As the saying goes – Four Breitlings lucky?

Just a few moments ago I asked myself a question that I can’t find the answer to. Why did the idea to write a review of a Breitling watch arise in my head only now, and not every time I bought a watch of this brand? I have no idea, and yet Breitling is one of my favorite manufacturers. I don’t remember all my reviews, so I decided to check our blog for older entries about one of the Breitlings I had and … nothing. It seems to me at least strange, and at the same time this fact became an additional stimulus for me to make such a review, especially that a few weeks ago I became the owner of a very interesting model produced by the famous company from Grenchen.

The Panerai Luminor, which I described in the previous review, found a new owner, and because life hates a vacuum, I decided to buy a watch model, the existence of which I learned quite recently. The search was intense, though not as long as I feared. Once again, Poland’s largest KMZiZ forum helped with watch dilemmas, which is not only a huge treasury of horological knowledge, but also where you can meet fascinating people and buy a watch, often at an attractive price. And that’s how I came across Boguś’s ad, which displayed a very interesting Breitling.

I have always liked the dials of the Avenger models. There’s something so perky, rock’n’roll about it. Unfortunately, the size of the case, and more precisely the thickness of 18.5 mm, effectively scared me off. Therefore, when I saw the picture in the advertisement, which was taken on the side of the case, I involuntarily made a sound symbolizing surprise, and it was “woooooo!”

The combination of this type of dial with a slim case impressed me, and even made my heart beat faster. I decided that I must have this watch in my collection, so I immediately wrote to Boguś that I would be happy to meet him to finalize the transaction. As Boguś has been living in the vicinity of Berlin for several years, we agreed to visit Świebodzin. Going out to pick up a watch on a cold, dark Sunday was a nice touch. The live watch made a great impression on me, so I quickly exchanged the NBP banknotes for the aforementioned Breitling.

I must also mention a colleague from the forum who turned out to be an extremely interesting and nice person and I think that our paths will cross again 😊

How do I rate this purchase in retrospect? Find out in my short review.

Package

Anyone who owns or had a Breitling knows that the company pays quite a lot of attention to the packaging in which the watch is delivered. The first and largest element of the set is a cardboard box whose structure resembles leather. On its front part there is an embossed company logo, while the sides are decorated with metal rivets. Inside the box there are certificates, a warranty card and a case in which all these things are placed. For now, I’m waiting for a large box, because the previous owner came by train and was quite limited when it comes to carrying luggage, so I don’t have my own photos of this item.

In the central part of the box there is a rectangular recess in which there is a travel case with a watch. It was made entirely of natural leather, which is confirmed by the inscription on the bottom of the case. There is an embossed Breitling logo on the opening part. The sides are stitched with a bright thread, which looks very aesthetically pleasing. The center of the case and the pillow inside are made of soft suede leather, which certainly will not scratch any element of the watch.

The quality of the individual elements of the packaging is really high and I think that it is adequate to the price we will pay for the timepiece of this brand.

Case

As I mentioned in the introduction, it was the element that tipped the scales in favor of Avenger GMT II in my shopping dilemmas. Its width of 43 millimeters is the optimal value for me, although the greatest advantage of the A3239011.BC34.170A case is its thickness, which is 12.2 millimeters at the highest point. Optically, this value seems even lower, due to the profile of the case. Its proper part without the bezel and the case back is only 5.2 millimeters, besides, the case back protrudes 2 millimeters from it, and the next 5 millimeters are “thanks to” the rotated bezel with protrusions. If I had to guess, without looking at the manufacturer’s specification, how thick the case is in this model, it would be 11 millimeters. The length of the case from lug to lug  is 52 millimeters, and although it seems like a lot, their downward curved profile makes the watch fit perfectly on wrists with a circumference of 17 centimeters upwards.

Virtually the entire case of the A3239011.BC34.170A is polished, and the only non-shiny element is the bi-directional bezel with a 24-hour scale for reading the time from another time zone. Thanks to the protrusions, the bezel grip is quite stable, and its work itself is pleasant and well calibrated with the indices on the dial. On the right side of the case is a fairly large screw-down crown. Its surface is heavily milled, which is why it is quite comfortable to handle. The crown is signed with the brand logo in the form of a capital letter B.

The watch case itself is quite heavy, but thanks to the low profile and downward curved lugs, it does not move on the wrist with its rapid movements.

I must also mention the water resistance, which in this model is 300M. I can boldly say that the ratio of the thickness of the case to water resistance is sensational and at the same time it is proof that divers don’t have to be thick.

Dial

The structure of the dial, as described by the manufacturer in its specification, is called Volcano Black Dial and is supposed to resemble solidified lava. The slightly rough surface contrasts well with the polished stainless steel indices. The indices themselves look unusual; not only do some of them look cut, but also those at 6 and 9 o’clock are in the form of rectangles. At 12 o’clock there is a triangle filled with luminescent mass, while in the place of the index at 3 o’clock there is a date window with a frame. Despite the apparent mess, reading the time is not a problem.

The hour and minute hands are designed in a pencil style, and their center is filled with Superluminova C3, the same as on the three geometric indices mentioned above. The second hand does not have a luminescent mass, but its tip has been painted red. The same color can be found on the GMT time hand and in the word Automatic below the axis of the hands. The tip of the GMT hand has been filled with Superluminova, but this treatment seems to be purely decorative, because it is practically impossible to read the time for the second time zone only with a glowing tip, without luminous 24-hour indices. The luminescent mass is of very good quality, it shines long and intensely, that’s standard for Breitling watches.

At 12 o’clock there is the famous Breitling logo with wings. After many years, the manufacturer decided to return to the historical logo in the form of the letter B, leaving it only in selected models of the flagship Navitimer series. However, the rhodium-plated logo with wings is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in watches  world and it is hard to disagree with this opinion.

All elements on the dial are made perfectly, and the positive visual experience is enhanced by the glass with double-sided anti-reflective coating. And the one in Breitlings is interesting. Maybe it’s not as good as the SAR in Orient Starach, but it really does the trick. Unlike Japanese watches with SAR, the Breitling glasses change their color to blue or violet at the right angle of incidence of light, and it depends on the type of light that falls on the glass. Yay! Many times in watch groups there are funny situations when someone posts a photo of a Breitling with a black dial, and then another person writes that he once had the same model, but with a black dial, thinking that the one in the picture is … blue. To sum up, the anti-reflection in the Avenger II GMT A3239011.BC34.170A model is really great and sometimes it gives the impression of “no glass”, while its scratch resistance is so-so, just like in Omega watches. It turns out that in this topic, recognized manufacturers of Swiss watches can learn from the Japanese.

My previous Breitling Avenger had a more subdued dial due to the simple hour markers. Perhaps it was more universal, but in my opinion, my current copy better reflects the spirit of the Breitling brand and is more spectacular, and thus more suited to my personality, which always has a hint of rock’n’roll.

Movement

The heart of the Breitling Avenger II GMT A3239011.BC34.170A model is the Breitling 32 caliber. Probably the name doesn’t mean much to you, although it is nothing more than the well-known and popular ETA 2893-2. Of course, this is the best version of this movement, which is confirmed by the COSC chronometer certificate that is included in the set. On the Internet you will find a lot of information about this movement, so I will not describe its scheme here. All I can say is that the time difference is about -3 seconds per week, which is close to or even slightly better than the accuracy of my Rolex DJ 41.

Bracelet

Bracelets in Breitlings are really well made. They are massive, comfortable to wear and have a characteristic arrangement of links that are arranged at a slight angle. Often the Breitling bracelet is the first hallmark when it comes to identifying a watch from a distance, in a photo or on a TV screen.

The bracelet, just like the case, is almost entirely polished, which scared me a little at the very beginning. However, after some time I remembered that I had several watches of this brand and there was never a problem with scratching the polished surfaces. This is due to the steel used in the production of the watch, which is much harder than Rolex’s 904L steel. A small screwdriver is enough to shorten or extend the bracelet, because it has screwed pins.

The width of the bracelet in the lugs is 22 millimeters and narrows towards the clasp to a reasonable 20 millimeters. I think that a greater reduction in the width of the bracelet would make it a bit more comfortable, but it would disturb the feisty character of the Avenger.

The logged clasp looks a bit archaic. We will not find here any fancy opening systems, micro-adjustments etc. The clasp is simple, crude and solid at the same time.

Summary

Breitling Avenger II GMT A3239011.BC34.170A is undoubtedly one of the most interesting models in the Swiss manufacturer’s portfolio. Over the last few years, Breitling has started to create more subdued designs, which on the one hand increased the number of their customers, on the other hand, many people still associate the brand with quite flashy watches that have a feisty, rock and roll character. I prefer older models, so when looking for an alternative to the Pam 1086, I was looking for older models. I’ve had this watch for a few weeks, but I can safely say that it is the most comfortable and at the same time the most beautiful Breitling that has come to my wrist. And as with other nice watches, sometimes I look at the dial only to realize in a moment that I don’t know what time it is. The dial of the Avenger II GMT is mesmerizing and has many faces, which is quite characteristic when it comes to this model. The combination of shiny steel indices with a matte dial and glass with double-sided AR creates the feeling of communing with a unique watch. And I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. And I don’t even get tired of replying to comments and straightening out that not only models with cobblestone parameters were equipped with this dial.

I think that this model, due to its unique appearance and comfort of wearing, will stay in my collection for a long time.

Tomek

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