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Buying a Breitling

Buying a Breitling
Kseniya Burns


Purchasing a Breitling watch can be a serious, but pleasant undertaking. There are hundreds of Breitling series watches out there with incredible histories, cutting edge technology, and breathtaking design. The first Breitling watch you purchase can be the last, or it can turn into a lifelong dedication and a start of an amazing collection.

Regardless of what your plans are, the first Breitling watch that you purchase should have great value retention and interpersonal meaning. You want to make sure that you are comfortable wearing the watch and are ready with the emotional investment that a high end, luxury timepiece can carry with it.

Buying Pre-Owned

Whether you are a collector or a first time buyer, the pre-owned market is a great place to get the most savings when it comes to buying a Breitling watch. However, the cheaper values and accessibility usually come with their own set of challenges. In order to save yourself some time and trouble, follow the three simple rules of buying pre-owned:

1. Find a Reputable Retailer: A reputable retailer understands the value of great customer service, trust, and the value of an investment that you are making when purchasing a Breitling watch. A reputable retailer will never pressure you into making a purchase and should be able to answer any of your questions and address your concerns when it comes to purchasing a Breitling.

2.Always ask for reference numbers and peppers when buying a pre-owned. In the counterfeit market, the reference numbers are often omitted from the watch or are completely made up. If you can’t get a reference number from the third party retailer or it doesn’t come up through a simple internet search, chances are the watch is not an authentic Breitling watch. Some Breitlings will be sold without papers, however we would not recommend buying a Breitling without accompany paperwork from a private party.

3.If it is too good to be true, it probably is. In most cases if you feel like you are getting an incredible deal, you are about to get ripped off. Breitling watches are a high end, luxury item that comes with an appropriate price tag. If someone is offering you are Breitling watch for 100$, you are getting a replica.

Buying Vintage

Choosing between vintage and modern Breitling is a matter of preference. Vintage models are more expensive than modern Breitling watches due to their limited availability. However, it is that limited availability and high collectability that also make vintage Breitling a great investment. If you are looking for a timepiece to add a touch of vintage flare to your collection, are looking for a rarity factor, and you don't mind spending a little more, vintage might be the way to go!

Many modern Breitling watches are a combination of the best attributes of one or two other Breitling watch series. So, if you love a particular feature of one Breitling watch but hate the others, it might be worse it to explore the history and evolution of that watch. Chances are you will be able to find a vintage processor that highlights the features you love while completely omitting or significantly downplaying the features you don’t love so much. Purchasing a vintage Breitling might take more time and a lot of research, but the end result is definitely rewarding.


Breitling has a variety of watch series to choose from. Many of the Breitling series have evolved out of or were combined with other series at one point or another. It is important to take into consideration whether you are looking for an everyday watch, a collectable, or a special occasion piece. Are you looking for value appreciation over time or just a watch that retains its value through the years? Thinking about these factors might help you make a better decision and feel more confident with your purchase.

Everyday Watch

If you are looking for an everyday watch with a great value retention we recommend looking at Navitimer, SuperOcean, Chronomat models. These Breitling watches are the most popular, retain their value well and are fairly versatile.

Investment value

A Montbrillant, or Breitling for Bentley come with a high price tag but are wonderful limited edition watches that retain their value well and are make better dress and special occasion watches. If you are looking for value appreciation over time, these are the pieces to look at.

However, a great vintage watch can be a great keepsake or heirloom. Some WWI and WWII Breitling models are very rare and highly collectable. If you can find one at a modest rate, in a good condition and you can afford to purchase it, we suggest you do.


Finding a reputable dealer is just as important as finding the right watch. A Breitling is an investment regardless of how much money you are spending. A reputable dealer understands how complex the process of purchasing a Breitling watch can be for the customer and will never apply any unnecessary pressure or attempt to rush the process. A reputable dealer is certified, insured, polite, and knowledgeable in the field of watchmaking. If you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured while making your decision, you need to find another Breitling retailer.

A reputable Breitling retailer understands that their customer is just as valuable as their own time and should be able to guide you through the process of purchasing a watch, answer all of your questions, and address any concerns that you might have. Usually, reputable retailers offer a grace period during which a customer is allowed to bring the watch back for a full refund. At Ermitage Jewelers we understand the importance of your investment and offer a 10 day money back guarantee and a one year limited warranty with a purchase of any one of our Breitling watches.


If you found a Breitling online or in a pawn shop or are purchasing from a non-licensed third party, beware of faux watches. Breitling watches are highly desirable, luxury item, but high price tags mean that not everyone can afford one. Like many other luxury Swiss watches, Breitling watches are often counterfeit and sold at a lower price.

With modern counterfeit technology being at its peak and ever-growing, some counterfeit Breitling watches are indistinguishable from the genuine pieces by an untrained eye and can be passed for the real thing. We highly recommend that you get a professional watchmaker to inspect any watch that you are planning on purchasing to avoid being fooled by a knock-off.

Here are some things that you should look for to save yourself some time and money:

Weight of the Watch

A genuine Breitling watch is traditionally made out of stainless steel or gold which will make the watch heavy. If you pick up a Breitling and it is surprisingly light, you are probably holding a fake.

Breitling Case

Carefully examine the case back of the Breitling. Most Breitling watches will have an inscription on the back. Check the spelling and pay special attention to transposed letters and missing words.


Outside of some vintage pieces, a genuine Breitling watch will have a lab made sapphire crystal that is completely clear and extremely durable. If the watch crystal is cloudy or has any tint to it, it is likely a forgery. Most replica Breitling watches will have a glass crystal instead of a sapphire. To determine if you are actually looking at the real thing, look at the watch at an angle Moon Phase. Look for jagged edges where the crystal meets the bezel or any hints of tint or color. If you see any of the aforementioned, the crystal is likely not sapphire.  

Breitling for Audi

This is the easiest way to spot a knock-off watch. There is no such thing as Breitling for Audi. Breitling is only associated with Bentley!


The center pin that holds the watch hands together should match the hands in color. On most replica watches, the pin is black.


Look at the date. The date on a genuine Breitling will be found in a designated date window that sits on the minute and seconds markers. If you see a date on a sub-dial or a date window that sits away from the minute and seconds markers, you are looking at a reproduction watch.


The markers on a genuine watch should be equally spaced, straight, with clean edges. The printing on the dial should be clean and crisp. If the printing looks “blurry” it is a reproduction.


The sub-dials on an authentic Breitling watch will only display chronograph functions not date. The sub-dials are never raised.


An authentic bezel should seamlessly transition into the dial without any definitive break.

Reference Number

Always ask for reference numbers. Most fake Breitling watches will have a completely made up reference number or won’t have a number at all. If you are unsure about the authenticity of the watch, perform a simple internet search of the reference number and model name. If the watch is authentic, chances are the search will produce some results of watches for sale. Although we would not advise relying on this as your sole tool to determine the authenticity of the Breitling watch, it is an effective and quick method to weed out poor faux Breitling timepieces.


Look at the bracelet of the watch you are buying. A genuine Breitling straps feature the model number and the length and width of the strap. On the leather bracelets, the lettering will be printed. On the metal straps it will be etched. Leather straps will have clean edges and the stitching will be equally spaced. Stainless steel or precious metal link bracelets will only have functional screws with links that are all equal in thickness and width.

A general rule of thumb: if the bracelet looks sloppy, it is most likely not a genuine bracelet.


Breitling embossed the logo on the dial of all of its watches. Some vintage pieces can be an exceptions, but they are rare. If you are looking at a watch where the logo not embossed, looks out of place, or “messy”, you are looking at a fake.

Examine the logo under a magnifying glass. The edges of the logo should be smooth, near perfect. If you see any jagged edges, imperfections, or the logo appears of center, walk away from the watch.

Hidden Compass

A Breitling Emergency is a watch that is designed to transmit a distress signal in case of a life threatening emergency. A reproduction Breitling Emergency watch will not have that option. Instead the cylinder that would usually house the distress beacon will house a “hidden compass”. There is no such thing as a hidden compass in a genuine Breitling watch.


Condition of the watch matters! Just like you wouldn't pay a premium for a DA-20 with a blown engine, you shouldn't pay top dollar for a Breitling with a poorly maintained, barely functional movement. If you are purchasing a watch from a private party, always have a watchmaker inspect the watch prior to purchasing, ask for any service records and all of the paperwork that could tell you the history, authenticity, and maintenance of the watch. It will also help you determine the condition and anticipated value appreciation of your Breitling.


Insurance isn’t just for your car or your home. Insuring your watches, jewelry and other valuable items against theft, loss, or damage will save you money in the long run. Although you may never replace the emotional investment that you made when you bought your first Breitling, insuring your watch will at least enable you to get a replacement suitable replacement watch.