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A question of confidence - Newbie Breitling Service


Question

Having started out on the watch repair course and spent some time tinkering with a few starter projects (with some success), I am pondering whether to attempt to service one of my main watches, which just recently has not been running very well and seems to be lacking in the power reserve.

The watch is a Breitling Colt Chronograph Automatic (A 13035.1) with a Valjoux 7750 movement. Now, I can obviously download the service sheet and I have seen that Mark also has a service video online of this movement (or very similar). I find marks videos informative and easy to follow..... add that to the knowledge that I have the members of this forum to fall back on should my knowledge fail me and my confidence in undertaking this task is bolstered.

However, my concern is that if I bugger it up and have to concede defeat, would a pro be willing to take the watch in a disasembled state to repair it?

I am sure I could send it back to Breitling in a dissasembled state but no doubt the repair / re-build bill would be astronomical! 😅

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If you are comfortable working on automatics with date etc., then a 7750 isn't too hard. What is a big issue with Breitling is they fit the chrono hands so tightly that it's almost a given that they will deform when removed, and quite often the seconds hand will leave its pipe on the chrono runner pivot. Of course new Breitling hands are available only to authorized repair shops. So it becomes a matter of redressing the hands as well as can be, and refitting the pipe (sometimes it's easier to make a new one).

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I absolutely recommend against beginners working on expensive watches, as too often that doesn't end well. 

Get a cheapest Chinese 7750 that one can find, once you can take it apart, clean, lubricate and have it running same or better than it came, then it will be time to move to an genuine and valuable piece. 

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Agree with Nickelsilver the issue with some Brietlings is the hands are really tight. The first one I serviced the pipe of centre stop-second hand detached. Getting a genuine replacement was expensive and also difficult to find. However the service was relatively simple you just have to be mythological in your approach. Rule of thumb for me is if not confident don,t.

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Did Breitling exactly use a eta Movement or did they change anything? Then the rumor about the hands I've heard that there supposed to be replaced And I believe they come in a set. But that would only be if you're authorized to get Breitling parts which are not. I don't know if you can find a enough replacement generic hands out there in the world are not.

19 hours ago, Robbie010 said:

However, my concern is that if I bugger it up and have to concede defeat, would a pro be willing to take the watch in a disasembled state to repair it?

What would be interesting is to see who actually does work on Breitling watches. Then reach out to them and ask them if I played with my watch and give it to you in a bag would you put it back together for me and the answer is probably going to be no. Or it's going to be really really expensive. The problem professional watchmakers have would be the same problem you have and that's getting spare parts and if they can't get spare parts they have a likelihood of not wanting to repair.

 

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I agree entirely with @jdm. Don't touch it until you are comfortable cleaning/lubricating a similar movement and getting it running as it should. Then do it two more times.

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