In the year 2000, Breitling introduced the Crosswind Special as the top model in the Windrider Series.
The demand for this new model was greater than expected. So to supply their customers, they simply sold them on with the old bracelet (340a) instead of the newly designed “special 345a”. The 345a was the bracelet introduce at Basel earlier that year. After a few months’ production picked up so supply of the 345a bracelets was no longer an issue for eager customers.
Sadly, in 2004, they stopped production of the Crosswind Special and introduced the Evolution as the Windrider Series’ new top model.
But, demand from costumers for a big date, balanced watch, (sub-dials at 3,6,9) was strong. They did not want to go the old way again. To simply re make the ”series special” Blackbird to meet that demand needed a better answer from the design team.
Prior to 1995 they had a BB that was based on the 39,8mm Chromatic layout.
So in 2007 a new BB was born with the same layout as the Crosswind Special.
They even remade a brushed version of the popular CWS bracelet but they made the clasp wider
22-20mm when compared to the old CWS 22-18mm bracelet.
They found it not as popular as the CWS so they made a shiny polished version but it did not sell as well as expected. So they created a Bluebird (blue dial) and a DLC blacked version. Let’s see if they sell well.
Now to the comparisons:
As I mentioned before the bracelet is 2mm wider on the BB at the clasp.
The main difference is the pushers. On the Crosswind Special, they are a rectangle with smoothed rounded corners. The BlackBird has round, screw down, locking pushers like the Chrono Evolution.
The caliber 44 (ETA 2892) powers them both. The Cal44 has a power reserve up to 42hrs when fully wound.
The BB case-back that are pictured in my review is the first they made and was on display at Basel
for some reason they decided to change it to a polished one that "breitling blackbird" is lowered in to the case in same level as the rest. (maybe it was to hard to refinish the first model)
now is it a new casback out (3rd in a row) thats look like the new cronomat only that it stands blackbird in the case but the wings is printed in the middle as on the normal cronomat cower.
One other future on the Blackbird is that the bezel is Bidirectional to easier get true heading (like a sun compass) to the sun against current time
On the minus side is, due to the bezels sharp edges it is easy to get dings that are hard to polish out
But on the pluss side is, The matte finish is easy and friendly and sustains wear rather strongly.
example, the clasp is easy to refinish if scratched against something. only a green skotchbrite and some work and it look like new again
I found this watch to be a excellent costume watch only by change for a strap
My advice is if you looking for that first breitling, a used crosswind special, newer goes out of style and it´s not faked as the BB. this make it safe to buy used, its a different thing abut the blackbird. this is harder as the market is flooded with blackbirds fakes
The "breitling" on the dial compared to date window is a god tell sign if its a fake. study my pictures and you see what i mean
Ore if you looking for a new watch you can get a good discount on the Blackbird at your AD
regards Jonas straka