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Thread: Review: Breitling Colt Chronograph Blacksteel

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Review: Breitling Colt Chronograph Blacksteel

    Background

    Colt became its own line of Breitling models 2011 and the bezel riders that many comsider synonymous with Breitling disappeared. The new line of watch were strictly Quartz models but that changed 2014 when the Colt line once again got revised and the riders were brought back.

    The Colt Chronograph Automatic was launched 2015 as the first automatic Colt Chronograph in 15 years, now situated in the Colt line of models.

    The Colt line is described by Breitling as the sporty alternative. Personally I think it's the most discrete line of watches from Breitling and some would probably state that its the entry level models. The series all feature 200m WR, steel cases and modified ETA movements.

    The models don't follow the ISO6425 standard for divers watches but 200m WR is enough for any non pro diver.


    Specifications

    Movement: Breitling 13 modified ETA 7750, 28800bph, automatic chronograph with hack and wind. 42 hrs power reserve, date function, COSC certified.

    Diameter: 44mm
    Lug/Lug: 54mm
    Thickness: 14,7mm
    Material: Steel with black PVD
    WR: 200m
    Weight: Updating soon.

    Strap: 22/20mm black military canvas with regular black PVD clasp or rubber. Reviewed on military rubber.


    Case and bezel

    The case has an all brushed black PVD finish which changes color from black to anthracite depending on light conditions. The top part of the bezel has a slightly coarser brush finish than the rest of the watch.

    The bezel has 120 distinct clicks without any play and is made from one piece of metal. The bezel has the characteristic riders to improve grip at 12, 3, 6 and 9.




    The lugs and the crown guard has sharp angles reminding me of stealth planes. As always with Breitling, the angles are distinct without being too sharp for comfort. The non screw chronograph pushers are protected by crown tubes.



    I was very skeptic to the lugs before I bought the watch. The regular steel Colt Chronograph has the same case shape and I don't think the shape of the lug goes well with an all polished case. In a brushed black finish however, I think the lugs and the edgy crown guards go very well with the overall tactical aesthetics of the watch.



    The crown side of the case is curved on the bottom resulting in the crowns never touching your wrist.




    Caseback

    The case back is as most Breitling watches conservatively engraved. The only SS colored engravings are the model number and the serial number and the shape is quite domed.


    Strap

    I fell in love with the military rubber when I reviewed the Avenger Hurricane so it was a no brained to upgrade the military canvas to the military rubber if possible. This combination is not sold as a standard combination however, the regular combo is with either military canvas of rubber strap.

    The anthracite military rubber is only sold paired with the Chronomat 44 Blacksteel and the difference in price compared to the military strap is about £400. Even if this is a 1/1 special edition ;) , I feel like I want to give the strap and clasp a break down.



    The strap is basically a rubber strap with anthracite colored military canvas sewed and glued to the top side. The rubber is shaped like a bowl on the inside resulting in a light weight and flexible strap with great heat reduction compared to regular shaped rubbers (much like the Hirsch Pure). The strap tapers from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm at the clasp.


    Clasp

    The folding clasp is very sturdy and is opened by two push buttons on the sides. It has a very nice integrated micro adjustment system which only requires a push to adjust the strap about 1cm in length, very convenient since the strap needs cutting. It is of course also handy since your preferred tightness of the strap might change during the day and depending on activity.


    A closer look

    The dial is matte black with a circular structure. All printings on the dial are "stamped" and the only applied parts are the hour indices and the borders around the chronograph subdials.
    The chapter ring has a tachymeter scale and the double sided AR is fantastic.



    The subdials are a little more glossy than the rest of the dial and they have a light sunburst effect made by a circular structure similar to the rest of the dial. The matte parts in combination with the subdials makes for a very interesting dial which changes appearance depending on light conditions.

    In dim light the dial appears to be matte black but in direct light the structure really pops without looking too crazy and prominent. Combine these dial properties with an ever changing color of the case depending on the light conditions and you get a discrete but very interesting watch.



    The dial structure reminds me of a Japanese zen garden.



    There is of course Super Luminova on the dial, hands and bezelpip which works OK through the night after a good charge. As always I would have preferred a white lumed running second hand.


    On the wrist

    Breitling specifies the size to 44mm but I have measured it to 43mm excl the crown. Neither the diameter nor the thickness of 14,7mm bothers me on the wrist, especially not since the 200m WR basically makes the watch a non ISO certified divers chronograph. If it was made in titanium, then I would probably forget that I was wearing it.



    The military rubber results in the watch sitting great on the wrist without being top heavy and without adding the weight of a steel bracelet. The combination makes for a sturdy but wearable watch and my guess is that it would wear more top heavy on the regular military strap.



    The watch doesn't hinder the movement of the hand thanks to the domed Caseback and the curved bottom part of the crown side.


    Conclusion

    I am a sucker for both diver chronographs and black watches. I know this isn't technically a divers watch but all that's missing is a lumed second hand. The 200m WR is sufficient for all but professional divers.

    The watch is big enough to have serious wrist presence but small enough to be wearable for everyday use. The sharp case angles goes well with the matte black case finish and makes for a great overall tactical look. Combined with a great dial, this makes for a very interesting watch.

    Some will argue that the downside of the watch is the modified ETA movement but it helps to keep the price down. My guess is that within a few years Breitling will have all in house mechanical movements and with a fitting (insane) price tag. I would rather have a ETA based movement than add £3000.

    I can only find three downsides with the Colt Chronograph Blacksteel.
    1: The name should have been Colt Chronograph Night Mission.
    2: No lume on the second hand.
    3: The military rubber should be a standard option.

  2. #2
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    And I believe this is the first review available for this model. Two in a row.

  3. #3
    Great review, thanks. I love that model and will pick one up one day. 100% agree with your comments on the strap, perfect match

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    I really like these. I found for an alleged 44mm watch they don't wear very big at all. My wrist is approx 7 inches and my 41mm Omega doesn't look any smaller IMO.

  5. #5
    That's really lovely.

    I always used to look at the Colt line as the entry level Breitling and they've always looked a bit disappointing, but that looks excellent in its own right and I'd not hesitate to pick one of those up

  6. #6
    Master
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    Thanks once again for a detailed review.
    I was looking at the military strap the other day and my AD told me Breitling were having problems with them falling to bits. Have you heard of this?

  7. #7
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Thanks once again for a detailed review.
    I was looking at the military strap the other day and my AD told me Breitling were having problems with them falling to bits. Have you heard of this?
    I can neither confirm nor deny since I've only owned one watch with the military strap (Aerospace Evo). I switched the strap pretty fast to a Hadley Roma Cordura to save the original strap. :)
    My guess is the military rubber will hold up very well since there won't be much stress on the top part of the strap.

  8. #8
    Master
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    This looks cool and nice review, but IMHO the problem is not the 7750 - it's fair enough and B'Ling mod em. My problem is the PVD! DLC would be cool, but PVD will wear off. For a tough watch at that price PVD - though it looks good - seems a bit cheap.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Thanks once again for a detailed review.
    I was looking at the military strap the other day and my AD told me Breitling were having problems with them falling to bits. Have you heard of this?
    I have one on my Emergency and itís probably the best combo Iíve had on any Breitling, for look and comfort - and Iíve had a fair few!

    But. with very little wear, you can see itís not the most durable. I will report back after my pending two week holiday, where it will be worn 24/7 in a hot climate, including various activities and plenty of water...

    The rubber on the OPís watch is stunning.

  10. #10
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redsox78 View Post
    This looks cool and nice review, but IMHO the problem is not the 7750 - it's fair enough and B'Ling mod em. My problem is the PVD! DLC would be cool, but PVD will wear off. For a tough watch at that price PVD - though it looks good - seems a bit cheap.
    DLC is a type of PVD. :)
    The coating is ceramic so the surface holds up very well. I wore the Aerospace Evo Night Mission on and off for 4 months and it still looked like new after that, not a single mark on the case or even on the clasp, the coating is very hard.
    Last edited by yonsson; 20th September 2016 at 09:49.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Lovely watch and a cracking review. You've made me want one! (doesn't take that much though )

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Thanks once again for a detailed review.
    I was looking at the military strap the other day and my AD told me Breitling were having problems with them falling to bits. Have you heard of this?
    My AD told me this as well. I've got the same military / rubber on my Evo night mission. It has frayed where the stitching is but not too bad. Time will tell

    Andy

  13. #13
    Grand Master andrewcregan's Avatar
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    Always great to read a review, especially when the OP has clearly put a significant amount of time and effort in . Some great photos too.
    The circles on the dial are very reminiscent of my Steelfish. Very subtle on the wrist, but look great.

  14. #14
    Master sean's Avatar
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    Another smashing review! Not a watch I'd have been interested in without this great write up.

  15. #15
    Craftsman bagman's Avatar
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    Excellent review with great pics, thank you.

    I've always been put off doing more than glance at Brietlings due to the bling factor but this looks superb!

  16. #16
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    Great review, thanks for sharing! I really like the look of this watch and think the strap suits it perfectly. I am concerned about the comment re the strap falling to bits. I nearly bought an avenger bandit earlier this year with the same strap.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Great review, not a fan of 'blacksteel' but your concise description & superb photo's makes me sort of want one. Thanks for taking the time.

  18. #18
    Great review and a nice watch as well.

    Still waiting for the obligatory Breitling comment from someone- Not a fan of Breitling but....

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Great review and a nice watch as well.

    Still waiting for the obligatory Breitling comment from someone- Not a fan of Breitling but....
    Well, I am actually a fan of Breitling, but in recent years their models have been way too much "busy" and "colorful" to be polite.

    Also this is a great review of a great looking watch, stealth watch. The bracelet seems great and goes well with the watch. It reminds me of Breitling style around 2000, where this bezel with the 4 riders was on most of their watches. That was before they created the Bentley monstrosity. Btw here is the watch I wear most for the last 15 years which has the same DNA, in 2001 it still had the name of "Col SuperOcean Professional", but when I bought it in 2002 Breitling had dropped the name Colt.


  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post
    PVD is a type of DLC. :)
    The coating is ceramic so the surface holds up very well. I wore the Aerospace Evo Night Mission on and off for 4 months and it still looked like new after that, not a single mark on the case or even on the clasp, the coating is very hard.
    I stand corrected! I thought it was the old naff PVD. Nice!

  21. #21
    Great review, thanks!!

    I like this watch. I used to have a Colt, and this review made me miss it.

  22. #22
    Journeyman yogi bear's Avatar
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    Nice

    Very comprehensive review. I tried something very similar on my wrist at the weekend. I didn't like the cheap feel canvas strap it came with...

  23. #23
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golfpaul View Post
    Great review, thanks for sharing! I really like the look of this watch and think the strap suits it perfectly. I am concerned about the comment re the strap falling to bits. I nearly bought an avenger bandit earlier this year with the same strap.
    I think that concerns the regular military strap, not the rubber military strap.

  24. #24
    Aha - I saw your pictures on Instragram and wondered when the review might hit!

    Looks fantastic - one to look for - nice classic old skool Breitling!

  25. #25
    I see that Breitling have released a new41mm Colt but alas not in blacksteel

  26. #26
    Craftsman
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    OP great post/review. And thats a lovely looking Breitling aswel.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Thanks once again for a detailed review.
    I was looking at the military strap the other day and my AD told me Breitling were having problems with them falling to bits. Have you heard of this?
    Just to add to this - I have just returned from two weeks in Thailand waring my Emergency on the military strap 24/7, in sun, lots of sea and sand and it looks as good as the day I went.

    Supremely comfortable and looks uber cool.

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