Breitling watches are renowned throughout the world for their accuracy and style. They are used by pilots who rely on them for their unique aeronautics-specific characteristics, and are popular with the United States Air Force, the British Red Arrows, airline professionals and the general public. Their popularity has spawned a plethora of counterfeits and replicas, though, and many of these copies can be very close to their authentic counterparts. Find out how to differentiate a genuine Breitling from a copy with a few moderately easy inspections.
Here are are a few good steps:
1. Check the watch’s weight. A genuine Breitling watch has a hefty feel, considered by some to be somewhat heavier than other wristwatches. By contrast, the cheap plastic components of a counterfeit Breitling watch make it feel lighter than or comparable to other wristwatches. An overall “cheap” feel may be present in low quality fakes as well.
2. Look at the Breitling logo on the watch face. On a genuine watch, the Breitling logo should be perfectly straight and embossed onto the face. A counterfeit Breitling, however, may have the logo simply printed onto the face; on poor quality replicas, the printing process may cause it to be blurred, smudged or even misspelled.
3. Examine the date window. On a genuine Breitling watch, the date window–the magnifying portion under which the date passes–is quite large and may also magnify the second and minute hands. Date windows on Breitling copies are typically somewhat smaller and may not magnify the complete date. On poor quality fakes, the date window may even be crooked or missing altogether.
4. Check the movement. At one time, the most apparent indicator of a fake Breitling watch was a quartz movement (quartz movements cause the second hand to “tick” from second to second, rather than smoothly moving around the watch face). It was widely recognized that counterfeit Breitling watches used a quartz movement while genuine articles used a mechanical movement that caused the second hand to sweep smoothly. Authentic Breitling watches produced during the 1970s and early 1980s did feature quartz movements, though, so this indicator is only valid on pre-1970 and post-1990 watches.
Here is another tip:
Know the real models — browse the manufacturer catalogs and the display collections of an authorized dealer. Handle the real thing. Be familiar with not only the face of the watch, but also the bracelet, clasp, and the back of the watch.
Understand that manufacturer catalogs and websites usually do not show all the models and variations they make. So just because you do not see an item in a catalog or on an official website is not by itself proof that a watch is fake.
Look at the zOwie Rogues Gallery of Fakes page for photos showing some of the tell-tale incorrect features on some of the counterfeit Omega watches we’ve seen. Even if you are interested in other brands of watches, the illustrations of fake Omega watches will show you what types of errors and omissions to look for on any fake.
Are the logos and face details incorrectly or poorly reproduced?
Are the words misspelled or the brand names wrong? Often, fakes confuse names and parts from different watches. Or a replica may have style of hands normally found on a different model watch.
Does it have any unusual, unexpected, missing, or non-functional features? While it looks really neat, not very many genuine fine watches have see-through backs. Fakes may not replicate unusual features, such as a helium relief valve, or those features may not function. Chronographs may have non-operating subdials and stopwatch functions.
Are any of the colors or texture details wrong? Fakes sometimes come in color combinations or bezel textures not available on the real watches.
Clasp on bracelet may look different and have a much simpler latch mechanism. Bracelets my be made simpler.
The quartz Chronograph dilemma: Because of the complexities involved, you will seldom find a fake watch with a working chronograph (stopwatch) functions that has an automatic movement. So if you see what should be a mechanical movement chronograph where the second hand is moving in 1 second increments, it is most likely a fake.
My name is Benjamin Hill and I am a Breitling watch lover. I created this website to give you information on how to tell a replica Breitling watch from a genuine one. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.