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Thread: Breitling Aerospace Avantage Service Query

  1. #1
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Breitling Aerospace Avantage Service Query

    It was becoming difficult to change functions on my Aerospace Avantage as the crown had become stiff to turn, especially rapidly. So I took it in to the Breitling Boutique in Sheffield for them to send to BUK for a full service. I have to say that the staff in there were excellent and pointed out that there was an orange mark on the dial between 12 and 2 which I hadn't noticed before, but checking the snaps I took before I took it in to them it was certainly there, (see photo below), I knew the cost of the full service and they advised that a replacement dial would be around £300, also that Breitling would advise if any other work was required so left it with them to send off and await their quote.

    I have just received the following Email from them and am somewhat puzzled....

    Thank you for entrusting us with your timepiece; it is our pleasure to provide the estimate outlined below, where we have itemised the quotation into necessary and optional work.



    Following careful examination by a Master Watchmaker, diagnostics have shown that to return your timepiece to its original functional and aesthetic specifications, the following interventions and/or components are required:



    The following work is deemed necessary:

    Full service required - £545.00
    Aerospace bracelet - £300.00
    Supply and fitting of 3 shortening links for bracelet.


    Total - £845.00




    The following work is deemed optional: .

    Replacement of discoloured dial - £300.00
    Total - £300.00

    The bit I don't understand is regarding the bracelet. Is the £300 for a new bracelet? Refinishing the bracelet? or just for 3 shortening links, (whatever they are?)? As they've said it's necessary am I right to assume they won't do the full service on the watch unless I have the bracelet done?

    I will be contacting them to ask but wondered what the collective thought. I've included a couple of shots of the bracelet below, (yes, I cleaned out the DNA before I took it in - I've been wearing the watch on a blue NATO for some time). Also, any thoughts as to what happened with the dial? It wasn't like it a few weeks ago.










    Anyone else have experience of this work by BUK?
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  2. #2
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    Did you think there were any issues with the bracelet.Are you happy with it as it is,if so perhaps no need to have sent them the bracelet.

    I wouldnt have.


  3. #3
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    £300 used to be the cost of a new bracelet on exchange.

    (going back around 10yrs though).

    I suspect that £300 now - is the cost of refurb and link insertion.


    What I would recommend is to state to them that you want a detailed report on headed paper - of all work carried out.

    I had to chase them up extensively on two occasions for that.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    Did you think there were any issues with the bracelet.Are you happy with it as it is,if so perhaps no need to have sent them the bracelet.

    I wouldnt have.
    Thanks. I've been wearing it on a blue Nato for some time now, (and think it looks really good on that), but thought I'd send the bracelet in with it as, if they refinish the watch, the bracelet would then look wrong if I chose to refit it later. I'm certainly not aware of anything being wrong with it, but the most puzzling part was the '3 shortening links' as I've no idea what they are and an internet search can't reveal anything about them either. All the links look the same to me in my pics too.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    £300 used to be the cost of a new bracelet on exchange.

    (going back around 10yrs though).

    I suspect that £300 now - is the cost of refurb and link insertion.


    What I would recommend is to state to them that you want a detailed report on headed paper - of all work carried out.

    I had to chase them up extensively on two occasions for that.
    Thanks. Yes, an exchange bracelet would seem fair at £300, but what on earth are the 3 shortening links for? And £300 seems an awful lot for 3 links - £100 per link!
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  6. #6
    I think the 3 shortening link's mean the 3 link's removed from one side? One has 6 link's and the other size 9.
    As for price it does seem very confusing, if it's £300.00 for 3 link's I'd tell them where to go.


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  8. #8
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    There does look to be some gaps on the three links on the side of the foldover lock. I reckon they want to replace those. IIRC, each Breitling bracelet link has a pin permanently attached to one end of each link, the centre link is loose, then the screw heads go into the pin to sandwich the complete three-piece link together. I suspect the screws/pins are somehow loose, which would necessitate an entirely new endpiece...they probably only sell them as complete links. So I don't think you are getting anything extra...just replacing those loose links...





    Can't imagine what has happened to the dial. I'd have thought only some moisture ingress could have started a discolouration like that? Difficulty turning the crown would also suggest the watch has succumbed to water. I reckon they'll be throwing out the old module and putting a new one in.
    Last edited by Christian; 6th April 2024 at 12:39.

  9. #9
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    £300 to clean a watch bracelet, that's a joke right. That could be done easily by yourself.

    These companies really know how to pull peoples pants down.

  10. #10
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    Very BUK ... I'd simply tell them I'd like the full service, and that they should leave the dial and I'm happy with the bracelet.

  11. #11
    Sounds to me like the shortening links are removable links - and they seem it essential to replace those for some unfathomable reason.

    On the dial - interesting - mine has orange-ing (copper?) between 10 and 12 - almost identical to yours but slightly different place. Not noticeable in daily use.

    I wonder if this is a manufacturing defect?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stooo View Post
    Sounds to me like the shortening links are removable links - and they seem it essential to replace those for some unfathomable reason.

    On the dial - interesting - mine has orange-ing (copper?) between 10 and 12 - almost identical to yours but slightly different place. Not noticeable in daily use.

    I wonder if this is a manufacturing defect?
    And yours (previously mine) is also blue, with the discolouration/paint loss extending onto the chapter ring in a similar manner. Really weird.

    @OP. BUK are asking £1145 to carry out all the work, which is close to the territory of a nice, used later model Avantage - the one with the striped dial. Yours will probably be cosmetically as new and warrantied, so maybe not too bad, but will you be able to wear it in the same casual manner having spent that much and now having a minty watch? On the other hand, the only issue you were having was the stiffness in spinning the crown - it’s not screw down and it’s into a quartz movement, so I expect that an ultrasound clean should sort that.
    I’d be seriously tempted to tell them to forget about it. BTW, a 2 piece Zuludiver canvas in black/blue with a red stripe is the nicest strap for this. Add an eBay butterfly deployant and brush the ‘bridge’ for a killer combo and sell the bracelet as is.

    https://www.watchgecko.com/products/...4aAvAeEALw_wcB

    I think the 3 links business is about restoring the bracelet to its full, original length. That way the watch leaves BUK in its original specification - that’s what they mean by “the original functional and aesthetic specification.” Too bad if you have to remove them again to fit you.
    Last edited by TomGW; 6th April 2024 at 22:57.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    No, they wonít care about the length of the bracelet. Everyone will have different length bracelets with links removed. All Breitling is concerned about is the watch meeting its strict QC criteria at the end of the service. I can guarantee you they are talking about replacing the links Iíve circled in the picture above. There should definitely be no visible gap between the parts that make up a link.

  14. #14
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    Coincidentally, I have just sent my exact same model, blue dial etc to BUK for a full service (2 weeks ago). The LCD screens on mine are playing up ie not displaying correctly. I expect it will need a new module. I didnít send the bracelet with the watch but fitted a Breitling blue rubber to it instead.

    I havenít received my quotation yet, but having seen yours, I am interested to see what they come up with. My watch is in very good condition, so wonít be accepting any other works, although I expect they will tell me that the rubber strap shows wear & tear and needs replacing :0)

    Sent mine via my local AD. They took detailed pictures of the watch and did an appraisal in front of me, which I then signed.

    More importantly, I hope they donít mix up our watches and we get the wrong watch backÖ

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TomGW View Post
    And yours (previously mine) is also blue, with the discolouration/paint loss extending onto the chapter ring in a similar manner. Really weird.
    Indeed it is. And I love it how it is - itís been worn almost every day since.
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  16. #16
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    Maybe itís because I played the military card but Breitling service department has been good to me in the past. I preferred to send my watch directly to their service department in Tonbridge so that you can speak to them directly. I believe if you go through an AD, then you have to relay everything through the middleman.

  17. #17
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    In the midsts of time, when manufacturers looked after you:

    the titanium bracelet on my Aerospace sprung apart at a link (I ran it under a hot tap).

    They fitted a brand new (£300 at the time) bracelet, for......................... Nothing! (it must have been faulty, sir) The watch was a good 5+yrs old at that time.

    At the same time - Rolex fitted a new oyster bracelet to my GMT-Master for the princely sum of £17. (I think it was >£300 to buy one at the time).

    Now - it is a revenue stream in its own right

  18. #18
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Now - it is a revenue stream in its own right
    Very true.

  19. #19
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info guys, greatly appreciated.

    Will be having a word with them tomorrow, but I'm thinking of just having the full service and possibly new dial, (not fully made my mind up on that yet, but likely), then putting the watch back on the Nato I'd been wearing it on as it suits it so well. I have at least two spare links in the box so I can change two of them myself if needed further down the road so £300 for 3 links does seem OTT.

    This is what it looks like on the Nato....

    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  20. #20
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    By 'shortening links' I think they may mean the tapering links, as those links at the clasp end will be 20mm, down from 22mm at the watch end.

    After using BUK in Tunbridge Wells for many years, I had a ridiculous encounter with them a while back. A previous service resulted in my Aerospace being returned to me non-functional, and had to go back to them for a module replacement which took months due to 'a difficulty sourcing the parts'.

    Fast forward to the next time the battery ran out, and when I sent it into them requesting a battery & seals service they initially refused, insisting it had to be a full service (i.e. new module - they simply bin them rather than service them) plus they said a number of additional parts would have to be replaced too. I challenged that pointing out the module had been changed the last time they had it, and they relented saying they would do a battery & seals service; but there would be no guarantee on the work.

    I enquired what would happen if the watch was returned to me non-functioning, as had happened previously. They told me that was impossible. I replied it was possible as it had literally happened. They just kept repeated it could never happen due to their rigourous QC. I gave up in the end and got STS to do it, who incidentally were significantly cheaper.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcleminson View Post
    By 'shortening links' I think they may mean the tapering links, as those links at the clasp end will be 20mm, down from 22mm at the watch end.

    After using BUK in Tunbridge Wells for many years, I had a ridiculous encounter with them a while back. A previous service resulted in my Aerospace being returned to me non-functional, and had to go back to them for a module replacement which took months due to 'a difficulty sourcing the parts'.

    Fast forward to the next time the battery ran out, and when I sent it into them requesting a battery & seals service they initially refused, insisting it had to be a full service (i.e. new module - they simply bin them rather than service them) plus they said a number of additional parts would have to be replaced too. I challenged that pointing out the module had been changed the last time they had it, and they relented saying they would do a battery & seals service; but there would be no guarantee on the work.

    I enquired what would happen if the watch was returned to me non-functioning, as had happened previously. They told me that was impossible. I replied it was possible as it had literally happened. They just kept repeated it could never happen due to their rigourous QC. I gave up in the end and got STS to do it, who incidentally were significantly cheaper.
    A very familiar story. When I got into watches twenty odd years ago BUK had a very good reputation, but I think it's gone through the floor. Pomposity and incompetence are hard enough to deal with individually, but when you get them in combination like this ...

    My Aerospace has gone to BUK twice. The first time was a battery change, when it was returned covered in fingerprints and set to a completely random time, with the display flashing; the second time was the usual insistence on the full service despite its having been worn for about 48 hours in three years, when it was returned (as in the above account) not working at all and had to go straight back.

    I have an old SuperOcean bought NOS over ten years ago, and which is quite a rare iteration of the watch, hardly worn but which really should be serviced, but I'm terrified BUK will f it up in some way, put on different hands etc.

  22. #22
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Breitling Aerospace Avantage Service Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenko View Post
    More importantly, I hope they donít mix up our watches and we get the wrong watch back
    Having read a couple of the above posts, this now appears to be a distinct possibly!

    Mine looks like this in case we have a verify the watches :o)

    Last edited by Tenko; 7th April 2024 at 15:25.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenko View Post
    Having read a couple of the above posts, this now appears to be a distinct possibly!

    Mine looks like this in case we have a verify the watches :o)
    If that happens, BUK will simply insist that you were the fortunate recipients of their brand-leading Customer Timepiece Involuntary Exchange Programme, designed to 'enhance the unique Breitling experience', and have no right of redress.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    If that happens, BUK will simply insist that you were the fortunate recipients of their brand-leading Customer Timepiece Involuntary Exchange Programme, designed to 'enhance the unique Breitling experience', and have no right of redress.
    Can't wait for this unique experience...

  25. #25
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    Having owned a few Breity's over the years, the above responses have really put me off the brand.


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  26. #26
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    I wonder how the service department is in the EU? Sadly BUK from these example puts me off my next purchase.
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  27. #27
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    I think with quartz BUK are pretty avoidable - one can just get Russell Talerman, STS etc (and indeed several on this forum) to do a battery change. Mechanical are more of a headache.

  28. #28
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    Just had my quotation back

    I asked for a full service as my lcd was playing up, not showing correctly. So full service at £545.

    In addition, optional is a dial change at a cost of £350, so an increase on the OPís original £300 (inflation?). Apparently mine is showing signs of deterioration.



    Iíve politely declined the dial change.


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  29. #29
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    My current Aerospace, the 5th I think, was serviced by Breitling just before I bought it, so maybe 2 years ago. Hopefully it won't have any issues for the foreseeable. If it does I'll be trying STS first. To be fair, I've never had any issues with any of mine but I'm aware that BUK really pile it on when they get a chance.

  30. #30
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    [QUOTE=TomGW; If it does I'll be trying STS first.[/QUOTE]

    I asked STS if they could repair my watch for me. They replied saying that they couldnít help me. I found this strange as I have a service slip from STS for work on my watch in 2018, which was prior to my ownership.

    I expect that it was a battery service only.


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  31. #31
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenko View Post
    Just had my quotation back

    I asked for a full service as my lcd was playing up, not showing correctly. So full service at £545.

    In addition, optional is a dial change at a cost of £350, so an increase on the OPís original £300 (inflation?). Apparently mine is showing signs of deterioration.



    Iíve politely declined the dial change.


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    Why are these watches dials deteriorating so quickly?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Why are these watches dials deteriorating so quickly?
    I don't see any deterioration on my dial, hence me declining the work to change it. Once I get it back from service, I will be giving it some closer scrutiny to see if their suggestion to change it for new was justified.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Why are these watches dials deteriorating so quickly?
    I've never heard of this issue on the Aerospace before. Sadly you have to suspect it's BUK price-gouging; if even 1 in 10 punters says "gosh, ok" then it's easy money.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    I've never heard of this issue on the Aerospace before. Sadly you have to suspect it's BUK price-gouging; if even 1 in 10 punters says "gosh, ok" then it's easy money.
    Yes, I suspect it is unnecessary work, but I guess the manufacturer will always argue they are just bringing the watch back to original state...so if they see even a minor imprefection, they'll recommend work. I'm surprised it's the dial though as unless water has got in or the watch has been dropped and something inside come loose, I don't see how a dial should get damaged.

    On the OP's watch at the very top, there is clear indication that something is wrong with that orange stain around the rehaut.

  35. #35
    It's probably lume related, needs refreshing by supplying a new £300 dial.

  36. #36
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    I contacted Breitling regarding the bracelet and dial, basically asking what exactly was wrong with the bracelet and would it be alike for like dial replacement as I didn't want to have a later styled dial fitted. Here is their reply

    Good Afternoon

    Thank you for your email

    1. The price quoted is for x3 bracelet links
    2. Three existing links have damaged threads which has compromised the security of the watch.
    3. Yes, the dial would be a like for like replacement

    Kind regards

    I'm puzzled as to how threads have become damaged on 3 links, particularly as each link is held by two screws. I bought it in 2007 and added 1 link maybe 2 to 3 years ago. Very strange. I have 2 more spare links so am minded to get them to fit 1 new link and I'll add the other 2 when I get it back - saves £200 but I bet they'll say if they don't fit all 3 it will void that warranty!

    Checked my old photos and the dial was 100% perfect 8 months ago, (the last picture I could find before the discovery the other day), so the damage has occurred since then. No idea how as the watch is worn in rotation, like maybe once a month at most, and it certainly hasn't be exposed to water. I think I'll have them fit a new one as it'll bug me now knowing that it's there and will likely get worse.



    Last edited by Griswold; 13th April 2024 at 13:27. Reason: removed duplicate wording
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  37. #37
    Grand Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griswold View Post
    UPDATE

    I contacted Breitling regarding the bracelet and dial, basically asking what exactly was wrong with the bracelet and would it be alike for like dial replacement as I didn't want to have a later styled dial fitted. Here is their reply

    Good Afternoon

    Thank you for your email

    1. The price quoted is for x3 bracelet links
    2. Three existing links have damaged threads which has compromised the security of the watch.
    3. Yes, the dial would be a like for like replacement

    Kind regards

    I'm puzzled as to how threads have become damaged on 3 links, particularly as each link is held by two screws. I bought it in 2007 and added 1 link maybe 2 to 3 years ago. Very strange. I have 2 more spare links so am minded to get them to fit 1 new link and I'll add the other 2 when I get it back - saves £200 but I bet they'll say if they don't fit all 3 it will void that warranty!

    Checked my old photos and the dial was 100% perfect 8 months ago, (the last picture I could find before the discovery the other day), so the damage has occurred since then. No idea how as the watch is worn in rotation, like maybe once a month at most, and it certainly hasn't be exposed to water. I think I'll have them fit a new one as it'll bug me now knowing that it's there and will likely get worse.


    Good afternoon

    Thank you for your e-mail.


    1. The price quoted is for x3 bracelet links
    2. Three existing links have damaged threads which has compromised the security of the watch.
    3. Yes, the dial would be a like for like replacement
    Itís quite clear there is something up with those linksÖthe adjacent pieces that make the link donít touch each other in your photo which indicates the screw isnít fully screwing into the tube. Iím not surprised Breitling are quoting to fix this.

  38. #38
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Just checked my estimate again. Apparently, my dial has brass showing through in places. Could this be the issue with the OPíS dial?

    I cannot see any signs of brass on my dial from the pic posted, which is why Iíve declined the dial change. Whatís the betting that my watch gets returned with the OPís dial?

  39. #39
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    UPDATE.

    The Aerospace came back from service today and I have to say it looks like a brand new watch. Dial changed, must be a new movement because the digital display is way more readable, crown nice and smooth and works as it should. 3 new links added and they've completely refurbished the whole bracelet and case, (which wasn't in the quote).

    Expensive? Yes, but well worth it




    I'm almost too afraid to wear it now
    Best Regards - Peter

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  40. #40
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    ^^^ Looks good. Picking mine up tomorrow from the AD.

  41. #41
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Hope yours comes back as good as mine has.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  42. #42
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Looking good. I am guessing the price paid is a lot less than a new Aeropsace MRP. Looks like you have a NOS watch with a manufacturers warranty. Congrats.
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  43. #43
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Thanks Martyn
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  44. #44
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griswold View Post
    UPDATE.

    The Aerospace came back from service today and I have to say it looks like a brand new watch. Dial changed, must be a new movement because the digital display is way more readable, crown nice and smooth and works as it should. 3 new links added and they've completely refurbished the whole bracelet and case, (which wasn't in the quote).

    Expensive? Yes, but well worth it


    I'm almost too afraid to wear it now
    I had that same feeling when mine came back with new super compressor movement.

    Did you get a detailed worksheet of the works carried out? I struggled on both occasions - to get something half-professional.

    OOI - how much was the all-up cost?

  45. #45
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Hi Al, no detailed worksheet Iím afraid, just their original estimate per my OP. Cost was £1,145 so they didnít find anything else that needed doing - though I suspect they also changed the hands as well as the dial.

    They returned the 3 links they replaced with the watch but retained the dial.

    Service from the boutique was very good indeed and we chatted about watches other than Breitling too. Oh, and the watch had been fully set, even to the second, minor detail but shows a level of care.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  46. #46
    Master
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    That looks great. You have practically got a new Aerospace. Great watches. Enjoy.

  47. #47
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griswold View Post
    Hi Al, no detailed worksheet Iím afraid, just their original estimate per my OP. Cost was £1,145 so they didnít find anything else that needed doing - though I suspect they also changed the hands as well as the dial.

    They returned the 3 links they replaced with the watch but retained the dial.

    Service from the boutique was very good indeed and we chatted about watches other than Breitling too. Oh, and the watch had been fully set, even to the second, minor detail but shows a level of care.

    Sounds like they still donít understand Ďqualityí. I DID manage to get a detailed account on Breitling UK paper (as a PDF) but they still didnít appreciate my point, that for circa £900 - I wanted a detailed breakdown of what had been carried out on the watch.

  48. #48
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Sounds like they still donít understand Ďqualityí. I DID manage to get a detailed account on Breitling UK paper (as a PDF) but they still didnít appreciate my point, that for circa £900 - I wanted a detailed breakdown of what had been carried out on the watch.
    Did you ask for it direct from Breitling, or from an AD/Boutique? And did you send it direct to them or via an AD/Boutique?
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  49. #49
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griswold View Post
    Did you ask for it direct from Breitling, or from an AD/Boutique? And did you send it direct to them or via an AD/Boutique?

    Sent via LAINGS Edinburgh on both occasions, who suggested I pursue the documentation with BUK directly.

    BUK thought a general Ďreturned to as new conditioní sufficed.

    might have uploaded their e-mail to a thread on here.

  50. #50
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Thanks Al, I didn't even get a 'returned as new' just the word Repair and Reference No. I'll try contacting BUK and see what they say.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

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