Breitling Reference Numbers

How to read a Breitling reference number

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Introduction

Breitling uses reference numbers to uniquely identify its models. Every model inside a production series gets the same reference number, meaning that its design, material, and movement type are exactly the same (aside from the dial color, sometime the hands, and of course the band).

The serial number, in addition to the reference number, ensures that no 2 watches will bear the same numbers, even if they are physically identical.

Please note that over the years, Breitling had many different ways of choosing reference numbers. The memo displayed below applies to modern watches (from 1991 onwards), and may not be perfectly accurate.

Scheme (since 1991)

Example of a Breitling 6-digit reference number: A68362 (which identifies the non-SuperQuartz COSC-certified B-1).

First digit
Case composition:
Breitling material codes
LetterMaterial
Astainless steel
BSS with 18k yellow gold rider tabs
CSS with 18k rose gold bezel
DSS with 18k yellow gold bezel
Etitanium
Ftitanium with 18k yellow gold rider tabs)
Hsolid rose gold
Jsolid white gold
Ksolid yellow gold
Lplatinum
M“black” steel
Pstainless steel with platinum bezel
Rsolid red gold
2nd+3rd digits
Caliber number (50 and above means a quartz movement)
4th digit
0 means that it is not COSC-certified; 3 means that it is. (But there are a few exceptions: a model of non–COSC-certified Astromat have a 4; a model of non-COSC Emergency have a 1.)
5th+6th digits
Short model number

Important: for the in-house calibers B01, B02 etc., the caliber number is actually 3 digits (e.g. AB0131) and there is no information about COSC certification (that is not needed since they are all certified).

The full reference number contains an additional series of numbers (and sometimes letters) to identify the type of bracelet.
For instance, A13352-355 points to a stainless steel Chronomat with a Pilot bracelet.

Some models have a .1 suffix to indicate that a significant improvement has been made over the previous model. This has notably been seen on 13050.1 Chronomats, 12023.1 Cosmonautes, but the nature of the enhancement has not been formally indicated (in this case, this may be the use of Super-LumiNova pigments).

The Breitling reference numbers search engine is an ongoing effort. Its goal is to gather data about previous and existing Breitling models (including, but not limited to, price and date of production).