Breitling overhauled its Colt collection in 2014. This entry level collection was first introduced in the ‘80s and similar to the Navitimer and Chronomat, the Colt was considered a military watch with emphasis on readability and dependability. It has a 24-hour scale, a large one-directional bezel and aviator style dial and it has defined the standard look of Breitling timepieces. The latest Colt collection is a nod to the original. Most of these new Breitling watches have quartz calibers, which was the trend during the 1980s when the Colt was unveiled for the very first time. There’s one mechanical version and it has an automatic ETA caliber. The original series also had an ETA movement.
The new Colt Automatic looks like the Breitling Colt SuperOcean knockoff which was unveiled in the 1990s. The new one mimics the screwable crown of the old model and it has protectors on each side. The Arabic numerals have a pilot design and the single directional bezel is broad and has engraved notches and cursors at quarter hours. It’s easier to rotate the bezel because of the cursors even if you’re wearing gloves and the grip is also improved.
The new Colt timepiece have markings that are precisely engraved into the bezel which has a satin finish and slopes downward going into the outer rim. On the Colt Superocean the bezel clicks to 60 notches but with the new one it clicks through 120 steps although it’s not really necessary for the setting of a dive’s start time. The new one also has a 24 hour scale and a rather uncommon 1/100s hour scale which has been dubbed an aeronautic hundredths scale.
The watch is water resistant to 200m which is already sufficient for most divers but it still falls short of the 1000m depth rating of the earlier model. It has a stainless steel case which looks very durable and has a doubly insulated back to ensure the watch remains fine in deep dives. The bracelet is Professional III stainless steel which has a folding clasp that opens on one side and a safety catch. It can be adjusted by removing screwed links or through the clasp. If you’re not into diving but want a diver’s watch you can opt to wear it on a leather strap or a rubber strap. By doing so the watch will be lighter by about 194g. Don’t worry though because even with the stainless steel bracelet it’s still comfortable and light enough to wear for long hours.
The Swiss ETA 2824-2 movement in the new Colt timepiece has very few embellishments. But make no mistake about it – it has earned a chronometer certification. The average rate of this Colt watch was nearly free of deviations when checked on a timing machine for 24 hours. When worn on the wrist, there’s a 1 second slowness but this still falls within the tolerance range for chronometer standards.
It’s worth noting though that there is a large difference between the dial up and crown down rates after it was running for a full 24 hours. The amplitude also varied, and declined by close to 60 degrees in hanging position within a day. That is quite significant but the average is not affected by the decrease and overall it’s still pretty good.
The ETA Caliber 2824-2 features can be seen on the dial, and you’ll see the sweep seconds hands, hour and minute hands as well as he date. But there’s more. Underneath the hour ring is an additional scale which has been calibrated from 13-24.
The seconds and minutes are shown on a railroad design track. There’s an arrowhead tip on the slim seconds hand, and it has the same length as the minutes hand. The hour hand’s tip is long enough to reach the hour indexes’ inner edges at 9 and 6 o’clock which are larger in size compared to all the other numbers. The minutes and hour hands, orientation and indexes point on the bezel have a green glow in the dark and the tip of the seconds hand is skeletonized so that the green glow can shine when it passes over the hour indexes.
You can see the time clearly on this watch due to its minimalist design and clear and non reflective coating. The hour markers and hands are in stark contrast with the dial’s background. The dial has the Breitling logo, information about water resistance and the model name. You see the date on the 3 o’clock window.
The Replica Colt Ladies and Men's collection has a very strong following for the last 20 years because of its great features and excellent readability. With the new Colt Automatic, there’s no doubt that the brand will boost its popularity.