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 Post subject: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:04 pm 
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Hi All.

I have a Breitling watch that was my grandfather's. It does not have a model name on it, which makes dating it very challenging. Can anyone advise what this is? Breitling have been less than helpful and just sent me somewhere to get it serviced.

https://ibb.co/qRxMdf3
https://ibb.co/Qc0YF1t

Thanks!

maat1976


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:12 pm 
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Nice, late 1930s or early 1940s clamshell case. Authentic and nice. Find a competent watchmaker, Breitling generally wont be very helpful on this front.



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:34 pm 
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Thanks Dave.

They recommended a group called Horological Services. I've emailed them. Hopefully they can help.

Thanks.



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:50 am 
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yes, the Heists (Mark & teresa run Horological Services) are highly competent.

as Dave says, early (and very rare) "Clamshell", serial points to ca. 1939, reference number is 747.
little to be done about dial condition I fear, but a lovely piece!

if you can, please post higher res pics, so we can document that dial variation?



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:48 am 
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Hi Both.

Here is a better photo. I am sure this will sound really stupid but what is a clamshell? 747 reference means what? Sorry, this is all new to me, and very interesting to be honest.

https://ibb.co/KmdGTb4

maat1976


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 5:52 am 
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Clamshell refers to a very early waterproof case (identifiable by the four small screws on the back near the lugs). Don't take a 90 year old watch swimming, though :) 747 is the Breitling reference number for this watch (probably), sort of like a model number.



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:04 am 
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here's all you may ever want to know about the Schmitz Freres "clamshell" case designs, (one of, there's some discussion among collectors there may have been earlier Mido prototypes) the first waterproof chronograph case design: https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/brev ... et.861992/

yes, if the diameter is 36mm (that's what it seem to be), the Breitling model reference number is 747



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:08 am 
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Thanks guys, really interesting.

What should this watch have looked like? Do you know any catalogues or references for me to get more info on this model?

maat1976


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:14 am 
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here's a pic from the ca. 1940 catalog.
Image

they were available in several dial/hands configuration, the ref. 745 next to it shows dial/hands taht seem close to your grandfather's watch.



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:24 am 
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and a (slightly) younger example, ca. 1940; different dial/hands
Image



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:24 am 
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THIS IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!

So it's likely a 745, the roman numerals and placement of the little dials (I'm sure they have a real name) are in the right place.

I sense a rabbit hole of questions coming after I google a bit...


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:26 am 
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No, it’s a 747 as Fred mentioned there are many dial and hand combinations.



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:37 am 
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here you have the 36mm Breitling in comparison w/ the 34mm Gallet:
Image

and another ca. 1940 Breitling 747.
Image

the reference numbers apply to cases - all of them were available in multiple dial/hands configurations, as said; here are some (by far not all!) examples:

Image



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:42 am 
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davedc74 wrote:
Breitling generally wont be very helpful on this front.


well, Breitling actually tries to be rather helpful, you just (for now) need to find the right place to ask ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone identify?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2022 9:08 pm 
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maat1976 wrote:
Hi Both.

Here is a better photo. I am sure this will sound really stupid but what is a clamshell? 747 reference means what? Sorry, this is all new to me, and very interesting to be honest.

https://ibb.co/KmdGTb4

maat1976
Beautiful piece, congratulations!! Love the combo of that elegant Roman numeral dial and the sporty waterproof case.


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