The day before its launch, I briefly met the latest Avenger in a restaurant on the outskirts of Amsterdam. A storm had struck, and inside the restaurant, one could hear the wind becoming louder and louder as raindrops kept bombarding the windows. The new Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 looked completely calm and collected. Unshakable self-confidence is what you want in a superhero and a Breitling watch. Weeks later, with a clear blue sky over The Hague, the revamped, now much leaner and meaner Avenger landed on my desk at Fratello HQ in all its oversized glory. We cleared our schedules and decided to hang out for a couple of days. Read on to find out if we bonded.

The new Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 in green (AB0147101L1X1) is a handsome “fella.” Strictly speaking, that’s not an objective observation, but a little field experiment revealed that all the subjects to whom I showed the watch reacted positively. I heard good comments on the refined look, the slightly sleeker proportions when compared to the previous, very bulky Avenger Chronograph, and mostly positive remarks regarding the dial color. The matte green dial takes inspiration for its slightly powdery-looking hue from the color of vintage Land Rovers.

Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44

Interacting with the Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 in military surplus green

The typical color green of the original Land Rover that appeared in the late 1940s is the result of scarcity. Only military surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint were available right after WWII, so the first batch of Land Rovers left the factory in slightly various shades of light matte green. The color suits the new Avenger B01 Chronograph 44. As you might know, the Avenger has been around for more than 20 years. It was always big, bold, brash, and designed for fighter pilots. Well, it was designed for men who regularly watch the movie Top Gun, I would say. Still, the different variations showed extreme resilience and optimum readability, so in theory, they were practical instruments befitting the aeronautical spirit of Breitling.

Avenger B01 Chronograph 44

They were always just a bit too bulky for my taste. Luckily, the revamped Avenger, especially the chronograph version you see here, feels much better. It shaves 1mm off the diameter of the previous Avenger Chronograph 45. It also brings the thickness down from 16.4mm to 15.2mm and shortens the lug-to-lug length from 55.7mm to 53mm. The reshaped and resized Avenger still pumps iron and lifts heavy objects regularly. But it now also does cardio, works on its core stability, and sometimes even dabbles in a bit of yoga when no one’s looking. That’s why it also lost a bit of weight. The previous 45mm steel version weighs 159 grams, but the leaner and meaner 44mm new version weighs 22 grams less.

Streamlined and refined

When I talked to Breitling CEO Georges Kern just before the launch of the reworked collection, he reacted when I said that, until now, the Avenger had looked like a Chronomat on steroids. “You’re right when you say that the two collections, at some point, began to look too much alike. It was difficult to distinguish the difference between the Avenger and the Chronomat. With the introduction of the bullet bracelet, the Chronomat became more chic and elegant. The revamped Avenger presents itself in a sporty, sophisticated, modern aviation style.”

Although the new Avenger is certainly more refined, it also is positioned further apart from the Chronomat. The Avenger is now the slightly casual, sport-chic offering, while the Chronomat is the way more exuberant and shiny extrovert. One is like a heavy, high-quality cotton sweater, and the other is more like a shiny silk shirt with a print. And when you look at the new and the previous generation of Avengers, the old one comes across as outdated and rather crude.

Breitling B01

The new Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 is well equipped

In the introduction article for the new Avenger collection, I talked about the watch’s specs a bit more, but I do need to highlight the presence of the B01 caliber. It’s a COSC-certified automatic movement with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. It’s also an integrated chronograph caliber outfitted with a column wheel and vertical clutch, and it comes with a five-year warranty. Now that’s a movement you’d want and expect in a €7,600 chronograph. You can take a good look at it through the sapphire crystal on the back. No, it’s not finished to Haute Horlogerie standards, but it’s still a very nice piece of micro-mechanics.


Introduced by the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based Breitling Chronométrie in 2009, the B01 shows the regular hours, minutes, and elapsed (chronograph) seconds in the center. Running seconds are at 9 o’clock, while the chronograph’s minute and hour registers sit at 3 and 6 o’clock, respectively. Also at 6 o’clock is a date indicator, neatly integrated and color-coordinated with the sub-dial it’s in.

Breitling Avenger

On the wrist

The almost faded-looking green dial shows black sub-dials as well. The strong color contrast gives the watch a strong appearance. The wide pencil hands and baton indexes provide easy readability. They also remind the wearer that while the Avenger might look a bit more fashionable, its roots are instrumental. The red-tipped chronograph seconds hand is also a functional but subtle touch.

On the wrist, the new Avenger looks more refined, but how does it feel? Well, the brushed steel 44mm case wears very well. Mind you, it’s not a fully brushed watch. There are plenty of smaller surfaces that got the polished treatment, such as the side of the bezel. But because brushed surfaces are in the majority, the watch doesn’t look as big as it truly is. By the way, the stepped lugs show a line with a more matte finish that visually slims down the watch. Also, because of the watch’s case and lug shapes, it feels exactly as big on the wrist as the dimensions suggest.

Avenger B01 Chronograph 44

Let me explain. My 44mm Chronoswiss Timemaster has very basic shapes, and apart from looking bigger than 44mm, it also wears bigger than that. Don’t get me wrong; the Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 is still an XL watch. And it’s more of a tool watch than a suave all-arounder. Yes, the bezel tabs are now smoother, the crown is no longer so crude, and the newly designed rectangular pushers contribute to the watch’s easier-on-the-eye appearance. Still, the 300m-water-resistant Avenger looks better with sneakers than with loafers in my humble opinion.

That’s also due to the military-style leather strap with a folding clasp that looks more “urban casual” than classic “sport chic.” Thankfully, the strap is also comfortable because the folding clasp is simple and understated enough for me not to want a standard pin buckle immediately.


Will the Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 be on my wrist after Monday?

The updated Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 is a very easy-going watch. I suspected that much after our first encounter, and the watch didn’t disappoint. The combination of an integrated chronograph movement, sleeker case, refined details, and smart colors works wonders for the flagship of the Avenger collection. From a functional perspective, it works, and it does from an aesthetic perspective too. Also, the price doesn’t feel too outlandish. I think Breitling has created a very handsome blockbuster of a watch with the Avenger B01 Chronograph 44.

Did we bond? Yes, we did. The watch works for me. It sits well on the wrist if I put it on snugly to keep it from moving (it’s never a good idea to have a large steel 137g watch moving around on the wrist anyway). The color green speaks to me, but I also realize that this color, just like the blue and the beige dial variants, won’t work in a first- or only-watch kind of situation. The full-black version is a more middle-of-the-road option, but it also is way plainer than its colored family members. So, while the Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 is not a GADA watch, it is one that you can put on when you want to empower yourself and feel the superhero vibe without going fully over the top.

What do you think of the new Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 44? Can it compete with, for instance, pilot’s chronographs from IWC? And also, do you like the sleeker looks and the new color? Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Avenger B01 Chronograph 44
Light green with black sub-dials, black flange, and applied indexes
Case Material
Stainless steel with brushed surfaces and polished accents, screw-down crown with two gaskets
Case Dimensions
44mm (diameter) × 53mm (lug-to-lug) × 15.2mm (thickness)
Cambered sapphire, glareproofed both sides
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire crystal, screw-in
Breitling 01 — in-house self-winding chronograph, 28,800vph (4Hz) frequency, 70-hours power reserve, 45 jewels, column wheel, vertical clutch
Water Resistance
300 meters
Green calfskin leather (22/20mm) with steel folding clasp
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), date, chronograph (12-hour and 30-minute registers, central seconds with 1/4-second markings), bidirectional 60-minute bezel
Five years