To the untrained eye, the Breitling chronograph can appear to be an overcrowded and busy watch (hence its mantra, “Instruments for Professionals”). To those in the know, however, the Breitling watch is a spectacle of exceptional design, teeming with precise information throughout its intricately detailed dial and bezel. Chronographs, slide rules, and tachymeters are common on the Breitling Navitimer, one of the best aviation lines in the Swiss watch industry.
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Below is an abbreviated list of the most popular Breitling watch models we buy. This is not an all-inclusive list of the Breitling watches we buy but is instead for our customer's benefit.
Breitling was founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling. His original goal was to create precision watches for sports, science, and industrial purposes. Little did he know that his watches would later become a hot item in aviation. The company found initial success in 1915 when it made the first independent chronograph push piece. Although this watch was a hit, it was not as perfect as Breitling wanted it to be. Later, in 1923, the company perfected this system by separating the stop and start functions, which helped solve the problem of resetting clocks for timing purposes. This was also useful for timing sports competitions and calculating flight times. In 1969 the company made one of the greatest horology innovations, the first self-winding chronograph movement. Then, in 1984, Breitling launched its chronograph, the Chronomat, which would later became the company’s most talked about timepiece. Years later, in 2009, the company continued to innovate by releasing the Caliber 01, their most precise self-winding chronograph movement to date. Recently, the company established itself in electronic watch making by releasing an entire range of electronic instruments dedicated solely for aviation.
Breitling's still maintains its founder’s mission to create precise watches for sports, science, industrial purposes. The aviation models, such as the Navitimer, give pilots a varied range of functionality in this complication. Breitling watches are characterized by polished cases and bracelets as well as large watch faces that are easy to read. Many of its watches feature an automatic winding mechanism, which means there are no electronic components involved. Breitling watches are manufactured in Switzerland and are mostly comprised of Swiss components.
Two of Breitling’s most popular models are the Breitling Navitimer and the Breitling Emergency. The Navitimer was created in the 1940's to be used by aircraft pilots. In 1961 Breitling developed a twenty-four hour dial to go into the Navitimer because astronauts were concerned with the time they were losing during space travel. The Emergency contains a radio transmitter for civil aviation, which broadcasts on the 121.5 MHz distress frequency. This signal can be picked up within a range of ninety nautical miles by search aircraft flying at 20,000 feet. The Emergency watch design has saved lives in the past. For example, two British Pilots crashed their helicopter in Antarctica. After the crash they turned on their watches’ emergency frequency, and soon after, they were found.
Breitling also sponsors aeronautical endeavors, including the first circumnavigation of the globe by balloon. The brand has also sponsored the fixed-wing jet pack flights of Yves Rossy. In addition, Breitling sponsors its own aerobatics teams - the Breitling Jet Team and Breitling Wingwalkers. Breitling was also a sponsor of Team Bentley during their Le Mans 24 Hours campaign. Finally, the brand sponsors the Reno Air Race to continue to perpetuate their relationship with aviation.
Because Breitling is associated with aviation, it uses care and precision when developing its watches. Their watches are 100% Swiss made. The company has continued to receive the highest marks from critics for precision and reliability. Breitling has made a special building to test each watch and make sure the watches are precise and reliable. Breitling also makes itself different from the competition by using advanced electronics. By having these innovations in its watches it has set a standard for aviation, electronics, and timekeeping. Without Breitling, it is likely that aviation watches would not be where they are today.