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Aloha all,

On a recent visit home, my father gave me his long time watch, a Breitling he bought used from his flight instructor in the 1960’s.
All the time I can remember, he wore this watch, so of course it shows the battle scars of 50 years of use.

It has a bit of service history:
Few years after he bought it used, presumably as a 765 AVI digital, my dad took it to a shop because the date function had stopped working.
The shop sent it off to s Breitling service center in Frankfurt, and they decided to replace the movement wholesale with the reverse panda version now installed.

They did return the base movement plate, dial and a few hands to him, but for reasons unknown, chose to glue them together with some sort of resin. (Shellac, epoxy, glue??)
So now I am proud owner of one rather wrecked 765 AVI panda and a few parts that hark back to what the watch probably looked like before.

Now I have a few questions, as I really like the watch, and from research online, it appears these timepieces are far from common.

  1. Does it make sense to invest in restoring the watch?
  2. Does it make sense to even try to restore the old dial and perhaps bring the watch back to the original style?
  3. Can dials even be restored / freshened up?
  4. Any chance that the watch is a fake? The movement looks correct and the case has a number that puts it to a 1960 chronograph.

A few details on the maintenance status of the watch:

  • Bezel slides without clicks and is overall rather loose (spring may be missing)
  • Crystal is cracked and dull (replacement)
  • Dial is tarnished and the lume is rather dark (is cleaning / bleaching even possible)
  • Crown stem is bent, and the crown appears to have lost its logo somehow
  • Both pushers are missing the button
  • The watch runs and chrono functions work, including flyback.
  • The 15 min counter hand is half a minute off (but that is consistently – perhaps mounting issue)
  • The movement looks clean, but is missing the two hold down screws

So… With this condition, is it even possible to restore the watch to close to previous glory?

Thanks for your help!
 

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I doubt the dial can be helped much but the other issues can be resolved. In the end it will be a nice looking watch... I'm assuming the panda Dial will be incorrect for the serial number, but it's much more useable than the black dial. If you plan on keeping the watch, I would have it serviced and I think it would look nice once finished...


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The original configuration is worth considerably more than it's later reincarnation. I'd ship everything off to Horological Services and let Mark Heist see if it can be restored back to original.
 
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