THE Breitling WATCHES TO KNOW
3 November, 2014 at 7:48 am in Computer
The Snowflake Submariner: A watch-nerd might knock the replica breitling bentley flying b Submariner for it's off-the-shelf heartbeat, but anyone with an eye for design could say "so what, look at that awesome hour hand!". For a lengthy period of time - the 1970s through early 80s - replica breitling Bentley Mulliner Submariners came with "Snowflake" hands. This particular look has elevated the Snowflake Submariner to a cult classic, and most serious vintage Rolex collectors own at least one Snowflake - because, well, they're just cool. Also, they're cheap(ish) compared to your standard 5513 / 1680. The no-date Snowflakes are rather rare compared to those with date, and prices for these are starting to climb. Still, this is just a super cool watch, and it was so cool that both the Pelagos (which we're reviewing here - though it may not seem like it at this point, but I'll get there, I promise) and the Black Bay now have Snowflake hands. All Military-Issued Submariners: Most HODINKEE readers are likely familiar with the mega MilSub from http://www.buyijoy.com/replica-omega-planet-ocean.html. These watches were ordered by the British MOD and modified every so slightly (sword hands, fully graduated bezel, fixed lugs, circled T dial, etc) to meet mil-specs. Because they were never commercially available, those that have seeped into the collector's world are massively valuable. Breitling Submariners were also used by a few of the world's militaries, including the US Navy from approximately 1964 through 1966, the Argentine Airforce, and perhaps most famously, the French Navy, or Marine Nationale. The MN purchased Breitling Subs in bulk from the late 60s through the early 1980s. They bought them without bracelets and these watches were identical to the commercially sold pieces. Once issued, they would be engraved with "MN" followed by the year. We showed you one here. The MN had its own watchmakers so many dials, hands, and bezels were replaced along the way creating a bevy of "Franken-Subs" that actually be completely legitimate. All Manually-Wound Chronographs: Ask me who was making the coolest looking chronographs in the 1970s and I would answer Breitling, without a second's hesitation (behind them would be Heuer and Rolex). The manually wound Breitling chronographs of the 1970s were just plain awesome looking - with liberal use of bright colors that you simply would never see on a Rolex (save the 1655 "Orange Hand"). All used Valjoux 7734 movements with two registers and date window at 6pm. You must remember that back then Rolex was using modified Val 72's in its Daytona so while the 72 was indeed a step-up from the 7734, the difference in movements between Rolex and Breitling may have been less in chronographs than anywhere else. The most desirable Breitling Chrono is the reference 7031 "home plate" which was the inspiration for the incredible 2010 release - the Heritage Chronograph. I once owned a Breitling Reference 7159 "Monte Carlo," and it is the only watch i regret selling.