Breitling is a luxury watch manufacturer that prides itself on its sturdy construction and elegant designs. Because of its reputation as a maker of quality timepieces, many fabrications of various Breitling models saturate the market. Keep in mind these distinct crafting features when shopping for an authentic Breitling watch and avoid getting stuck with a fake.
Identifying Flaws on the Watch Face
Take a look at the logo on the face. Breitling watches are stamped with a distinct logo bearing an anchor fixed between a set of wings. The logo is small and displayed tastefully in the upper center area of the watch face, with the Breitling name printed below, and is always etched directly into the face. If the logo is printed, or appears abnormally large or fuzzy, it’s most likely a fake.
- Breitling also engraves a small anchor symbol on the second hand of their watches. If this anchor is absent or sloppily printed, you’re dealing with a fabrication.
- Know what to look for in the calendar display. Inspect the dials beneath the Breitling logo and look for one displaying the date. Breitlings are what are known as “chronograph” watches, meaning they utilize a complex dial system to keep track of time. The subdials on most authentic Breitling watches are used to display the various measurements of the chronograph, and none should show the days of the week or month. If your Breitling watch does have a calendar display, it will appear in a separate, magnified window.
- Counterfeit watches most often display the day and month directly on one of the subdials.
- Fake Breitlings that do feature a separate date display typically do a poor job replicating the magnification and clarity of the window.
- Check for misspellings. Carefully examine the face and back of the watch for lettering errors. As Breitling watches are of Swiss origin, different parts of the watch will contain Swiss words and slogans that are often spelled incorrectly on imitations. Take particular notice of the quality of the printing, as fakes utilize cheaper printing methods that often result in a fuzzy or pixelated appearance of the letters.
- Since the lettering on Breitling watches is written in Swiss (and sometimes French), it can be difficult to know if a section of text is misspelled. Consult images of authentic Breitling models online to verify authentic spellings and printing methods.
- Be suspicious of “open heart” designs. See if the watch’s escapement is visible; this is what is known as an “open heart” watch design. The escapement is a small device used to regulate the watch’s mechanical movement. Breitling only manufactures one open heart model, and its numbers are extremely limited. If your Breitling watch has its internal workings in plain sight, you can bet it’s a knock-off.
- The “Breitling for Bentley Mulliner” is the only Breitling watch with an open heart design.
- Watch the movement of the hands. Do the hands of your watch move in a continuous, sweeping motion, or is there a separate tick for each passing second? With few exceptions, Breitling watches are of mechanical construction and the movement of the second hand will be constant. Most Breitling forgeries keep time automatically and as a result the second hand will move with individual ticks. Battery-powered automatic watches are cheaper to produce and don’t require the craftsmanship mechanical watches are noted for, so more of these imitations saturate the market.