Chrono movements fitted with column wheels to direct the functions of the stopwatch are very expensive and Breitling understood this. So when sales of costly movements declined in the 1960s, it was a sigh of relief that Venus was still making its 14-ligne Caliber 188 which was hand wound. It could perform the very same functions as a column wheel fitted chronograph movement but it had a coulisse that could do the necessary switching and reduced production expenses. Breitling put together plenty of these movements in La Chaux-de-Fonds which was the company’s production facility and it had 6 sequential workstations in its assembly line enabling a hundred movements to be put together at the same time. They used Venus 188 for some of the models and this included Breitling’s SuperOcean that it unveiled in 1968. This chronograph is priced and best suited for professional divers and it was resistant to 200m. It couldn’t compute the elapsed hours or minutes but it could measure elapsed seconds. Its hands and dials were readable even in the darkness of the ocean. Its rotating bezel was calibrated for individual minutes.
Breitling Chronomat Moonphase
The innovation of the Chronomat didn’t end with innovations for measurements. In 1942 the company fitted it with a moon-phase display which can be found at 12 o’clock. During that time, Venus was the company’s most important supplier of movements and the 1942 Chronomat Moonphase had the Caliber 184 from Venus and it was hand wound. It had a date indicator and a counter for 12 elapsed hours. That watch was available in gold or steel.
Many chronograph makers during the 1940s depended on Valjoux ebauches meanwhile Breitling has been using Venus calibers in majority of its timepieces. This allowed the company to among the pioneering watchmakers to have access to the all-new Venus Caliber 179 (measuring 31.6 mm in diameter and a height of 7.2 mm). Breitling used it to power the Duograph and later Superocean Heritage, a split seconds chrono that debuted in the 1944 Basel watch fair. The watch was fitted with a counter for 45 elapsed minutes and its crown had a patented button that operate the split seconds hand. There were only few Duographs produced because the split seconds function added 50% of the price of the chrono. This model was made for close to 20 years and there were 2 versions – classic and water resistant models. It was a very rare timepiece.
The Datora chronograph which had a diameter of 35mm in steel became an instant hit after it was introduced in 1945 because it featured a full calendar mounted beneath the watch’s dial. You can see the day of the week in a window, another window shows the month and the middle hand showed the date. The mechanism for the calendar needed manual correction on the month’s last day if it had less than 31 days. There are 2 buttons on the case’s left side and it was used to reset the displays fast. There’s a 12 elapsed hours counter and it was one of the key features of the movement. The movement (29.5mm in diameter and a height of 6.95mm) is the hand-wound Valjoux Caliber 72c VZHC, which remained in production until 1974. There were 2 versions for the Breitling Datora – standard and water resistant copy version. See here ⌚ Breitling Chronoworks Price: