Have you ever heard of Breil? Yeah, neither have we. In the late 60’s and early 70’s the watch industry found many chronograph dials having unfamiliar names printed on them. And now today those off brand chronographs are even more unfamiliar than they were then. Luckily for us now, many these off brand chronographs bring tremendous value to anyone looking for a solid case, reliable movement and usually funky/ fun dial. For us, here at the site, we love value propositions and these days when prices are reaching astronomical heights someone needs to point out that value can still be found. This is the Breil “Blue Panda” Chronograph, so let’s get into it!
When I first opened the frail package and took out the watch in a zip locked bag the first aspect I noticed and instantly loved is the dial color. The navy blue dial attracts the eye and after I took out the watch, it only got better. The incredible funky chronograph register, hands, and dual colored outer scales are all what make this piece so special. This example (not that I’ve seen another one) has tritium lume on the hour indices and the hands have aged to an even creamy green that only adds to the appeal. There is a lot going on when you look at the dial and the well sized symmetrical sub registers even everything out.
The chrome plated case may scare away a few people at first, but don’t run too quickly. In recent years there have been many examples of poor chrome plated cases that popped up online and on blogs. Us watch collectors, we have all been told to stay away from these pieces, so it is easy to forget that the good condition chrome plated examples are still solid options. Chrome doesn’t chip or wear off right away, it takes years, if not decades, of daily use to get to that level of wear- depending on how that particular watch lives, of course. So when a watch is offered at a good price on this site, other sites, or even on eBay, don’t be afraid to go for it. Most people overlook chrome plated, so the price will always be a fraction of the value and I can guarantee that.
Luckily this case is near perfect with only some very minor wear under the lugs and slight loss around the crown and pushers. The case comes in at 36mm, a very respectful size for today's chronograph market. The well proportioned pump pushers and crown bring the case together and I always find that chronographs wear larger because of their pushers. Flip it over and you will find a nicely brushed stainless steel screw down case back. Ticking away inside is the reliable Valjoux cal. 7733 manual winding chronograph movement. The 7733 isn’t the prettiest movement, but ask anyone, and they were agree it gets the job done quite well.
Valjoux al. 7733
While wearing the 36mm case it sits well on my slightly over 7 inch wrist and we paired it with a nice textured stitched strap to really bring out those crazy colors on the dial. It’s an incredible watch to wear casually and everytime I look down at my wrist I see the breathtaking vibrant blue dial and funky features. Something also worth noting is that the lugs are 18mm.
The Breil “Blue Panda” Chronograph will be going live on the site tomorrow and of course you can shoot us an email if interested.