How To: Spot A Fake Breitling Watch
How to Spot a Fake Breitling
Breitling is a luxury watch manufacturer that prides itself on its sturdy construction and elegant designs. Because of its reputation as a maker of quality timepieces, many fabrications of various Breitling models saturate the market. Keep in mind these distinct crafting features when shopping for an authentic Breitling watch and avoid getting stuck with a fake.
Identifying Flaws on the Watch Face
Take a look at the logo on the face.Breitling watches are stamped with a distinct logo bearing an anchor fixed between a set of wings. The logo is small and displayed tastefully in the upper center area of the watch face, with the Breitling name printed below, and is always etched directly into the face. If the logo is printed, or appears abnormally large or fuzzy, it’s most likely a fake.
- Breitling also engraves a small anchor symbol on the second hand of their watches. If this anchor is absent or sloppily printed, you’re dealing with a fabrication.
Know what to look for in the calendar display.Inspect the dials beneath the Breitling logo and look for one displaying the date. Breitlings are what are known as “chronograph” watches, meaning they utilize a complex dial system to keep track of time. The subdials on most authentic Breitling watches are used to display the various measurements of the chronograph, and none should show the days of the week or month. If your Breitling watch does have a calendar display, it will appear in a separate, magnified window.
- Counterfeit watches most often display the day and month directly on one of the subdials.
- Fake Breitlings that do feature a separate date display typically do a poor job replicating the magnification and clarity of the window.
Check for misspellings.Carefully examine the face and back of the watch for lettering errors. As Breitling watches are of Swiss origin, different parts of the watch will contain Swiss words and slogans that are often spelled incorrectly on imitations. Take particular notice of the quality of the printing, as fakes utilize cheaper printing methods that often result in a fuzzy or pixelated appearance of the letters.
- Since the lettering on Breitling watches is written in Swiss (and sometimes French), it can be difficult to know if a section of text is misspelled. Consult images of authentic Breitling models online to verify authentic spellings and printing methods.
Be suspicious of “open heart” designs.See if the watch’s escapement is visible; this is what is known as an “open heart” watch design. The escapement is a small device used to regulate the watch’s mechanical movement. Breitling only manufactures one open heart model, and its numbers are extremely limited. If your Breitling watch has its internal workings in plain sight, you can bet it’s a knock-off.
- The “Breitling for Bentley Mulliner” is the only Breitling watch with an open heart design.
Watch the movement of the hands.Do the hands of your watch move in a continuous, sweeping motion, or is there a separate tick for each passing second? With few exceptions, Breitling watches are of mechanical construction and the movement of the second hand will be constant. Most Breitling forgeries keep time automatically and as a result the second hand will move with individual ticks. Battery-powered automatic watches are cheaper to produce and don’t require the craftsmanship mechanical watches are noted for, so more of these imitations saturate the market.
- The hands on mechanical watches move smoothly because of the constant tension generated by hand-winding, whereas automatic watches keep time with a staccato ticking.
- Some automatic quartz model Breitlings exist, though these are less common. Be sure what type of model you’re buying to know whether its operation should be mechanical or quartz-regulated.
Checking for Quality Indicators
Locate the model and serial number.Look the band over for the watch’s model and serial number. Breitling stamps each and every one of their watches with these manufacturing details, either on the band, the casing or both. If you don’t find this unique stamp, or if the stamp lists an incorrect model or serial number, it’s not the genuine article.
- Breitlings with metallic bracelets will usually have the model and serial number stamped on the bracelet itself, while some models with leather straps bear the stamp on the back of the watch instead, in case the band is replaced.
- Authentic leather strap watches will also be marked with the French phrases “cuir veritable” (genuine leather) or “croco veritable” (genuine crocodile skin), depending on the material. Replicas tend to leave out this detail, or get the type of material wrong.
Test for glare.Hold the watch up to a light source to see if there’s a glare off the face. The crystal in a real Breitling is brushed with an anti-glare coating to cut down on the amount of light it reflects. There shouldn’t be much of a glare, and what reflection there is will be slightly bluish from the color of the crystal. If the watch face creates a blinding glare, you can bet it’s a fake.
Feel for the watch’s weight.Hold the watch in your hand to assess its weight. Because of it’s heavy-duty, stainless steel construction and the quality of its internal components, the authentic watch should have a satisfying heft to it. The majority of replicas are manufactured from cheaper metals or even plastic, making them feel light and easily breakable.
- While many different models exist, the average weight of a Breitling watch is somewhere between 90-120g.
- Weight should not be the sole indicator of authenticity for a watch, as makers of knock-offs sometimes fill their watches with unnecessary pieces to make them heavier.
See if the watch comes with a certificate.If you’re buying the watch new, it should always come with a printed certificate of authenticity listing its technical specifications and manufacturing origin. The information contained in the certificate will describe the individual components of the watch, many of which can be used to tell a real watch from a fake one. An imitation will not go to the trouble of replicating this certificate.
- When buying a used Breitling, ask the current owner if the watch came with an official certificate.
QuestionOn the back of the watch is serial number A23322, then under that is number 503959. Are these real numbers?wikiHow ContributorCommunity Answer"A23322" is the model number. The serial number is on the very edge of the rear case - usually just behind the crown - and is laser etched in very tiny numbers. It typically is seven digits.Thanks!
QuestionDo real Breitlings have markings on the leather straps?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBreitlings with metallic bracelets usually have the model and serial number stamped on the bracelet itself, while some models with leather straps bear the stamp on the back of the watch instead, in case the band is replaced. Authentic leather strap watches also are marked with the French phrases “cuir veritable” (genuine leather) or “croco veritable” (genuine crocodile skin), depending on the material. Replicas tend to leave out this detail, or get the type of material wrong.Thanks!
QuestionDid Breitling make a watch for Bentley?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Several special-edition Bentley watches were made in a few different models.Thanks!
QuestionIs there any way to contact Breitling and ask them if they have made that serial number?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBreitling is not real cooperative with these kinds of things. They really want you buying a new watch from one of their retailers. My experience has never been great when asking favors from them. That said, you can sometimes get help with a serial number. That doesn't always resolve the counterfeit issue because some of those now have real serial numbers.Thanks!
QuestionDo all leather straps have the French writing on them, and do they all have serial numbers on the back?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, especially if the watch is vintage or well worn. Newer watches will, but that is still no guarantee they are authentic. Always consult either an authorized dealer or reputable jeweler who both sells and services Swiss watches to ensure you are getting what you pay for.Thanks!
Is my watch a fake if it passes all the authenticity tests, but doesn't have a serial or model number on the back and the band was replaced?
Does Breitling ever put the word 'Quartz' on a watch face?
Does this company make a Chronometer 1884?
Is there somewhere I can take my Breitling to have it checked for authenticity?
If the Breitling badge sits on the right side next to the date, is it authentic?
If you’re not sure how to spot a fake Breitling watch, start by examining the etched logo on the face of the watch, which should be a small anchor between a set of wings, with the Breitling name printed below. If the logo appears different or seems to be printed rather than etched, the watch is likely a fake. In addition, the dials beneath the logo should display the date, but usually not the day of the week or the month, and the hands should move smoothly, rather than ticking by each second
- Breitling uses only the finest materials to manufacture their timepieces, and their level of craftsmanship should speak for itself. Use common sense when verifying the authenticity of a Breitling design. If the watch doesn't appear technically and aesthetically perfect in every way, chances are it's an inferior reproduction.
- When purchasing a Breitling watch, always buy from a reputable dealer. While it may be tempting to buy this product from pawn shops or outlet stores, the authenticity of these products may be questionable.
- Keep in mind that retailers who cannot provide proof-of-purchase papers on the watch may be selling you a fake product.
Sources and Citations
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Video: How to spot a fake Breitling watch.(Side by side comparison)
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