Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby koimaster » May 25th 2017, 8:37am

Dion who many might know is the gentleman who does the heavy lifting as far as the forum support had a question for us.

One of my best friends was cleaning out his mother's house after she moved to assisted living. He found an old watch that was his stepfather's, but it didn't work. He took it to a jeweler who said it needed a new spring, which would apparently cost "a lot of money". The jeweler then offered $250 to buy the watch even though it didn't work. My friend declined the offer and left because he became suspicious.

A couple weeks later he showed the watch to me and I immediately recognized the name (Breitling). After a quick peek on the internet, I found that it was an early '60s Breitling Navitimer.

I had my friend contact Breitling to get an idea how much it would cost to replace the spring and clean it up. Yow...they wanted $1450 to restore the watch, plus another $500 for the repair. My friend doesn't have that kind of money.

So here are my questions. Since restored versions of this watch seem to sell in the $4000-$5000 range, I would assume it can be sold to someone who would get it fixed/restored and then flip it. What might be a fair price to ask for the watch? And where might be a good place to sell it?


I told Dion to not let his buddy sell this off so cheaply nor to do a dial restoration. Opinions?

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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 25th 2017, 10:08am

OK, let's start from the beginning. The watch is a later version (1959 on) of the 806 with a Venus 178 movement. The calibre number is clearly stamped under the balance. The dial has the typical "double logo" aka "Twin-Jet", as opposed to the earlier AOPA logo dials. The AOPA logo on non-AOPA Navitimers was replaced by the Twin-Jet logo in 1965. The serial number 133... suggests a manufacture date circa 1969-1970.

http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&2&2uswk&Venus_178

The watch looks entirely correct to me. By asking Dion to discourage his buddy from restoring the dial, you did the right thing, Alain- from a vintage guy's perspective, this dial absolutely doesn't need restoration. That jeweller, who offered 250 bucks for the watch, was a fucking crook- it's not the first story of a dishonest or inept jeweller that I've heard. The best "horror story" was about a jeweller, who wanted to service a Speedmaster by swapping out the movement.

Service on a chronograph usually isn't cheap. The watch will need a new gasket, that's the cheapest part. Movement COA rates vary from region to region, from country to country. If a watchmaker recommendation is needed, then my advice for Dion's buddy is to contact Craig at Chronodeco, he knows his chronographs, and I believe he does work on Breitlings- generally, he seems to enjoy a stellar reputation. Parts for the movement as such won't be that expensive, as it's a Venus 178. That said, the mainspring, if it indeed needs replacing (though most likely the movement is just stuck with old grease, and a cleaning should do the trick), is interchangeable with any 178.
I'm not saying he should necessarily send it over to Chronodeco, but it won't hurt to ask for an opinion and initial quote for a service there.

That said- movement COA, crystal polishing, cleaning the case (no polishing!!!), new gaskets, cleaning the rotating rehaut (worst case scenario: replace the rehaut, though I don't think that'll be necessary, a simple cleaning should do the trick) looks like all that has to be done. Hope the movement parts aren't badly worn. Then again, as I've said, it's a generic movement, and as far as I know, parts from movements of the same family (e.g. the cal. 175) should fit.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by MKTheVintageBloke on May 25th 2017, 10:57am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby koimaster » May 25th 2017, 10:36am

A big help, thanks and I am certain Dion will pass the information on.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby biglove » May 25th 2017, 11:07am

My best guess would be $1800-$2K+ in it's current condition. And screw restoring that dial. Fix the movement and polish the crystal only.

I would source it out to The Watchmaker, who has been highly recommended here at WL, for the repairs. If they can't do it, they will know who can.

https://m.facebook.com/#~!/profile.php? ... =typeahead

Crown & Caliber will sell it on consignment. Not sure of their fee.

I personally have not used The Watchmaker or C&C; but, they are established and from what I have read, well regarded.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby Dion » May 25th 2017, 7:10pm

Thank you for the information!

I talked with the owner of the watch today. He has no interest in keeping the watch because he hated his stepfather. I showed him these posts, and he would sell the watch for under $1500...how much under would depend on your skills as a negotiator. :D

If anyone here is interested, send a private message to me and I will get you in contact with him. The guy owns an antique shop in a small town between Chicago and Indianapolis (not far from Lafayette, IN), and for those adventuresome folks, the watch is available for inspection at his shop.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 25th 2017, 7:22pm

I'd say, that if he really hated his stepfather, he could go to one of the "fleecer" dealers, selling to wealthy hipsters with rich parents and enormous trust funds. Only some cosmetic work will get the value of the watch up, and he could at least make some money off of these years of animosity (I know that sort of animosity very well, and believe me, if I could have my years of hate bring a decent profit, I would seek to get that profit). Why not sell it for the kind of money, that could fund something nice?
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby Dion » May 26th 2017, 12:03am

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:Why not sell it for the kind of money, that could fund something nice?

I asked that exact question. He does not want to put any money into the watch; all he wants to do is get rid of it, and the sooner the better. That's why I think there is some room for price negotiation.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby eddiea » May 26th 2017, 3:35pm

Personally I always refrain from making comments about a watch I have seen only on my monitor..that been said ...
Those who want to know a bit about the Navitimer history, can look at this WUS thread and call it a day...
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f39/breitl ... 25057.html
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby foghorn » May 26th 2017, 4:16pm

Having held a couple Navitimers I much prefer the way they look on my monitor. In person all those numbers are much smaller and near impossible to read!
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby eddiea » May 26th 2017, 4:19pm

foghorn wrote:Having held a couple Navitimers I much prefer the way they look on my monitor. In person all those numbers are much smaller and near impossible to read!

Agree, feel the same way, it is a true tool watch however....
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 26th 2017, 5:18pm

Well, the very first post ended with "Opinions?" Since I had an opinion, I have shared it.

When assessing a vintage watch on a forum, photos on the monitor are as good as it gets. Since it is, after all, a forum, a personal inspection of a watch is impossible. For that matter, we could well question the point of buying watches online; while my own preference is indeed to inspect a watch myself, long ago have I come to terms with the fact of online watch trade- and authentication- being a thing. Decent shots like these usually are enough, although it's always better to authenticate a watch from proper macro shots- which can sometimes be very revealing. Often you won't pull off stuff like the MOY test on a vintage Omega Constellation, if there are no good pics to work on. As to chronographs, Navitimers or other watches with a similarly "crowded" dial, a good photo also provides a way better overview. With watches, where the slightest oddity in the font matters, working on hi-res photos is actually much preferred, for me at least. For example, the fact that Hoodwinkee had good macros made it much easier to call them out for selling a redialed VC, which fortunately has been withdrawn (only after raising some hell in the forum). I do try my best to provide as complete a picture as possible with the info/photos provided.

That Navitimer thread is quite a resource- the guy who wrote it did one hell of a job. Looks like he stopped posting some 7 years ago- a bit of a pity. There are still a few people on WUS, who do research work of that quality- however, they're an even rarer breed these days, although reference threads like that appear from time to time.

I might not be the height of modesty (as a matter of fact, I am catching myself on being quite an arse at times ;), more often than I should)- whether it's the WUSer in me or is that just me, I don't know. WUS has a very specific atmosphere- one could say it's a state of mind ;). I sense a hint of animosity directed at me, and I wish I knew where does that come from. Even on WUS, there are some who just choose someone they want to be butting heads with, be it for an actual reason, or for the sport of it; the phenomenon is not unknown to me, but never have I cared about it. Dunno why would someone find it entertaining to be butting heads with me - some tried, but mostly didn't want to burn the bridges (neither did I want to). Some - later on - needed my help (which I provided- ask, and you shall receive) with a watch, and sometimes I needed their help. Keeping the bridges intact was the way to go, and I am glad I didn't choose to antagonise them - and that they chose not to antagonise me. I have a bottle open now, a good Portuguese red; I'll drink to the bridges.

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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby bobbee » May 27th 2017, 4:12pm

I asked a chum who is extremely knowledgeable about vintage Breitling, he agrees it is real.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby foghorn » May 27th 2017, 4:30pm

Cheers Bloke. Having a taste myself.
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Re: Vintage Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Question

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 27th 2017, 7:20pm

bobbee wrote:I asked a chum who is extremely knowledgeable about vintage Breitling, he agrees it is real.

Watchfred? If him, then if he says it's real- I trust him.

foghorn wrote:Cheers Bloke. Having a taste myself.

Cheers, Foggy. Drank to the bridges, finished the bottle today. Bloody good, it was.
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