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 Post subject: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:14 pm 
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Welcome all.
I have a A17345 SOP (2002/3), that I have worn everyday for the past 8 yrs or so. I bought this watch as preloved from a retailer, mainly because I could read the time without changing my glasses!.
Just a very clear face!
The fact that it is a tank did not escape me, and it has been well used while I have had it. My hobbies are motor racing, cars and bikes, and the watch has had a workout indeed.
I recently retired, and treated my watch to a full service. Whilst the time taken was a pita, it did make me realise that I enjoyed the watch immensely. I did have a problem with the service, which is still under advisement from Breitling.
Although I purchased the watch with all papers, the box etc, It had a blue face, which I never questioned. In fact, it was one of the reasons I purchased it on the spot.
When the watch was returned from servicing, it now sports a black face. Breitling is saying that their records indicate the watch has always been a black face, and the final digits of the serial number certainly indicate that this is consistent with their coding system. But I thought they would have contacted me about changing the face colour? I, the retailer, and Breitling agree that it was a genuine face.

Maybe I will have to buy an additional watch to satisfy my blue desires?

But I am disapointed that they took it upon themselves to make that decision.

Anyone else have a similar story?
FWIW, I am very happy with the work that was done to/on the watch. It certainly will remain on my wrist for some years to come.
But it isnt the same watch I handed over to their care.

Enough whining, lets enjoy our timepieces!
respectfully, Peter


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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:32 am 
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Welcome aboard.

I've not heard of Breitling "doing a Rolex" and changing a watch back to stock like that without the customers consent (or even knowledge), especially if the blue dial was genuine as you said it was. Maybe the policy has changed, but certainly until a few years ago Breitling would actually do a dial swap for you (at a cost) as long as it was making a model that existed in the catalogue. In other words they wouldn't 'franken' a watch for you, but they would swap, for example, a Superocean black dial for a Superocean blue dial.

I'd be absolutely LIVID if they did that to a watch of mine! I can understand them refusing warranty work if a watch has been modded in any way, but a customer-paid-for service outside of warranty (as yours is) that has had a genuine Breitling dial swap.... they shouldn't mess with that at all IMO. Or they should at the very least inform the customer of the dial swap first and give them the choice! Are we going to see Breitling removing, and no doubt retaining, aftermarket diamond bezels and replacing them with a nice plain steel one in future?

I'd be taking this one to the very top if I was you.

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:38 am 
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Although it was an Introduction thread I've moved it into the Breitling Discussion forum to get more visibility as I'd be interested to know if anyone else has encountered this.

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:30 am 
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Driver8 wrote:
I'd be absolutely LIVID if they did that to a watch of mine! I can understand them refusing warranty work if a watch has been modded in any way, but a customer-paid-for service outside of warranty (as yours is) that has had a genuine Breitling dial swap.... they shouldn't mess with that at all IMO.


+1, emphatically. One does hear these stories - as Driver says more commonly of Rolex - and it smacks of the notion that the company always ultimately owns the watch, and that it's merely on loan to the customer. Maddening.


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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:01 am 
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Reebok wrote:
Welcome all.
I have a A17345 SOP (2002/3), that I have worn everyday for the past 8 yrs or so. I bought this watch as preloved from a retailer, mainly because I could read the time without changing my glasses!.
Just a very clear face!
The fact that it is a tank did not escape me, and it has been well used while I have had it. My hobbies are motor racing, cars and bikes, and the watch has had a workout indeed.
I recently retired, and treated my watch to a full service. Whilst the time taken was a pita, it did make me realise that I enjoyed the watch immensely. I did have a problem with the service, which is still under advisement from Breitling.
Although I purchased the watch with all papers, the box etc, It had a blue face, which I never questioned. In fact, it was one of the reasons I purchased it on the spot.
When the watch was returned from servicing, it now sports a black face. Breitling is saying that their records indicate the watch has always been a black face, and the final digits of the serial number certainly indicate that this is consistent with their coding system. But I thought they would have contacted me about changing the face colour? I, the retailer, and Breitling agree that it was a genuine face.

Maybe I will have to buy an additional watch to satisfy my blue desires?

But I am disapointed that they took it upon themselves to make that decision.

Anyone else have a similar story?
FWIW, I am very happy with the work that was done to/on the watch. It certainly will remain on my wrist for some years to come.
But it isnt the same watch I handed over to their care.

Enough whining, lets enjoy our timepieces!
respectfully, Peter


That is a frightening story and one which I've never heard. I have defiantly fought with Rolex over replacing dials but they have never done anything without communicating. Now that I think of it you actually have to "approve" the repair before they will proceed. Same with Breitling Gotta Approve, Gotta Pay...or it just sits there.

What are you going to do with the retailer? Are we assuming they swapped out the dial?

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:02 pm 
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Well the service centre rep has responded, and says that Breitlings position is that they service the watch to the records for that serial number. The last four digits are B409, which they say means that is was a black face, so that its what they replaced it with. He went further and said that it is an issue that comes up every now and then, as for some time period, Breitling stocked parts in Australia, and contracted the services and maintenance to external companies that were certified by Breitling. It is possible that the face was changed in a previous service using Breitling parts, but any changes were not recorded or sent on to Breitling. The rep cited another customer whose husband had sourced a watch as a present for the customer, with a mother of pearl face, and plenty of diamonds. It was serviced by Breitling, and returned with a plain face and no diamonds, as that was how the watch was manufactured by Breitling. The customer was furious!.
He did not tell me how it was resolved.

It seems that their procedure disregards how the watch is received by them, checks for genuine parts only, and is 'restored' as per Breitling records. Bracelets are the most common complaint when owners get their watch back.

I have requested that a Breitling company person give me a call, or send me an apology letter. They say that they have no blue faces for that model left in stock. Of course that may be an excuse.

I do not expect that I will get an appropriate response from Breitling. They may surprise me, but their lack of systems and records are the reason for this, and I do not expect them to admit anything. I have not asked for it to be changed back to Blue, nor demanded any compensation. I simply have requested an explanation.

I did approve the service, but they only mentioned additional services that I could buy. I did not want to replace the crystal, nor have the watch polished. But they never acknowledged or questioned the face colour.

I handed them a Blue watch, and received a Black watch. I note that they didn't want a copy of the warranty doc even though I presented it to them. They certainly haven't given me any documents or receipts to indicate that they have serviced the watch. I only have the receipt from the jewellers, and a copy of an email asking me to approve the service and requesting me to make payment in advance, from Breitling.

Not exactly stellar customer service.

The thing is, I truly like wearing this watch. But they are making me want to sell it and buy something else. Little faith in their processes left.


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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:18 pm 
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Did they charge you for the dial?
What about the retailer or whomever sold it to you?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:03 pm 
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Only the service charge, plus a freight charge.

Very happy with the work they did. looks like new!. But it is not blue.


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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:11 am 
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IMHO that behaviour by Breitling is absolutely disgusting.

What I think they should be doing in a situation like this is talking to the customer before doing anything! Radical stuff I know, but hey it might catch on. :roll:

As I said before I can understand them refusing to do any warranty work on a modified watch, but a customer-paid-for-service should never involve un-requested work, especially if it was all genuine Breitling parts. Imagine being that guy who (in good faith) sent in a watch with an expensive MOP/diamond dial and received a plain dial back! :x

I can't think of any other industry doing something like this. Could you imagine taking a highly tuned car in for an oil change and having it returned in stock spec? Laughable.

If you can live with it then that's great, but if it was me there's not a hope in hell I'd personally let this rest.

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:51 am 
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Reebok wrote:
The rep cited another customer whose husband had sourced a watch as a present for the customer, with a mother of pearl face, and plenty of diamonds. It was serviced by Breitling, and returned with a plain face and no diamonds, as that was how the watch was manufactured by Breitling. The customer was furious!.
He did not tell me how it was resolved.


I hope this is just fairy tales from the new Wizard of Oz, eh ... sorry the new member from Oz



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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:24 pm 
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MrRoy wrote:
Reebok wrote:
The rep cited another customer whose husband had sourced a watch as a present for the customer, with a mother of pearl face, and plenty of diamonds. It was serviced by Breitling, and returned with a plain face and no diamonds, as that was how the watch was manufactured by Breitling. The customer was furious!.
He did not tell me how it was resolved.


I hope this is just fairy tales from the new Wizard of Oz, eh ... sorry the new member from Oz


Hmmm. Interesting point. I mean I don't really believe that Breitling would do this to someone without saying or even CHARGING. LOL.

OP..how about a pic of the your watch before and after? Some paperwork?

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:31 am 
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That model was only available in black or yellow dial colour, that's why it was changed.

Sent from my TA-1004 using Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:06 pm 
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bnewbie wrote:
That model was only available in black or yellow dial colour, that's why it was changed.

Times like these I wish I hadn't sold all my old Chronologs! :thumbsup:

(Even so, and assuming the OP's story is true, I'd still have expected Breitling to talk to him first).

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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:28 am 
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bnewbie wrote:
That model was only available in black or yellow dial colour, that's why it was changed.

Sent from my TA-1004 using Tapatalk


And that may indeed be correct, but maybe it had a dial change? I bought the watch in 2013, and it was blue then. It was blue when it was sent to Breitling. It was blue when it was received by Breitling. I am not as upset about the change as I am about their omitting to inform me BEFORE they changed it. Astounding lack of quality control.

I worked for the past 20+ yrs in a multi franchise car dealership. Plenty of photos are taken when a car comes in for a service, as some customers demand their car be repainted or repaired for a scratch or dent 'that wasn't there' Only way to verify this is to take multiple photos before the service happens, and point out any damage to the customer BEFORE the car is serviced.. And that is lots of times.

With Digital imagery, would be very cost and time effective to document watch when it comes in.


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 Post subject: Re: New member from Oz
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:33 am 
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Reebok wrote:
bnewbie wrote:
That model was only available in black or yellow dial colour, that's why it was changed.

Sent from my TA-1004 using Tapatalk


And that may indeed be correct, but maybe it had a dial change? I bought the watch in 2013, and it was blue then. It was blue when it was sent to Breitling. It was blue when it was received by Breitling. I am not as upset about the change as I am about their omitting to inform me BEFORE they changed it. Astounding lack of quality control.

I worked for the past 20+ yrs in a multi franchise car dealership. Plenty of photos are taken when a car comes in for a service, as some customers demand their car be repainted or repaired for a scratch or dent 'that wasn't there' Only way to verify this is to take multiple photos before the service happens, and point out any damage to the customer BEFORE the car is serviced.. And that is lots of times.

With Digital imagery, would be very cost and time effective to document watch when it comes in.

Thanks to Bnewbie's info, there's now two things here. Firstly, as Bnewbie says, if your model (the A17345) didn't ever have a blue dial option from the factory, then the blue dial yours had is probably from an A17360 which was the next version of the SO and definitely did have the option of a blue dial variant. If so, then your dial swap wouldn't have been done by Breitling (even if it was a genuine Breitling dial) because that would've been making a watch that never existed from the factory, and as I said above, Breitling never do that.

However secondly, the fact still remains that you should've been told before anything was done. They could've (and should've) given you the option of, a) having the dial replaced and a service, or b) simply refusing to work on the watch at all unless the dial was changed back. All totally within their rights.

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