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The Breitling Colt is a collection of watches introduced in the 1980s. Much like Breitling’s other iconic creations – the Navitimer and the Chronomat – the Colt was intended for use in the armed forces, but gained success beyond the military with its sturdiness, reliability, and wearability. Until it was discontinued in 2020, it was established as the most accessible Breitling model.
The Colt is characterized by its broad unidirectional rotating bezel with satin-brushed finish, and signature four rider tabs that offer easy handling. Combined with an ultra-sturdy case and legible dial, it was a no-nonsense timepiece that could handle a beating – whether it’s worn during military exercises, or everyday situations.
With its combined sportiness, versatility, and high performance, the Breitling Colt presents a real value proposition for watch lovers, male and female alike. Explore our Breitling Colt collection at SwissWatchExpo.com.
Introduced in the 1980s, Breitling Colt watches were made especially for the military, just like the Navitimer and the Chronomat. With this in mind, Colt models were given a rugged and robust construction, precise and reliable movements, and a sporty appeal expected of military watches.
The Colt made its civilian debut in the 1990s, and was soon established as Breitling’s entry-level model – a role it will play in the next two decades.
By the 2000s, Breitling began equipping Colt watches with the “SuperQuartz” technology, a series of high-precision quartz movements. SuperQuartz calibers are ten times more precise than average quartz movements. They are also thermo-compensated, meaning they help regulate temperature fluctuations. They also have at least eight years of battery life, shown by a power reserve indicator.
In 2011, the Colt line was redesigned and split off from the Aeromarine series, where it used to belong. With this update, mechanical movements were taken out of the Colt collection, and only quartz models remained. The bezels also no longer had the rider tabs and featured more traditional shaped bezels.
Because the Colt collection was especially loved for its distinct bezel and assortment of movements, the 2011 redesign was met with contention from Breitling fans. The watchmaker brought the Colt back to its original design just three years later.
With the 2014 revamp, Breitling brought back many of the iconic features that made the original Colt a success, such as the distinctive bezel with signature rider tabs. This new generation of Colt watches also boasted water resistance up to 200 meters, assisted by a large screw-down crown. Dials featured oversized hands and hour markers with luminescent coating for optimum legibility. It was also given a stylish take with a wide array of dial options and strap choices.
In 2017, current Breitling CEO Georges Kern stepped in and streamlined the collections into water, air, and land offerings. As the Breitling Colt and Avenger shared many similarities, the Colt was enveloped into the Avenger line around 2018, and eventually discontinued in 2020. Models are still available in the secondary market, and updated alternatives can be found within the current Avenger collection.
The Breitling Colt collection sets itself apart with robust but wrist-friendly stainless steel cases and its signature set of four rider tabs on the bezel. Originally designed with the military in mind, the Colt collection has always possessed a rugged and sporty look loved by watch collectors who seek a reliable and no-nonsense timepiece.
Before it was discontinued in 2020, the Breitling Colt was last updated in 2014, and came in a range of four models: a mechanical self-winding watch with COSC-certified movement, a three-hand model and chronograph equipped with SuperQuartz movements, and a ladies’ model with a smaller diameter and option of a gemset bezel.
Further details on these watches as follows:
The Breitling Colt Chronograph Automatic comes in stainless steel cases measuring 44mm. All have vertical-style chronograph subdials, powered by the Breitling Caliber 73, a movement officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, and powered by thermocompensated SuperQuartz. Dial colors come in Volcano black, Mariner blue and Stratus silver. Bracelets come in options of leather, rubber Ocean Racer, and rubber Diver Pro/Professional.
The Breitling Colt Automatic comes in stainless steel cases measuring 44mm. These are powered by the Breitling Caliber 17, an ETA-based self-winding movement that is officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, with a high-frequency (28,800 vph) and 25 jewels.
Dial colors come in Volcano black, Mariner blue and Stratus silver, with luminous baton hour markers. Bracelets come in options of leather, rubber Ocean Racer, and rubber Diver Pro/Professional.
The Breitling Colt Quartz also comes in 44mm stainless steel cases. Within, it is powered by the Breitling SuperQuartz™ movement, ten times more accurate than standard quartz. Dials also come in a choice of Volcano black, Mariner blue and Stratus silver, with luminous baton hour markers and Arabic numerals on the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions. Bracelets come in options of leather, rubber Ocean Racer, and rubber Diver Pro/Professional.
The Breitling Colt Lady has the robustness and legibility of the Colt, made for smaller wrists. These watches are made of stainless steel and come in smaller 33mm case diameters. Still water-resistant to 200 m (660 ft), they are powered by the Breitling Caliber 77 battery operated quartz chronometer certified movement. Dials also come in a choice of Volcano black, Mariner blue and Stratus silver, with luminous baton hour markers and Arabic numerals on the 6 and 12 o’clock positions. Some models are available with diamonds on the bezel for a luxurious touch. Bracelet and straps either come in steel or leather.
In 2017, a new addition to the Colt line was introduced, this time showcasing Breitling’s proprietary material, Breitlight.
Introduced in 2017, the Breitling Colt Skyracer stands out from the rest of the collection. It measures 45mm (1mm larger than the steel models) and is constructed out of lightweight and durable Breitlight – the brand’s high-tech material made of composite fibers, which makes it 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than steel, yet it is significantly tougher. This watch is powered by a high-precision SuperQuartz movement - the Breitling Caliber 74, which was modified from the ETA Thermoline 955.652. The Colt Skyracer also comes on a rubber strap and is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft).
Much like other watch manufactures, Breitling records its models using reference numbers. Families of watches are assigned a 12-digit code, where each digit can be used to identify the watch’s type, design, movement, and certification.
1st letter – case or bezel material
A – Steel bezel/case
B – Steel bezel/case/gold riders
C – Rose gold bezel/steel case
D – Yellow gold bezel/steel case
E – Titanium bezel/case
F – 18kt bezel/titanium case
G – White gold bezel/steel case
H – 18kt rose gold bezel/case
J – 18kt white gold bezel/case
K – 18kt yellow gold bezel/case
L – Platinum bezel/steel case
M – Blacksteel bezel/case
N – Carbon case
P – Platinum bezel/steel case
R – Red gold bezel/case
T – Palladium bezel/case
V – Black titanium bezel/case
X – Breitlight® case
Y – Ceramic bezel/steel case
2nd and 3rd digits – movement or caliber used
10–49 – Mechanical movements
50+ - Quartz movements
4th digit – denotes whether the movement is COSC certified or not
0 – non-COSC certified
3 – COSC Certified
5th and 6th digits – model type, composed of random numbers
7th & 8th digits – case finishing
10 – Satin/brushed/titanium finish
11 – No special finish
12 – Polished finish
13 – Satin and polished finish
53 – Diamond bezel
9th digit – dial color
A – mother of pearl, white, beige, ivory, arctica
B – black, anthracite, diamond black, royal ebony
C – blue, moroccan blue, meteor, neptune blue, peacock blue
E – rhodium
F – slate, slate-grey
G – silver, silver storm
H – champagne, amber, desert dune
I – yellow
J – smoke grey
K – red, burgundy, sunset, rose
L – green, turquoise, laurel green, spruce
M – graphite, titanium
O – coral
Q – bronze, havana, grey violet, burnt oak
10, 11 & 12th digits – three random numbers referring to the dial design
Breitling’s reference numbers provide a lot of information but note that pre-2000s models don’t include the production period of the watch.
The Breitling Colt offers the signature robustness, reliability, and readability of the brand’s military-inspired watches, at a more affordable price. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Breitling Colt.
The Breitling Colt is a collection of robust timepieces originally built for the military in the 1980s. These watches are characterized by a robust build, broad unidirectional bezel, 200m depth rating, and four rider tabs on the bezel. The dynamic but readable design made it popular among mainstream audiences, and with an attractive price point, it was established as Breitling’s entry-level model for two decades.
The latest Colt collection has a range of robust stainless steel cases, water resistant to 20 bar (200 m, 656 ft). This depth rating makes it safe for all exposure to water up to and including recreational SCUBA diving. The Colt Skyracer meanwhile, is water-resistant to 10 bar (100 m, 328 ft), making it safe for swimming and snorkeling, but not for diving.
The Breitling Colt has been discontinued since 2020, but Colt models are still available in the secondary market. You can also find an updated alternative in the Avenger collection.
In 2018, Breitling moved the Colt as a subcollection within the larger Avenger range. Because the latest Colt models were so technologically and aesthetically similar to the Avenger, the company ceased the production of the Colt two years later.