Breitling service woes/advice
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  1. #1
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    Breitling service woes/advice

    So my story may seem a bit odd but hear me out. By profession I am a Paramedic, and watches are a hobby for me. It comes as no surprise that when I graduated from my program I wanted to celebrate with a watch. Something I could wear to work, wear it out and about and possibly with a suit and tie. I chose a Breitling Superocean specifically the A17340 model. I bought it used and chose this particular watch because it was previously "brushed" by the last seller.
    Shortly after acquiring my new "used" watch I "hand delivered" it the their service center in Wilton CT. I asked for a quote which included getting a new dial, and new hands and the "complete service" to a total cost of just under $814.
    I specifically stated and have in my possession the labor contract that states "Do not polish" this was a big thing for me. First I don't like a polished watch. Second I took the time to drive there from Virginia in my way to visiting my parents in CT. So I was very intentional. This week my watch arrived. And much to my disliking was completely polished! I can't be angrier! And I don't want to wear it.

    Here was Breitlings response
    1) we regret that we missed your note on the labor and estimate. I emailed them a copy
    2) they stated it was required on their behalf to return the watch to its the most like-new condition they could attain.
    3) they are not going to brush my watch for me because this model originally came "polished"

    I am livid. This watch is insured on a separate policy and travelers already told me I can't make a claim. My credit card company accepted my "dispute" but now they have to investigate.

    Would anyone be willing to offer me advice?
    I've attached some before and after photos. Please don't tell me to learn to love the "polished look" I hate wearing my watch at the moment and that sucks!



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  2. #2
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    These three photos are the current watch, I'm looking for my before photos. To add to this whomever did the work completely ruined the Breitling logo on the crown and clasp in their attempt to restore the shine which entailed removing metal.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    If taking the watch back to the manufacturer.... I think they would restore it to oem specification. So the good thing is the internals are now restored and the watch should run well. Still a bit mind boggling that they charge $800+ for a service..... My local watch guy charges $450 and uses all oem parts as needed.

    That said the brushed look is preferred (you are not alone) and the fact remains it has been polished.... So not much you can do about what has already happened.
    I had a similar issue with an omega a few years back. However, a local watch place was able to put the brushed look back on in about 3 hours.

    Hope it works out for you.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    You could take them to small claims court. That is what I would do.

  5. #5
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by turbineboy View Post
    My local watch guy charges $450 and uses all oem parts as needed.
    New OEM parts are not sold by Breitling to local watch guys lol, your guy may have used OEM parts but they aren't new and OEM I'm thinking.

    As for OPs service, I bet a tech just saw that it was a full overhaul/ 'restore to factory new condition' and well, that's probably what they did. Sorry OP, but I gotta say I'm not too surprised, it is probably pretty rare that a service center gets a watch with custom anything and honestly 99% of people send a watch to the manufacturer because they want the watch to be refurbished to a like new condition. I think you learned a valuable lesson about customizing watches - service them locally.

  6. #6
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    Breitling service woes/advice

    Find a reputable watch maker and have them put a brush finish on it. I know you requested to not have the case restored, but it was and the Breitling service center will not take it back and brush it since that is not the original finish. One thing you might do is take the watch to a Breitling AD and see if they would contact their Breitling regional sales rep to discuss the problem and if he or she can assist in resolving the issue by having the service center take it back and brush the case. But, won't bet any money on it.


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    Last edited by Micro; 4 Weeks Ago at 18:23.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_957 View Post
    New OEM parts are not sold by Breitling to local watch guys lol, your guy may have used OEM parts but they aren't new and OEM I'm thinking.

    As for OPs service, I bet a tech just saw that it was a full overhaul/ 'restore to factory new condition' and well, that's probably what they did. Sorry OP, but I gotta say I'm not too surprised, it is probably pretty rare that a service center gets a watch with custom anything and honestly 99% of people send a watch to the manufacturer because they want the watch to be refurbished to a like new condition. I think you learned a valuable lesson about customizing watches - service them locally.
    Thanks for the info..... Now I need to talk to my local watch guy and have him explain a few things to me :)
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  8. #8
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    Thank you all for your advice. In regards to to cost of service it was $53 for hands which is required per Breitling. $260 for a brand new dial and $490 for the complete service. I'm now confident this watch will be suitable for diving. Honestly I'm ok with paying for the dial and hands because I chose that additional cost. Best case I'm hoping my credit card will offer some incentive or settling procedure. Looks like I will have to pay for a reputable watch maker to brush the watch for me. Thank you all for your time and information.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    Really sorry to hear about your experience. I'm actually surprised this happen because your watch would be considered pretty modern with known refetence points.

    Unfortunately, your experience with any kind of OEM service seems all too common. You would think a company like Breitling with such a great catalogue and history would be able to accommodate these simple requests, but even Omega, which is very aware of their vintage collection, has been known to mess up pristine vintage examples.

    I'd say this is another warning story to those in the collecting community. Unless you have a relatively modern watch and are ok with the risk, find a local reputable servicer if you can.


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  10. #10
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    Re: Breitling service woes/advice

    I am also sorry to hear about your watch. It reminds me of the story of Jerry Seinfield. He is a owner of many Breitling watches and he specifically requested them not to polish the watch during service but they did. He was clearly upset.

    For whatever is worth, the watch does looks good.

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