Swiss made Breitling watches are known as resilient, sophisticated and luxurious, and were made predominantly for the use in aviation. Nowadays, Breitling timepieces still have aviation features. However, they more tend to be a proof of their quality than the practical functions.
Generally, most Breitling models have a rather large face with analog dials, which allows more additional information to be present.
Most types are equipped with mechanical winding mechanisms, which do not use any electronic components, and many of them are flyback or double chronographs and have a moon phase, as well as other additional functions.
Breitling uses raw movements, manufactured by Swiss companies ETA and Valjoux, which are modified before they undergo certain tests for chronometer certification. As of 2009, Swiss watchmaker started using a movement which is completely designed and manufactured in their company. That is B01 Caliber with 47 jewels, a self-winding chronograph, and it has high frequency (28,800 vibrations per hour).
Swiss company Breitling SA, responsible for producing Breitling timepieces, is based in Grenchen and was founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling.
Breitling watches, known for their aviation features, started their conquest of the skies way back in the fifties and sixties. The success started with the introduction of a model named Navitimer, in 1952. This type of a timepiece, which had a circular slide rule, that could perform all the calculations a flight plan requires, quickly gained popularity among pilots.
Soon, the brand became known as the “official supplier for the aviation world” and the official watch of the most important organization of pilots in the world – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
At the beginning of the sixties, an astronaut, Scott Carpenter, who was in the Mercury space program, came up with the idea of replacing the existing 12-hour dial with a 24-hour dial. This change was necessary to help astronauts in the conditions of space travel. The company agreed to this idea and soon they manufactured 24-hour Navitimer, which Carpenter wore a year later during his mission.
Swiss watchmakers continued to produce these 24-hour dial timepieces, which they named Cosmonaute Navitimer. This model was available with both Breitling and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association logos on the dial.
One of the most iconic models is also The Breitling Emergency version, with a radio transmitter that can emit the distress beacon, which can be picked at a range up to 90 nautical miles.
Breitling is also known as a sponsor of Bentley’s team in Le Mans 24 Hours campaign from 2001 to 2003. This collaboration was the inspiration to create a collection of exceptional chronographs. Being dedicated to the automobile world, the Breitling for Bentley line unites the best of two worlds – elegance and expertise, British chic and Swiss tradition.