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By-Tor

Breitling Chronomat Evolution (BCE) 2010 Buying Guide

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The BCE. One of the best selling Breitling replicas for sure. It's not a new replica model but because it's still a solid seller I decided to write a small buying guide for it. When the old reviews came out it wasn't such a mess that it is now.

There are many versions of the BCE. Four, to be exact. I guess it's safe to say that v1 and v4 (Joshua calls it v3) are fundamentally the same base rep with same flaws (like missing subdial '12/10 tick). Looks like v2 and v3 are the same base watch as well. I've seen some nice v4's but also some with crooked and cheap looking pearls (the ring surrounding the lume dot is way too narrow). On the other hand v1/v4 have the "small '14 / '59 ticks" done accurately. Anal stuff for sure but important for us watch nerds.

After I had researched this rep model a bit, I came to the conclusion that OTB v3 is very good option. Actually Joshua sells this watch as "v2 with updated datewheel". I originally thought that my example was exactly that, but after further investigating this insane BCE rep model frenzy, I (just yesterday) found out that the community actually calls it v3. Joshua's v3 isn't the "real" v3, but actually v4 (God forbid!) Anyway, the original old v2 is long gone and permanently out of production. Got confused already? I'm not surprised, I almost got confused again.

Hardcore BCE guys consider original v2 dial nicer as the hour tabs had more "ivory" tone on them, and the Breitling "wings logo" was better. I also heard that there have been various QC issues regarding how the lume has been applied on v3. Luckily, the tabs on my copy were excellent and smooth.

On the other hand, the biggest improvement on v3 over v2 is the perfect Breitling datewheel, which is extremely nice touch.

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Yodap's BCE reference table (which I actually couldn't find from RWG) is great and helped me a lot. He's apparently a smart kid who knows a lot about Breitling reps.

There are some notes that I'm not sure though. It says that v2 had "superior bracelet" and "crispier dial". I haven't owned the original v2 so I can't comment the bracelet. But PT (who has sold these since the day one) swears that the bracelet hasn't changed at all. According to PT the v1/v4 come from one factory and v2/v3 from another. He refers to v1/v4 as the "cheap one".

After comparing the pictures I believe v2 and v3 are the exact same watch as well (besides the rider tabs, Breitling logo and datewheel). I scratch my head over Yodap's "crispier dial" claim as well. First, the print is excellent, and second: the ticks and font look 100% identical on both watches. Maybe there isn't one answer and there might simply be variation among the reps. Just like there's variation between the new "Ultimate" Fish replicas. There's only one factory manufacturing the "best Fish", and there's still variation. New Fish reps have smoother but a bit greener and "pimplier" lume application (uncharged). But then again the dial print has remained unchanged since the day one.

Either way, after treating the bracelet with truckloads of oil and metal polish it's difficult to believe that rep bracelet could be any nicer. It's heavy and became smooth as butter. Another nice thing about v3 bracelet is that it's long enough for a '8 wrist. If you have '8 wrists you need all the links but there's still some "play" left with the clasp micro adjustment. Small (max. 7'5) bracelet used to be a huge problem with some Breitling reps like Navitimer.

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Some watch models divide the membership but I doubt anyone can deny the fact that BCE is a beautiful watch. It's definitely a flashy model. The bezel on my example was pretty much perfect. Pearl is often the weak link on all replicas but superbly done on v2/v3.

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Beautiful watch. On that, we all agree. The only "love or hate" thing is the all polished Breitling bracelet. I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of it. It's blingy and collects fingerprints like no other. I actually wish that they had repped the Blackbird, which is a model with all brushed case and bracelet. Quality wise the rep bracelet is very good (after proper treatment). SELs fit perfectly and I couldnt' find anything to complain about.

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CONCLUSION:

If you want a graphite BCE, go for this version v3 (v2 with updated dw on some dealer sites) or try to source the initial v2 with Lello datewheel through member trades. Actually I wrote that in my Breitling Guide years ago already. Personally, the wrong DW on old v2 would bother me more than a tad greener lume on v3. The wings logo thing is pretty much meaningless, imho. It's only noticeable in huge macro shots.

You can't go wrong with either. It's extremely nice replica and possesses quality feel. If you want "perfection", relume the sticks or source a gen dial. Older v2 sticks might be a tad nicer but they're far from perfect as well. Breitlings (with their lowly ETA movements) may not be horologically interesting watches, but gen Breitling dials are exceptionally well finished. If you take macro shots, the rep stuff can never compare.

Personally, I would have been very happy with this but I decided that it's not a watch for me. So I "flipped" it to a good forum friend. Actually I really like it, but it's too much of a departure from my more rugged sports chronographs... I doubt it could compete for wrist time against my SMP Chrono and Aquaracer. BCE gives me pretty much the same feeling that I get from Rolex Yacht-Master: beautiful watch but... I don't know if it's a fair description but both are too much of "rich old man watches" for me.

Actually I'd like to buy the original v2 for a review (just to be sure about the dial and bracelet supposed differences). So if someone in EU wants to part with his old thing, I might want to buy it, review it for the membership (and then flip it over again to another good member).

But on the other hand, I want one flashy Breitling in my collection so I have also purchased a v2 Skyland. Maybe it'll grab me more? So watch out, there's another review coming!!!

Thanks to Precious Time for another great transaction. God only knows how many watches I've bought from him. The watch was QC'd and perfectly functioning example. It was a pleasure as usual.

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WALLPAPER VERSION.

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Wow BT, you really set high standards for reviews! :Jumpy:

This is a great read, thank you so much for the time and energy invested in this! :notworthy:

You make me seriously consider getting this. And i'm not even a Breit guy! :crazy:

Val.

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:thumbsupsmileyanim: Nice one BT :thumbsupsmileyanim:

you are like the mother of reviewing :whistling:

The only thing is that now i want this one too, and i just purchased the Skyland v2 and think this is gonna be an expensive hobby :p but i just cant stop now, or can i? :g:

Edited by torjus

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Great review BT as always. I have the ultimate BCE panda dials, but I have been wearing the SOSF all week. either are great watches. you are right on the mark with the bracelet. it is just too bling for most people. unless I am rapping at a concert, (and I do not do that often enough, let's put it that way), I just don't see how cool is wearing a watch that bling, which was the original reason why I sold my Navitimer.....lol

I am hoping to source a gen blackbird, so I think I may sell my ultimate BCE at some time. Thanks for taking the time to write up the review.

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thank you very much for this bytor :thumbsupsmileyanim: great job as always

but i think im to young for the bce atm :rofl:

but i cant wait to see your bling bling skyland :)

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I must admit that you are one of the very very best By-Tor

missing that whorologist highflyingclive

Gunnar :clapping:

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And i'm not even a Breit guy! :crazy:

Val.

"yet" was implied, right, Val?!... :drinks:

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Wow BT, you really set high standards for reviews! :Jumpy:

This is a great read, thank you so much for the time and energy invested in this! :notworthy:

You make me seriously consider getting this. And i'm not even a Breit guy! :crazy:

Val.

i bet sooner or later you will get yourself one ;) believe me

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Glad you liked it guys.

I'm actually quite excited to get the Skyland. It has more youthful appearance and design wise it's a bit like the Fish and Seawolf (I really like them both). :thumbsupsmileyanim:

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Glad you liked it guys.

I'm actually quite excited to get the Skyland. It has more youthful appearance and design wise it's a bit like the Fish and Seawolf (I really like them both). :thumbsupsmileyanim:

yeah me too, only to bad that there is no grey dial seawolf available :(

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Just bought the BCE TT with roman numerals from Ms. Connie King. I think it's a v.2 judging from the date wheel. I don't care though. It arrived today and I love it! I am changing out the two-tone "old rich man" bracelet for an AD's real tan calfskin with white stitching, which I think tones this watch down a great deal and makes it one of my all-time favorites. Pictures to come soon, and look for the bracelet on sale in a day or two...for a good price.

Thanks, BT, for making RWG such an awesome place.

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Thanks Gentlemen!

I try to add more wrist shots to my reviews from now on. After all, they are more fascinating and realistic... and always "tell" more about the watch than the fancy studio photos. How it wears, etc. I'm actually quite bored with the studio pics. When you master them, there's very little you can add to them (save new PS tricks and properties).

I hope people will find this guide useful.

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Great review as allways BT

I own the V2 and also V3.

The V2 has much better Lumedot for shure.

Bracelet is better machined on the V2 also better engravings.

The Dials on the V2 are better in my opinion exspecially for the graphite one.

There are two Version on the V2 Graphite Dial one with blacksubdials ( maybe V1)

and one with correct graphite Subdials.

The Bezeltips are better on V3

You are right the datewheel makes a huge difference in V3 and is perfect.

I love mine V3.

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Great review. I want the bling bezel version but they aren't made anymore! I've got a red gen dial to fit to it so maybe I'll just go with the regular non CZ bezel version.

If you have a BCE with CZ bezel and lello datewheel that you'd part with, please let me know!

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nice review, i want to buy 1 for gift to someone special..

any contact of the seller?

pls pm me

thx a lot.

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