Good afternoon everyone,
I've just signed up to the forum and would love if someone could give there expert opinion regarding a watch I recently purchased.
I’ll try and keep this as short and sweet as possible, I'm no watch expert so please forgive my ignorance.
I purchased a Breitling Superocean from a second-hand watch dealer in November 2016. At the time of purchased the watch was approximately 10 months old, the watch was originally purchased new from Earnest Jones. Given the age of the watch it was still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
After a few weeks I noticed that the crown kept coming loose of its own accord, when I tried tightening the crown it didn't seem to turn to a closed position. This is the first time I had owned a Breitling and as it was relatively new, I passed it off and wrongly assumed this was how the watch should be.
Approximately 6 weeks after buying the watch I took a family holiday to Lanzarote. To my knowledge, the crown on the watch was screwed down to a closed position. As there is no difference in time between the UK and the Canaries there was no need to touch the crown to change the time. Unfortunately, there were no safes in the apartment so I kept the watch on my wrist, on the first day of the holiday I went for a swim, almost immediately after leaving the pool I noticed there was moisture in the watch.
Whilst on holiday I tried to dry the watch out by leaving in a towel in the sunlight, unfortunately this didn’t remove the moisture. As soon as I returned to the UK I returned the watch to the dealer I purchased from to return to Breitling. The watch was returned to Breitling at the beginning of January, given the watch is under manufacturer’s warranty I expected that the watch would be covered and would be repaired free of charge.
After around 2 weeks I received a call from the watch dealer advising me that the watch has been inspected by Breitling and that the damage was caused by myself and therefore wouldn’t be covered under manufacturer’s warranty. Much to my disappointment I was presented with a quote of over £900 (this figure included a 50% goodwill discount).
Feeling aggrieved I explained to the dealer that in my opinion the crown on the watch was faulty and that I had previously noticed the crown coming loose and that it wouldn’t tighten to a close position. The dealer contests this point his stance is that the watch was not faulty.
I decided against paying £900+ for the required repair work and asked Breitling to return the watch. I received the watch from Breitling on Saturday, when I opened the box I noticed that the crown was out, I tried to put the crown back in but its refusing to go back in. The crown will screw very slightly but not to a tight position, if I turn the crown the other way it springs back out. At this point it clarified my thoughts around the faulty crown. As I’m no expert, I took the watch to get the watch independently inspected at a watch repair specialist in Leeds, they have told me that the crown is faulty, that there is no friction and he cannot return the crown to its closed position. I have also explained sequence of events regarding the water damage, in his expert option he has no doubt that the water entered as the crown is faulty and will not screw down correctly. In additional to taking the watch to a repair specialist I also went to an independent luxury watch retailer in Leeds, they told me that I need to return the watch to you to be resent to Breitling.
My experience to date with the watch dealer hasn’t been great, I was hoping that as they sold me the watch they would take a little more accountability for the repair/refund of the watch. They have suggested that I contact Breitling directly or that I try and claim on my house insurance. I’m an honest guy and If I genuinely felt that the watch had been damaged as a result of my negligence I would accept that, pay for the watch to be repaired and move on. As it is my belief that the watch was faulty at the point of sale I will not let this one go until I get a fair resolution.
If anyone has found themselves in a similar position or can offer any advice on how I should handle this it would be greatly appreciated. At this point I have lost a little faith in Breitling and would rather look to a refund. I however like the watch and would be happy with a repair as a resolution.
I have attached the email below from Breitling which details their findings. I personally feel that their findings are contradictory as I have been told the water entered as a result of an unscrewed crown but in their diagnostic it states the watch is waterproof with the crown unscrewed.
Thanks for reading and I hope this all makes sense.
Many thanks Aidan
from Breitling -
Super ocean 44 watch (model A1739102/BA77 serial ********)
Watch passed water pressure testing on arrival, with crown screwed down and crown unscrewed.
Water damage to underside of crystal, dial, tachy, hands and luminous. Evidence of moisture, rotor, auto bridge and auto work water damaged, ratchet wheel water damaged, case clamps and screws rusty, casing ring water damaged.
Cause: Accidental damage
Breitling UK Ltd