A Breitling shows its colours and makes no bones about it. Its designs are unmistakable, its very DNA is adventure oriented, and it embodies like no other brand the new age of men’s sports watches. Its mastery of the art of developing chronographs is world-renowned. While it pushes the boundaries with its plus size designs and oversized cases, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that some of Breitling’s models very well may not be the right watch for everyone. Nor does Breitling want them to be. At the same time, it also tries to strike more subtle chords, rather than just saturating the market with even more flashy sizes that would be gobbled up by its core fan base.
In fact, Breitling’s portfolio now also consists of smaller designs with more moderate sized cases. Whomever decides to invest in a Breitling, knows to appreciate the class of excellence originating from the blacksmith forges in Grenchen. Full functionality and practicality are placed at the forefront and, most of all, are tailored for everyday wear and tear. Keeping all of this in mind, it’s not an exaggeration that, in terms of quality and precision, the watches from Breitling are world class.
Arguably, Breitling’s most famous model. Just like the classics from Rolex, this brand puts a lot of stock in the Navitimer’s form and functionality. Even today, it still carries on with the traditions of the first blueprint placed on the workshop table back in the 1950’s. It’s a genuine design icon.
The flagship of Breitling watches, it has similar roots to the Navitimer. However, in comparison it has undergone a lot of changes over the years. It orientates itself now less on the first model variations, but rather strives to meet the needs of its wearers in a modern age. The slide-rule has also made way for a cleaner and slicker design. The Chronomat is available not only in steel, but also in gold and in gold/steel.
The Montbrillant, named after Breitling’s production plant in La-Chaux-de-Fond, follows in the tradition of the Chronomat and Navitimer. The collection fills a gap in Breitling’s portfolio of watches, which moves past the new design of the Chronomat. Of course, the slide-rule and the grooved bezel borders aren’t missing either. Just like its sibling Navitimer, the Montbrillant is also available with the manufacture movement Breitling 01.
While the Superocean is widely considered the epitome of an elegant diver’s timepiece, the Avenger is sportier. With a water resistance of up to 3,000 metres, the Avenger Seawolf doesn’t have to be shy about any comparisons to the diver watches from Rolex or Omega.
Even if the Superocean is more elegant than the Avenger line, it is still a true diver’s watch. With a maximal depth of up to 1,500 metres it makes no compromises in terms of its water submersion capabilities. The sub-collection Superocean Heritage is strongly reminiscent of the vintage diver watches of the 60’s and 70’s.
With its terrestrial globe dial, the Unitime is one of the forerunners of the Transocean collection. It has won over many watch wearers with its crisp and well-kept designs. Next to the GMT models there are also day-date versions, and even monopusher chronographs. With considerable attention to detail, there’s a lot of innuendos to the Breitling models of the past decades. For example, the 3, 6, and 9 minute markers that were predominant until the early 1950’s, which could be used to accurately depict the 3 minute increments of long distance calls. It’s a multifaceted collection that was created for widely traveled people that gravitate towards more elegant yet fully functional designs.
The Colt collection is the very essence of Breitling to its core and delights with its price-performance ratio. While the Colt comes in models with an automatic three hand watch and a date display, most of the chronographs are primarily quartz based. Independent of the types of winding mechanisms, there are several prototype Breitling Colt versions that are available. The result is a whole lot of Breitling at a low-cost price.
With a built-in radio transmitter, the Emergency can emit a signal to alert emergency personnel to someone’s exact location in case of an emergency. Since 1995, the watch has been elevated into the ideal companion for both pilots and extreme sportsmen.
COSC certified quartz movements are in of itself, very noteworthy. When these are created in-house, then they become something very special altogether. The Breitling Cockpit is equipped with a Calibre B50 and was created entirely by Breitling. The so-called SuperQuartz watches are, next to their high accuracy, famous for their hybrid character, which have both a digital and an analogue display.
Breitling has been, in many ways, a very significant force in the development of the modern chronograph. It was one of the first manufacturer’s altogether that used two registers in order to display the elapsed time. In 1915, Breitling brought out the first chronograph with a pusher at the 2 o’clock position that was separate to use from the crown winding mechanism. A few years later, Breitling split up the start-stop button and placed the zero position on two separate control elements. Working alongside other manufacturers to whom TAG (at the time Heuer-Leonidas) belonged, Breitling developed the Chronomatic, also known as the Calibre 11, one of the very first chronographs.
Breitling watches equipped with in-house calibers are fully covered by a 5 year warranty, which also safeguards other models e.g. various Chronomat models, the Navitimer 01, and a few of the Transocean versions.
Many Breitlings undergo the rigorous Chronomètre testing. Breitling is also the present sole manufacturer that certifies quartz movements, allowing a deviation of only 25 seconds per year. Unlike Rolex or Omega, Breitling includes a Chronomètre certificate in the scope of all their deliveries.
It’s not just the nearly identical emblems, the winged “B”, that the brands Breitling and Bentley share but also their high demand on quality and design. The Collection Breitling for Bentley brings together the ostentatious charm of the luxury car manufacturer with all of the watch manufacturer’s high grade attributes. Their joint venture reaps its benefits, with an even more elegant appearance. The trademark design characteristic of this product line is a criss cross pattern on the bezel ornament.
Breitling has no fear of embracing new technologies with its arms open wide. The Breitling Connected can be hooked up with a smartphone and offers a variety of features that will get a lot of mileage every day. The model Emergency has incorporated vital radio technology, which is activated by simply unscrewing and extending the antenna. A signal is then broadcast in two frequency ranges to alert emergency services. The Emergency has saved a grand total of 20 human lives in very real life dangerous situations.
1884: Léon Breitling founds the company Breitling.
1915: Breitling launches its first chronograph. It’s the first time a pusher is placed at the 2 o’clock position and it can be operated separately from the crown.
1923: Breitling creates a chronograph, where the zero position can be separately used from the start-stop function. Thanks to this, it’s now possible to measure multiple times. It alternatively can also be used as a stop watch.
1934: The first chronograph with two pushers is presented to the public.
1942: The Breitling Chronomat is launched.
1952/1954: The Navitimer becomes a part of the Breitling collection.
1969: Working alongside Heuer-Leonidas and Buren and Dubois Dépraz, Breitling launches the first chronograph movement with an automatic winding mechanism on the market.
1985: 100 years after the founding of the company, the Chronomat is improved and thrones at the very top of their ever growing product line.
1995: The Breitling Emergency is launched and serves as not only a watch, but as an emergency beacon tool that really saves human lives.
1999: All watches from Breitling receive the COSC certification and can now be officially called Chronometers.
2003: The collection Breitling for Bentley is released to the public.
2009: From this point on, Breitling is a manufacture and presents its first in-house chronograph calibre, the Breitling 01.
2015: Breitling presents its first in-house movement without chronograph functionality.
2015: Breitling presents the Transocean 1915, a single pusher chronograph, on the centennial of its first Breitling chronograph.
2020: CEO Georges Kern once again underlines the brand’s innovative self-expectation and presents – also in light of the COVID-19 pandemic – the new watches via the digital Web Summit 2020.
Rolex and Omega aren’t the only watches to grace the wrists of those fortunate enough to bask in the lifestyles of the rich and famous. They’ve even been active in the service of her British’s majesty, while resting on the wrist of Sean Connery’s in James Bond flicks. While Roger Moore showed off a Rolex’s extravagance in his roles as 007, in his private life he placed his trust in the faithful service of a Navitimer. David Beckham knows what befits a gentleman while wearing a Unitime Transocean with GMT functionality.
Another well-known Breitling enthusiast is Jerry Seinfeld, probably the most famous and successful of all New York comedians. Just like his colleague Dave Chappelle, he also rocks a Navitimer in the Big Apple. Justin Timerberlake and Serge Gainsbourg do as well. Let’s not neglect those from the world of music such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, two legends of jazz, who tune-up their instruments while rocking Breitling timepieces. Even Wayne Gretzky owns a Navitimer and Brad Pitt and Forest Whitaker bet on their Emergency tickers to bail them out of deadly situations.