BreitlingChronomat 808


Year of Production1973
Case Size37mm
Case MaterialStainless steel
Dial Color
Movement TypeManual
LocationUnited States


1970s Breitling Chronomat Ref. 808 Why This Watch Matters Dating back to the 1940s, Breitling Chronomat is and has been a pillar of the great brand. There are few better examples of the model than this classical vintage reference 808. The Full Story Since its invention in the 17th century, the slide rule has been used to compute basic operations and more advanced rates and conversions, far before the computer came around. Using one was more or less common knowledge; if someone needed to do any applicable calculations, the slide rule was their best friend in doing so. When Breitling released the Chronomat in 1942, it was a really big deal to have a slide rule on a chronograph wristwatch. The utility of the Chronomat was immense. Breitling wasn't the first to create a wristwatch with a slide rule, but the functionality was greatly improved by the addition of a chronograph complication, allowing easy measurement of average speed and heart rate, for example. Most Chronomats feature the number 217012 on the dial or on the caseback. This is a patent number for combining a slide rule with a chronograph on a wristwatch, a nod to just how groundbreaking this model was during its era. The Chronomat was a great seller for Breitling. Protected by the patent and as useful as it was, consumers were driven to buy a good number of these watches, and the Chronomat stuck around in the brand's catalog well into the 1970s. The white dial on our example is classically Chronomat. It's quite amazing the amount of information Breitling was able to provide on this model's dial in a modest 36mm case diameter. A last bit of intrigue on our watch is the "WOG" stamped on the movement, indicating the watch was originally imported into the US. We paired this Chronomat with our Reid watch strap in dark brown, a classic choice with white stitching to play off of the dial tone. The Fine Print Maker: Breitling Model: Chronomat Reference: 808 Year: 1970s Case No: 1419415 Material: Stainless steel Dimensions: 37mm diameter; 12.25mm thickness Crystal: Plexiglass Lume: Yes, tritium Caliber: Breitling signed Venus, manually-wound, caliber 175 Bracelet/Strap: HODINKEE The Reid Goatskin Watch Strap In Espresso Lug Width: 18mm Box/Papers: No; A digital extract from the Breitling Archives will be sent to its new owner, stating the date of case manufacture (March 1973), the serial number, the reference number, the case material, and the movement. What We Love And What You Should Know Things We Love: - Crisp white dial - Multi-tone dial - Red accents on the dial Things To Know: - Scratches on case - Minutes hand lume redone - Patina and wear on dial This Breitling is in very nice, honest condition. The case is strong with scratches, and the numbers are clearly visible on the caseback. The caseback shows a little wear to the lettering. There's a bit of scratching to the back of the lugs from strap removal and placement. The dial is in good condition with patina and wear throughout. Generally, there's more patina on the dial surface around the luminous hour markers. The dial has some small scratches and marks throughout. The edge of the dial or the slide rule section has developed patina. The lume on the dial and on the hands has aged to a similar dark color and has mostly worn off at three and nine o'clock positions. The hour and minute hands have developed patina and show some wear on the ends. The lume on the minute hand is partially missing and it appears the remaining lume in the hand was redone. The bezel is in nice condition with a crispness to the serrated edge. The bezel is still fairly tight when turning. The dial, case, and movement are all signed by Breitling. This watch was photographed on a 175mm/6.9inch wrist.

Chronomat - 808