Breitling designed the Colt Skyracer as its new pilot's watch at the entry level to make it available to a wider group of Breitling fans. Any Breitling you acquire, in excellent condition, of course, is an investment and a valuable timepiece whether new or in used condition. The watch has a unique purpose and intention, although there have been a few questions about a few of its new features. To fully understand it's merit, a bit of its background is worth knowing. The Colt Skyracer has become the heart's desire for many who value sophistication with a dark silhouette, and a high level of functionality. It is with great pleasure that we offer our advisement in the form of a guide for getting the Breitling Colt Skyracer.
History of the Colt Skyracer
Jim's Watch Sale offers a comprehensive rendering of the NYC Replica Colt Skyracer, shedding a little light on is origins and purpose. It's a replica of the 1884 Chronometer with a modern twist that pays tribute to the Breitling Racing Team aircraft. The watch commingles the past with the present in its modern interpretation. The process for re-imagining the Colt Skyracer began in 2014, with the watch making its official debut at Baselworld in 2017.
Overview of the Breitling Colt Skyracer
Aesthetically, the Colt Skyracer presents a military vibe in an all black styling in a military theme adding the element of stealth and sophistication. It goes well with any wardrobe choices with its all black coloring with white contrasts on the numerals applied to the dial. The 45 mm case made of the brand's own alloy, called Breitlight. This material is described as a recent high-tech innovation of Breitling, in the form of a polymer amalgam that has unique properties of being stronger than steel, and four times lighter than titanium. It's also scratch resistant which makes the case exceptionally durable . This is an important detail that adds exceptional quality and value to the timepiece, due to its resistance to wear and damage, and the comfortable weight when worn on the wrist. The material is non-allergenic, with thermal stability for extreme temperature variations, and it's antimagnetic, as are most quality pilot's watches. Additionally, the Breitlight gives the case a warmer feel to the touch when compared to other metals. It has a mottled texture on the surface which adds yet another uniqueness to the feel and appearance.
A closer look at the dial
The dial is designed for optimum legibility. The background is Volcano black providing a dark color to make the hour numerals, in white contrast sharply. This is a non-chronograph edition that keeps the face clean and simple. The hands are oversized and like the hour markers, they're treated with white luminescent coating, to make the time highly legible in all lighting conditions. To add a bit of color, accents of red, mimicking the cockpit of an aircraft instrument panel add a bit of variety to the dial. A 24-hour scale of timekeeping is added to the dial as a feature that creates a military styling. A date window is located at the 3 o'clock position.
The bezel is a ratcheting unidirectional type that is etched with a 60-minute scale, and outfitted with rider tabs to make it easier to use. The crown is a screw-down type with rubber molding, working well with the protruding bezel gasket to accommodate the domed sapphire crystal lens that protects the dial and movement from dust contamination, moisture or other types of pollutants. The crystal is treated an anti-glare coating to make it easy to read in bright sunlight. The case design along with the crown and bezel combine to make the case resistant to water for up to 100 meters, or 300 feet.
The movement of a celebrated timepiece
Mark Bernardo's fascination for the Breitling Colt Skyracer, led to his description of the movement that powers the watch in some detail. He refers to it as the "engine" which is a SuperQuartz movement titled the Caliber 74. The term Superquartz refers to the superior accuracy over standard quartz movements with up to 10 times greater precision. Thermocompensation of the movement makes it resistant to the effects of extreme temperature variations from hot to cold. This mechanical movement is COSC certified by the strict Swiss agency that inspects the chronometer functions of these special movements. It's further merits and functions include aviation indications added including relief measurement scales at 12 o'clock, and at 6 o'clock, the indications for calculating inches and centimeters, in the spirit of a true pilot's watch. The watch is designed for easy removal from the band to complete calculations, and it re-attaches just as easily to achieve the maximum ease of use for its special features.
Inherent value of the Colt Skyracer
What makes a watch that is constructed of plastic and priced at a reasonable cost valuable? With the Breitling name, the initial reaction to its budget luxury pricing and non-metal material may elicit musings about the overall quality. To address any questions about the legitimacy or uniqueness of the Colt Skyracer, we looked at expert opinions to get a better picture of the nuances of the design, construction and intention of the brand behind the use of a quartz movement with COSC certification. We discovered that Hodinkee's reviewers had a lot to say about these potential drawbacks to shed more light on the intention and the resulting overall value of the timepiece. This also led us to some conclusions about the niche group of Breitling patrons who may find it to be an ideal option
The purpose and value the Breitlight amalgam
The material is plastic, and this may appear to be a drawback out of the gate, but when you consider that the unique development of this material gives the case a weight of 34 grams, it's pretty remarkable to achieve this degree of lightness in a fairly large 45 mm case. The second benefit of Breitlight is that it's been tested and proven to have a strength that is six times stronger than steel. This is not a common plastic and it's not a cheap material which does make a difference when it comes to the valuation of the watch. It's not a precious metal, but it's highly functional and is likely to result in a superior case that will outlive the more expensive metal alloys while protecting the inner working of the movement with greater efficiency. It's also worth noting that the total combined weight of the Colt Skyracer is just 54.6 grams, and it's not common to find a watch of this size in such a light rendering.
What about the quartz movement?
You can read on the dial that the Skyracer is COSC certified and for some this has created a bit of confusion. It's a quartz movement, versus an in-house delicacy that we've seen in many of Breitling's more expensive options. Yes, it's a quartz, but he term that has been applied to this unique engine is "SuperQuartz," and this does have some bearing on its accuracy and overall value. The construction of the movement is a complicated process that we won't get into here, but it suffices to say that it has the average quartz movement beat when it comes to timekeeping accuracy. COSC certification ensures that certain aspects of this SuperQuartz movement meet stringent requirements for quality in design and performance for the sake of accuracy. In short, the accuracy gap between this movement and a standard quartz movement is significant.
The B74 SuperQuartz movement measures 2.5 mm in depth expanded to 4.5 mm when the battery is installed. This allows for an overall thinner profile of 13 mm for the case thickness. It's a movement made by ETA known as the Flatline 955.652 prior to arriving at Breitling's operation. It's worth noting that it beats at 32,768 Hz with an accuracy of under 10 seconds variance a year.
Rationale for the design, Breitling has gone over and above, as is it's habit, to create an aesthetically pleasing aviator's watch that will be within the reach of a larger segment of the population. Not everyone has the means to drop between $3 and $15 grand on a wristwatch, regardless of how badly they may want to. Breitling has a solid reputation in the watchmaking community and it's not about to start producing any example that bears an inferior design or function. Even it's more affordable pilot's watch is thoughtfully designed with outstanding features within its respective class.
Where to find a Breitling Colt Skyracer
The Breitling Colt Skyracer is available for sale at the brand's website and through other authorized Breitling dealers. You'll find at the Breitling site, that it's available in your choice of a black or a green strap. Both give the Colt Skyracer a military look. This is the best resource for finding a brand new Skyracer without paying more than you should.
Other places to find a Colt Skyracer
We've shopped around for this model to compare prices and what we discovered is that you can find quite a few examples for sale on internet sites such as Chrono 24, and this vendor carries an extensive line. We saw the Volcano edition, with a pricing that was a little over $50 over the MSRP. A special RAF edition was offered for $3,304, and the highest price asked that we observed was 4,828 from a private seller in France. Sure, there are some special editions that will fetch a bit more, but you have to be careful about who you deal with.
Jomashop.com offers the Colt Racer for a price of $1,795, but this is such a popular model that it's tough for them to maintain a regular stock. They're frequently sold out, but you can get on their notification list to be kept in the loop when a new one comes in. We've also seen the Volcano dial edition on amazon.com, but the selling price was inflated to $3,475. You can see that there are sizable disparities in the pricing range. The Breitling Colt Skyracer with the Volcano black dial is modestly priced at just $2,000 and this is straight from the Breitling site. This is the MSRP, so if you're asked to pay more, pass on the deal and go to the official website.
The Breitling Colt Skyracer turns out to be a very special pilot's watch after all. Never mind the fact that it features a plastic case and a quartz movement. After a little research, we learned that this is a very special type of plastic that can put the majority of metal materials to shame in terms of hardness and lightness. Once again, Breitling has taken the lead in innovation, but in this case, it is to put a very unique watch into the hands of more consumers. The quartz movement is a beefed up version that leaves the standard movements in the dust. There is nothing cheap about this moderately priced luxury pilot's watch at all. We've come to the conclusion that Breitling has a passion for watchmaking and that they're not discriminatory when it comes to the clientele that they aim to serve. Some watch lovers are wealthy and some are not. The brand is doing its part to put high-quality luxury watches on the wrists of more people.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker