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View Full Version : BREITLING Chronomat Evolution (BCE) 2010 Buying Guide



By-Tor
03-16-2010, 08:01 PM
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/title.jpg

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.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/7.jpg

Yodap's BCE reference table (http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/yodap.jpg) (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.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/7-1.jpg

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.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/3.jpg

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.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/2.jpg

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 (http://www.rwgforum.com/topic/12678-community-guide-to-best-breitling-replicas/) 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 rider tabs or source a gen dial. Older v2 rider tabs 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.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/5.jpg

WALLPAPER VERSION. (http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/BCE/1.jpg)

szvwj
03-16-2010, 08:56 PM
Very nice writeup, lots of great information.

I just have two questions.

1. Wasn't there a BCE version with the low beat (21600bpm) movement? Was that the V1??

2. I heard that the 21600bpm movement could be swapped out with an ETA movement and that the same hands could still be used. Does anyone know if that's true? I'm not sure if the hands from the 28800bpm movement will fit an ETA movement.

By-Tor
03-16-2010, 09:24 PM
Very nice writeup, lots of great information.

I just have two questions.

1. Wasn't there a BCE version with the low beat (21600bpm) movement? Was that the V1??

2. I heard that the 21600bpm movement could be swapped out with an ETA movement and that the same hands could still be used. Does anyone know if that's true? I'm not sure if the hands from the 28800bpm movement will fit an ETA movement.

Thanks man.

Answers:

1. I'm not sure what movement v1 had.
2. Yes it's true. Old Asian low-beat hands fit straight to ETA 7750 (at least they USED to fit.)

elisiX
03-16-2010, 09:48 PM
Great stuff By-Tor.

I cant remember the last time I saw a review from you - they've been missed.

As usual, your pictures are of the highest standard mate.

Agree with you on all points - the new V3 is the best. It can even take an genuine dial if you can find one.

Very close to the OEM in look and feel much like a franken SA is.

By-Tor
03-16-2010, 09:57 PM
Great stuff By-Tor.

I cant remember the last time I saw a review from you - they've been missed.


Thanks a lot man.

Actually I released 2 brand new watch reviews just recently.

Gen vs. rep Breitling Steelfish comparison, and a review of my "trimmed" Seamaster Chrono. Both here in my section.

They got very little attention here though. Maybe others missed them too. :lol:

The pics aren't up to my best standards as I shot them all in "one take". But thanks for the compliments anyway... you're too kind.

louisruby
03-16-2010, 10:00 PM
great work, pics and info as usual, very well done.

I need a BCE now, thanks a lot :lol:

repwatch
03-16-2010, 10:23 PM
Would you be able to create a 1920x1080 wallpaper?? Or if the original pic had larger dimensions than 1920x1080, you could send me that and I'll make my own. If not, no worries, but it never hurts to ask!

By-Tor
03-16-2010, 10:31 PM
Would you be able to create a 1920x1080 wallpaper?? Or if the original pic had larger dimensions than 1920x1080, you could send me that and I'll make my own. If not, no worries, but it never hurts to ask!

Hi,

thanks for the interest man.

Unfortunately I only made that 1024 x 768 wallpaper. But you can easily enlarge it to any dimensions. Of course you'll lose some sharpness but I guess it's not that big of a deal.

Glad you liked the photo. ;)

collector26
03-16-2010, 10:35 PM
Great work By-Tor

You have always been one of my #1 sources for information. We are very lucky that you choose to post here.
I am already a happy V3 BCE owner and I agree with all of your comments.

You are famous IMO

By-Tor
03-17-2010, 01:28 AM
Thanks man.

I try to add more wrist shot 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 hope people will find this guide useful.

coldwin
03-17-2010, 01:28 AM
BCE still my favorite watch
And one BCE like you have BT just kick-ass
Whats the weight ?

frogman
03-17-2010, 02:01 AM
Thanks a lot man.

Actually I released 2 brand new watch reviews just recently.

Gen vs. rep Breitling Steelfish comparison, and a review of my "trimmed" Seamaster Chrono. Both here in my section.

They got very little attention here though. Maybe others missed them too. :lol:

The pics aren't up to my best standards as I shot them all in "one take". But thanks for the compliments anyway... you're too kind.


I would venture to say more people enjoyed your post than you think.....When we see the same members consistently post amazing reviews and articles I think it's easy to forget they are members as well....and need some encouragement! With that said, I'm here to tell you By-Tor:

"FINE JOB my friend! I truly love your reviews and you sir have cost me a lot of money in the past :)"

Thank you for another fine review....you're like the wall street journal of reps :)

btrizzy
03-17-2010, 02:52 AM
I have a V2 and I am pretty sure I had a V3 (got for a friend). I didn't really notice a difference in dial quality, but there is a HUGE difference in bracelet quality. HUGE. The V3 was tinny at first and after WD40, veg oil, and soap bath, it was still only half as good as my V2 bracelet.

I also recently purchased a gen BCE, and the V2 compares very well in fit and feel. Only issue is the DW. V3 isn't bad at all, but holding a V3 next to a gen, the difference is clear. As for dial, neither rep can compare to the gen under close inspection. AR on the V2 and V3 are equally good IMO and are very gen-like.

Add Lello DW to a V2 or a gen strap to a V3 and you have a winner.

Here are the 3 BCE I had at one time (gen is getting a dial swap, V3 white dial was sold to a friend, and the V2 in the back is for sale):
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x108/MadDog5145/IMG_2049.jpg

donm668
03-17-2010, 02:57 AM
Amazing as always By-Tor! (I always look forward to your reviews, maybe the noob's haven't discovered you yet!);)

By-Tor
03-17-2010, 03:22 AM
Thanks guys.

@btrizzy: Interesting note about the bracelet. I'd like to get another (original v2) for a review. As I stated in my review, I'd be happy to do it for the community. So if someone in EU has one great example and wants to sell, contact me.

Didn't you notice any difference between the dial rider tabs? I thought old v2 had more white tabs, and the v3 greener?

rc42
03-17-2010, 05:10 AM
Great write up, I read this with interest.

I got a roman numeral BCE (gold numerals on a black dial) from Josh about 6 months ago, I have no idea which version it is and now after reading this thread, I still have no idea :undecided:

Anyway, its a great watch, the TT version of that 'pilot' ? bracelet has some extra bling for sure (not sure if that makes it 'extra rich old man' or 'extra old rich man') but it sure does catch the light if you can keep the fingerprints off it.

Crystal had to go to Chief for some AR love, the rep version was just too blue and it needs some extra lume power as the rep fades to nothing fairly quickly. I'll get some pictures up when its finished.

:)

tengun
03-17-2010, 07:28 AM
Amazing as always By-Tor! (I always look forward to your reviews, maybe the noob's haven't discovered you yet!);)

lol they need to discover the search button first :shh:

btrizzy
03-17-2010, 11:05 PM
Thanks guys.

@btrizzy: Interesting note about the bracelet. I'd like to get another (original v2) for a review. As I stated in my review, I'd be happy to do it for the community. So if someone in EU has one great example and wants to sell, contact me.

Didn't you notice any difference between the dial rider tabs? I thought old v2 had more white tabs, and the v3 greener?

Are you talking about the lume markers? There is definite difference in color, with V2 being better, but neither compares to the gen. And it is not an easy flaw to spot, so I wasn't too concerned about it.

wimpie007
03-17-2010, 11:45 PM
Uhm, have i read correctly that you already sold it again?
Nice writeup and very nice pictures!
Thanks!

coldwin
03-18-2010, 05:01 AM
Eye Candy from By-Tor of my favorite watch
PLEASE!:kneel:

harley07
03-18-2010, 03:51 PM
By-Tor,
Superb write-up once again. :)
I'm looking forward to the Skyland review.

slats500
03-19-2010, 10:40 AM
Been sitting on the fence with the BCE, didn't understand all the different versions. Thanks a lot for the review, although you have now cost me money as I will have to go out and buy one.

You are a great source of info.

Cheers

RJR
03-19-2010, 11:22 PM
Been sitting on the fence with the BCE, didn't understand all the different versions. Thanks a lot for the review, although you have now cost me money as I will have to go out and buy one.

You are a great source of info.

Cheers

Be sure and check out the arabic dial version also. IMHO it is even closer to gen. I hate to add to the confission. :lol: ;)

By-Tor
03-20-2010, 02:55 AM
Be sure and check out the arabic dial version also. IMHO it is even closer to gen. I hate to add to the confission. :lol: ;)

First,

thanks everyone for the feedback. It's much appreciated.

About the arabic dial... yeah I have thought of that too. Why aren't they more popular? In my eyes the biggest flaw on all BCE's are the imperfect lume sticks. The arabic numeral version would fix that problem. I don't know how accurate the different batches are though... I mean the accuracy of dial numbers, etc.

Graphite version seems to be most popular so I wanted to review that.

@wimpie: Yeah I sold it. But I bought a v2 Skyland. I gotta say that I like it much more. BCE is very beautiful watch but maybe a bit too flashy for me. Skyland is more masculine "macho watch" which I like. I try to shoot some photos and make some sort of pictorial during the weekend.

tiffany.w
03-20-2010, 06:51 AM
The watches are very good-looking.

blcoffee
01-27-2011, 05:52 PM
Wow

Kal Vilmer
03-18-2011, 04:59 AM
Nice watch

Rolex0815
05-26-2013, 05:39 PM
Very nice watch!

umaz662
06-18-2013, 11:06 PM
i love breits this is another extra ordinary one