Bezel of the Breitling B-1

Some information about the Breitling B-1's rotating bezel

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Using the bezel

The Breitling B-1 sports a massive sanded coin-edged bezel. It rotates in both directions, moving the slide rule. It also features a luminous dot marker.

A small “B” is engraved in the side of the bezel, as a means of authentication.

Countdown feature

The countdown bezel is the reason why the numbers on the bezel are written backwards (55, 50, 45 etc.).

I humbly believe that this is the most useful feature of the watch; it's even more natural and surprisingly faster to use than the digital countdown function.

Stuck bezel

Although very rarely, it may happen that the bezel becomes unable to rotate—like after a swim in sea water. In such situations, I put the watch in warm tap water for 2 minutes, then try again turning it in both direction, without applying too much force. That seems to always do the trick: the bezel quickly starts rotating more freely, and then, after one or two full turns, it is fully back to normal.

Some “play” in the bezel?

Several people have reported that the bezel sometimes seems a bit loose. This seems to be a normal mechanical fact (which magnitude depends on the temperature): if the bezel was tighter, it just wouldn't rotate when the weather is too hot.

The animation below represents the latency of the bezel, which is mostly due to the gearing mechanism.

(You need an SVG compatible browser to play this animation.)
Bezel turned very lightly clockwise, then very lightly counter-clockwise (not enough to turn the slide rule).