Best Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks Watch Hands-On

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This Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks replica watch costs about $400. If you haven’t already noticed, pricing doesn’t always seem to make sense in the watch world. There are times when otherwise interesting replica watches are marred by having retail prices which simply confound the consumer’s sense of reason. Sometimes those prices are actually too high, and other times the prices are fair but the consumer doesn’t understand or appreciate the reason for the high cost. In either event, pricing practices often don’t meld with consumer expectations or perceived values. It is perhaps the biggest “issue” the luxury industry faces, given the highly active watch lover community, and the conversations contained therein, that seek to validate or veto many decisions the watch industry makes.

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At Baselworld 2016, Breitling shared with us this new “Chronoworks” version of the Superocean Heritage. “Chronoworks” is a term I haven’t heard before from Breitling, and it sounds like their version of a tuning shop where they tweak movements for better performance. In this case, the Breitling Chronoworks team began with their already in-house-made Breilting caliber B01 automatic chronograph. Breitling points to “five innovations” in the movement which, after the “optimization” from their “performance lab” (Chronoworks), is now called the caliber BC01.

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What are the innovations? The question isn’t really “what,” but rather “if” these add up to the price Breitling is asking. The innovations in the movement added by the Chronoworks performance lab are a ceramic baseplate and gear-train bridges (versus metal), silicon wheels, a silicon escapement, a variable-inertia balance wheel, and elastic toothing. That all sounds cool, but what does it actually cost and what are the performance gains?

All of these features essentially act to do a few things. First is to reduce the propensity for parts to wear out, to reduce friction, to remove the effects of magnetism, to increase accuracy, and to decrease service times. Breitling doesn’t per se mention all this, but I can tell you what the point of all these parts is. Interestingly enough, all of this is a source of great controversy in the traditional watch industry. It has to do with the fact that metal parts are being replaced by non-metal parts. If the movements are still mechanical then why all the fuss?

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Some watchmakers are concerned that unlike metal parts which can be reproduced relatively easily, things like ceramic or silicon parts will not be easy to replicate in the future when the movements need to be repaired or serviced. That is technically true, but it is only based on today’s available technology. We simply don’t know if in the near future the technology will exist to rapidly produce parts in silicon or ceramic. However, I do agree that the availability of parts in the future is an issue when it comes to non-metallic movement parts.

Another less convincing (for me) complaint about non-metal parts is that, unlike traditional steel, brass, gold, etc., the surfaces of non-metallic parts cannot be decorated. That is true to an extent. You can polish ceramic, but you can’t really engrave it. Silicon, you can’t do much to at all, and at the end of the day these parts simply will not be as attractive as metal parts. Why a mechanical watch if it is not beautiful, they ask?

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I do appreciate the sentiment of this argument, but I don’t think it will hold a lot of ground in the long term. In my opinion, watch brands have an obligation to offer consumers choice, and it is the consumers who will choose what they want to put their money into. For those who can afford Philippe Dufour’s level of finishing and beauty, then they will easily sacrifice pure performance for beauty. People wanting a reliable everyday wear that isn’t an electronic fake watch might be better served by a movement made up entirely of non-metallic parts. Truly, that is where I hope we are headed. Brands from Ulysse Nardin to Breitling have been spending years playing with non-metallic parts. When are we going to finally see industrialized movements made with no metal, or minimal metal?

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From a performance perspective, the BC01 movement has 100 hours of power reserve, up from the 70 hours of the B01. That is pretty much the only real metric I think Breitling has published on the improved performance. However, I believe that I heard them mention a reported 75% increase in performance over time in the BC01 versus the B01. I am not totally sure what that means, but a 75% improvement in accuracy and reliability seems promising. Perhaps, even $400-promising to the right collectors.

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The movement otherwise continues to operate at 4Hz (28,800bph) and includes a 12-hour chronograph, date, and, of course, the time. Through the sapphire crystal caseback of the watch you can see the movement. Clearly, it is different than the stock B01 with all the black parts and some unique elements. With that said, in my opinion, too many of the parts are still unfinished right out of being machined, and at these prices, I think some consumers might expect a bit of hand-finishing. Why, on a sports watch? It really goes to the part of what a “performance lab” in the high-end replica watch world might need to be. I think the expectation by many consumers is that if Breitling tells the tale of how they took their stock movement and handed it to some exclusive Chronoworks lab in their manufacture, the movement will come out working better and looking better as a result.

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For me, that is the type of value proposition that can equal $400. I want the Chronoworks watches to be more or less the same sports watches the brand sells at a fraction of the price but…. highly over-engineered and decorated. Like if Porsche make a few versions of the Carrera by hand with hand-shaped body panels and a carefully tweaked engine. It would be like a coach-built Carrera only for insane collectors who can appreciate that stuff. Well, that is at least my feelings on a possible future angle Breitling could choose to take with their Chronoworks watches.

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In addition to the BC01 movement (which, of course, is COSC chronometer certified – as though any one cares anymore given the far superior standards out there now. Speaking of which, why doesn’t COSC just up their game a bit?), the Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks sports a 46mm-wide case and rotating bezel. Case quality is actually really nice in terms of polishing and overall feel. The dial also has a unique design among other Breitling Superocean Heritage timepieces. I wouldn’t call it an upgrade, but it is a bit different. I do like to see brands like Breitling experiment.

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Matched to the 100-meter-water-resistant black ceramic case is a new rubber strap (“Aero Classic”) that is meant to resemble the look of Breitling’s mesh metal bracelet you can get with other versions of the Breitling Superocean Heritage. I do think that Breitling should have included this strap in addition to doing a black-coated steel or titanium version of their otherwise polished steel mesh metal bracelet. That would have helped the value proposition of the replica watches a bit more. Rubber is nice and all, but in terms of presentation, you just can’t beat a nice solid metal bracelet.

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It is difficult to predict where Breitling will take their Chronoworks products in the future. They certainly need to share the story a lot better and explain where the source of value is. Moreover, I think that this can be Breitling’s “over-engineering lab” where their core stock of replica watches are sometimes turned into incredible limited editions with elaborate finishing and performance tweaks that would simply not make sense in any higher-volume production collection of products.

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Putting things back into context, the Valjoux 7750-based replica Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph costs about $160, whereas the replica Breitling B01-based Chronomat watches cost about $90. Breitling is asking a lot more for the limited edition of 100 pieces reference SB0161E4/BE91-256S replica Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronoworks that has a retail price of $325.

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Swiss replica watch exports to UK rise as tourists make most of fall in sterling

— Increase taps into surge of visitors to UK, exploiting what has become the cheapest luxury market in the world, say analysts

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A man looks at expensive watches in a shop window in Bond Street, central London.

Swiss replica watch exports to the UK rose by 13.4% in July as tourists exploited the drop in the value of the pound to snap up luxury goods.

The Federation of the Swiss Replica Watch Industry said watches worth 110.2m Swiss francs (£87m) were exported to the UK last month, the best figures since November 2015.

The figures are the latest sign of a boost for luxury retailers following the EU referendum result, which has pushed down sterling and made British shops more attractive to foreign visitors, with sales of jewellery and watches across the UK growing by more than 16% last month.

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The UK is now the cheapest luxury goods market in the world, according to analysts at stockbroker Exane BNP Paribas, which has predicted an uplift for British brands such as Burberry, Mulberry and Stella McCartney, as the stronger euro and dollar against the pound fuel tourist visits.

“Tourist inflows and spend are highly correlated to exchange rates. Continental markets such as France have suffered from relatively higher prices and terror attacks. “The likely consequence is a tourist spend boom in the UK,” said Luca Solca, a luxury goods analyst at Exane BNP Paribas.

The increase in Swiss replica watch exports to the UK compared with July 2015 makes Britain the fastest-growing major market for the sale of brands such as replica Omega, Breitling and Rolex.

Brian Duffy, the chief executive of Aurum, which owns the Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland chains, said his outlets had seen an immediate pickup in sales of luxury replica watches (above £500) on the day after the Brexit vote. This was most evident in London and at the group’s airport stores, he said.

In July 2016 Switzerland exported 110.2 million swiss francs worth of watches to the UK

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“It’s very clear there’s a boom going on. We are selling a lot of very high-end pieces where the absolute amount of savings can justify the cost of foreign travel. The savings on a £300 watch can pay for a flight,” he said.

Michael Wainwright, the managing director of Boodles, which sells Patek Philippe replica watches, said the British luxury jeweller had seen good business from Asian and Middle Eastern clients, who usually visit the UK at this time of the year, because the exchange rate had made desired items about 18% cheaper than anywhere else in the eurozone. The pound has fallen by 11% against the euro and dollar since the vote to leave the EU.

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A Breitling replica watch with diamonds. Savings on luxury watches can justify the cost of flights, experts say.

Wainwright said the chain had also recorded a rise in American buyers last month, when Swiss replica watches were as much as 30% cheaper in the UK than in the US.
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“To some extent, it is commodity dealing. Collectors will gravitate to the country offering the lowest price and at the moment that is the UK,” he said.

Jewellery sales were also benefiting from the pound’s decline, although the market was less commoditised, and so differences in design, service and other factors had a bigger role to play than the watch market, where collectors know exactly what they want.

“The weaker pound doesn’t have such an enormous benefit as it does on replica watches, but it will help London, retail and luxury goods,” he said.

Mario Ortelli, a luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, agreed that the UK luxury market was likely to benefit as a whole from the lower value of the pound. “Many tourists will decide to come to the UK, not because they like the weather, but because they think the exchange rate is improving prices,” he said.

But the global market for luxury goods was not likely to benefit overall from strong sales in the UK, he said, as shoppers were merely shifting from one country to another.

However, Ortelli said luxury brands were likely to put up prices to ensure that they protected sales and profits, meaning the boost to the UK may not last. “The benefit will be short term,” he said.

Pound against the dollar

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Jewellers said brands including Patek Philippe and Cartier had already put up prices by between 8% and 10%, although Rolex, Omega and Breitling had yet to change.

Meanwhile, Ryanair said it was carrying 20% more Americans and 10% more Chinese from Europe on shopping trips to the UK this summer, which it attributed to the fall in sterling.

The rise in luxury spending in the UK might help brands with British heritage such as Burberry, which have suffered from falling numbers of Chinese visitors to Europe due to terror fears, and to Hong Kong because of visa changes.

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Buying Replica Watches In Englewood, New Jersey: The Timepiece Collection

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Welcome back to an BuyWatchesTop original series, where we discuss important stores that sell replica watches all over the world. Each store we profile has an interesting story to tell about where they operate and who they sell to. Whether you buy replica watches from brick and mortar retailers or prefer to buy replica watches online, these are the stores that help shape our watch culture around the globe. There is a long list of stores to cover, but if there is a retail location in your favorite city that we simply can’t miss, let us know in the comments below. Here is a map of stores we have covered so far.

Where to buy replica watches in Englewood, New Jersey?

Combining a small-town feel with easy access to the Big Apple (just across the Hudson river) is Englewood, New Jersey. And it’s home to The Timepiece Collection for the past 15 years. Back when they opened in 2001, there was a very small market of high-end watch retailers in Bergen County. At that time, two avid watch lovers and longtime friends, Mike Rosenberg and Jeff Khalaf, created The Timepiece Collection Ltd.

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BuyWatchesTop (BWT): What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Englewood a unique place to buy replica watches?

Timepiece Collection: We have many local watch collectors in the area and sell a lot of high-complication timepieces. The three brands that are our most popular are Audemars Piguet, Ulysse Nardin, and Hublot. In 2015, one of our biggest accomplishments was that we were named the #1 retailer of Hublot in the tri-state area. We also have an in-house watch repair and service department. Our store is truly a one-stop shop for all customers.

Englewood is a unique place to buy fake watches because there is such a diverse community of watch lovers. We have a brand in store to fit nearly any price point. Anyone from the avid shopper, to the high-end collector will walk into our store on any given day.

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BWT: What would you tell watch lovers in other cities about the tastes of watch lovers in Englewood?

Timepiece Collection: We have 20-plus brands in store, so our market is much larger than just the city of Englewood. We are one of the leading watch retailers in New Jersey, and we love that we have customers all throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Watch lovers in the area love high-complication movements and limited-edition pieces, while some still love the simple luxury jewelry pieces. We have a wide range of customers, purchasing both the classic and sophisticated, to the sporty, oversized, and flashy. We love that we can sell our customers everything from a pre-owned Omega Seamaster, to a new Ulysse Nardin Lady Diver. We have a brand and timepiece for nearly every price point.

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BWT: Do you serve mostly locals or tourists, or is it a good mix? Also, what percentage of your customers would you call “knowledgeable watch collectors?”

Timepiece Collection: Because we ship internationally, we have a good mix of local customers as well as tourists. We are located just across the George Washington Bridge, and have many clients come in from Manhattan. A majority of our clients have been purchasing watches from us for the past 15 years. Being a luxury dealer for so many brands within 5 miles of Manhattan gives us a huge advantage.

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Bergen Performing Arts Center

BWT: What is Englewood best-known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?

Timepiece Collection: Englewood is well-known for the Bergen Performing Arts Center. It is a local non-profit theater that brings both big and small names to the stage. The town has a great selection of restaurants and shops for visitors. Englewood is also known for various celebrities that have lived in the East Hill Mansions, including Eddie Murphy, Sara Jessica Parker, Lil’ Kim, Tony Bennett, and many others. It is a small community with a city-like feel, and that’s what makes the entire neighborhood so desirable.

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BWT: As a business, do you sponsor or participate in any local events, watch-related or otherwise?

Timepiece Collection: We sponsor many local events that involve charities in the area. Recently, we had an in-house event sponsoring Englewood Medical Center Foundation. We donated a portion of all Chopard replica watches sold through the month of May. We also sponsored an event benefiting Eva’s Village which is a local non-profit that helps underprivileged children in Bergen County.

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Near the end of 2015, we worked with Hublot in creating our own 25-piece limited edition watch named the Classic Fusion Chrono Aero Hope for the Warriors. A portion of all the fake watches were donated to Hope for the Warriors, a non-profit organization benefitting post-9/11 service members, veterans, and military families.

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BWT: What are some of the watch brands you are known for carrying? If you could pick a watch brand or model that epitomizes the culture or style of Englewood what would it be?

Timepiece Collection: The watch brands that we are well-known for carrying include Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breitling, Glashütte, Harry Winston, Hermes, Hublot, Jaquet Droz, Longines, Omega, Tag Heuer, Ulysse Nardin, and Zenith. We are also an authorized retailer for Bell & Ross, Bovet, Girard-Perregaux, Guiliano Mazzuoli, Parmigiani Fleurier, and Perrelet. Along with being an authorized retailer, we also sell many various brands of preowned replica watches including Rolex, IWC, Roger Dubuis, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and many others.

Within the past year, we have acquired Chopard, NOMOS Glashütte, and Breguet. We are extremely happy and proud to be an authorized dealer for all of our brands and will continue to serve our watch community with the newest and best pieces on the market.

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