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A Conversation With A Neo-Vintage UK Top Replica Breitling Watches Collector

I have talked about hidden gems from the 1990s in several articles over the past year. Based on that coverage, I received a message from a Dutch watch collector who focuses on best UK Breitling replica watches from the 1990s. Curious about his Breitling collection and motivation, we invited him to the Fratello office to listen to his story and look at his marvelous collection.

During our conversation with this Dutch Breitling collector, we mainly discussed the following models (as pictured above) — the white gold Breitling Emergency J56321, Chronomat Frecce Tricolori A13050.1 (LE 4,000 pieces), Chronomat Red Arrows A13050.1 (LE 1,965 pieces), Chronomat 50 years U.S. Air Force A13050.1 (LE 500 pieces), Chronomat Longitude Thunderbirds A20048 (LE 1,000 pieces), SuperOcean K10040, SuperOcean Coral A17040, SuperOcean A17040, and the Aerospace E65062 Esquadrilha da Fumaça (LE 300 pieces).

Talking to a Breitling collector with a strong focus on the 1990s

We value and respect the privacy of our readers and audience, so we have anonymized this interview and referred to him as “Breitling Collector.”

RJ: In front of us, there’s an impressive collection of mainly 1990s and early 2000s cheap 1:1 Breitling fake watches, from SuperOceans and an impressive lineup of Chronomat models to an Emergency in white gold. Before diving into the watches, tell our readers something about yourself.

Breitling Collector: I am 48 years old and live in the Netherlands. I have been a watch enthusiast for almost 30 years now.

Breitling SuperOcean Replica Watches

RJ: What made you collect these 1990s perfect fake Breitling watches? Did you already have other watches before you started this collection?

BC: My first luxury watch was a blue AAA Breitling SuperOcean copy watches that I bought at the end of the ’90s. I often browsed the colorful Breitling Chronolog catalogs in those days, and the SuperOcean ticked all the boxes for me. It had a vivid blue Arabic-numeral sunburst dial and a thick case with a very sporty, rugged look. The fact the SuperOcean was an entry-level Breitling model certainly helped as well. Still, I needed to save up before I could eventually purchase it.

I wore the watch daily for about eight years as it was my only watch. Then, I slowly started looking around for the next step and sold the SuperOcean to create a budget for a polar-dial Rolex Explorer II. That was my only watch for the next few years, but then I started building a very modest Rolex collection. Initially, I just bought some steel pieces. Later, though, I added a few exotics, such as a white gold Daytona on a strap (ref. 116519) and even a white gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 on the strap. I enjoyed this modest collection for many years, with some flipper moves now and then to keep the collection dynamic.

Then, COVID-19 hit us, and prices started to skyrocket. Well, what’s the problem if you already have a modest collection? Due to the prolonged pandemic, prices just kept rising, and I slowly started developing a love/hate relationship with my watches. I had a hard time justifying the amount of money on my wrist and regularly asked myself if these watches brought me more pleasure than the €2K–3K watches I started with. The short answer? “No!” So I made a rather drastic decision to sell them all! This also created a budget for experimenting with other brands, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and an entry-level model from A. Lange & Söhne.

Breitling SuperOcean Coral Fake Watches

However, that was also the time I came across a gorgeous one-owner full-set Breitling SuperOcean Coral for a fantastic price. Although its orange dial wasn’t the same color as the one in my first SuperOcean, I just had to have it out of pure nostalgia.

Wearing this newly acquired SuperOcean with a coral dial made me realize how much joy a €1,600 China replica Breitling watches can bring. This was the beginning of my Breitling collecting adventure.

Value for money

RJ: What makes the 1990s Chronomat collection so interesting for you?

BC: I absolutely love colorful watch dials, and Breitling made quite a lot of variations of these Chronomats. Sometimes they also feature logos from various international aerobatic display teams.

For me, all the different colors and logos make these highly collectible. Searching for completely different Swiss made fake Breitling watches and variations always seemed far more interesting and logical than getting excited about details like “meters first,” “stick dials,” or “flat fours.”

Another interesting aspect from a collector’s perspective is that Breitling cannot supply most of these dials as spare parts anymore! Incidents with broken crystals damaging the dial or horological nightmares like water damage will surely mean the end of these editions.

Last but not least, these Chronomats, just like the SuperOcean, represent fantastic value for money! Beautiful examples are available for just over €2K, and that gets you a chronograph with a bulletproof Valjoux 7750 movement.

Breitling logo watches

RJ: Can you tell us more about the logo models?

BC: Let me run down all the models I have. My first one had to be the UK-based Red Arrows variant, of course. Luxury Breitling super clone watches with a full bright red dial are quite rare, and many people around the world believe the Red Arrows are the greatest in the world. So the search began! And it was a pretty easy one!

A Japanese dealer had one that was at the absolute bottom of the Chrono24 search results, but nobody dared to buy it. In the pictures, it looked mint and unpolished. Another remarkable detail was that the watch came on an unworn original black shark-skin strap. Breitling has not produced nor supplied these straps for one or two decades already. I wondered if this was perhaps an overlooked new-old-stock piece…

I took a shot and pressed the “buy” button. Four or five days later, after paying a few hundred euros in import fees and duties, I received the watch. I was super excited and a bit nervous unpacking my first order from a different part of the globe, but the high quality replica Breitling watches was indeed NOS, although the seller did not describe it as such. I’ll share more about this interesting Japanese phenomenon later.

The next one in line was the Thunderbirds edition, a tribute to the U.S. Air Force demonstration team. This watch has a similar story. Although not NOS, it showed barely any signs of wear. Again, the watch came on its original matching blue shark strap in very fresh condition. This gave me the impression that it must have been a safe queen.

What I specifically liked about this version is the combination of a dark blue dial and a matching dark blue shark strap. The Arabic numerals with a very healthy patina and the funky Thunderbirds logo really pop. The case back also has an engraving of this logo, like almost all of these limited Chronomats. I found it in Japan as well, by the way!

Frecce Tricolori

Almost at the same time, the yellow Italian Frecce Tricolori edition popped up on Chrono24. I was already a little spoiled with the somewhat competitive prices of vintage Breitling replica watches wholesale in Japan, so was a bit shocked about the Italian seller’s asking price. He was a very friendly contact, but his pictures of the watch were kind of bad. Asking him to send new additional pictures did not help; they also looked like they’d been taken with a VGA webcam from the same era as the watch. This made me decide to move on.

However, as the months passed, I saw the watch not selling, and he did start to lower his price incrementally. Meanwhile, I did some thorough Google research, which revealed that the seller was a respected longtime moderator on an Italian watch forum. There, he described the watch as being in NOS condition and told the story of how he got it. Apparently, a jeweler had found it in his storage room many years after the store stopped selling Breitling fake watches shop.

Although impossible to verify, I loved this story. I decided to make him a decent offer, and he accepted. The yellow dial just pops, and the black concentric rings in the sub-dials give this Chronomat the contrast it needs. Breitling produced 4,000 units in total. Supposedly, there were 1,000 yellow-dial and 3,000 black-dial pieces, though this information is difficult to verify.

U.S. Air Force 50th Anniversary

The last one I added to the collection was the one Breitling released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. How many other watches have animals on the dial looking at you? Maybe some quirky one-piece examples from obscure independents do, but the angry bird here makes this Breitling quite uncommon. The shade of blue on the matte dial with the small but bold red elements is simply gorgeous, and the super crisp white markers and hands give this timepiece a very fresh and timeless look.

For me, this is the only vintage 2024 replica Breitling Chronomat watches that looks like it could’ve come out five years ago. It’s already more than 25 years old and came as a full set initially sold in Hawaii! I’ve always imagined that maybe a super cool SR-71 Blackbird pilot bought this watch on his vacation and got the obligatory “thank you for your service” and, hopefully, a significant discount. Unfortunately, we will never know. This specific dealer from Hawaii has been closed for a long time, and there is no customer name on the papers.

This model was limited to 500 pieces, 50 of which were granted to U.S. Air Force officials by Breitling and sported a few extra engravings on the case back. Mine, unfortunately, is a regular commercial version. This may be getting boring, but I found it in…Japan!

An 18K gold Breitling SuperOcean Replica Watches

RJ: Let’s get back to the SuperOcean. You already shared a few words about it, but what’s the story of the 18K gold model?

BC: When browsing the Chronologs from the late ’90s to early 2000s, you couldn’t miss the 18K yellow gold Swiss movements fake Breitling SuperOcean watches. But still, funnily enough, many Breitling aficionados don’t know about it and certainly have never seen it. Although the blue-dial variant is not a true limited edition, finding a nice one is tricky. Many of them are polished to death, and with this model, the original factory finishing is of the utmost importance.

I bought my blue-dial version from a French multi-brand collector I already knew who was the first owner and probably had only worn it during Christmas dinners for the last 25 years. To be honest, I got a fantastic deal. The man had an impressive collection of both watches and cars. He was already older and retired, and he had no kids, so he decided to reduce his collection significantly. He had no intention of peddling his Breitling replica watches site, so he sold them for a very fair price within his network.

It is an absolutely beautiful full set from the era when Breitling delivered not just one COSC certificate but two! The second one is a very detailed report of thorough accuracy measurements in various positions. I do wear this watch once in a while but usually on a leather strap to dress it down a bit. It is an incredibly loud watch!

I know a few professional watch dealers, and when I showed them the watch in person, without exception, they were blown away by its sheer beauty and distinctiveness. None of them had ever seen one before.

A blue Breitling SuperOcean Fake Watches in steel

The blue-dial steel 1:1 quality replica Breitling SuperOcean watches in the pictures is a complete NOS example of my first SuperOcean. An Italian dealer offered it for a great price a couple of months ago, and it even came on the impossible-to-find unworn blue neoprene diver strap, the predecessor of the later full-rubber Diver Pro straps.

Aerospace Esquadrilha da Fumaça

RJ: Before we get into the white gold digital Breitling, please tell us more about the yellow-dial Aerospace with the FAB logo.

BC: About six months ago, during my extended online research, I learned that Breitling used its specific yellow dial color in a very rarely seen titanium version of the Breitling Aerospace replica watches for men that even never made it to the Chronolog catalogs. It was created for the Brazilian Esquadrilha da Fumaça based in São Paulo. This so-called “Smoke Squadron” is the demonstration team for the Brazilian Air Force.

Finding one of these watches is tricky. Only 300 were made, and almost all of them are cherished by (former) squadron members. But one unexpectedly popped up on Chrono24!

The watch probably was online for about 24 hours and got an absurd amount of hits, so I knew I had to act quickly. A little problem for me was that the seller was in Rio de Janeiro, and although it was not my first rodeo buying abroad, I was a little hesitant about this new adventure regarding logistics. I asked the seller a few questions, only to discover a few hours later that the watch had already been sold!

With nothing to lose, I decided to inform the seller that he could email me anytime if the initial buyer wanted to cancel or if any problem arose. Well, what do you know? The next day, the seller informed me that the initial buyer had issues with the payment (in Brazil, Chrono24’s escrow service is not available, only PayPal and credit card, and buyers need to act quickly or their reservations will be canceled).

So I decided to take a risk and buy it. The seller shipped it the next day, and the tracking showed the parcel moving smoothly from Rio to DHL’s final international hub in São Paulo. But then…the tracking froze. For days, nothing happened, and the parcel did not move at all. This is a first-world but familiar problem for anyone waiting for an expensive online purchase. Luckily, the seller was very helpful and got information from DHL. There was a multi-day strike of federal customs officers in Brazil, resulting in huge clearing delays in all of the country’s international export hubs. Then, about two weeks after the tracking halted, it started moving again and arrived safely after all. Unfortunately, the watch needed some work. The lume on the hands was a bit tarnished, and “lume dust” was all over the dial.

Also, the crystal had more damage than I had hoped; most of the damage was not completely visible in the pictures. Luckily, though, it was nothing Breitling’s service center couldn’t fix, and the watch got a new crystal and handset. Funnily, Breitling had a tough time determining the correct set of hands. Since these best quality Breitling fake watches are so rare, they were not even in the brand’s spare-part records. But looking at the part number revealed they were the same hands used for the almost mythical yellow-dial Aerospace in white gold. It was amazing that Breitling had one set of these hands in stock!

The yellow Aerospace is one of my favorites. It gets a lot of wrist time, and the fact that it is so rare makes it extra special for me.

Replica Breitling Emergency Watches in white gold

RJ: Lastly, we have the white gold replica Breitling Emergency watches paypal, which is incredibly heavy. It’s a rare sight; it must have been difficult to find.

BC: Well, actually, no! I knew of one for sale already for quite some time. The supply of these ultra-heavyweights is very low, but the demand is probably even lower. It was from another collector and in fabulous condition with a recent full service. He lived outside the Netherlands, but a friend of mine visited his country every week for work, so he made logistics easy as we closed the deal on FaceTime.

I needed a white gold Breitling from the Professional line in my collection, but finding the Aerospace would be mission impossible, so an Emergency was a perfect alternative. Just as with the Aerospace, the white gold Emergency was about 10 times more expensive than the titanium ones back in the day. It was not an official limited edition, but a collector with some inside information estimated that Breitling probably only made 75 examples. The Emergency was also available in 18K yellow gold, by the way; that is a truly next-level loud watch. It’s still cool, though!

Breitling paid a lot of attention to the details of these versions. With the standard titanium models, the Arabic numbers on the dial are made of lume, but with the gold models, they are white gold and yellow gold, respectively. For the white gold model, it takes a sharp eye to notice the difference, but I just love these details. The same goes for all the antenna knobs and the crown. Those are in matching 18K gold too!

Amazingly, the price I paid for the white gold “E” doesn’t even buy you a steel Rolex Submariner, but I now have one of the most impressive “instruments for professionals” in a precious metal! The weight is insane; you felt it yourself, RJ, and I loved your initial reaction.

The hunt never stops

RJ: Which Breitling are you still hunting for?

BC: I’m still trying to track down the orange Orbiter 2 Aerospace and Emergency, which are ultra-limited at just four pieces each. Until recently, only real hardcore Breitling fans knew about these fake Breitling watches store, but Breitling posted a picture on Instagram a few weeks ago, and the new Aerospace B70 Orbiter clearly takes inspiration from them. Two years ago, a set of these was auctioned, with a hammer price of a measly £5,200. Why do I say “measly?” Because of the rarity, condition, and importance of the brand’s history.

People reading this interview will probably wonder why the Navitimer is not part of my collection. Well, although it is a super important model for the brand, it has never been one of my favorites. But if I ever come across a nice Navitimer Patrulla Aguila, I will certainly buy it. Good examples are rare, and the lacquer Breitling used for the dial deteriorates relatively quickly. Most examples for sale have dials that already show severe paint damage.

RJ: Do you have any tips for those who want to follow your path?

BC: I hope to have inspired a few people to look into (neo-)vintage Breitling timepieces and encouraged more collectors to give the brand the credit it very much deserves. Breitling made a lot of different models, and due to the limited number of collectors, some real treasures are still out there for relatively small sums. Treasure hunting should be a big part of the hobby for any collector, and with this brand, you will be rewarded since, with some effort, you certainly can find treasures! As I mentioned in the first part of this interview, don’t forget to give the Japanese sellers some extra attention. They almost always intentionally underrate their watches and generally have very competitive prices.

Did the story above inspire you to go on the hunt for a beautiful neo-vintage Swiss cheap Breitling replica watches?