Breitling has produced timepieces since 1884 and today is one of the most well recognized and widely known brands on the planet. With a rich history of aviation and pilot’s watches in the Navitimer and Chronomat collections, Breitling has become a favorite among military professionals and astronauts from around the globe (you may remember our recent piece on astronaut Mark Kelly here).
For obvious reasons, Breitling has been associated around the globe as a military brand known for their specialized chronographs with many tools necessary for elite pilots. While those watches have fascinating features that we could talk about for days (come see us at the store and we will), today we are going to talk about the Breitling Colt family.
The Colt family of Breitling watches has always been their entry-level line of timepieces. With models that embody a youthful energy and dynamic design, the Colt family has a winning style. Hallmarks of the family are etched bezel indices (rather than painted or applied) coupled with four raised “riders” on the bezel at 12, 3, 6, and 9.
The concept here is that you could operate the bezel without seeing it, approximating the placement of the rider at 12 which features a solitary lume-treated dot, using the tactile sense to operate the bezel. The solitary dot featured at 12 o’clock is also a low-light all-star, showcasing extra visibility in darkness. Let’s look at a few of the standouts in the Colt Family by Breitling.
The Colt Skyracer was released in February 2017 to make the Breitling brand more accessible to those seeking a solid timepiece by a respected company. With a price of $2,000 USD, the Skyracer is more than one thousand dollars less than previous mechanical offerings. Featuring a hefty 45mm wide and 13.5mm thick case, the Colt Skyracer is built of a black carbon composite which Breitling has named Breitlight.
One-third the weight of titanium and exceptionally strong, the Skyracer is a modern use of materials to craft a timepiece that punches well above its weight class. With the Colt Skyracer, and entry level price does not mean entry level components. The Breitling 74 SuperQuartz movement powers the watch. The 74 is an ETA Thermoline 955.652 “thermocompensated” movement. This means that the movement uses a regulatory system to minimize the effects of temperature on the accuracy of the quartz movement. The result is a timepiece which is ten times more accurate than a standard quartz movement and like all Breitling watches is certified by the COSC.
The black rubber wrist strap on the Colt Skyracer features an easy release system and is demarcated with multiple measurement tools which any adventurer would find useful. Water resistant to 100m and sporting a battery life estimated at eight years, the Breitling Colt Skyracer is an appealing option to younger watch buyers or to those who prefer the convenience, accuracy, and affordability of a quartz timepiece.
The Breitling Colt Automatic is the most representative of the Colt line. Featuring the Breitling 17 self-winding movement with a standard power reserve of 42 hours, the Colt Automatic is thinner than the Skyracer, with a 44mm wide case and a depth of only 11.15mm. With a screw-locked crown and water resistance to 200m (660 ft.), the Colt Automatic is constructed of stainless steel.
Featuring a stainless-steel bracelet and applied bezel indices, the Automatic is a more textured and vibrant offering of the Colt lineup. With black, blue, and white face versions coupled with Leather, Dive, and Ocean Racer straps, the Automatic stands out in the collection as an exceptional value. The movement is an adjusted ETA 2824-2 mechanism, finished at Breitling and submitted for certification by the COSC, as all Breitling’s have been since the early 2000s.
The use of ETA movements allows Breitling to offer the Colt Automatic at an affordable price point when compared to in-house or more premium movements. The COSC certification adds to the value proposition of the Breitling Colt Automatic, an excellent timepiece at an exceptional price.
Colt 41 Automatic
The Breitling Colt 41 Automatic is similar to the Colt Automatic but in a smaller, more nimble case. The Breitling 17 self-winding movement is housed in a 41mm stainless-steel case with a uni-directional bezel and is water-resistant to 200m. Like the Colt Automatic, it is officially chronometer certified by the COSC.
The four rider tabs on the satin-brushed bezel contrast with the polished stainless-steel case to guarantee excellent handling and optimal protection of the sapphire crystal, which is glareproofed on both sides. The dial is completed with large luminescent hands and hour markers. At 10.70 mm, it is thinner than the Automatic, but weighs more than double the Skyracer. The Colt 41 automatic is a substantial watch in an approachable package.
The Breitling Colt Quartz is the best of both worlds for the Colt family of timepieces. The Breitling 74 SuperQuartz thermocompensated movement is shared with the Skyracer, providing ten times the accuracy of a normal quartz movement and a COSC certified movement.
Housed in a 44mm diameter case which is only slightly deeper (at 11.25mm) than the Colt Automatic, the stainless-steel housing provides water resistance to 200m and the weight and feel of a substantial timepiece. The Colt Quartz blends the Skyracer and Automatic by placing numerical markers at 6, 9, and 12, with a date window at the 3 o’clock position.
Equipped with the Breitling 73 SuperQuartz thermocompensated movement, the Colt Chronograph features a fly-back hand measuring time to 1/10th of a second. The 44mm case is water-resistant to 200m and features a battery life of 2 to 3 years. The SuperQuartz movement is chronometer certified and is the epitome of sturdiness among the Colt family of Breitling timepieces. Styled after the brand’s rich military heritage, the Colt Chronograph is exceptionally legible, featuring luminescent hour markers and clearly legible chronograph dials.
The Breitling Colt family of watches provide exceptional value and a winning style in entry-level timepieces from a respected global watchmaker. If you are searching for a reliable, legible, sturdy watch to wear every day, we highly recommend looking at a member of the Colt family of timepieces.