58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches “Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection” On eBay For $125,000

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches “Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection” On eBay For $125,000

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

What is the Joseph Iten Breitling collection? It is/was a collection of about 1,500 NOS (new old stock) Breitling watches that were produced in the 1970s and "held in a bank vault" before the company was saved from forever closing down after being sold. Mr. Iten (now deceased) acquired about 1,500 of an estimated 3,000 NOS watches that Willy Breitling held on to in 1978. While Breitling watches is alive and well today, the company shut down for a period of time in the late 1970s during the "quartz crisis." In 1978, Breitling terminated its operations but was purchased by the Schneider family in 1979 – who still owns the company today. At that time, Willy Breitling (who died shortly after the company was sold) decided to hold on to a large selection of unsold and prototype watches. Many of those were sold over the last 20 years via private sales and auctions, but only a few remain today outside the hands of private collectors.

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

Old World Jewelers (their eBay store) out of Illinois, USA, currently has an interesting auction on eBay for 58 of the "final Joseph Iten collection Breitling watches" (click here to see it) that were never previously sold or available for sale. In 1996 after Iten's death, Old World Jewelers purchased the watches from Iten's estate sale. Now in 2015, this 58-piece lot which is the last of the original roughly 1,500 pieces is being sold for an asking price of $125,000.

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

The NOS Breitling watches contain an array of models, including both production pieces and never-to-market prototypes. Each is in original packaging and never used. The Iten collection also includes a lot of Breitling stopwatches.

What you need to understand is that the Joseph Iten Breitling collection is so rare because it was essentially a time capsule, and I have a feeling it was purchased in 1996 for a very reasonable price. Old World Jewelers probably made some nice returns on their investment over the years – especially as vintage timepieces started to become more and more popular. Finds like that for them are easily a once in a lifetime event. What are the odds that you'd be presented with the offer to buy that many vintage and totally unworn NOS watches from a name brand that is around today? Imagine if they were Rolexes.

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

58 New Old Stock Breitling Watches "Last Of The Joseph Iten Collection" On eBay For $125,000 Sales & Auctions

An amazing set, the question is whether or not the 58 NOS Breitling watches from the 1970s are worth $125,000 (again, you can click here to see the auction while it is going on). You have a combination of many models, including Breitling Superocean, Datora, Navitimer, Chronomat, and more. Most of the watches are mechanical – nearly all of them chronographs – with a few interesting quartz models as well (there are perhaps two quartz models). I love how even the original prices are on the backs of the watches. So, $125,000? Probably not, which is good, because you can make a "Best Offer." I would, however, say that this collection is certainly worth the price of a really nice new Mercedes Benz.

  • Sold individually, I’d likely take a stab at one or 2 of them, but there are some real homely watches here and the average price of about $2100 per piece is too steep to take them all. It’ll be interesting to see if the bait is taken, and then if so, where the watches start popping up somewhere – the stars would have to be aligned for a private collector that loves Breitling this much and has pockets this deep will come along to buy the lot, so if a bid is placed it would most certainly be a store( b&m or online, etc), looking to then turn them around for profit.

  • Spaceguitar

    SuperStrapper Agreed. Most of these suffer from “way too busy dial syndrome” for me. But I’m a sucker for 70’s chronos. That Chronomatic Super Ocean, Datora and the bullhead (!) are very cool. All have period colors you only see being revived these days with heritage editions from Seiko, Hamilton, etc

  • Love the 70’s models! I could do without 20 identical timers though…10 is my limit!

  • SarthakSharma

    I’d really just like that Panda Navitimer.

  • CG

    Seems they sold off the pricey pieces individually. Way too high starting bid but they have some real ringers in there too. Hate auctions where you have a few good items but you get stuck with the unwanted hard to even resell. An old auction ploy, gotta take it all the good the bad the ugly. Won’t be doing business with Old World.

  • Fraser Petrick

    I respect Breitling as a brand. I would be honoured to wear one. However…
    The excess of information on their faces brings back 1960 memories of High School brainiacs   and their slide rules or doctors in the 1950s with instruments designed to frighten children.

  • MisterDeal

    That’s an astonishing haul. While $125,000 may be a bit pricey (I would definitely “Make An Offer” rather than “Buy It Now”), I think interest in this era of Breitling is only going to go up & up as vintage tastes evolve. And those polymer prototypes are insane! I also find the stopwatches surprisingly appealing. Thanks for spotlighting!

  • MisterDeal

    I am surprised, however, that they didn’t go the auction-house route with this stash. I would imagine Antiquorum, Christies, Sothebys etc. could’ve created a real sensation (and further escalated prices/value likely) with Breitling the way they did with Omegamania… Anyone know the logic re: going auction/not auction with such a collection?

  • MisterDeal Auction houses take massive fees on both ends. Anyone who feels that they can sell something themselves will never take something to an auction house.

  • asoulstein

    That $2 Chinese quartz face planted in the middle of the Chronomat or whatever it was is beyond ridiculous.

  • DG Cayse

    I have two thoughts about this:
    1) I think the US$125,000 price tag on this collection is an outstanding bargain when one factors in the appreciation that will occur and the ROI on selling individual pieces.
    2) I predict, rightly or wrongly – all is a gamble) that the stopwatches will be next to gain in collectors value. This is what Mr. Breitling used to gain access to the US market for his watches.

    Just another opinion.

  • IvanTrajkovic1

    If these were Rolexes, rare, vintage and NOS, price would be surely at least in several millions $, if not in double digit million number…. just sayin 🙂 As of this collection, price is a bargain… and yes, old Breitlings look much much much better than todays models…..

  • I agree the stop watches are cool, but they have a very real life span, and are basic quality lever movements that are minimally jewelled. The one pictures here is worth about $300, and they have it priced at $2100.

  • DG Cayse

    SuperStrapper I am merely making a prediction for future value to collectors/investors.
    The provenance appears intact and I am also assuming (dangerous of course) that original papers and  packaging will be included.
    Lord knows there are much sillier items that command outrageous prices in the eyes of the fan base. “Fool and his/her money” and all that.

  • msirinsky

    You often hear watch aficionados say that it’s best for a collector for focus on one or two brands and collect the top pieces from those houses.  While I don’t subscribe to that theory myself, what an interesting way to accomplish that goal with such a legendary (and in my view, undervalued) maker.   Breitling as an overall brand isn’t always my cup of tea, but I find this whole saga fascinating.  They’re priced a little high if you look at it “per piece” but there are some one-of-a-kinds in here and the provenance seems first rate.

  • I agree, I just don’t think they have the ability to realize the (average) individual valuations they are asking for. Also, you are correct, if boxes/papers are available, the worth does go up. Looking at the auction, there are no pictures or mention of this, so it’s doubtful. I also note that all the straps are not original to the watches, and it doesn’t look like they are even breitling straps. Not great news.

  • 5803822

    I reckon $180K would  represent good value overall – and the Datora is perhaps better looking than anything they are maaking today – I would happily pay $4k for nthat one.

  • 5803822

    As “NEW” items I suppose there’s import Duty to be paid wherever they go?? except for one ot two Asian countries.
    With that in mind revise value down to $100K

  • MisterDeal

    SuperStrapper As many of these seem to be prototypes, the strap thing doesn’t seem to be such a big deal. Also, at that time, not all watches came with proprietary straps/bracelet – I’m think quite often you were able to choose your strap option at the dealer (leather with official Breitling clasp, authentic Breitling metal bracelet, or a non-branded strap…). Finding authentic replacements on these for straps/bracelets, etc., isn’t impossible, either – although after spending 100K +/_, who wants to spend more admittedly?

  • frustin

    The new Breitling – now with even more lines.

  • Phil Anders

    Overpriced given that the majority of the collection consists of what the seller calls ‘pocket timers’ and what the rest of us call stopwatches. Breitling stopwatches are not very valuable, so you are buying a collection of 23 NOS vintage wristwatches for $5.5K each.

  • blackpantherevo

    Which Mercedes Benz, Ariel?
    Am thinking of making an offer, the question is, what’s a good offer??!!
    Do you mean a really nice Merc like an S/CL Class/AMG GT, or do you mean a really nice Merc like a top of the range C/E Class?

  • smashinlash

    This is a dream come true, Breitling is my grail watch. Too bad I don’t have $100K+ laying around in my sofa. Still very interesting, surprised that they wouldnt keep selling off individually. Why 58 and not 50 watches or do they think that Breitling watches are hot right now so they should sell the rest.

  • Lkcons

    Yes, for most of them I think ‘NOS’ simply means ‘New Old Sh…’