#BreitlingSelect – Worth $2k?

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#BreitlingSelect phone app
Courtesy watchpro.com (click on image for link)

Pssst buddy! Wanna buy a watch real cheap? Good luck with that. Meanwhile, #BreitlingSelect. This is not a service for bargain hunting watch buyers. It’s a rent-to-maybe-buy pre-owned watch program for Breitling enthusiasts. Here’s how it works . . .

Joining #BreitlingSelect costs $1,998. Your two grand covers a $450 one-time subscription fee and 12 monthly payments of $129. Breitling sends you up to three watches per year.

#BreitlingSelect Superocean auto

You can keep the same watch for a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 6 months. Of course, if you really enjoy your current Breitling watch, you can request the exact same watch model for your next rotation. You will still have to send us back your previous watch before getting the next one.

That’s a bit of PITA but postage paid presumably.

After rendering your credit card and personal data you’re free to choose your first watch from Breitling’s Select collection, “a selected, dedicated assortment of fully refurbished watches.”

Click here to view the horological smorgasbord. The options are changing as I write. At the moment, 37 watches are listed as “available.” Two are listed as “limited availability.”  

Breitling Navitimer 41 - #breitlingselect

Would you be pissed if the Navitimer Chronograph 41 (as above) or the Aviator 8 Curtiss Warhawk Chronograph 43 weren’t available on #BreitlingSelect during your year’s subscription?

There are no guarantee you’ll get one, or any other watch of your choice. You’re only going to know what’s really available after you sign up. (You might suspect bait-and-switch but I couldn’t possibly comment.)

Breitling selection

The rest of the watches up for rent/purchase come from Breitling’s Navitimer, Avenger, Superocean, Premier and Aviator 8 model lines. A spokesperson schmoozing with watchpro.com claims “the average value stands at $4,900.”

I suspect Breitling’s PR peep based their estimate of “average value” on the full retail price of a new watch. The Aviator 8 Curtiss Warhawk Chronograph 43 msrp’s at $5565. Chrono24.com has a new one for $4070. We can presume a pre-owned version stickers for less. 

Breitling Corporate values - cinema squad

What’s the price of a #BreitlingSelect watch if you decide to buy? That depends on the watch model. That intel’s also unavailable until you take the plunge.

“There is no discount when it comes to buying one of the watches,” watchpro.com warns, “but Squad Points, a Breitling loyalty rewards program, can be put towards the purchase and signing up to #BreitlingSelect does accrue Squad Points.”

There’s no way to calculate the value of said Squad Points. Incredibly, Breitling launched #BreitlingSelect before the Squad Points program. (Our editorial budget prevents a deeper dive to see if the points-to-dollars ratio is available after you sign up.)

#Breitling Select is using the “puppy dog” sales technique to lure members of the program to buy a pre-owned watch (give a person a puppy dog and they won’t want to give it back). Needless to say, Breitling puts a different a spin on the process.

Antonio Carriero Breitling

“Simply expressed, #BreitlingSelect gives the choice to our clients through an exemplary digital experience. Once again, we uniquely leverage our digital properties to bring additional benefits to experiencing Breitling and its iconic watches. always with the customer at the center, for a deeper engagement,” Breitling’s chief digital and technology officer Antonio Carriero summarizes.

Rent-to-maybe-buy watch programs before this one have gone the way of the Dodo bird for various reasons (including “recovery issues”). Given the questionable value of #BreitlingSelect, I predict Breitling’s rent-to-maybe-buy pre-owned watch service will suffer the same fate. Time will tell, but include me out.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Pass. And, I like me some Breitling.

    In other news… Rolex announces a new program… for a one-time initiation fee of $899 and a monthly subscription of $299, they will hold your place on the waiting list for an opportunity to buy an actual, gen-you-wine Rolex watch. Of course, there are no guarantees how long you’ll have to wait on the list or even if you’ll EVER get a watch. But, your PLACE on the list is guaranteed for as long as you maintain your #RolexSucker subscription.

    And, let’s face it… being able to say that you have a place on the Rolex LIST is almost as cool as saying you own a Rolex!

  2. They limit you to two years lest it unintentionally become some sub-prime “low money down” route for people to overextend their way into having things they can’t afford. Presumably Breitling doesn’t want to develop a rental stigma either.
    I’m indecisive but I don’t need that lengthy or costly of a test drive. 15-20 years ago I think KIA was just flat out loaning college students new cars for a week hoping to get them hooked and not want to surrender it at term’s end. Pretty sure that program didn’t last long.

      • You can buy the watch at any point, but there is no discount. The money you spend renting doesn’t apply to the watch.

        Well, it kinda does: the Squad Points you get for renting. The question is: how many points do you get and what are they worth? Breitling’s decision not to reveal that info is insane.

        • I misstyped when I wrote that, I meant to say at a discount. Still, someone invariably will ask “what happened to x” and nothing worse than saying “Oh I just was renting” this luxury purchase to make someone look stupid. On the rent list, you’re getting it for one purpose only….

  3. I’m calling it. This will fail. Unlike a car (which you can also lease), a luxury watch is a totally elective purchase. I predict that people will neither feel ok flaunting rental jewelry, nor with lying that they own something they don’t.

  4. You don’t have an editorial budget because you offer a product no one is willing to pay for. 🤔

    (Hodinkee though, those Schweinenhunden. Also any watch brand making money.)

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