Few brands of vintage watches are as polarizing as Breitling.
With varied designs and complicated dial aesthetics, a vast majority of collectors simply don't know what to make of Breitling chronographs. For the most part, we're right there along with them - hell, we don't know how to use the sliderule feature on the Navitimer 806 any better than you do - but we know it is one hell of a watch, and one that is intrinsic to the history of 20th Century aviation. Often overlooked, Breitling also manufactured a range of timepieces in the 1960s and 70s with far simpler designs that are easier to wrap our heads around. Chronographs such as the Top Time, Superocean 2005, Datora and this beauty, a Reference 815 "Long-Playing", stand in stark contrast to their Navitimer/Cosmonaute brethren, and made us think twice before dismissing vintage Breilting as universally unwearable.
With an infinitely cleaner dial featuring a triple register layout and central chrono sweep seconds hand, the 815 model is perhaps most distinguishable by its characteristic triple-register "Panda" layout. Powered by a Valjoux 7736, the 815 shares quality internals with numerous other brands of the era, including Rolex, Heuer, and Universal Geneve. Although Breitling's "Pandas" are less well known to collectors today than these competing pieces, there is no denying the simple sporting appeal of these chronographs...plus they just look plain awesome!
This particular example is a true survivor in all-original condition, having been spared the common dial and lume over-restoration that tends to plague Breitlings of this era. With a crisp plated case and an equally stunning dial, this is one of the nicest examples we've ever come across. For a terrific look at the history of the Breitling 765 Chronograph, hop over to this three part article on Monochrome, starting HERE.
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