1971 Breitling Bullhead ref. 7101, 45.5 x 41.8mm. case, tachymeter inner bezel.
The word bullhead is the term used for chronograph watches that have their crown and chronograph pushers on top of the case (in some cases the crown is at the bottom of the case) rather than on the side – hence resembling the look of the head of a bull with its horns. These cases are usually larger and thicker than the average chronographs. Most of the time their cases are not even-shaped, meaning that the top of it where the pushers and the crown is located is wider and thicker and the bottom of the case is thinner. This way the dial is tilted towards 6 o’clock. This allows the wearer to check the time on the watch much more easily hence the oddity of the case. They are particularly special for no reason other than in most cases they were produced in relatively small numbers.
Breitling has been a leading innovator in high quality stopwatches and chronographs and helped define how chronographs look and function until today.
Breitling launched the first wrist chronograph with a pusher at 2:00 in 1915, presented the first dual pusher wrist chronograph with pushers at 2:00 and 4:00 in 1933 and was one of the first manufacturers to recognize the need of early aviators for wrist watches incorporating such devices.
In 1942 Breitling introduced the Chronomat, the worlds first Smart Watch, a chronograph with a rotating logarithmic slide rule that allowed complex calculations with the turn of your fingers.
Throughout the 1930s to 50s, Breitling continued creating chronographs with different scales to suit different professions, such as tachymeters for production engineers and drivers, and pulsometers for doctors.
A tachymeter scale measures how fast an object is moving. The scale can be found either on the dial or in the bezel. Most tachymeters start at 400 and end at 60, but some models can show different numbers. Its very simple to calculate the speed: just mark a point and push the start button. After the object has moved for one kilometer (or mile), push the stop button. The number indicated by the hand shows the speed of the object in km/h or mph, depending on the unit chosen.