the old Flexjet logo on the case-back, they were sold to the pilots at an interesting price.

Many thanks to Kenny!

Chronomat Gold Bezel special edition

Type
Special edition
Base watch
81950
Date of production
1984


First Chronomat with gold bezel (Photo credit: Sean Clarke)

This series corresponds to the first Chronomat with a solid gold bezel. It states SÉRIE SPÉCIALE on the back. Several face options were available, like silver dial with gold subdials, or charcoal dial and black subdials, and always with gold baton markers.

This model came out before the "B" logo was added on the second's hand (but you may find some of them with a signed hand, as they are frequently changed during maintenance).

On the side of the bezel is engraved a small B logo and "18K" (while most later models with gold bezel only feature the logo).

Many thanks to Sean and Val!

Chronomat Diamondworks special edition

Type
Limited edition of 5 pieces
Base watch
K13050.1, yellow gold, diamonds, MOP subdials
Date of production
N/A


Chronomat “Diamondworks”

The Diamondworks features factory diamonds on the case, dial, and bracelet.

Other possible custom Chronomats

If you have more information or know a special edition Chronomat that is not listed, as usual, feel free to contact me.