Breitling Articles, FAQs and Resources

Breitling Frequently Asked Questions

Breitling Watch FAQ

Here is a compiled list of FAQ's that do not have enough information to constitute their own pages, but warrant an entry on this list. Some frequently asked questions are already answered on other pages, so I won't mention them here. Information such as "How do I contact Breitling" is on the contact page, and model information is on the model pages, as well as other article pages.

I have broken it down into several sections:
Watch Operation & Movement
Servicing Questions
Chronograph Questions
Crystal Questions
Straps and Bracelets
Case, Bezel and Finish
Company Information
Other Questions

Watch Operation & Movement

  1. Is my Breitling COSC Certified?
    All Breitling watches manufactured from around 2000 or later are, and some special editions prior to that were also sent in for COSC Certification.

  2. How accurate should my watch be?
    If your watch is mechanical and COSC Certified, it should operate within -4/+6 seconds per day. If it is SuperQuartz, it should not lose or gain more than 10 seconds a year. Here is an article I wrote on Mechanical COSC Certification.

  3. What kind of movement is in my Breitling Watch?
    The movement in your Breitling watch depends on the model, and will most likely be made by ETA. For a list of all the Breitling movements see this page. Breitling modifies existing movements for their watches.

  4. What will Breitling do when ETA stops selling movements in 2010?
    Breilting has been manufacturing their own 1:1 copies of the Valjoux 775x series of movements in-house at Breitling Chronometrie since 2006. This will make sure that the Breitling Caliber 13 movements will continue to be available, along with any others that use the Valjoux 775x engine.

    Additionally, there is a lot of talk about the in-house Breitling movements that will be released soon. At the moment it is all speculation, but there is rumours that the first Breitling model to be released with the in-house movement is the Breitling Chronomat.

    As for the remainder of the movements, Breitling has a large supply of movements to keep them going, and claims that there will be no problem when that date comes.

  5. Why does my watch sometimes have a strange vibration and noise when it is on my wrist?
    This is most likely because you have a Breitling with the Valjoux 7750 base movement such as the Breitling Caliber 13. Unidirectional winding movements like the Caliber 13 sometimes get a burst of centrifugal force from movement you made with your hand, causing the rotor to spin several times. That vibration you feel is likely the rotor spinning.

    It also may be that something is falling apart inside your watch. The above is not meant to diagnose possible watch failure, just a common occurance and question asked.

  6. How many times to I have to wind the crown to fully wind my Breitling watch?
    About 40 times clockwise is the general rule of thumb for a completely stopped watch.

  7. Is it possible to overwind my Breitling watch?
    You do not have to worry about over-winding your watch as there is an overwind protection mechanism in your watch, unless it is a vintage peice then it may stop winding when it is fully wound. Just don't force it after it has stopped or you may damage the mainspring.

  8. What happens if you "accidentally" activate your Emergency?
    Men in black suits will arrive and beat you with sticks. Not really but that might be less painful. The activation of the Emergency requires the watch to be sent back to Breitling for reconditioning and it can cost 1/2 of the original price of the watch. Also a visit with an FAA official might take place. This watch is for EMERGENCIES, not to play with the rescue function and see what happens.

  9. Can I go swimming or underwater with my Breitling?
    A lot of Breitlings are extremely water tight. The Steelfish, for example, is rated for 6600 feet! The Navitimer line is NOT water tight. DO NOT submerse your Navitimer watch. Read your owner’s manual on your particular model.

  10. How long does the battery last in my Breitling?
    Anywhere from 2 to 8 years depending on how much you use the features and the particular movement in your watch.

  11. Why doesn't my second hand move, even though the watch is running?
    If you have a Chronograph model or another model with a small seconds complication, the seconds may not be in the center of the watch. They could be located on a subdial at 6 or 9 o'clock. If that is not the case, you may need to have the watch repaired.

  12. Why can't I set the date or time between 8pm and 3am?
    You can set the time anytime, just not the date between those hours. If you need to set the date during that time, just change the time until it is outside of that range, and then set the date.

    The reason you should not set the date between 8pm and 3am is because the automatic date change may have already begun and the gears are in the process of engaging. When you manually adjust the date during those hours you can damage the gears that change the date, causing the date wheel to not function properly.

Servicing Questions

  1. What is the cost of a complete Breitling servicing?
    The average cost of a full Breitling service can run around $500 USD for a chronograph watch with average turnaround time around 4-8 weeks. Non-Chronograph watches will be much less, around half that price.

  2. Why does Breitling servicing cost so much?
    Breitling has videos of what is entailed in servicing your watch. It is quite extensive:
    Quartz Servicing
    Mechanical Servicing

Chronograph Questions

  1. What is a Chronograph?
    A Chronograph is a stopwatch, not to be confused with a Chronometer.

  2. How does the Chronograph work?
    On most models, the top pusher starts and stops the chonograph, and the bottom button resets it. For less common models, please consult your manual.

  3. Can I leave my chronograph running all day?
    Yes. Your will still get at least 42 hours of power reserve with the Chronograph Running full time.

  4. What do I do if my mechanical chronograph hands do not reset to zero exactly?
    You can try running the chronograph for a long period of time, like several hours, and then stop it and reset it. Sometimes this fixes the problem as the hands can get stuck. If this does not resolve the problem you will have to take it to a watchmaker to fix. Keep in mind this is only for mechanical chronographs. Quartz chronographs usually have a built-in adjustment for non-zeroing hands.

  5. Can I use my chronograph underwater?
    No, unless it's a Chrono Avenger M1 or a Avenger Seawolf Chrono.

Crystal Questions

  1. How hard is the Anti-Reflective coating that is on the sapphire crystal of Breitling watches?
    The hardness of the sapphire itself is about 1.800 - 2.200 HV, while the hardness of the coating is somewhere between sapphire and normal mineral-glass.
    A measurement of it is said to be very difficult, because the coating is very thin.
    After some time of wearing, some scratches may occur. Usually the reason for this is not the lower hardness of the coating, but rather due to heavy splicing against an hard object that causes the coating to peel off since it is very thin.

  2. Can I remove the AR coating on the crystal?
    Yes. You can remove it with a cape code cloth or a dremel with some rouge on it. It takes a bit of time if you are rubbing it with a cape cod by hand, however.

  3. If my crystal is chipped or scratched, can I fix it?
    Not by yourself unless you are familiar with replacing crystals. If the crystal is chipped you will have to send it in to be replaced. If this is an old acrylic crystal on a vintage model then you can polish away any scratches, however.

Straps and Bracelets

  1. What tool do I use to change my straps?
    You will need a spring bar tool. The Bergeon Spring Bar Tool 6767-F works nicely.

  2. What size of bracelet or strap fits my Breitling?
    There are several different sizes for Breitling watches. A Chronomat, for example, requires a 22mm strap (at the lugs). A Super Avenger, requires a 24mm strap at the lugs. Straps will usually fit as long as the lug width is correct, however Bracelets usually need a specific endlink to fit properly so you will not only need the correct lug width but the correct endlink for a bracelet to fit.

  3. Are two-tone bracelet gold links solid gold?
    No, they are rolled gold. A layer of gold is rolled around a core of solid stainless steel. This can be polished without fear of the finish wearing off as it is quite thick.

  4. What size are my watch lugs?
    You can find the size of your lugs by going into the reference section of the site and finding your particular watch.

Case, Bezel and Finish

  1. What is the difference between Breitling and Rolex steel?
    Breitling uses 316L steel, whereas Rolex uses 904L. 904L is a slightly harder and more wear resistant steel.

  2. How can I maintain or restore my Breitling to its original finish?
    Polished: Cape Cods for maintaining polished, shiny Breitlings. If you want to restore, you may need more than a cape cod. This means jewelers rouge among other things. More to come.
    Brushed: A dry Scotch Brite pads for brushed and yes you can polish off the AR coating so be careful. There are also many other methods of maintaining a brushed finish, read my article here.

  3. Is is normal for my B1/Airwolf/Bentley bezel to have a half a millimeter of "play" or lateral movement?
    Yes. The gearing system that allows the inner slide rule rehaut to move when you turn the outer bezel has some play. The amount will vary slightly from model to model. My experience has been the Bentley models have slightly less play than B-1/B-2 types.

  4. On Two-Tone Breitlings, are the Crown, Pushers and Rider Tabs solid gold?
    Only the Rider Tabs are true solid 18kt gold. The Pushers and Crown are gold plated on older models, and on newer models have a thick solid 18kt gold 'cap', with stainless steel mechanicals inside. Gold Bezel models have a solid 18kt gold bezel.

  5. What size are my watch lugs?
    You can find the size of your lugs by going into the reference section of the site and finding your particular watch.

  6. Is the Blacksteel material a surface coating or through the steel?
    It is a surface coating only.

  7. What is Blacksteel made of?
    Blacksteel is a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating.

  8. How durable is the Blacksteel coating?
    It's tough but not indestructible, etc, etc. (I can crib something from one of my earlier "metallurgical" posts if you like).

Company Information

  1. What is the history of Breitling?
    You can read Breitling's historical timeline here.

  2. How do I contact Breitling?
    Breitling Source is in no way affiliated with Breitling, however their contact information has been reposted from their website here because it is asked so often.

Other Questions

  1. Do you have a current pricelist?
    The most current US pricelist that we have is in PDF format here.

  2. I want to sell my watch, so what's it worth?
    The easiest way is to check completed listings on eBay and look for prices shown in green. These are prices that watches actually sold for (i.e. a true market price) instead of prices that sellers are asking. There's often a very big difference! Additionally, live auctions on eBay, plus sites like, and sales sections on watch forums, can give an indication of prices being asked. Obviously these should be treated as a guide as sometimes watches sell for considerably more or less than they should, but these resources should give you a pretty good idea of possible asking prices.

  3. What is a Watchwinder?
    A watch winder is a electronic device that rotates your automatic mechanical watch, while you are not wearing it, therefore keeping it fully wound and ready for use. There are a lot of choices and price ranges. A must is a winder with rotation capabilities in both directions and a rest period for your watch to wind down (to lessen the tension on the mainspring).

  4. Which watchwinder should I get?
    This is a matter of personal preference, but I think Underwood watchwinders puts it best: "You didn't buy an imitation watch, why would you buy an imitation winder?". No watchwinder is better than an inferior watchwinder that will put undue stress and cause premature wear on your watch. There are many top quality manufacturers of watch winders out there. I have had good experiences with Orbita, Wolf Designs and Rapport. There are many other good ones like Scatola Del Tempi, Underwood and Eilux.
    Things to keep in mind are how quiet it is, and whether the holder is a soft pillow or hard plastic, and whether or not it will handle a heavy watch is you have something like a Super Avenger.
    I also wrote a short article a while back on my blog here.

  5. Is it better to buy from an Authorized Dealer or on the Internet?
    There are a lot of VERY good replicas out there. Going to a AD (authorized dealer), will insure that your Breitling is the real thing. You also get a personal service and establish a relationship with a local person. This is very important because of any possible service issues and because you will be back to buy another. The grey market can offer savings, but in most cases you will get no factory warranty, but a warranty from the dealer itself. Sometimes the serial numbers are missing from the case backs to protect the AD who sold them the watch at a giant discount. You can read my article on How to Decided Where to buy my Watch.

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