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Breitling Reference Model Numbers Explained

Reference Number Dissected

Each current Breitling (since about 1990 onward) uses this reference numbering system, which gives you COSC indication and caliber identification.

The number consists of six characters, which appear on the caseback followed by six more characters which signify case finish, dial color and dial design. This guide has been put together by one of our most knowledgeable members of the forum, Sharkmouth.

Note this information is not taken from any official Breitling source but has been gleaned from a multitude of internet sources including, of course, I acknowledge their work and take full responsibility for all errors and omissions. Any amendments and additions will be gladly received via this thread.

Example of a 12 digit code: A2332212/B635

Breaking it down by position we have:

1 - Single letter representing the Case Material
2 & 3 Two numbers or letters representing the Movement used
4 Single number designating if the movement is COSC Certified
5 & 6 Two numbers representing the Model Type
7 & 8 Two numbers representing the bezel/case Finish
9 Single letter representing the Dial Colour
10, 11 & 12 - Three numbers representing the Design of the Dial

1 Case Material
A = steel bezel/case
B = steel bezel/case/gold riders
C = rose gold bezel/steel case
D = yellow gold bezel/steel case
E = titanium bezel/case
F = 18k bezel/titanium case
G = white gold bezel/steel case
H = 18kt rose gold bezel/case
I = 18kt gold bezel insert
J = 18kt white gold bezel/case
K = 18kt yellow gold bezel/case
L = platinum bezel/case
M = blacksteel bezel/case
N = carbon case
P = platinum bezel/steel case
R = red gold bezel/case
T = palladium bezel/case
V = black titanium case and bezel
X = Breitlight® case
Y = ceramic bezel/steel case

2 & 3 Movement (Calibre)
10-49 - Mechanical movements
50 and above Quartz movements
The first of the modern in-house movements is designated B01, suggesting that they will use numbers less than 10.

Details here:

4 COSC Certification
Virtually all models have either a 0 or a 3.
0 = non-COSC
3 = COSC

In addition, the following are/have been used.
1 = only used for Co-Pilot module
4 = used exclusively on the Astromat / Astromat 1461 / Astromat Longitude models
6 = used exclusively on the Shark Quartz / Chrono Shark Quartz models
8 = used exclusively on the Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon

Since 1999/2000, all Breitling watches produced (excluding UTC/Co-Pilot modules) have been COSC certified.

5 & 6 Model Type
Two numbers with no discernable pattern represent the model type. The same numbers are frequently used for completely different models whilst different numbers are used for the same model. The latter is usually used to differentiate an updated version.

7 & 8 Finish (bezel/case)
There seems to be no documentation whatsoever regarding what these 2 digits represent but I am now convinced they relate to the bezel/case finish.

Five codes are consistently used across the range. These are:
10 Satin/brushed/titanium finish
11 No special finish
12 Polished finish
13 Satin & polished sections
53 Diamond bezel

In addition, the following codes are currently used with no discernable pattern:
06 SuperOcean
09 Chrono Avenger titanium
15 Airwolf steel - blue dial & Skyracer - blue dial
16 SOH Chrono - blue dial
18 Avenger Seawolf titanium
21 Montbrillant Legende - black, bronze dial
23 Airwolf steel - black dial & Skyracer - black, slate grey dial
24 SOH Chrono - black dial & Montbrillant Legende - silver dial
33 SOH Chrono - bronze dial
34 Airwolf steel - silver dial & Skyracer - silver dial
38 Airwolf steel - slate grey dial

I have also seen paperwork relating to special edition squadron dials which use an alpha-numeric 7th & 8th digit eg D4.

9 Dial Colour
A = MOP, White, Beige, Ivory, Arctica
B = Black, Anthracite, Diamond Black, Royal Ebony
C = Blue, Moroccan Blue, Meteor, Neptune Blue, Peacock Blue
D = not currently used
E = Rhodium
F = Slate, Slate-Grey
G = Silver, Silver Storm
H = Champagne, Amber, Desert Dune
I = Yellow
J = Smoke Grey
K = Red, Burgundy, Sunset, Rose
L = Green, Turquoise, Laurel Green, Spruce
M = Graphite, Titanium
N = not currently used
O = Coral
P = not currently used
Q = Bronze, Havana, Grey Violet, Burnt Oak

10, 11 & 12 Dial Design
Three numbers with no discernable pattern represent the dial type.

So A2332212/B635 is
A = Steel case
23 = Calibre 23 mechanical movement
3 = COSC certified Chronometer
22 = Navitimer
12 = Polished bezel/case
B = Black dial
635 = Silver sub-dials, batons