If you ask anybody who knows me and my taste in watches, they will tell you that I don’t like Breitling. Never have, never could, never will.
Except, that’s no longer really true.
It might be because my tastes have changed over the years but I suspect it’s more likely that I completely overreacted to some of the first ones I saw – that I thought were oversized, blingy monstrosities – and closed my mind to the brand from that point on.
Suffice to say, my mind is now open to new Breitling possibilities.
My irrational prejudice is particularly odd when you think that the watch that gave me the courage to start Oakleigh Watches in the first place was a 1975 Breitling Navitimer and it was exquisite.
It was a one owner, untouched Full Set that even had the little paper tag with its string attached – I didn’t buy it because it was something I was looking for, I bought it because it was too beautiful to leave in the shop. Just looking back at these photos now makes me realise that it was an experience that probably should’ve taught me something.
However, for years, when I thought of the word “Breitling” this is still what I pictured:
I’ve come to realise that it’s not the fact that it’s a Breitling that I don’t like about this watch is the fact that it’s huge, bi-metal and covered in diamonds. If you took a Rolex Deep Sea Sea Dweller, made it bi-metal and covered it in diamonds I wouldn’t like that either.
Let’s just say that over the last few months I’ve been re-educated by some of the Breitling watches that we’ve been offered and have bought and sold.
This Breitling Navitimer Montbrillant is a delicate and incredibly well engineered aviation tool and the detailing on the dial is superb – another one owner full set, it was also great value.
A couple of years ago we took this Breitling Colt Skyracer in as part exchange from a good customer and friend of Oakleigh Watches. I was sniffy about it at the time but to be honest, it was a cracking watch – well designed, incredibly lightweight and superb value for money. That was possibly the beginning of my slow enlightenment.
The journey was completed this week when I bought a nearly new Breitling SuperOcean Outerknown for stock and was smitten. This is a superb looking thing with styling and build quality to match any Tudor and a definite hint of JLC Master Compressor about it.
When I think that it’s as new and sub £3,000, it’s an easy decision.
In closing I would like to offer a formal retraction of my numerous previous slanders and an apology to Breitling lovers the world over.
Just please don’t offer me an iced out bi-metal Chronomat Evolution – there are limits 😂😂