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  1. #1
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    Default TEST: The Breitling Avenger Seawolf Titanium




    The never ending search for the best replica divers’ watch continues. This is in my opinion one of the “HGRs”, holy grail replicas. It has been discontinued some time ago which makes it a rare bird among us collectors. After having tested the Steelfish and the Héritage, this is my third Breitling diver replica from the famous Aeromarine series.

    While Breitling is usually a brand connected to aviation with their well known Navitimer and Chronomat lines, it is a preferred maker of professional diving watches as well, which they started constructing and developing again since 1995.



    In the United States Navy, the Seawolf-Class submarines were constructed to operate autonomously against the world's most capable submarine and surface threats. The primary mission of the Seawolf was to destroy Soviet ballistic missile submarines before they could attack American targets. The Soviet submarines are one of the most survivable elements of their intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal. I really don’t know if Breitling opted for this name because of the military background, even in WWII, submarines were called seawolves, or if it is from the majestic predatory fish that hunts in the deep – but it is one of the coolest names for a diving watch for sure.

    The genuine Aeromarine Avenger Seawolf was introduced at the Basel fair trade in 2002, being the first mechanical watch constructed to withstand the pressure of 3.000m/10.000ft which was a world record back then.
    It might have been one of Earnest Schneider’s biggest successes after he became CEO of B
    reitling Societé Anonyme in 1982.


    The case is taken from the Avenger chrono, which was introduced one year earlier, simplified to a three handed watch. Three handed watches have less vulnerable spots where water could invade which makes them more pressure resistant. That is mainly the point why the Avenger chrono is resistant up to 30 Bars (300m) while the Seawolf bears ten times more.
    The relationship to the Superocean series is unmistakable even though the Superocean cases (including the Steelfish Xplus) are significantly smaller next to the Avenger line.


    Breitling also commissioned researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne to perform numerical simulations in order to ensure perfect geometry for the case. The components that are critical in terms of water resistance feature dramatically outsized specifications: the watch crystal is 4.80 mm thick and the caseback 4.75 mm thick.

    Like the Superocean and Windrider series, it has the Breitling-common ridertabs. They add the special Breitling look to the watch and help turning the bezel even with thick diving-gloves. Also they protect the thick, glare proofed crystal by covering it.

    Another remarkable difference is the case material, titanium. It has the advantage that it does not corrode as fast in seawater and it is lighter than stainless steel. The two most useful properties of the metal form are corrosion resistance, and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. It is as strong, but 45% lighter.
    The disadvantage is the little scratch-resistance, as many gen owners claim it to be a magnet to small scratches (which can be fixed out easily though).

    Inside the case ticks the common COSC certified work horse Breitling Cal. 17 which is, as you all know, an ETA 2824-2.


    It comes in 4 colored faces: black, blue, grey and yellow. Last mentioned has black hands instead of white to give a more contrasted readability. The hands have good dimensions, a large minute hand which is important for divers as they have to use it together with the bezel.
    It is distinguishable from the hour hand at a glance, unlike the Omega Planet Ocean for example. The second hand with its red top (another similarity to the Superoceans) is well made for a quick function test during a dive.





    Now to our favourite question… How good is the replica?

    First of all, this is no out of the box Seawolf replica. It was modded by my friend K2222 for me. He managed to install a genuine dial and of course treated the crystal with his superb AR coating. I will nevertheless try to point out the flaws and strengths of an out of the box replica as well…

    Let’s start with the case. Even though I can’t compare it side by side, I sat often at the AD and admired the genuine item. I am very sure it shares the same dimensions, at least on the paper. Bytor describes it as thick as “a hockey puck” in his cool Breitling guide. It is a beast, but it also as very short lugs, which makes it pretty wearable even for small wristed like me.
    To draw the conclusion I made in almost every single test I made: Yes, it wears smaller than an UPO.

    Like the gen it is constructed out of titane, while newer replica versions are made of stainless steel. Again, it is made of three parts: caseback, bezel and body.
    The caseback, even though it is deeply engraved, is the weakest part of this watch. It is claiming the watch to be water resistant up to 300m instead of correct 3000 (!) m. A pretty glaring flaw which helps identifying a rep in seconds and moreover it is not correctable. Breitling will never send out replacement casebacks. They need the original because of the serial number. The reference number on my caseback is E19678, which is pure fantasy. The right reference would be E17370, but only a WIS would know this. It is not 4.75mm thick like the gen, but about 1.75mm.


    The weight is slightly heavier than the genuine’s 102.3gramms. By-Tor explains this in his guide with a heavier movement spacer ring. I think he is right, but the movement is of identical weight to the real item. I for myself got to the conclusion that the gen’s watch body weighs 102.3 gramms, without the bracelet.

    The body is made exceptionally. You will not find a single sharp edge to it. Fit and finish is comparable to a genuine in the 1000 – 3000 usd range, so yes, it is comparable to a real Seawolf. It has a very close looking Helium valve which is reaching through the case –

    and it is working, unfortunately. I’d wish it was just a dummy, because it starts to balance inner and outer pressure – basically by letting water pour in.
    I had this problem fixed by my watchsmith who did a perfect job. The watch is now sealed as a submarine and should withstand a pressure of 100m, the pressure test shows an obvious resistance up to 50m already.

    I will not do any saturation diving with it, anyway.

    The titane has nicely “aged” on this timepiece, which means that the grayish color darkens when time goes by. It is not hardened like on our IWC GST chrono replicas, so tiny scratches are pretty common on this watch – you can rub them out with an ink-rubber on both, genuine and replica. The titanium feels so nice and comfy on the wrist and makes a large watch certainly more wearable as a daily beater. If you never owned a ti watch, I’d strongly suggest you to go to an AD in your area and try on a genuine. You will be surprised!

    The bezel is carefully shaped, the markings are sewn in, not stamped in and the screws are for real. Not to mention the best pearl I have ever seen on any Breitling replica. Well I will mention it. Best pearl. It even glows!



    The engraving on the ridertabs is a little too square-edged, it looks more “stamped” on the gen. This is funny because I always thought this to be reserved for replicas.
    Nevertheless, the font is correct (note the open “4”) and in my opinion it is looking better than genuine, actually.


    It clicks unidirectional in half minute steps and it sounds louder when pressing it down while turning. When not pressing down, it could sound a bit more solid, though.
    The small “B” at 11:30 is of the right size and shape.
    The operation is as smooth as it can be and it is slip proof because of the Breitling-style-ridertaps.

    Unlike the Chronomat series, they are actually part of the bezel. That means the ridertaps aren’t screwed on, but milled out of block titanium together with the rest of the bezel. The problem with them is that they can kill your pullover once they get hold of the wool… But like on any Breitling with this feature, they are not only preventing the bezel from slipping through your fingers, but also guarding the cambered sapphire crystal. I had mine AR coated by K2222 who again did an awesome job. It has a beautiful bluish tint and simply disappears from most angles. Unfortunately, the rep factory seems to have saved some bucks here as they have chosen to use a crystal not as thick as the genuine, or the one of the Steelfish replica. They compensated this by adding a higher rehaut ring to the dial.



    Now that I have managed to put in a genuine dial, the gap between the crystal and the dial is obvious. Also, the genuine dial seems to be a little too small in diameter – there can be noticed a tiny space between dial and case, but you have to look really closely. Maybe I will swap the replica rehaut ring back in, like Ubi did on his piece, if I don’t manage to source a thicker fitting crystal.
    (Picture courtesy of Ubi)

    The rehaut ring, however is counting from zero to one hundred, a feature that helps translating minutes and seconds into a metric system. Ten seconds are 17% of a minute for example. This is not a necessary feature for a diving watch, but nice none the less. The dial gets a more balanced appearance from it, imho.

    Nevertheless, the genuine dial is a real enhancement. It uses different font for the “3000M/10000FT” text, it is Italics on the rep. Also the genuine’s font and the numerals are much brighter, the writing on the Chronometre is larger as well. It is a pity that my dial has a small spot on the numeral “8” where the paint has chipped off a bit. But it will be an easy fix with some white paint.

    The white numerals on black surface create great legibility. And the hands are not any worse, but they have a greenish lume color, instead of the genuine item which should be all white.
    Interestingly, Breitling matches the hands-part closest to the pin with the color of the dial, excluding the yellow dialled version where the hands are all black.

    Let’s have a look at the crown. It is a screw-lock with a patented design, large and with a non-slip chess-profile. You can easily operate it with gloves, but there are minor differences to spot here: The B is different and the chess-profile is not as defined. Overall it has a genuine “feel”.



    The thread of screw is great, it takes two full turns to lock and unlock the crown. There is no danger of ruining the thread like on the Steelfish replica.


    The movement built into the replica case is almost identical to the genuine Breitling calibre 17, the old workhorse ETA 2824-2.

    A reliable movement, with a datewheel that uses correct font, but nothing special. You can see from the witschi timing machine results that even after years of use the rates are on a good level.


    As a matter of fact, these rates will vary when the watch is actually worn. Most likely they will even get better.

    The bracelet is not up to the quality of the rest of the watch, I’m afraid. It does not even really fit into the case, the first link from the endlink at six o’ clock can’t be moved down all the way because it gets stuck with the lughorns… The link is too thick. And even though it is made from real titane as well, the edges are too sharp. Adjusting, however is really easy: you just have to remove the screws, which are made of ti, too.


    I really wish the makers would’ve made it a bit smoother, especially the clasp. It has the correct diver extension and a safety lock, but the Breitling logo is not engraved as deep.


    My friend Takashi confirmed that the bracelets on all (!) first version Seawolves he has handled were better than this, so I guess it might be just mine. Nevertheless I will give a poor rating here as I can only test THIS watch. Just add 3 points for the “regular” bracelet.
    This watch really deserves a genuine rubber strap with ti buckle in my opinion anyway.






    All in all this watch is an awesome addition to any rep collection and it is hard not to fall in love with it on first contact. It is much nicer than the steadily available SFSO in many ways in my opinion.

    Still the race for the perfect replica divers’ watch continues…




    Thanks for your interest. Feel free to leave a message after the beep.

  2. #2
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    Your reviews are the BEST SD4K!! Awesome Job, everytime!

  3. #3
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    Amazing review! This deserves all my geekbux! (which unfortunatly is not much)

  4. #4
    I luv me some SeaDwellers

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    Great review and Love that watch! I sold mine to another member. I sure miss it now.

    Thanks -
    Check out my section - Jackjo's Watch Crib

    Click here - Hidden Content

    It has all my Reviews and Mods!!!



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  5. #5
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    great review and read

    nicely done sd4k
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been"

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    Great review.

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    That is a very serious review, nicely done!

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  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-13-2008, 11:19 PM
  2. TEST: The Breitling Avenger Seawolf Titanium
    By seadweller4k in forum Breitling
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-10-2008, 05:34 PM

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