Hey there, watch enthusiasts and savvy investors! Ever found yourself captivated by the intricate craftsmanship of a Breitling watch, but paused to wonder, “Is this beauty also a smart financial move?”
You’re not alone! In today’s deep dive, we’re unraveling the mystique surrounding Breitling watches and their value retention.
Breitling watches are not just a feast for the eyes; they do hold their value over a longer period of time. With that said, most models can decrease in value over time by as much as 30% from the retail price. However, the Navitimer, and limited editions like the newer Chronomats are particularly strong in value retention. Based on statistical data, Breitlings with a green dial sell out fast and do well on the secondary market.
Anyhow, here we’ll explore everything from the iconic models that are worth every penny to tips on making a purchase that’s not just stylish but also a sound investment.
So, buckle up; we’re about to take a timely journey!
Why Breitling Watches Are Considered Valuable
Breitling is a name that resonates with luxury, precision, and craftsmanship in the watch industry. Founded in 1884, the Swiss brand has built a reputation for high-quality timepieces that are both functional and stylish.
Breitling’s long-standing history and commitment to innovation have made it one of the most recognizable and respected names in the world of luxury watches. The brand’s association with aviation and its iconic pilot’s watches, like the Navitimer, have further solidified its status as a prestigious watchmaker.
Quality and Durability
Breitling watches are synonymous with quality and durability. Crafted from the finest materials, including stainless steel, titanium, and sapphire crystal, these watches are built to last. Breitling’s attention to detail extends to the watch’s internal mechanics, often featuring chronometer-certified movements for unparalleled accuracy.
The brand’s watches are rigorously tested for resilience under extreme conditions, making them a popular choice among professionals in aviation, diving, and other demanding fields. The durability of a Breitling watch is not just a selling point; it’s a testament to the brand’s engineering excellence.
One of the most compelling reasons to invest in a Breitling watch is its potential to hold or even increase in value over time. Unlike many other consumer goods that depreciate as soon as they are purchased, a well-maintained Breitling watch can serve as a valuable asset.
Limited edition releases and iconic models like the Navitimer and the Colt have shown strong value retention in the secondary market. Additionally, the brand’s unwavering commitment to quality and innovation makes it a safe bet for long-term investment.
Factors That Affect the Value of Breitling Watches
Age of the Watch
The age of a Breitling watch can significantly influence its value. Vintage models, especially those that have been well-preserved, can fetch a high price in the secondary market.
However, it’s essential to note that older watches may lack some of the modern features and technologies that newer models possess. Therefore, while age can add a nostalgic value, it may also limit the watch’s functional appeal to some buyers.
The condition of the Breitling watch is a critical factor in determining its value. A well-maintained watch that shows minimal signs of wear and tear will naturally command a higher price.
Factors like the integrity of the case, the clarity of the crystal, and the condition of the strap all contribute to the watch’s overall value. Any visible damage or signs of poor maintenance can significantly depreciate the watch’s worth.
Model and Features
Different Breitling models come with varying features, and these can impact the watch’s value. High-end models with complex complications like chronographs, moon phases, or world timers are generally more valuable.
Limited edition releases or models associated with significant historical or cultural events can also command a premium. The materials used, such as gold or diamond embellishments, can further elevate the watch’s value.
Warranty and Support
A Breitling watch that comes with a comprehensive warranty and robust customer support is likely to hold its value better. The warranty assures potential buyers of the watch’s quality and offers a safety net in case of defects or issues.
Additionally, watches purchased from reputable dealers who provide excellent customer service and after-sales support are generally considered more valuable, as they offer peace of mind to the buyer.
Popular Breitling Models and Their Value Retention
The Breitling Navitimer is perhaps the most iconic model from the brand, known for its aviation heritage and complex slide-rule bezel. This watch is not just a timepiece but a tool for pilots.
Due to its historical significance and functional utility, the Navitimer tends to hold its value exceptionally well. Vintage Navitimer models, especially those in excellent condition, can fetch a premium in the resale market, making it a wise investment choice.
The Breitling Colt is a versatile and robust watch that appeals to a broad audience, from professionals to casual wearers. Known for its durability and precision, the Colt is often considered an entry-level Breitling watch.
However, its value retention is relatively strong, especially for models with unique features or limited editions. The Colt’s blend of functionality and affordability makes it a popular choice for those looking to invest in a Breitling watch.
The Breitling Transocean is a tribute to the golden age of long-haul aviation. With its vintage-inspired design and modern complications, this model is a favorite among collectors. Transocean watches often come with advanced features like world timers and chronographs, adding to their value.
Because of its niche appeal and high-quality craftsmanship, the Transocean tends to maintain a stable value, making it another solid investment option within the Breitling lineup.
The Breitling Avenger series is designed for extreme conditions, featuring robust construction and high water resistance. These watches are built for adventure and are popular among divers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The Avenger’s rugged features and durable materials contribute to its strong value retention. Limited edition Avengers or those with specialized complications like GMT functions can command a higher resale value, further solidifying its status as a valuable asset.
How Breitling Compares to Other Brands in Holding Value
Breitling vs Rolex
When it comes to value retention, Rolex is often considered the gold standard in the luxury watch market. Rolex watches are known for their exceptional ability to hold or even appreciate in value over time.
However, Breitling is not far behind. While Breitling watches may not appreciate as rapidly as some Rolex models, they do maintain a strong resale value, especially for iconic models like the Navitimer.
Breitling offers a more diverse range of styles and functionalities, making it a strong contender for those looking for something beyond Rolex’s more traditional offerings.
Breitling vs Omega
Omega is another brand that competes closely with Breitling, particularly in the realm of sports and professional watches. Omega’s Speedmaster and Seamaster lines are iconic in their own right and tend to hold value well.
However, Breitling’s focus on specialized functionalities like aviation slide-rules and high water resistance gives it a unique edge. While Omega watches are often associated with space exploration and diving, Breitling’s aviation heritage and robust construction make its watches equally valuable in the resale market.
Both brands offer excellent value retention, but Breitling provides a more specialized appeal for certain collectors.
Tips for Buying a Breitling Watch for Value Retention
Where to Buy
Purchasing a Breitling watch from a reputable source is crucial for ensuring its value retention. Authorized dealers and Breitling boutiques offer the most reliable options, providing genuine products with full warranties.
While online marketplaces may offer tempting discounts, the risk of acquiring counterfeit or poorly maintained watches is higher. If you’re considering the secondary market, opt for sellers with excellent reputations and verified credentials to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
However, there are many reputable dealers on Chrono24, I would just look for reviews and verify authenticity.
What to Look For
When buying a Breitling watch, pay close attention to its condition, model, and features. Look for iconic or limited-edition models, as they tend to hold their value better. Inspect the watch for any signs of wear and tear, and ask for maintenance records if available.
Features like chronometer certification, complex complications, and high-quality materials can also add to the watch’s long-term value. Always prioritize models that align with your specific needs and preferences to ensure lasting satisfaction.
Warranty and Certifications
A comprehensive warranty is a strong indicator of a watch’s quality and potential for value retention. Breitling typically offers a two-year warranty, which can be extended through registration or periodic servicing.
Make sure to keep all warranty cards and certification documents, as these can significantly impact the watch’s resale value. Certifications like COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) approval are additional markers of quality that can make your Breitling watch more appealing to future buyers.
Do older Breitling models hold their value?
Yes, older Breitling models, especially those that are well-preserved and have historical significance, can hold their value exceptionally well. Vintage models like the Navitimer or the Chronomat are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch a premium price in the secondary market.
How does the condition of the watch affect its value?
The condition of a Breitling watch plays a crucial role in its value retention. A well-maintained watch with minimal signs of wear will generally command a higher resale price. Factors such as the integrity of the case, the clarity of the crystal, and the condition of the strap are all important.
Are limited edition Breitling watches a good investment?
Limited edition Breitling watches are often a good investment due to their rarity and unique features. These watches are produced in smaller quantities, making them more desirable to collectors. Special collaborations or models commemorating significant events can also add to the watch’s long-term value.
So, Do Breitlings Hold Their Value?
Yes and no. It really depends on the model, color, and specific watch you buy. I personally just bought the Breitling Super Chronomat B01 44 Green Dial from a grey market dealer for just $9,200.
When I visited the Boutique store in NYC, their retail price was $11,500 and they were willing to go down to $10,500 when I asked about a price concession. They weren’t willing to go lower.
Now, when you buy from a boutique, you also have to remember that you have to pay the sales tax, where sometimes you can negotiate that with a grey market dealer. They still have to pay tax on the sale, but they factor it into their profit.
The truth is, when you buy about 20-30% less than retail, you’re most likely not going to lose money long term. You see, Breitling may not appreciate like Rolexes do, but if you have a limited watch like mine with the green dial, you’re pretty safe if you want to sell it. I think it’ll fetch at least 8K when I want to sell mine.
However, try not to buy at the retail price because then when you come to sell you’ll lose like 30-40%, maybe even more. Ouch.
But at the end of the day, it’s not about resale. You buy a Breitling because you love how the watch looks. It’s part of your collection…so keep in mind that this is a watch you’ll own for years and years as part of your collection.
Alex Sterling isn’t just a seasoned writer; he’s a connoisseur of fine living, with a particular passion for high-end watches. He loves uncovering the latest trends in technology, lifestyle, and wellness.