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 Post subject: Breitling Premier issues
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:28 am 
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Hi!
I'm new to the forum, and new to my Breitling Premier B01 Bentley british racing green. I love the watch, but have identified some shortcomings with the model. At least I believe they are. I have not had the opportunity to compare my watch to other specimens, but I believe these shortcomings are present on all specimens of the model.

1. Dial finishing.
I really love the dial. But the date window is poorly executed imo. There is som kind of brownish discoloring surrounding the date window (see attached image). It looks kind of like the result of a chemical reaction has occurred. Anyone knows the cause of this? Any other owners of the green Premier Bentley whom can confirm the presence of this phenomenon on their watch as well? The other Premier models has a much cleaner looking date window. Even the blue sunburst does not seem to have the same discoloring, so I dont think it has anything to do with challenges related to the sunburst finishing technique.

2. Applied indexes.
The applied indexes looks good, but up close there are a some inconsistencies, both in placement on the dial and in the groove in the middle of the index. These have some dents and notches, not perfectly cut out. For most of them you do need to use magnifying lens to spot this, but some are visible to the naked eye.. Do you believe this to be expected at this price point, or below par?

3. Lume.
The low light legibility of the watch is terrible imo. The hour and minute hands of the watch is the only luminated elements of the watch, as far as I know. The hands are slim, wich doesn't give much room for lume. I do believe they could have laid on some more. No other element on the dial has lume applied, so orienting the watch in the dark is difficult. So in sum, the hands glow dim, the dim light does not last for more than an hour or so, and none of the indexes or other parts of the dial are lumed, making it very difficult to get an accurate time reading in low light conditions. I wonder why they haven't applied lume to the 12, 3, 6 and 9 index, or at the very least just the 12.. An idea could be to fill the index groove with black superluminova (SL). I believe white could have worked as well. Any thoughts on the lack of lume on the Premier?

4. Curved springbars wiggle.
The springbars holding the strap attached to the case are curved, so the straps tucks neatly around the case. The lugholes do however seem to be too large for the springbar, leaving alot of leeway. So it makes a clicking sound when wiggling the strap, and gives the feeling of an improperly secure connection. I do however believe it is supposed to be like that, considering the springbar is curved. That means that the lugholes needs to be bigger to accomodate the curved springbar in a number of orientations. Thoughts?

Other than that, I am really happy with the watch. A great timepiece for a good price.

Thank you for your input and thoughts.

Regards,
newbie Magnus


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:07 am 
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Welcome aboard.
Discoloration around date window is not acceptable imho.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:44 am 
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I agree, unless it's done on purpose. I dont consider that a possibility in this case, as it looks bad.
Any idea as to what has caused this discoloration?



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:16 pm 
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Welcome aboard ; the Premier is a beautiful watch. In answer to your questions/observations -

1. I agree there shouldn't be any discolouration around the date window like that. I've not seen that before, but then I don't own a Premier and I've never looked that closely at one's I've handled. From your picture I agree that something isn't right there.

2. I can't tell if there are application issues with the applied markers from your pictures, but the "dents and notches" you mention appear to have to be magnified significantly to see them. I needed to click on your picture (which expands the marker itself to about 15cm on my screen!) to be able to see notches at all. To be honest, putting any watch under a loupe of strong enough magnification will highlight small inconsistencies, so personally I wouldn't let that bother me too much. If you can't see something with the naked eye then it's best not to worry too much about it IMO.

3. I totally agree the lume is the single biggest failing on this watch. I'm not a lume fanatic by any stretch, but the decision to fill the markers with black paint instead of lume makes absolutely no sense to me at all. It also stopped it from being a serious contender against a Speedmaster for me. That said, Breitling have never been renowned for their lume application at the best of times.

4. Can't help on this one as I've not handled a Premier for long enough to have noticed an issue with the curved springbars.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:58 pm 
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Thank you for your thorough reply, Driver8.

1. I have only held one of these green ones in my hand, but a quick image search tells me that this discoloring appears on them all, not just mine. For instance, the image I attached is a commercial photo. So this appears to be the result of production technique, i guess.

2. I have inspected all the hour markers with 4x magnification. Only two is without obvious flaw. Two of them has flaws visible with the naked eye. Looking at the attached images (shot just now, with snapchat camera on my phone), hopefully you'll be able to see that the groove on the 1 hour marker is noteably wider in the middle part of the groove. The 10 hour marker has a notch in the lower edge of the groove, at the very start of the groove (closest to the center of the dial). Is this acceptable in your opinion, or should this not have passed QC? If not, I'm contemplating sending in the watch, for replacement of the markers/dial.

3. Agreed. A shame they didn't at least put some lume on the 12 hour marker as a minimum.

Regarding the application issues: On the second image (regarding the 1 and 10 hour markers), you'll probably be able to notice that the 3 hour marker is misaligned between the two white stripes on either side. The 9 hour marker on the other hand, is aligned in the center of these two white stripes.

Thank you for your time.


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Last edited by Magulv on Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:16 am 
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Update: After consulting my local AD today, we agree that the supposed dents/notches/tool marks in the markers, are not that, but rather poor application of the black paint in the groove. So some paint has hit the edges, making it appear as though there are notches.

The flaws are of a different kind than first described, but flaws nontheless. So my original questions still remain. I appreciate any input.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:48 pm 
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Well, here's my input...

No matter what anyone says, no matter what objective analysis anyone offers -- you are either happy with the watch or not. Things I might decide I can live with might drive you absolutely crazy. Life's too short. If you can accept the "flaws" and enjoy the watch, then great. If it bothers you every time you put it on, then you need to do a course correction.

Hope it works out to your satisfaction, one way or the other.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:43 pm 
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This is the reason I never look at my watches under magnification. Once something is seen, it can never be unseen.

The "discolouration" around the date window looks to me like an artefact of colourisation of the dial around the curve caused when the cutout was made - a bit like the way dyes on jeans are darker in places around stitching or stain on furniture is darker in some places around edges. Anyway, it looks fine to me - just a variation from the manufacturing process.



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:59 am 
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Moana43 wrote:
Well, here's my input...

No matter what anyone says, no matter what objective analysis anyone offers -- you are either happy with the watch or not. Things I might decide I can live with might drive you absolutely crazy. Life's too short. If you can accept the "flaws" and enjoy the watch, then great. If it bothers you every time you put it on, then you need to do a course correction.

Hope it works out to your satisfaction, one way or the other.


This is what I believe and have moved watches for less. Not that I am a freak about these things but I/you have to be able to live with the "flaws" or that is all you will ever see when you look at the watch. Sold a Speedmaster for much less as that was the only thing I saw when I wore the watch. You are the only one that can make this decision. Good luck.
Frank.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:18 pm 
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A quick update for those who might be interested:
Breitling informed that a new batch of dials were under production. My AD made arrangements for me to be notified as soon as a new dial was available. Then I dropped the watch off st my AD. 8 days later the watch was returned with a brand new dial, free of charge. Superb customer service. Hour indexes now in perfect condition. The date discoloration still there, so I guess its just the ways they're supposed to be.

So, to bring a new option to the table: If you're unhappy with the level of detail on your watch, it's worth a try to check in with the AD or the manufacturer.

Now a new problem has arisen (ofcourse).. The authorized Breitling technician at the local service center has forgotten to tighten all of the screws upon reassembly.. So a total of 5 parts including two screws are now floating around the caliber, falling in and out of the gaps in the balance wheel, jamming the rotor etc.. These things should not happen. Have reached out to my AD, and asked for a new watch all together, or as a minimum a brand new caliber. Hopefully I'll have a reply on Monday.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:34 am 
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That is f****** shocking. I guess the AD must have done the work in their shop given it was done so quickly?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:25 am 
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No, it's the authorized Breitling service center, located on the other side of the country. I believe all ADs in Norway use them as the front line service center. It was Breitling Scandinavia who instructed the AD to ship it there. As for the speed, my AD is very customer oriented. So they ship everything by express. In addition, alot of time was saved, by waiting for the new dial to arrive and getting an all clear from the service center before sending in my watch.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:15 am 
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Unreal, that level of incompetence is simply staggering.

I would be asking for a new watch, please keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:46 am 
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Magulv wrote:
No, it's the authorized Breitling service center, located on the other side of the country. I believe all ADs in Norway use them as the front line service center. It was Breitling Scandinavia who instructed the AD to ship it there. As for the speed, my AD is very customer oriented. So they ship everything by express. In addition, alot of time was saved, by waiting for the new dial to arrive and getting an all clear from the service center before sending in my watch.


Double shocked.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:05 am 
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Magulv wrote:
Now a new problem has arisen (ofcourse).. The authorized Breitling technician at the local service center has forgotten to tighten all of the screws upon reassembly.. So a total of 5 parts including two screws are now floating around the caliber, falling in and out of the gaps in the balance wheel, jamming the rotor etc.. These things should not happen. Have reached out to my AD, and asked for a new watch all together, or as a minimum a brand new caliber. Hopefully I'll have a reply on Monday.


That is absolutely jaw-dropping. You've done the right thing. If I really liked the watch I'd want a completely new one; if I was having doubts (and that would be permissible in these circumstances ...) I'd want a refund.


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