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Toad's Review: Free Graphite Dialed V3 (?) Skyland...get yours now

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Updated 2008-Oct-09 - Updated bracelet availability, conclusions and added Ocean Racer strap pic

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Psssst!! Hey Buddy...want a free Skyland? Well not really...but pretty close. Check out apprentice collector Watchstation's (aka Peter's) $185 improved V1 Skyland ...or is that the V3...or is that the V2.5?? (Don't hate me for the use of these names, I'll explain it below.) It's like buying a magazine subscription and getting a free calculator desk clock...only better.

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Who wants Skylands? I do...I do...I do...

Odds are good you want a Skyland...I know you do...if you don't you need to look at your pathetic self in the mirror...REALLY look at yourself. Now suck in that gutt. If you really consider yourself a MAN...you want this watch because this is a REAL MAN's watch...almost a half-pound of shiny, nobody's-kicking-sand-in-my-face-thank-you-Charles-Atlas macho glory.

You NEED one...or in the worse case scenario...you probably know somebody who does. If you're still not convinced look at the pics and check out my review.

Let's do some quick math. The problem with rep watches is not that the movements are not reliable. The Zigmeister has shown us that in the case of the A7750 movement, watches with it are very reliable. The problem is finding parts if you need them.. Play the rep game long enough and you've probably tried to source and price getting a new A7750 movement either for parts, or to bring a dead watch back to life. Do your research and you will find:

  • A7750 Movement - $120 - $150
  • Rep Breitling straps - $30 - $50
  • =
  • $150 - $200

    Buying Peter's new Skyland that he calls an updated V1 with the fixed lume dot @ 3 (that henceforth I will call the V3) for $185, is like getting some parts you will likely need anyways (i.e. movement and strap) and getting a killer case set with nicely greased gaskets and seals on all crowns and double seals on pushers, double AR'd crystal, dial, hands AND a nicely printed Breitling datewheel FOR FREE.

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    But if it's too good to be true...it isn't right? I don't know...you tell me...read on. For those who have read my reviews in the past, you may have identified a pattern that I often review reps that have been OVER-reviewed. I started off my Omega SMP Chrono review saying:

    "What the !@#%!?? Another Omega SMP Chrono Review?"



    Well...a quick survey of the number of pictorials, reviews, threads on the Breitling Skyland will indeed reveal that probably 10-Times as many posts
    have been made about this watch than the SMP Chrono. In fact, the Original Josh's Skyland release Thread at the time of writing of this review, had over 3,000 page views and 144 posts. True, it doesn't quite compare to THE MOST anticipated rep release possibly being the IWC Aquatimer with the Aquatimer Released Soon thread generating 5,211+ views and 502 posts, or rank as the most popular watch that By-Tor's UPO Review's 19,000+ page views might indicate...but at the time of this review, the rep hasn't even been out 3 months yet and has generated this much interest.

    Remember, 3,000+ hits is for just one post on the Skyland - the V1 version no less. Add on the fact that the supposed V2 was released not long after, more discussion was generated, more posts made, more threads created, and you can drown yourself in talk of the Skyland and be buried in more talk later.

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    A sample of the reviews and posts on this thread include (but by no means are limited to):

    I'm willing to wager that if you were to gather all the posts on this forum alone related to the Skyland and place each one on a single square of toilet paper, lining up all the squares edge-to-edge would allow you to go from the Earth to the Moon AND BACK, 1.7 times.

    That's a scientific fact. Really. I challenge you to prove me wrong. ;)

    The fact of the matter is this: The Skyland (V1, V2 or now...the V3) is a hot watch both in the gen and rep world, and the release of a V2 within weeks of the V1 probably gives the Skyland the dubious distinction of being one of the shortest lived "It" watches, while simultaneously being one of the most popular reps made with everyone and their dog buying up the V2 and suddenly ignoring the V1.

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    So DOUBLE "What the !#@#!?? Another Breitling Skyland review?"

    Well yes. After all, another version needs another review...right? RIGHT???After all, if it's not kosher to ask who has the best Sub...it's definitely alright to ask who has the best Skyland (which we all know is either UB7, Italiano or ???????). That and I feel I have to rationlize my purchases. So enough preamble already...onto the main course...but FIRST...what would a Toad Review be without senseless amounts of detail into some history and minutiae?

    BREITLING HISTORY

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    The Breitling watch company although not as old as brands like Vacheron Constantine (founded in 1755), still has a long pedigree having been founded by Leon Breitling in Switzerland in 1884.

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    Boss...da plane...DA PLANE!!

    If you think of Breitling today, you probably think "aviation" as that is the image that the company puts forth in all of its marketing and advertising. The president and vice president are both licensed pilots who use their airfield several times a week to chopper-commute 15 minutes between company headquarters in Grenchen to the Breitling Chronometrie in La chaux-de-Fonds, there's a plane on top of the corporate headquarters, and the entranceway of their headquarters is dressed as a cargo freighter. Visualize Breitling, and you can almost smell the thin, unpressurized air.

    Breitling is one of the sponsors of the Red Bull Air Race (Left) and the Reno Air Race (Right) which in the Unlimited Class mostly pits ultra-souped up WWII planes in a bout for speed

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    ...they are also the sponsors of the only civillian jet aerobatics team in the world - the Breitling Jet Team.

    Breitling-AirTeam-07s.jpgBreitling-AirTeam-16s.jpg

    Breitling sponsor yacht racing and global exploration...but Breitling does not sponsor the National Mens' Pairs Figure Skating Team.

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    We tried Skylands on once...but they made our hips look fat.

    Although always associated with speed, Breitling's roots can actually be found in motoring having initially manufactured chronographs and meters for automobiles. In the early 1900's, Breitling became popular with police squads producing a watch called the Vitesse which enabled them the ability to time drivers breaking the speed limit.

    Breitling's association with aviation really didn't begin until 1936. A pre-WWII start puts Breitling's involvement in the early history of modern aviation. This is earlier than other aviation oriented watch companies like Sinn which although founded by a pilot and aviation enthusiast Helmut Sinn sometime around WWII really didn't start producing pilot's watches pe se until Helmut sold the company to Dipl.-Ing. Lothar Schmidt in 1994...or Bell & Ross which wasn't founded until 1993...or Bulova who went into space in the 60's, or even Casio, Citizen and Timex which are later adopters.

    Compare Breitling's start to companies like Fortis who were one of the earlier aviation oriented watch manufacturers, being founded in 1912 and popping officially into space starting in 1994 with the Russian Space Agency...or even Omega who were the offical timekeepers for the 1909 Gordon Bennett Balloon Race in Switzerland and you will find that other companies have been in the air longer.

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    Mmmmm..."B" is for Breitling Emergency with UTC...

    Buzz Aldrin and Cookie Monster

    However, regardless of who was first in the air, once they started flying Breitling never came down. In 1936, Breitling was chosen by the Royal Air Force to supply their time keeping equipment with their chronograph for airplane cockpits.

    In 1942 Breitling introduced the Chronomat wich was the first chronograph with a log scale calculator (useful for multiplication, division, and calculations like ground speed, ETA, petrol consumption, rate of descent or climb, etc). If you're ever interested in learning how to use the circular slide rule, it's actually quite interesting.

    [*]Get the manual here: hxxp://www.chronomaddox.com/breitling/Instructions/navitimer/navitimer_instructions.html

    [*]Get this JUMBO image of a Navitimer (or use your gen/rep): hxxp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/Breitling-Navitimer.jpg/800px-Breitling-Navitimer.jpg

    [*]Cut out the inner black circle, and follow along with the instructions rotating the inner black circle inside of the white ring to do your calcutions

    [*]Impress your friends, and win favour with gorgeous women in bars

    Is this geeky or what??

    Later in the 40's, Breitling would find itself as the US Air Force's official pilots' watch (and given the dominating power of the US Air Force...this is a significant coup!), as well as supplying the American Armed Forces. By the 1950's Breitling was probably one of the top players (if not THE top player in the aviation industry) and was supplying clocks used in cockpits for most international airlines.

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    Hey you in the bunny suit...did you remember to wind my watch?

    One of it's most famous pilots of history is likely Scott Carpenter who wore a Breitling Cosmonaut on board the Aurora 7 capsule (we'll ignore his Bulova Accutron Astronaut on the cover of 1962 Paris Match magazine).

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    Quartz Movements show my modern sensitive side

    Current high-flying pop-culture favourites have to be

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    Confused by the Navitimer circular slide rule, Travolta calculates the cost of a Royale With Cheese using Mind Power

    and who could forget

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    HELP...I'm activating 121.5 MHz distress frequency...I'm lost in a sea of fandom

    As with most luxury brands of note however, (aside from the uber-watches like Breguet and VC of course), having made a name for themselves with innovative

    features like the circular slide ruler of the Navitimers or Chronomats or mechanical movements like the first wristwatch Chronograph in 1915

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    Breitling has succombed to the allure of the pre-fab, and today predominantly uses movements supplied by ETA like the Lemania 1873 used in their earlier Cosmonaut (the same movement in the Omega Speedy Moonwatch), the ubiquitous 2824 and Valjoux 7750 chrono movements, as well as the beefier 2892-A2 often adding on chronograph modules by Dubois Dupraz...doing the usual rotor decoration, perlage and other work to the base ETA supplied

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Really one impressive review! :o

Amazing with all the subtle differences between the versions..

I enjoy my V2 Skyland, even though it has been resting in the drawer for the last two weeks. As for many people I find it a bit too heavy for everyday wear.

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Awesome Review, Well Done and Thanks - very informative (with excellent pics!) :1a:

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Congrats, great review!

Just answered your question about the breitling bentley ;)

Thanks once more!

Greetz.

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Wow.... very impressive and detailed review. I kinda cheated and hurried through it to look at all the pics.

+1 .... I'll have to find a good aged stick to lite up to do the read on this review... topped yourself again my friend !!... looking forward to your documentaries next.. :D

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Another masterpiece of a review.

Added to the Breitling Guide. Thanks Toad, your efforts are much appreciated.

Edit: Pinned it too! We only keep like 3-4 articles pinned in the brand sections so some of the older rep model reviews have to go unpinned. All these fine articles remain linked in the Breitling Guide of course.

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Pinned and rightfully so....

Excellent review. Excellent technical review with tongue in cheek comments making it even more enjoyable. You just helped the dealers sell 50 more skylands with that review.

That's why I love this place so much...

Cheers

Siesta181

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OMG, when are we going to see the limit of your reviews?

not only your previous 'perfect' reviews are getting 'more perfect', you're upgrading our knowledge as well!

Thanks for your effort :)

HKT

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One of the best reviews I have ever seen anywhere! Outdone yourself again! Congratulations. And great looking watch.

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WOW! When you said detailed i expected it but this is amazing!!!

Thanks Toad!!

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One of the best watch reviews I've ever read - and I'm not even that big a fan of the Skyland! ;)

Superb work, Toad - you're a great writer.

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Another great review Toad! Thanks for all the effort that I know you put in to this!

@BT - This one obviously deserves to be pinned, but in the future may I suggest that you give it a week or so before pinning a thread? A lot of guys only look at the top threads in a category every day, and don't even glance at the pinned articles. I fear that a lot of people will overlook this great piece simply because they don't pay attention to the pinned threads. For the long term its great, but when a review is new, its not so good.

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Great review... Deep, wide, easy to read and... funny.

If you really consider yourself a MAN...you want this watch because this is a REAL MAN's watch...almost a half-pound of shiny, nobody's-kicking-sand-in-my-face-thank-you-Charles-Atlas macho glory.

You really forced me (and all the machos in the forum) to buy one... :rolleyes:

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