02/23/2024
 4 minutes

Hand to the chest: Do Breitling watches hold their value?

By Jorg Weppelink
Do Breitling watches hold their value?

Do Breitling watches hold their value?

Breitling has a rich history in watchmaking that goes back to 1884. The brand is known for creating some of the most iconic pilot’s watches ever. The Navitimer, Chronomat, SuperOcean, Premier, and Top Time are just a few illustrious names that are part of Breitling’s rich history. But what are some of the brand’s watches that retain their value? Especially in today’s market, it can be challenging to find watches that keep their value and potentially increase in price over time. We find out some of the best Breitling models to keep in mind.

Breitling Chronomat B01 42

The first watch on this small list is quite a surprise. The current Breitling Chronomat B01 42 was introduced in 2020 and received much praise. The watch returned the classic Chronomat style of the 1980s with the iconic bezel, four rider tabs, and the signature “Rouleaux” bracelet that made it a classic. The 42 mm case size makes it great for various wrist sizes, and the COSC-certified in-house chronograph movement is a great caliber to power the Chronomat.

Regarding pricing, the watch was introduced in 2020 for a list price of €7,900. Currently, the list price is €8,650. Looking at the value on Chrono24 Marketplace, you can see that the current Chronomat models do lose quite a bit of value compared to their list prices. But the remarkable thing is the asking price of a new Chronomat B01 42 has only gone up by roughly €500 since the market came down halfway through last year. And looking at the price development over three years, the average asking price has increased by €1,000. As such, it will be interesting to see whether the prices keep increasing. The watch deserves it as it is a brilliant version of the classic Chronomat.

Breitling Chronomat B01 42 with “Blackeye Silver” Silver Dial & Black Subdials on a Rouleaux “Bullet” Bracelet
Breitling Chronomat B01 42 with “Blackeye Silver” Silver Dial & Black Subdials on a Rouleaux “Bullet” Bracelet

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

A second model that keeps its value consistently is the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition that came out in 2019. This limited edition of 1.959 pieces pays homage to the classic Navitimer ref. 806 from the late 1950s. The original Navitimer came out in 1954 and introduced a pilot’s watch with a slide rule and a three-register chronograph. The unique combination of functionalities also led to a one-of-a-kind design that is instantly recognizable as a Navitimer.

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition
Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

The initial Navitimers came with black dials, so collectors know them as the “all-black” models. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is an homage to the “all-black” Navitimer, and it was praised unanimously for getting everything right up to the last detail. The biggest difference from the original 1959 is the modern materials used and the modern in-house B09 movement. The original list price in 2019 was €7,700, and after initially going down a bit, the asking prices on Chrono24 Marketplace went up. Last year, the prices dropped a bit, but they still have an average asking price of €8,257, which is higher than its original price. And I predict to see that go up over time.

Breitling SuperOcean ref. 2005 “Slowmo” Chronograph

The third and last option is a true classic. The Breitling SuperOcean ref. 2005 “Slowmo” Chronograph is one of those instantly recognizable icons from Breitling. The watch has a super-chic black-and-white dial with a black bezel that stands out immediately. On top of that is what people call a Slow-Motion diving chronograph. As you see, the watch has a remarkable chronograph hand. Usually, a central chronograph hand keeps track of the seconds, but for this watch, the hands track the minutes; the idea behind it is that you do not have to keep track of seconds underwater when diving. In that situation, minutes will do.

The watch was introduced in 1964 and has become a sought-after classic. The reason is that it is a bit of an oddball in both design and movement. It’s also why we won’t see a re-issue of this watch soon. It is simply a lot of work to modify a movement to do what the original ref. 2005 does. And that’s why collectors love this piece. Nowadays, prices for one are between €10 and €15K. They have been at that level for some time, and it won’t change soon. So, if you are in for a true classic, the SuperOcean ref. 2005 might be one to look into.

Breitling Superocean Vintage Superocean Ref. 2005
Breitling Superocean Vintage Superocean Ref. 2005

Are Breitling watches good for investment?

The watch market has drastically changed over the last 12 to 18 months. Prices have come down for most brands and models. Generally, you can state that the true vintage classics will hold their value over time. Additionally, limited and special editions will probably increase in value over time due to their limited production numbers. Regular Breitling models often do not go up in value. But do your homework and keep an eye out for the classic icons and the limited editions, and you might find a watch that will increase in value over time because do not expect to see any quick wins. On top of that, Breitling is a brand with many great classics that deserve to be worn. So don’t forget to give them some proper wrist time!

More on Breitling?


About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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