(also the Chronosport UDT and ScubaPro 200)
A brief history
(also the Chronosport UDT and ScubaPro 200)
A brief history
The Pluton was introduced by Breitling in 1980 following the take-over of the company by the Schneider family. Along with the related Jupiter chronograph that used the same movement, the Pluton was designed for military pilots. These watches were advanced for their day combining LCD and quartz giving digital and analogue readouts.
Dive watch versions of the Pluton were released by Chronosport and ScubaPro. The Chronosport was popular with members of the US military during the 1980's and possibly as late as the early 1990's. The ScubaPro 200 was a dive watch released by the dive equipment company of that name. (See the end of this article for more information on the Chronosport and ScubaPro 200).
The model reference of the Pluton is 80190. It has 'NAVITIMER QUARTZ 2100' on the dial. There are various bezel options. A special version was issued to the Yugoslav Air Force and Air Defence in at least two dial/hands versions.
Pluton issued by the Yugoslav Air Force and Air Defence (RV I PVO) - later non-military strap
Back of Yugoslav RV I PVO Pluton
The Pluton has a Swiss-made ESA Y2 900231 7-jewel analogue/LCD movement
It has been suggested that great care must be taken when removing and fitting batteries to the ESA Y2 900231 to avoid any shorting or incorrect polarity or contact and that this has led to some owners causing irreparable damage to the movement.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing (2005), the movement is no longer available and being quartz with LCD is very often impossible to repair if faulty. There has been a report of an owner sucessfully having an ESA Y2 900911 movement fitted to his watch without any problems or change in functionality but this movement too is now obsolete.
The manual for the Pluton is also used for the Jupiter and the Cosmos
By 1986 the steel version of the Pluton was revised and was given the new model reference 80191. It was described as the "New Pluton" in the Breitling catalogue. (The 18K version remained as the ref 80970 and was updated later).
The New Pluton was available with either a wind-rose (compass degrees) or a 12-hour bezel. It had batons and "NAVITIMER QUARTZ 3100" on the dial, (Note: model reference is 80191, not 3100). The movement was now the Japanese Miyota Y652, again shared with the updated Jupiter. Functions include 12 or 24 hour indication with two time zones, a split-seconds chronograph accurate to 1/100th sec, date and alarm.
The New Pluton shares its movement and its manual with the
Navitimer 3300 Jupiter which is shown on the cover
The New Pluton was available on a leather strap or a 'Pluton' steel bracelet. As well as the steel version, in 1986 the previous Pluton ref 80190 continued in 18K yellow gold with a blue dial and diamonds set at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock.
Available now with either 60-0 countdown or compass degrees bezel; dial black or silvered (whitish); bracelet or leather strap.
The split-seconds hands can be seen on these New Plutons:
New Pluton 3100 with "1884" on the dial]
During 1989 the New Pluton model reference became 80192. This version is very rare:
New Pluton ref 80 192 with compass rose bezel
All Breitlings changed to a new model reference system, the New Pluton now being reference A51037. As with some other Breitlings, at first both the old and the new model refs were stamped into the case backs. So far the author has only seen examples with 80191 and A51037 but presumably there must be watches with both 80192 and A51037 too.
New Pluton ref A51037 with silvered dial and count-down bezel
Case back of New Pluton '1884' with both model references
Later, although the watch had been called the 'New Pluton' for some years, the name on the dial was changed from 'NAVITIMER QUARTZ' to 'NEW PLUTON'.
New Pluton ref A51037 with black dial and compass rose bezel
The bezel was now all-steel:
New Pluton ref A51037 with steel compass rose bezel and 'Pluton' bracelet
The 'Pluton' bracelet was replaced by the 'Professional' bracelet which was shared with some other Breitling models.
New Pluton ref A51037 with minutes count-down bezel and 'Professional' bracelet
The Pluton was again revised; it now had a '12' and elongated baton hour markers with 'PLUTON' on the dial. The model reference became A51038. Dial colours available were blue, silvered, or anthracite:
The following information was supplied to dealers in 1995:
In 1995 a limited series of 1000 watches with the Team 60 logo was prepared for the Swedish air force:
A version named 'PLUTON PROFESSIONAL' on the dial and case back was available in 1996 and possibly earlier. This variation did not appear in the Breitling catalogues of the period. Known dial colours for the Pluton Professional are dark grey and dark brown. It has the usual model ref A51038:
Pluton Professional with grey dial purchased in the UK, 1996
Pluton Professional case back
The Pluton continued as the 'Academy', a Série Limitée (limited edition) of 2000 watches, and was also available as the new revamped and renamed Intruder. The Academy ref A51038 has a similar dial to the Intruder:
The 'INTRUDER' ref A51035 had the same Breitling B51 movement as the Pluton but the case and dial were new. Dial colours were black, slate grey, blue or silvered (whitish). The Intruder is instantly recognisable by the words 'CHONOGRAPHE REVEIL' (alarm chronograph) on the dial. The dial design owed a lot to the Colt SuperOcean while the hands were like the Aviastar:
These are extracts from the 1999 Breitling catalogue:
When new in 1999 the Intruder at $1000 was one third of the cost of an Old Navitimer or half the cost of a Chrono Colt Auto, but about 15% more than a Colt Ocean quartz.
The Intruder was discontinued, the last of the line replaced after nearly 20 years by the new B-1.
Chronosport and ScubaPro versions of the Breitling Pluton
The Chronosport was available in various finishes but most popular was the black-cased version supplied on a nylon strap to the US military and also available for sale to the public at a cheaper price than the Breitling versions. Initially it had two pushers like the Breitling ref 80190 and later had three pushers like the Breitling ref 80191/A51037.
Unusually for what was originally conceived as a pilot's watch, the Chronosport UDT (Underwater Dive Timer) is a dive watch. Some examples have "SEA QUARTZ" printed on the dial. A version was also available with arabic numerals.
It is believed the Chronosport UDT was used by members of units such as the US Army Special Forces, US Navy SEALs, US Navy UDTs, and some other countries' elite military units.
The ScubaPro version of the Pluton was made in small numbers for release as a dive watch by the ScubaPro company. As this watch does not have the name Breitling anywhere on the dial, case back (inside or out), or movement, it raises the question of who actually manufactured it and what was the precise relationship between ScubaPro and Breitling. It also introduces the interesting notion that perhaps Breitling had out-sourced the manufacture of the Pluton to a company who also manufactured the ScubaPro (and maybe also the Chronosport UDT). Research is on-going in this area and if any reader has any information on this please do get in touch.
ScubaPro 200 case back
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