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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:24 am 
Breitling Newbie
Breitling Newbie

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Hello everyone,,
First of all, let me start by saying that I'm somewhere in the middle when it comes to my preference on timepiece aesthetic. I can appreciate both sides of the spectrum; if you love the utilitarian simplicity of Nomos, that's cool. I am a designer, so something so clean is appealing. They're a little too cold for me though. If you dig on the slide-rule, multi-functional dial of big, purposeful professional tool watches, I get that – though it's just too much for my sensibilities. I fall somewhere in the middle. I also don't really like watches that are bigger than ~42-43mm for the most part. Anything more is like wearing a sundial on your wrist. The watch is wearing you at that point. (It seems like some poeple REALLY want you to know they have a watch on.) I'm really more of a 36mm (think vintage Datejust) to 40mm kind of guy. My daily wearer at this point is a 39mm Omega. Oh – I generally don't like watches that have large number/roman numeral markers in the dial either. (Like those Rolexes with all big roman numerals; I don't get that. Too stuffy.) I usually prefer simple stick markers (again, Max Bill, Nomos, you got me there). I really like a 1/60th index, as well. Yeah, I'm kind of picky for the most part.

Lately though, a watch caught my eye that I have been staring at every day. Every. Single. Day. It's a 2003 Breitling Colt A17350. I think it's the cusp of what I would consider a "professional watch" that I really like. It's not a chronograph cause when am I ever going to use that? It's ruled by its simple markers, but it does have what I would call alternate indices – small 24hr time, minutes of the hour. I kind of dig that (like the new Rolex OPs outer ring). I really dig the dial. I'm usually a sucker for a gray dialed watch, but this concentric ring design breaks up the black into something softer, almost graphite. (I also am a huge record collector, so this is almost a blend of those two passions.) The applied B wings have always been a cool touch. The size is perfect at 38mm. I'm getting really close to pulling the trigger.

Has anyone owned one of these before? How are Breitling's movements generally viewed on the mass production spectrum? Are they generally any less reliable than a contemporary Omega/Rolex movement? (Obviously any watch left unserviced is in danger, but the one I'm looking at is supposedly current.) Anything worrisome about the build quality?

Any help is welcome. I'm not a serious collector, just a serious gawker/admirer and who makes a purchase every few years. I do like to do some research though. You guys are all great to read. Thanks!

Last edited by Kidbooo on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:41 am 
Breitling Newbie
Breitling Newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:42 am
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Hey! And welcome.

First off, you're in the right place for info on Breitling's although I suspect you might get a more varied response on somewhere like 'watchuseek' as by virtue of the site here, we're all Breitling fans!

So. You can either read on past this to get my thoughts or simply take it no further than this: Buy. It. Now. Do it.

Right, now the diatribe (and this is all opinion!)

You'll love it and there is something about a Breitling that, once it's bitten you, you just can't get away from it - you'll start to look at all other watches and weigh them up against the Breitling and how they compare. The Breitling becomes your new benchmark.

I've have my Chrnomat Blackbird A13353 for 16 years and, honestly, it's never aged for me. I still look at it now and it looks just as great on my wrist now, as then. Some of Breitling's watches over the years have been hideous (don't shoot me), over the top ostentatious nonsense. Others have been really 'of their time' but have aged less well. And some, like the Colt, are timeless.

So there's that in it's favour. Also, at 2003 it's likely hit the bottom of it's depreciation curve so, should you decide that actually it isn't for you, you aren't going to be badly out of pocket on it if at all, should you want to move it on.

As watches they are superb. The AR glare-proofing on both sides of the crystal is excellent and genuinely makes trying to get it to reflect or glare anything almost impossible. I've never once looked at mine and had to adjust to compensate for light glare to read off.

The bezel should be the rider tab type, unidirectional, with 60 graduations (dial lume at the top, 15, 30, 45 respectively). I travel a huge amount and it's extremely easy to train yourself to set this up and use it as a 2nd timeozne read off. Gone back four hours? Easy, wind the bezel round four hours back from 12:00, use the dial lume as your 12:00 marker and the 15 as 3, 30 as 6 and 45 as 9 and then hey presto, your hour hand is reading off the correct timezone without needing to change the hands.

Stainless is hard wearing and polishes up ok to remove scratches etc although I gave up on mine as it's a) brushed stainless anyway, and b) I wear it everyday so it basically becomes a tedious pursuit to keep on top of.

Finally, as for the movement, back then they weren't purely in house - and I don't know which movement would have been in the colt at that time. What I can say for mine, which is automatic also, is that it gets services every four years, almost without fail.

Just before it needs a service the power reserve drops to about 12 - 18 hours as opposed to the usual 48 but other than that, it just keeps on keeping on, faithfully, everyday keeping world class time.

So there you go.

That's my two pennies worth!

I really hope you go for it and you love it. Would be great to see pics if you do!

CYMA WWW (unrestored, late grandfathers)
2014 G-Shock Rangeman
2003 A13353 Chronomat Blackbird
2007 Aerospace Avantage (sold)

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