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Few brands of vintage watches are as polarizing as Breitling.
With varied designs and complicated dial aesthetics, a vast majority of collectors simply don't know what to make of Breitling chronographs. When faced with the brand's modern offerings, particularly the popular Navitimer, one could be forgiven for dismissing their vintage offerings. But to do so would be to overlook some truly beautiful (and important) timepieces.
From the 1950s to 1970s, Breitling manufactured a range of timepieces with simple designs than the Navitimer. Watches such as the Super Ocean and this beauty, a Reference 815 chronograph, stand in stark contrast to their Navitimer/Cosmonaut brethren due to their sleek form-follows-function aesthetic and remind us why we shouldn't dismiss vintage Breilting as universally unwearable.
With a clean dial featuring a triple register layout and central chronograph sweep seconds hand, the 815 model is perhaps most distinguishable by its characteristic triple-register "panda" layout set inside its round, or barrel, case. While some examples were produced in plated cases with gold 'panda' dials, the steel configurations are much more sought after.
Powered by a Valjoux 7736, the 815 shares quality internals with numerous other brands of the era, including Clebar and Zodiac. There's no denying the simple sporting appeal of these chronographs, a fact which only recently was picked up on by collectors, making them infinitely desirable.
This particular example is a true survivor, with a crisp stainless steel case and an equally stunning dial. Coming complete with a box, this is one of the nicest examples we've come across.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown and pushers). Breitling Reference 815. Valjoux Caliber 7736 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s/1970s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and no signs of polishing. Case does have minimal signs of use and wear consistent with age and handling, particularly on the lugs. Dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing and no signs of major discoloration or hand-drag. Luminescent material of the hour plots have gained a fine even patina over time.
Includes one 19mm light brown leather strap. Also includes two 19mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle.