Today I’m wearing another watch I’ve previously written about here. I bought this Breitling Datora as a bit of a “fixer-upper” back in 2014 and promptly sent it out to be serviced. It’s now a fairly regular “wearer” in my watch box.
When I purchased this Datora it was in somewhat rough shape. The seconds hand was incorrect, as was the strap, and the movement barely had any power reserve at all. After servicing, though, it’s a nice little watch. The dial was in good shape, and the movement was quite serviceable once a new spring was fitted. It’s easy to wind and runs all day accurately and smoothly. Although it lacks true quickset date, it’s easy enough to roll back and forth around midnight to set it.
Although I kind of dug the double-bump blue leather strap it shipped with, it was in poor condition. I had this thick, sporty leather strap with double deployant in the box already (mismatched on my King Seiko) so I swapped it on. Much better! Now it has a sporty strap to match the 70s sports watch look.
I’m not much of a Breitling fan generally, especially not their flashy modern watches, but this one dates back to when they were a respected maker of everyday sports chronographs. Although homages are all the rage now, I can’t see Breitling making a throwback to this one.
The movement is a Valjoux 7734, a popular hand-winding movement based on the Venus 188. One interesting element of this watch is that it has a 45 minute counter at 3:00. This was somewhat rarer than the 30 minute counter. But not really rare. The tachymeter scale is fun, too – I’ve often used it to check my speed by timing mile markers in the car.
This watch shows what a little money can do. I bought a worn but cool watch, spent some money on service, and ended up with something I can really enjoy. And it’s got a famous name on the dial, too.