A favorite of pilots and adventurers worldwide, Breitling is renowned for their ultimately precise chronometers. The brand's practical and purpose-built designs meld superior functionality with a sporty aesthetic that you can find in few other luxury brands. Their latest connected collection, the B55 Exospace, combines over a century of watchmaking tradition with the latest technology. Buying a Breitling watch is a smart choice for those looking for a modern and utilitarian timepiece. Discover your next model with our collection of exceptional used Breitling watches for sale at Crown & Caliber today.
Leon Breitling established his namesake brand in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland in 1884. His original goal was to create precision watches for sports, science, and industrial purposes. In just a few short years, the business began to flourish and ultimately outgrew its modest beginnings. In 1892, Breitling relocated to La Chaux de Fonds, the center of watchmaking at the time.
Just a little over a decade later, Leon Breitling passed away and his son Gaston took over the family business. In just a year’s time, Gaston introduced an exciting development for the company. He saw the rapid advancements in aviation during WWI and the need for a precision watch for pilots. In 1915, he introduced the first Breitling chronograph wristwatch.
Gaston continued to grow and develop the brand for several more years. In 1923, Breitling created the first independent chronograph push piece by separating the stop and start functions. This advancement was particularly useful for calculating flight times as well timing sports competitions.
By 1932, Gaston was ready to retire but wanted to ensure the brand remained in the family. So, his son Willy resumed his place at the head of the company. Under Willy’s leadership, Breitling continued to build upon their innovation of the chronograph function. They also began to secure partnerships with both the Royal Air Force and the United States Army.
Breitling made one of its most groundbreaking horological advancements in 1969. That year marked the invention of the self-winding chronograph movement as part of Project 99 in tandem with Heuer, Buren, and Dubois-Depraz. This was a phenomenal achievement not only for the brand but also for the watch industry as whole. Breitling debuted the groundbreaking movement in an all-new model called the Chrono-Matic. Today the Chrono-Matic is no longer in production. However, used models are available in the pre-owned market.
In 1984, Breitling debuted the watch that solidified the company’s name in watchmaking history: the Chronomat. The introduction of the Chronomat marked the resurgence of the mechanical chronograph. One of the most notable attributes of this watch is its now-iconic bezel with rider tabs. This feature has since become a hallmark of the brand. To this day, the Chronomat is one of the most well-known and best-selling watches in the Breitling family.
Two other notable models in the Breitling family are the Navitimer and the Emergency. The Navitimer, also known as the “super” chronograph, debuted in 1952. This model is equipped with a revolutionary “navigation computer.” It makes the watch capable of handing the calculations needed for a flight plan. Breitling introduced the Emergency more recently, in 1995. This timepiece features a built-in micro-transmitter that’s capable of broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz distress frequency. The signal can be picked up within a range of ninety nautical miles by search aircraft flying up to 20,000 feet. Since its inception, the Emergency has truly saved lives.
Over the past several decades, Breitling has continued to uphold Leon Breitling’s mission to create the best precision timepieces in the market. In 2009, they released the Caliber 01, their most precise self-winding chronograph movement to date. Just a few years ago in 2016, Breitling announced their first connected watch. The Exospace B55 features a unique hybrid technology that combines a traditional chronograph function with digital benefits. Two years later, they launched a second generation of the model: the Exospace B55 Yachting.
For over a century, Breitling has made its imprint on the watch industry with its countless advancements and achievements. Today, the company continues to strive for excellence in precision watches with the latest technology available.
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