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Certified Pre-Owned Watch Program

1969 Serviced Vintage Breitling ChonoMat Automatic Chronograph Cal 11 1808 48mm

Regular price $3,499.99

Only 1 in stock

The history of the Calibre 11

Starts at the end of 1965. As Büren had pioneered the production of micro-rotor movements, Gérald Dubois (of Dépraz & Co., a chronograph specialist) figured out that these would be thin enough to be the base for a modular chronograph movement. Dubois contacts Hans Kocher of Büren Watch Co. SA. In need of commercial partners, they manage to convince first Jack Heuer and then Willy Breitling to support the project. On February 2nd, 1966, an agreement is signed. The four-party Chronomatic consortium is born, including two rival brands teaming up to develop their own automatic chronograph. For confidentiality purposes, the development is code-named Project 99.

 The convention signed on February 2, 1966, between Dépraz & Co., Heuer-Léonidas SA and Léon Breitling SA. The partners asked Büren Watch Co. to build the blanks and the automatic movement of an automatic chronograph, the basic execution of which is designated by calibre No. 111. They have an exclusive right to use this calibre. They plan to have Dépraz develop and manufacture the chronograph mechanism to equip this calibre.

Büren is in charge of the base calibre. Dépraz of the chronograph mechanism. Three brands – Heuer, Breitling and Hamilton (who acquired Buren during the development process) – will fit the movement inside their watches. A patent application for the Calibre 11 is filed in September 1967. At the end of 1968, about 100 pre-production movements are assembled in prevision of the 1969 Basel fair. On March 3rd 1969, the movement is officially presented, simultaneously in New York and Geneva. A month later, the three brands present their first chronographs at the 1969 Basel fair. With the practicality and comfort of automatic winding, the chronograph becomes a staple of motorsport… the Calibre 11 is used to power iconic watches by Heuer (Carrera, Monaco, Autavia), Breitling (Chrono-Matic) and Hamilton (Fontainebleau). And later by other brands such as Bulova, Kelek, Zodiac, Elgin, Stowa…

  

So, who won the race?

Zenith’s automatic chronograph was the first to be unveiled to the world. It was presented during a press conference in January 1969 and christened El Primero (“the first” in Spanish). The reality is a bit more complex. There are endless debates about which was the first automatic chronograph, as both the Seiko and the Chronomatic movements were announced later the same year. What’s more, El Primero was not the first to hit the market. But the controversy about who came first doesn’t really matter anymore… what is important is the impact that these movements had on watchmaking history. Since then, the automatic chronograph has remained one of the most popular complications.

THE CALIBRE 11

The Calibre 11 is a 17-jewel modular chronograph measuring 31mm x 7.7mm. This modular architecture implies first a base movement, a micro-rotor automatic calibre made by Büren, in charge of the timekeeping part. Beating at 19,800 vibrations per hour, it boasted 42 hours of power reserve. Manufactured by Dépraz, the lever chronograph module is assembled on the backside of the base movement. This movement has a bi-compax display, with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock – no running seconds sub-dial. The date is indicated at 6 o’clock. The unusual crown position, at 9 o’clock at the opposite of the chronograph pushers, is a signature feature of the movement.

  

THE CALIBRE 11 AND ITS EVOLUTIONS

Like most movements, the Calibre 11 has been optimized several times over its lifetime. As early as 1969, a barrel spring providing less torque is used. The date jump mechanism is adapted. The sliding pinion is changed and made in steel.

 In 1971, a variant running at 21,600 vibrations per hour and named Calibre 12 is introduced. It becomes the main product of the calibre family. It uses a stronger barrel spring. The gear train and balance wheel are adapted. The chronograph hammer is modified to improve shock-resistance.

Breitling 1808 Navitimer

The "slide-rule" Chronomats

The Breitling Chronomat with its rotating slide-rule was patented in 1941 as war raged through Europe and other parts of the world, its design offering a welcome respite from the plethora of military and military-inspired watches of the period. The Chronomat's emphasis on engineering and mathematics, science and industry seemed to offer hope for a future when the war would be over and reconstruction could begin. 

In 1952, the outstanding usefulness and success of the Chronomat inspired the birth of what has since become the most famous Breitling of all, the Navitimer, a chronograph with the slide-rule redesigned for civil aviation pilots. 

The Chronomat went on to be produced in many forms including a version of the first automatic chronograph watch in the late 1960s and a quartz non-chronograph during the 1970s. Then in the 1980s it was reborn in a very different form as a pilot's watch and without the slide-rule. This new incarnation was designed with input from Italian military pilots. 

The Chronomat has remained one of Breitling's most successful watches for over sixty years. Contrary to general belief, it is not the Navitimer but the Chronomat that has in recent years proved to be Breitling's most popular model and biggest seller.

1968 - The "big case" Chronomats

A completely new type of case with a patented geared bezel mechanism is developed for the Chronomat (and the Navitimer and Cosmonaute chronographs). The first Chronomat to be released for sale is the manual version, the ref 818. The ref 808 also continues in production and initially the 818 is powered by the Venus 175 like the 808 and the previous ref 769. It is thought that later 1970's examples of the ref 818 have the Valjoux 7733 movement.

1969 - The First Automatic Chronograph

It is thought the first automatic version of the "big case" Chronomats may have been made available to the public in late 1968, but certainly it is for sale by 1969. The automatic ref 1808 is powered by the newly developed "Chrono-matic" microrotor movement with the crown on the left. Initially this movement is known as the calibre 11 but after a year or so it is slightly altered and called the calibre 12.

(credit: Watchuseek)

First, What Is A Slide Rule Bezel?

The slide rule bezel was adapted from the linear slide rule for the purpose of performing logarithmic calculations on a watch. It consists of a top scale located on the bi-directional bezel along with a bottom scale that appears along the perimeter of the dial. The Tachymeter scale is situated just below the bottom scale and is presented in Kilometers. The circular slide rule includes STAT, KM, and NAUT units to measure standard mileage, kilometers, and nautical miles. The top scale can be adjusted in either direction to perform calculations, such as multiplication and division, against the bottom scale.



This is a beauty. It is very rare to find Breitling ChonoMat Automatic Chronograph Cal 11 1808 watch this old with Breitling Service box. Defiantly a collector watch specially Breitling with the first automatic chronograph movement with micro rotors Caliber 11.  Please look at all the pictures, as they are part of the description. The watch is working and Serviced. This is a highly collectible watch. Very few left with this rare movement. Sure, to increase in value overtime, and a great addition to your collection. The condition of the watch is the same as it appears in the photos.   The watch is working and is part of our new Certified Pre-Owned CPO Program.  Contact me if you have any questions first.


 

 

SPECIFICATION

Case

Stainless Steel Case and Case Back, with some scratches and nicks as seen in the picture

Case Size

  48,00 mm without the crown and  48,00 Lug to Lug

Case Back

Stainless steel cover signed. Screw Back. Signed DDE BR 11525 / 67 1808 Please note case back in most cases is not fully tighten.

Crown

Signed with the famous Breitling B

Crystal

Acrylic Some Scratches and nicks

Bezel:

Inner, Rotating Slide Rule bezel

Dial:

Beautiful famous panda dial, with amazing orange lums, plus Luminous hands &  indices dial, Swiss made Mark, two register chronograph with date at 6 O'clock. Shows light patina, some spotting, and going tropical Please see picture for more detail.

Complication

Seconds, Date, Chronograph, Tachymeter,  Famous Breitling Calculating bezel AKA slide rule calculator.

Movement

Self-Winding Automatic micro rotor

Movement Notes

Just inspected and in great shape. Fully Serviced and Overhauled. Come with a Service Warranty!  Please see pictures and as some old movements don't have a very clear marking. Movement is running. Keeps great time see below time testing.

Strap

Breitling Rubber strap & buckle it came with the watch not sure the origins being provided for free, Lug Size: 22mm      Please see picture.

Box

Come with Beautiful Breitling Service Box

Reference #

ChonoMat 1808

Made in

Switzerland

Water Resistance

No. Please pressure test before water use.

Service Level

1  (Please see Tab below for details) Service Date: 5/25/2017

Timing Test **

-19 s/day  In-House Time Test Results (See Service Level Tab)**

Certified Pre-Owned

Passed 25-point inspection. Please see tab below for details.

Warranty

3-Month Service Warranty (Please see Tab below for details)

Notes:

All watch functions tested and operable. Circa late 1968 /69

 

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