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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:32 pm 
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After discovering the joy of owning my Breitling 2114, and after reading some positive comments on the TransOcean, I decided to start looking in earnest for a good TransOcean 2129 that I could also afford. Note the last few words: Cal. 12 TransOceans are fetching silly money nowadays, especially the champagne-colored dial version that I want. But I keep looking and hoping.

Then the unexpected happened last week.

I finally decided to throw out a reasonable bid on one of those TransOcean 2129s that has been sitting on eBay for months by a jewelry house, not a private seller. Of course, reasonable means nearly half the posted price. By accident, right after sending my bid for the 2129, I happened to stumble across an auction for a TransOcean 7102 that was going to end soon. The 7102 auction would end before the seller of the TransOcean 2129 needed to reply. Dilemma. I did not want to act on the 7102 and also be liable for buying the 2129, too.

Of course, the seller of the TransOcean 2129 rejected my bid outright, no counter-offer at all. Thankfully the reply was within 24 hours, so I could try for the other TransOcean. Somehow I ended up being the sole bidder for the TransOcean 7102, which I got for a very reasonable, if not ridiculous price.


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The greatest thing is, of course, that it fits me well—something I was worried about with the TransOcean 2129. The case of the 7102 is nearly identical to the 2129.

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It is a slightly heavy watch but not too heavy. The bracelet makes it nicely balanced. I wore it all day at work Friday and it never felt cumbersome. Compared to my old Zenith El Primero "Big Blue", the Breitling is slightly lighter and more comfortable. The crown barely digs into the top of my hand.

The watch is cosmetically in very good condition, but water entered through the winding crown: There is rust on the stem and some mild corrosion on the inside of the case. The pushers are also stiff. I already sent the watch to get a service, but otherwise it is in very good condition. It was bought NOS from Old World Jewelers in 2008 and supposedly serviced in 2009. I will rescue it and take good care of it from now on. No more water damage or crystal scratches on this baby!

I am wondering why no one else jumped on this watch. Obviously timing has something to do with it. I had to borrow from Mr. Visa to pay for it, and it is Tax Time. :( The eBay auction was not very clear, true. The two photos were not good. I only jumped because the starting price was low and the seller has a 14-day return policy. But I wonder if anyone realizes what a rare gem this piece is. Does any realize what the Valjoux 7740 inside is?

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If that looks familiar, it should. The Valjoux 7740 is almost identical the the Breitling-Heuer-Hamilton-Buren Cal. 12 except that is is manual-winding. On this version, a continuous seconds register was added at 6 o'clock—an interesting location. The usual hour and minutes registers (at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock respectively) that are standard with the Cal. 11/112/12 are still there, too. The 7740 is a very special and unique movement that is central to Breitling's history in the Seventies. Maybe not too many people like blue dials..?

Once again, I was looking for one thing and ended up with something completely different and unexpected. I still want a TransOcean 2129, but this slightly different TransOcean is a keeper, too!
:D


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Very nice pick up, you don't see too many of those around. I've had some eBay buys in the past where you immediately think 'what did I miss' because the price was low - but sometimes you're just lucky!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:49 pm 
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Really nice buy in fine shape. I like the 7740. I've got one in a non-Breitling (although movement is an ex-Breitling - the bridge inscription has been milled out) and find both the date and the continuous seconds useful features.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Nice pick up... I think I had this one on my watch list... just wanted to see how much it'll go for. Very nice again congrats

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"I don't got the bright watch I got the right watch" -Jay Z


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:04 pm 
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I like the model as well. Here is my NOS one:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:10 am 
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Lovely watch. I have the 2129 and love it. I've never really decided which i prefer, your style or mine!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:32 am 
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Great catch. One of the few dial layouts where I think the date aperture works in that position.

Quote:
TransOcean 7102: An Overlooked Gem?


Shhhhhhh - don't say it too loud, let's keep it between us Breitling heads.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:24 pm 
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jlee5050 wrote:
I think I had this one on my watch list... just wanted to see how much it'll go for.


It should have fetched several hundred dollars more in a normal selling situation. Even with service costs factored in, I think I got a very good deal. I've seen these go for €2k or more on European sites. We have been spoiled by Old World Jewelers hoarding the NOS items for the past few years, but as Yaffle points out, that's so much the better for us!


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