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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:49 am 
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I'm a relative newcomer to the Breitling world, having bought my first one in 2004 or so. What I've noticed lately is that Breitling seems to be changing direction stylistically, introducing designs that I don't like and discontinuing watches that I thought of as classic. Bottom line, I don't see myself buying another Breitling as nothing has come out lately that has really grabbed my attention. In my opinion, Breitling is courting new watch buyers at the risk of losing established repeat buyers, as is happening with me.

For those that have been around Breitling for a long time: is this current shift really dramatic, or is this just another in a long line of direction changes? In other words, am I overreacting to the new designs? I'm thinking not, as I don't like any of the new watches and have no desire to own any. Then again, those that have followed Breitling over the years may see the current changes as a natural evolution of the brand. I'm too new to this to have a real perspective, I'm interested to hear what long time owners think.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:10 am 
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Breitling in 1984 was a dramatic change. New ownership and a new company and the first model that they introduced was called the Chronomat that looked nothing like what traditionalists knew as the Chronomat. There were also some radical additions to the offering through the years - the quartz pieces being obvious standouts, but those all seemed to be in step with the industry trends of the time.

The Bentleys were a little more 'out there' but they found their niche, but other than that there was always evolution rather than revolution - look at how the Chronomaty evolved from 1984 to 2010 for example.

In more recent years there have been departures from that core DNA - the SuperOcean Heritage being the first of them I guess, but it was as an addition to the range, what seems to be different now is that the changes seem to be replacements for the almost 30 years of tradition that has been built up, not additional design trends.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:41 am 
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I agree that they are aiming at a younger demographic, but I also see a trend in vintage designs. The Transocean is a prime example and it seems a very modern interpretation of the old Transocean. Breitling isn't the only one doing this, as Zenith, JLC and several others are re-interpreting old models. I see it as a natural evolution of the brand, one that is driven by demand of younger enthusiasts who want a more blingy style. Face it Ross ol' boy, you're becoming a traditionalist. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:36 am 
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I've said this before, but Breitling's new releases over the past 2 years have really cheapened the brand. Where they used to be one of my top choices, Breitling isn't even in my consideration set now for a new watch. The non-chrono Transocean is lovely, but I'm not as proud to own a Breitling as I once was and I'm looking for inspiration beyond the Transocean because of my disgust in Breitling's latest releases.

Cleaning out the parts bin to make "new" frankenwatches with Rubber bezels and multi-colored hands isn't progress - it's just plain old ugly and uninspired and sheer laziness.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:53 am 
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Roffensian wrote:
In more recent years there have been departures from that core DNA - the SuperOcean Heritage being the first of them I guess


Just curious as to what makes this a departure. Is it the lack of rider tabs?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:23 am 
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thomasenlow1 wrote:
Roffensian wrote:
In more recent years there have been departures from that core DNA - the SuperOcean Heritage being the first of them I guess


Just curious as to what makes this a departure. Is it the lack of rider tabs?



When it came out it looked nothing like anything else in the Breitling line up


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:26 am 
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Roffensian wrote:
thomasenlow1 wrote:
Roffensian wrote:
In more recent years there have been departures from that core DNA - the SuperOcean Heritage being the first of them I guess


Just curious as to what makes this a departure. Is it the lack of rider tabs?



When it came out it looked nothing like anything else in the Breitling line up


Similarly I have always been curious as to why the SOH models are considered a Special Edition. My understanding is that SE are only produced for a specific period, but it seems the SOH is here to stay now that there has been a new model introduced.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:29 am 
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thomasenlow1 wrote:
Similarly I have always been curious as to why the SOH models are considered a Special Edition. My understanding is that SE are only produced for a specific period, but it seems the SOH is here to stay now that there has been a new model introduced.


SEs may be produced for only a limited period of time or there may simply be a restriction on how many pieces are produced each year. That can also be a meaningless number depending on how many per year the max is set at (which isn't discolosed).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:59 am 
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Drtymrtini wrote:
I've said this before, but Breitling's new releases over the past 2 years have really cheapened the brand. Where they used to be one of my top choices, Breitling isn't even in my consideration set now for a new watch.

I agree with this, with the exception of the Navi 01. As I've said elsewhere, I think Breitling has kept the Navi tradition more or less alive with the new models, and putting an in-house movement in what many consider their flagship design really makes it a unique Breitling offering. I say "more or less" because at the same time, Breitling has discontinued some great Navitimer variants, like the Navi Olympus, among others. But on the whole, I'd say the Navitimer is alive and well.

The Navis aside, I think Breitling has gutted the rest of their offerings, and has not replaced them with anything comparable. I personally think the late 90s to mid-2000s represented a peak in the brand's designs. A mere five to six years later, and nothing they're putting forth even resembles them. Compare the Chronomat 01 to the last pre-Evo Chronomat; they're not even the same watch. It's like dating Christy Turlington one day, then waking up the next to find out she took steroids and ended up looking like Chyna. I understand the need for a brand to evolve, but I don't see the logic in such a radical re-do of what Roff calls their "core DNA."


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