Breitling Premier Reference 788

Breitling Premier Reference 788

We love a good chronograph here at Analog/Shift, and there's no denying that certain brands do them exceptionally well. 

Breitling, the storied manufacture from St. Imier, can be said to have created the genre of aviators’ chronographs—even the modern wristwatch chronograph as we know it. The brand introduced its first wrist chronograph in 1915. Their first design was a holdover from its days in the pocket, with start, stop, and reset functions being operated from the crown.

This was a primitive model that posed some difficulty—for example, there was no way to stop the chronograph and then resume timing from the same position. The wearer would have to start again from the beginning. But that would change completely in the 1930s, when Breitling changed the face of horology forever by adding a second pusher in 1934.

Now, the chronograph could be reset via the second pusher at 4 o’clock, which Breitling dubbed a “second return to zero push piece.” The move was an absolute game-changer, bringing the complication a functionality that it had never had before. Soon brands as wide-ranging as Universal Genève and Omega rushed to implement the new design. It brought Breitling notoriety from all quarters of the globe. Shortly thereafter, the manufacture attracted the attention of the world’s burgeoning air forces, becoming official suppliers to the air forces of the United Kingdom and Canada in 1936.

While perhaps best known for these aviation-inspired watches, Breitling also produced scores of other chronograph models that merit consideration.

This particular watch is a Reference 788 from the Premier line. Meant for the sporting gentleman, the Premier lacks the bells and whistles of the Navitimer, Breitling’s best-known chronograph, equipped with a slide rule. However, what the Premier lacks in complexity it more than makes up for in style.

With clean lines and an elegant silver-toned dial with richly patinated luminescent indices and hands, it’s not hard to imagine this watch on the wrist of a nattily-dressed man about town, cruising in his vintage car.


SKU: AS02207

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crown and pushers). Reference 788.

Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition overall with sharp lugs. Dial is in likewise fantastic condition with particularly rich luminescent elements. Signed crown.

Includes one 18mm brown rallye-style strap.

More pieces you may enjoy

Mido Multi-Centerchrono
Reference 220 Chronograph Circa 1950s
$ 6,650.00
Jaeger Triple Register Chronograph
Valjoux 72 Manual Wind Circa 1960s
$ 6,900.00
Breitling Chronomat
Reference 808 Crica 1960s
$ 4,750.00
IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Circa 2010 With Books and Warranty Card
$ 5,900.00


Thank you for your interest in the Tudor Oysterdate Big Rose. Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.


Our Pledge

Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.


All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options