Breytenbach BB7745BE Review

Breytenbach BB7745BE ReviewScore 48% Score 48%

About Breytenbach

Good luck finding any reputable information on Breytenbach watches. In fact, when you Google their name you’ll find that this page is the first result (gulp!). Breytenbach appears to fall into the “Germasian” category of watches, where a German name is combined with Chinese-manufactured components. The idea is that the name will make the watch sound more prestigious than it is.

Germasian brands can be very hit or miss. Proceed with caution.

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Review Summary

This is a case of a watch that looks far more valuable than it is. The Breytenbach BB7745BE isn’t necessarily bad- its automatic movement seemed to be fairly accurate (losing only 18 seconds per day), the leather strap is pretty good quality, and the beautifully decorated movement is almost a showpiece. However, don’t be confused into thinking this watch is good value. You very much get what you pay for.

Breytenbach BB7745BE Technical Specifications

Model Number

BB7745BE

MSRP

$585

Case Diameter

44mm

Alternate Models

Lots available on Amazon

Movement

Sea-Gul big date multifunction automatic

Complications

Day/date, month, open heart

Power Reserve

Approximately 38 hours

Water Resistance

50m/164ft

Crystal Material

Mineral

Operating the Watch

The Breytenbach BB 7745BE has two buttons on the left side of the case, and a button below the crown on the right side of the case. The process to set the various complications is very simple thanks to the button placement.

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How To set the time:

  • Pull crown to the furthest position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time.

How To set the month, day, and date:

  • To set the month, press the bottom-left button.
  • To set the day, press the bottom-right button.
  • To set the date, press the top-left button.

Breytenbach BB7745BE Aesthetics & Design

At first glance, this is a great looking watch. The cream-coloured dial features a visible flywheel that almost looks like a propeller in motion. It’s paired with a brown crocodile-grain leather strap and a polished stainless steel case. The overall package is a little retro and quite impressive. More than one person commented on the watch while I wore it.

The dial has subtle texturing that really does enhance its presence. The hour markers sit raised compared to the rest of the face. It contrasts just enough with the textured inner dial to give the outer ring a bit of pop.

Flip the Breytenbach over, however, and you’ll get to see the most attractive part of it: the movement. Brightly-coloured screws and jewels are abundant and their relatively flat texture contrasts sharply with the machined rotor and movement pieces. It’s absolutely fantastic to look at.

I also couldn’t help but note how thick this watch is. It almost looks a little awkward underneath dress shirts… though a really showy watch like this isn’t one I’d wear to a formal/semi-formal affair anyway.

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Breytenbach BB7745BE Build Quality

There’s a definite feeling of lightness with this watch. It’s almost offputting considering the large 44mm case and automatic movement. This feeling of lightness unfortunately doesn’t convey a strong sense of quality, although there’s more to quality than simply weighing enough.

Crystal, Case, and Dial

The mineral crystal is pretty standard fare. During my review of the watch I managed not to scratch it, though I can’t say the same for the polished stainless steel case (which now has many fine scratches and wear marks).

The manufacturing tolerances seem pretty good, though I can’t say I’d want to test them. I also don’t think I’d want to test the claimed 50m of water resistance either.

Strap and Clasp

The brown leather strap feels great on the wrist. It’s thick enough to be soft and supple, but not so thick so as to be difficult to manipulate. I did find it pretty stiff the first few days that I wore it, but it did eventually soften up and become easier to shape.

The clasp hardware does the job, though it is nothing special. It lacks even the most basic decoration- a hallmark of a Germasian brand.

More About the Breytenbach BB7745BE Automatic

Movement

The automatic movement is a Sea-Gul big date multifunction. This automatic movement is fairly well-regarded in the watch community and powers a lot of watches (including many Germasian brands). It is widely available and relatively easy to get serviced.

The reliability of Sea-Gul automatic movements is the subject of debate.  My experience has been fairly positive, with no problems to report aside from the obvious lack of accuracy.

Testing the Breytenbach against a digital stopwatch revealed an 18 second loss after 24 hours. At that rate you’ll likely be resetting the time after 3-5 continuous days of wear.

Value for Money

This is where the review gets a little weird. On one hand, having a complicated and decorated movement does offer some value if its the complications that you’re after. On the other hand, there’s almost nothing to differentiate this Breytenbach from the myriad of other Germasian brands out there- and many of those brands use the same movement and cost far less than the $500ish price-point this watch seems to exist at.

Then you also have to consider what you’re buying. A $500 Swiss or Japanese watch will get you a reliable and well known movement, likely a sapphire crystal, and the warranty that comes with it. You may not get the same complications (you’ll be more likely to find a day/date than a full calendar), but there’s a very strong probability that the watch you do buy will be more reliable anwyay.

In my opinion the Breytenbach does not offer good value at its $585 MSRP. If you can find it somewhere for under $150, absolutely buy it with confidence that you paid a fair price. Paying anything over $150 is hard for me to recommend.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Breytenbach BB7745BE
Author Rating
21star1stargraygraygray

Breytenbach BB7745BE Review Conslusion

48%

My thoughts A $585 MSRP is pretty steep for a watch with no history and no backing... and not even a company website (that I could find). Assuming the price doesn't deter you, the Sea-Gul movement isn't bad and it does come with a nice set of complications and a well decorated movement. If you like how it looks and don't mind paying a premium for it, sure. Otherwise, I think you'll find better value elsewhere.

Aesthetics & Design
60%
Build Quality
60%
Movement Accuracy and Reliability
50%
Value for Money
25%

About The Author

If it ticks or tocks, I want it on my wrist. I'm a fan of all things that keep good time, and I can't resist a great looking watch. WYCA is my way of appreciating the engineering and artistry that goes into affordable watches. My favorite watch is my Jazzmaster Auto Chrono, and the watch I wear the most is my Weekender Chronograph. I currently have 33 watches in my collection.

54 Comments

  1. Brandon Kwok

    What a beautiful, classy looking watch. The cream face contrasts really well with the strap too. Very, very nice, both the front and back of the watch. Tells you the month, time, and day, what more do you want!

    Reply
  2. Martin Burgart

    This is a really great looking watch. Informative review, cam. The movement accuracy is a little discouraging but it’s got the looks to make me turn a blind eye. I love the propeller inlaid into the face of the watch.

    Reply
  3. fillipj

    I would have to add German to the line up of watch movement hierarchy. I would say Swiss>German(nomos, glashutte original?)>Japanese>Seagull>Everything else. “Gaermasin” There is a term I’ve never heard before. The watch is a little bigger than my taste, but the design of the overall watch flows well. Can’t say I’m a fan of the color of the dial, and the “turtle shell” look is has is something that would have to grow on me. I am however a growing fan of the sea-gull movement, which is a big plus for this watch.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      You know, I agree with your comments re: watch hierarchy. I haven’t had any experience with Nomos/Glashutte/similar, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about them. I gotta get my hands on one…

      Reply
    • Anthony

      If your comparing movment accuracy and quality Seikos spring drive kills anything on the market right now. So for me and many other it would be Seiko>Swiss in-house>German in-house>Swiss>rest of Japanese>rest

      If you’re rating them in expense then I would agree swiss>german>jap…

      Reply
      • Cameron Martel

        I’ll have to get my hands on a spring-drive Seiko!

        Reply
        • Anthony To

          They are not technically “affordable” watches…. The entry level spring drive is USD $2.5k if you can find a decent discount, if they have stock and that’s a diver.

          Even on the per-owned market they carry a hefty price tag. But the sweep of that watch is second to none and the accuracy… just wow lol

          Reply
  4. Chris

    Losing 18 seconds per day seems like a lot, but the aesthetics make up for it. The color combination of the face and strap are really classy to look at.

    Reply
  5. ExtraSlow

    Good comments about this affordable movement. I do like some of the details of this watch, like having a bit of the movement exposed on the face. The Cream face with the brown strap is a nice combo, and to me, looks like it would pair well with my Friday wardrobe. Some details of the styling look a touch ornate, but that’s something that’s hard to be sure about until you’ve worn it for a few days at least.
    Nice review, keep them coming!

    Reply
  6. karim

    The look more than makes up for the 18 seconds 😉 however, a starter swiss auto would be a good alternative though.

    Reply
  7. Matt

    Great, versatile looks! The time loss is a little worrisome, but realistically, who uses a watch to tell time anymore?!? ;p

    Great review! Look forward to the next.

    Reply
  8. Jared Szuch

    Such a beautiful watch, and a good price point. It would look good paired with a nice suit.

    Reply
  9. Mike UnRuh

    Thank you for the detailed review. I’m always curious about some of the brands that Amazon carries that I had assumed were Chinese in origin. Your review shed some great light into the background and quality of Breytenbach. Despite the flaws in weight, features and time-keeping, the style certainly looks on point. No doubt the quality of these brands will continue to improve, which will make things pretty interesting.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      A lot of watch purists don’t want to admit this, but I’m convinced that watches of this type will seriously upset the watch market once their quality is on par with the established players. Kia/Hyundai have done this with the automotive world, and it looks like the same may be happening to watches.

      Reply
  10. DG

    I can see this watch growing on me, but at first glance I wasn’t sure. Thanks for the review. I’m just starting to get interested in watches, going to go back to all your reviews.

    Reply
  11. Dan

    Just discovered your site, great work reviewing watches for us regular people. Though the Breytenback seems to lack in quality, it’s handsome and would work well as an occasional watch.

    Reply
  12. Steve

    Very nice looking timepiece, something I think would work with a lot of different ensembles in my wardrobe!

    Reply
  13. James

    Thanks for the review Cam, never heard of the brand going to check their offerings out a little more. I do like a heavier, more solid feel but will have to give these a look!

    PS. Might I suggest Lightbox or similar for your images of the watch at the bottom of the page? Keeps the user on the current page and lets them scroll all images instead of clicking on each one.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      The lightbox plugin wasn’t functioning for some reason. Resolved it now though 🙂 Thanks for the heads up!

      Reply
      • James

        aaa that’s great, much easier to view now 🙂 Thanks for the review and keep them coming!

        Reply
  14. Nav

    Elegant, 44m case size is quite appealing, would definitely be great for day to day wear.

    Reply
  15. Nathan Chen

    I think it looks classy and elegant, and most people who own this piece probably don’t mind the loss of 18 seconds per day. It has that look that when paired with a nice shirt or suit would seem timeless and classic. Thanks for the review Cameron, always love reading your articles.

    Reply
  16. Chris

    Great review! Hope I win this one

    Reply
  17. Rahim

    What a beauty watch. Decent price, but its a brand that I don’t know much about. Thanks for the review!

    Reply
  18. Rizwan Shajani

    Great review of the watch. The biggest downside is the loss of time per day, however as I have another entry level watch (Sturhling), this is still higher calibre. I haven’t had any negatives with mine and would think this would be a great entry level automatic, as you said that should last a fair amount of time. Also looks great, I would think it would get a lot of compliments. Given the price, some quality can be forgiven.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Interestingly enough, the Stuhrling I have and reviewed a while ago is still going strong. I think the key to these budget auto’s is finding the right combination of movement vs. quality control. Sadly, only time will tell how it does in the long-term.

      Reply
  19. Andy F

    That ’tile’ effect around the hour markers is actually really nice – I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that before! The exposed balance wheel thing I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it’s quite well done, but on the other hand it looks a bit too much like they’re just copying the design of a lot of tourbillon-equipped watches.

    Reply
  20. Jason

    Love the design. Would work well with lots of outfits.

    Reply
  21. Trevor

    If nothing else, this review added “Germasian” to my lexicon, haha. I’m not familiar with the Breytenbach name, but that looks like a very nice piece for the price.

    Reply
  22. Johnny Luong

    Good job on the review! Very detailed and informative.

    Love the design of the watch, but I would agree with you; there are other watches at that price point that would be a viable competitor.

    Reply
  23. Vincent

    That’s a classy looking watch. Love the texture detail on the face.The $500+ msrp is way too much though, it probably sells for much less than that?

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      As with any watch you should be able to find it significantly below MSRP value if you look around. I’ve seen this watch on Amazon for as little as $160.

      Reply
  24. shao wang

    found this site on beyond, very detailed review
    really like the way the watch looks, the cream face with the brown straps
    gives it a antique look yet modern

    Reply
  25. Tudor Stanila

    Although I find this a little too big for my rather small wrist, the design is quite beautiful. The color of the display does look a bit yellowish, but I guess that depends on how closely you look at it. The “turtle shell” design is quite interesting and the overall design of the display goes very well with the brown of the straps. Also, when I first saw the photos, I immediately thought of planes – because of the exposed escapement. Nice touch, I’d say.

    Great review, thank you for it! The overall design does look good, it’s a shame because of those 18 seconds/day, but then again, I don’t think I’d notice 🙂

    Reply
  26. Brad

    Really like the look of the face on the Breytenbach. And I definitely agree that light watches tend to feel cheap and less durable that heavier ones. Great review!

    Reply
  27. Matthew Wong

    Beautiful watch, it’s classy and elegant. Love the look of the brown leather strap and the face looks like a watch that is more expensive than the price point. Back is really cool as well, looks like a well constructed watch both inside and out.

    Reply
  28. alex hazeem

    This is such a classy watch. I’m starting my own watch collection and this definitely would be a piece is would consider buying.

    Reply
  29. Andrew A

    Thanks for this review, I had not heard of the brand before but I do own a Stuhrling Original, which has actually held up very well for the year I have owned it. I have mixed feelings about these brands, and I think I will always have an affinity for the true Swiss brands like Hamilton and Tissot but I will not necessarily dismiss these Germasian watches.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      That’s a viewpoint that I share with you. I tend to favour Swiss watches, but at the price point this website is focused on, I also can’t dismiss other watches at competitive price points… regardless of their origins. My experience with Stuhrling has actually been good. Time will tell how this Breytenbach holds up.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Reply
  30. Arif

    First off…I am quite curious; what do you use to measure the loss of 18 seconds in this case a day that a watch slows?? Secondly, man what a handsome timepiece!!…

    Great review Cam!!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Hey Arif,

      To measure timekeeping accuracy I have to approximate since I don’t have proper equipment. In this case I sync the watch (when the power reserve is full) to the clock on my PC and let it run for 24 hours. I then come back to see how close the two are, if at all. This method isn’t 100% accurate, but when there are noticeable deviations in the two, it is safe to assume the watch is the reason.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  31. 50young

    Thanks for the interesting review. I found it especially interesting in that I just got my Hamilton Jazzmaster on Friday, so the comparisons to that watch really worked for me.

    I like the face of this watch, at first glance it looks very busy, but second look shows a certain classic styling.

    Reply
  32. Michael

    The brown/cream combo really is sharp. Has a great classic look.

    So far I only have stainless bracelet straps (like the Hamilton Jazzmaster…so sexy), but I’ve been looking for a leather strap to add to my watch collection. Something at this price point would likely be a safe bridge as I’d hate to buy a higher end one and end up disliking the leather after a while.

    And I’ll agree with your comment about weight equating to quality in ones mind. Between my watches and my wedding band, it’s fair to say that I like heavy jewelry.

    Thanks for the review!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      The beauty of leather straps is that they are easy to change should you find the look not to your liking 🙂 Most of my watches are on leather, but there’s nothing better than a nice bracelet mated to the right case.

      Reply
  33. kvkskumar

    Nice review.Covers both pros and cons. What I liked the most is the brief description of everything. I mean it is not just covering this watch but also includes a lot of knowledge like the different movements and their hierarchy etc. Nice article.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  34. Reggie McKinnon

    The watch is actually gorgeous. The color combination of the watch face and the strap reminds me of classic ’40’s styling. It looks like a cross between a pilots watch and a chrono, something you don’t see everyday. I really like the partial skeleton on the face if the watch. I wish more watches at this price point had them but you can’t have it all I guess. I’d have to disagree with you on one point though…I think this watch would look great on a older gentleman with a suit.

    Reply
  35. Tucker Haas

    Love that band. The movement is disappointing yet the exterior makes up for it. The homage to the Courtier is quite evident though, and provided at a very reasonable price point. Would love to own one!

    Reply
  36. Chris Dalton

    As a newbie to the watch collecting community, i was surprised with the price. As you mentioned it does have more aesthetic value than the price point would portray. Beautiful watch, love the look of the face. Are all of tje “sea-gul” movements roughly the same accuracy or is it just this one?

    Thanks for another great review!!!

    Reply
  37. Noel P

    I like the textured dial and the second hand counterweight seems to have a lot of style. The open heart style seems a little gaudy but this watch doesn’t seem to try to be subtle.

    Reply
  38. Dallas Macgregor

    I am fairly new to nice watches, I currently have a semi fancy watch in my collection that I’m looking at expanding upon. This one looks good! I especially like the band! Good review, thanks!

    Reply
  39. Ajmeet Dhaliwal

    What an interesting review, I’ve always liked watches and been interested in them but haven’t really bothered to find out more about them in depth. I have always been more of a fashion first watch wearer, more focused on looks rather then specs/functionality. That being said I do really like the way this watch looks, almost a classic style to it.

    Reply
  40. Graham

    Very classy looking watch. Nice that’s it’s partially open to see its inner workings. Damn this is on my list now. Do want. Thanks for the review Cam.

    Reply
  41. Ron

    This is a great watch for the price. I have a valjoux 7750 and that movement lasted for 10 years. I do not think seagull will last any less than that. I think ETA movement watches are outrageously overpriced and most so called aficionados are only focusing on the weight the brand carries and not on the watch itself.

    Reply

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