Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold Limited Edition Watch

The Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold is limited to only 250 pieces and blends the utility of a chronograph with a sumptuous 18-carat gold case and highly lucid dial.

This detailed review of the Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold Limited Edition Watch includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Image of Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold LImited Edition with ceramic bezel - chronograph & GMT

The idea of a transatlantic flight sounds a very glamorous notion. However, imagine boarding a plane and instead of turning right after crossing the threshold of the fuselage and joining the hoi polloi, you turn left and enter the world of first class travel.

Stepping forth into the pampering domain of celebrities and captains of industry, you assume temporary residence in your commodious seat. Its electric adjustment allows you to fine-tune your position and as tiredness ensues, it even morphs into a bed.

A glass of chilled Champagne is presented to you in a crystal flute and you peruse your menu. It therefore only seems appropriate that you are wearing a timepiece befitting this world of opulent travel. This is a world ideally suited to the wearing of a Breitling Chronoliner red gold limited edition watch.

While Breitling is synonymous with professional instruments intended for pilots, this über-luxury timepiece transcends the functional with its noble metal case and usurps the usual cockpit instrument watch. This chronograph seems better suited to the canapés-set, residing in the best seats in the house, at the front of the plane.

When I first saw a steel Chronoliner at Baselworld 2015, sporting a fetching ceramic bezel, I immediately fell under its spell and adored its everyday practicality. The model, ideally suited for a pilot, featured a steel Milanese style bracelet or to use Breitling parlance, an ‘Ocean Classic’ bracelet. However, the red gold model, limited to only 250 examples seems a much more opulent affair and as someone who never shies away from ‘the finer things in life’, I felt a strong compunction to place it upon my wrist when we were recently introduced at the brand’s prestigious Mayfair boutique.

The dial

The radium-style hour and minute hands are golden toned and lined with white luminescent fill. A second timezone is displayed using an additional, red-tipped hour hand, interfacing with a 24-hour scale adorning the inner flange. The fourth co-axially mounted hand is a central chronograph seconds hand with a smattering of white luminescent fill near its tip.

Image of Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold LImited Edition with ceramic bezel - chronograph & GMT

The dial is the darkest shade of black and harmoniously co-exists with three silvery-white subdials, delivering a peerless degree of contrast. The hour markers are eye-popping white and could never be overlooked. The aperture at 3 o’clock, framed with a golden rectangle, proclaims the date with unequivocal clarity.

Gracing the upper hemisphere of the dial is a large 30-minute register, while below a smaller 12-hour register resides. At 9 o’clock a small seconds display is presented, completing the tri-compax layout.

Appraising the dial of the Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold Limited Edition, one is struck by how simple the dial is to interpret. The contrast of the colours employed ensures each indication is enunciated with unequivocal tone.

The case

Measuring 46mm in diameter with a case height of 15.95mm, the Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold Limited Edition is no shrinking violet. Indeed, its sheer size may prove too much for bantamweight readers. However, placing this watch upon my own wrist conferred a harmonious union which I suspect would endure even during bouts of severe turbulence. This watch really suited my hirsute left wrist.

Image of Breitling Chronoliner with ceramic bezel - chronograph & GMT

Breitling Chronoliner in steel

The widespread use of polished 18-carat gold reinforces the sense of luxury. Some wearers may feel the shiny character of the case to be a tad overt for their tastes, but I appreciated the optimism conferred with its brilliant glow.

Image of Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold LImited Edition with ceramic bezel - chronograph & GMT

The ceramic bezel, inlaid with golden numerals, is said to be scratch resistance and allows the wearer to read-off the hour in a third timezone. The crown does not unduly protrude and proves simple to operate, equipped with a sufficiently large grip to facilitate ease of adjustment. The capstan-like pushpieces operate with a pleasing action (a detail I will return to later).

Image of Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold LImited Edition with ceramic bezel - chronograph & GMT

Gracing the rear of the case is a depiction of two planes which was once a historical Breitling signature. Like many horophiles, I prefer exhibition casebacks but concede the period detail is very attractive.

Image of Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold LImited Edition with ceramic bezel - chronograph & GMT

Seldom does a strap or bracelet warrant comment, however, the rubber ‘Aero Classic’ strap is particularly noteworthy. It resembles a traditional steel Milanese bracelet but adds a dose of modernity to proceedings, courtesy of its rubber construction. The greyish-black hue wonderfully contrasts with the golden folding clasp, pairing cool and warm tones to glorious effect.

The movement

The Breitling Caliber 24 is independently chronometer-certified by the COSC. The frequency of the balance is 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The self-winding movement has a minimum power reserve of 42 hours.

While the Breilting Caliber 24 delivers an agreeable pushpiece feel, it is of modular construction and pales against the Manufacture Breitling Calibre B04, found in some of the Breitling for Bentley models. This latter in-house calibre is fully integrated with a column-wheel and a vertical clutch. The result is a smoother pushpiece action and stutter-free actuation of the stopwatch function. Ultimately, I would like to see this movement incorporated within the Chronoliner but concede it may increase the final selling price of the watch.

Nevertheless, do not misconstrue my comments, while the Manufacture Breitling Calibre B04 is my movement of choice, I would still dearly love to own a Chronoliner equipped with the Breilting Caliber 24.

When it comes to finishing, the solid caseback prevented an appraisal of the movement finishing, hence an objective opinion cannot be proffered.

Closing remarks

The Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold Limited Edition is a mightily handsome timepiece which is deserving of the many stares it will no doubt attract. Is it a ‘Professional Instrument?’ Yes and no. It fulfils its remit as a chronograph equipped with a GMT function, however, this is a supremely luxurious watch ideally suited to the grandest of social settings. Indeed, I can think of few other horological companions better qualified to a life in a First Class compartment of a transatlantic flight than this handsome timepiece from Breitling.

Technical specification

  • Model: Breitling Chronoliner Red Gold Limited Edition
  • Ref: R2431212 BE83 256S R20D.3
  • Case: 18-carat red gold; diameter 46mm; height 15.950mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; GMT; small seconds; chronograph; date
  • Movement: Breitling Caliber 24, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve minimum 42 hours.
  • Strap: Balck rubber “Aero Classic” strap with 18-carat red gold folding clasp
  • Price: £23,705 (RRP as at 23.11.2016)
  • Limited Edition: 250 pieces

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