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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:12 pm 
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Breitling Newbie
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Hello all. As 2019 comes to a close, I've begun thinking thinking about which watch I will try to acquire in 2020. I think it'll be my first permanent vintage watch (I briefly owned a Rolex 16700 but never with the intention to keep indefinitely).

A big candidate is the Breitling Chronomat Reference 801. I don't have to explain how beautiful the piece is, and a watch so rare would cement a spot in my personal collection... forever, really. The fact that I have a career in math/stats makes it just that much more appropriate. I also would potentially be interested in collecting all the 40s Chronomats- including the 786, 801, and 769 (in decreasing rarity).

Alas, unlike just about any Rolex allocation piece, these Breitlings are actually rare. On Chrono24 I see the same Ref 801 posted for sale for $22K or something, but I understand that the dial has been redone and the moonphase is simply off. Meanwhile, there's no Ref 786 to be seen anywhere.

So.. where does one go from here? Are there particular dealers/shops I have to check out? Keep looking at the auction houses? For those who are fortunate to have nice examples, how did you go about tracking them down?

Also, what's it like to actually own one of these watches? I assume they're only as durable as you'd expect a 40s chronograph to be; is maintenance difficult? Did you have to restore any part of the watch?

Thanks in advance!

Edited to add: any resources (books, videos, magazine articles, etc) about these timepieces or vintage Breitling chronographs in general?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:58 pm 
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Breitling Connoisseur
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Honestly.... there are VERY, VERY few surviving and CORRECT ref. 786 and 801 watches. Not many made in the first place and especially 18k versions are hens teeth rare. Got to remember the world at that time and melting down cases was a very common way some people survived, literally!
Very nice 769’s can be had pretty easily and are fabulous watches with a history some brands only wish they had. If your patient, a bit lucky and have a fat wallet you can possibly find the rarer ones. That’s the best part most of the times, the chase!!

Best,
Wayne



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:39 pm 
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Waynepjr1 wrote:
Honestly.... there are VERY, VERY few surviving and CORRECT ref. 786 and 801 watches. Not many made in the first place and especially 18k versions are hens teeth rare. Got to remember the world at that time and melting down cases was a very common way some people survived, literally!
Very nice 769’s can be had pretty easily and are fabulous watches with a history some brands only wish they had. If your patient, a bit lucky and have a fat wallet you can possibly find the rarer ones. That’s the best part most of the times, the chase!!

Best,
Wayne


Thank you, sir. I'm hoping that in 6-7 months I would have set aside the money needed to buy one. But yes, I am still quite interested in pursuing an 801 or 786. Just too bad a few more didn't survive!



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