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Why We Love it
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, but 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 well-dressed man about town, cruising in his vintage car.
As contemporary Breitling continues to grow in size - despite a renaissance of smaller, slimmer case sizes - enthusiasts are looking to the brand's past to find quality-built chronos that belie the idea that bigger is always better.
In the case of the Premier, we wholeheartedly agree.
We're all fairly familiar with Breitling's chronograph offerings. If asked, we can rattle off a list of them: Navitimer, Chronomat, Top Time, Superocean 2005, Datora. But that only scratches the surface of all the chronographs Breitling has to offer. There are numerous other chronographs Breitling has manufactured over their 132-year history. While they may not be as recognizable or iconic as those other chronos, their frank designs and sturdy construction merit consideration.
Breitling first started manufacturing the Premier line of chronographs as early as the 1930s. With triple chronograph registers and blued hands, they're an exercise in understated elegance. One could almost say they're dress watches. Sure, they're not as sporty (and not nearly as large) as the Navitimer, but just one look - whether at the luminous syringe hands and tachymetre track - will reveal that the Premier was always designed to be utilitarian.
Outwardly, the steel barrel case is pleasing to eye with its thin, stepped bezel and its gently tapered lugs and pleasing to the wrist at sturdy 35mm. Breitling, ever the aviator's manufacture, designed these cases to be antimagnetic, shock-protective, and waterproof long before those traits were requisite features of a tool watch. Granted, you're probably not going to be wearing it in the cockpit of an airplane, but suffice it to say that Breitling was out to produce a tough-as-nails timepiece that could operate in any condition.
Stainless Steel Case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown and pushers). Breitling Reference 788. Venus 178 Manually Winding Chronograph movement. Mid-1950s.
Overall Condition: The watch is in good condition over all, with evidence of previous light polishing visible despite factory brushing on mid case. Left side of case bears some scuffing. Luminous Arabic dial in in very good condition, with a heavy even patina and crisp printing. Some aging visible. Luminous blued steel syringe hands are in good condition as are blued steel sub-register hands. Unsigned crown. Screw case back.
Includes one 18mm brown leather strap with contrast stitching.
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.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options