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A short history of Breitling

In 1884 Léon Breitling established Breitling in Grenchen – the Canton of Solothurn, in Switzerland. Breitling is one of very few independent Swiss watchmakers left in the industry.

Léon Breitling intended for his company to specialize in the field of timers and chronographs – precision instruments to be used primarily within science, sports and industry.

Breitling made its first chronograph wristwatch

In 1915, the legendary Swiss watch manufacturer manufactured its first chronograph wristwatch.

In 1934, the watchmaker perfected the modern chronograph by creating a second independent pushpiece. The brand’s competitors soon adopted the same system themselves.

Breitling started its cooperation and association with aviation

Since its early stage, Breitling has been the nr 1 watchmaker in the aviation world. Since the beginning of the 1930s Breitling created chronographs meant to be used in cockpits. The Royal Air Force is known to have used Breitling instruments in their figher planes during WW2.

In 1952, the watch producer from Grenchen created the famous Navitimer Collection which was designed for aviation.

In the 1950s and the 1960s, Breitling became the natural choice for commercial aviation and its chronographs even became standard watches among airline companies and aircraft manufacturers.

Breitling went into outer space

In 1962, Scott Carpenter used a Breitling Navitimer for his orbital flight in the Aurora 7 capsule. Breitling can boast with the first chronograph wrist watch in space.

Breitling became a pioneer in automatic chronograph movements

In 1969, the watch manufacturer created one of the first automatic chronograph movements. It’s said that Zenith, a competitor, actually created the first automatic chronograph movement, the El Primero the very same year. Even if that is so, Breitling was still a member of the avant garde watch manufacturers who were specialized in developing and producing automatic chronograph movements.

Breitling launched the Breitling Chronomat Collection which is the flagship of the Swiss brand

In 1984, the Swiss brand from Grenchen announced the reappearance of mechanical chronographs which resulted in Breitling launching the famous Chronomat Collection which is the flagship of Breitling.

The Breitling Chronomat Collection is unique in the sense that it is a pilot watch with divers watch features. Breitling Chronomat 41 is water resistant at 300 meters and Chronomat 44 at 500 meters.

Breitling launched their famous in-house made chronograph movement Caliber 01

In 2009, Breitling created the famous Caliber 01 in-house chronograph movement which is considered to be one of the most prominent automatic chronogaph movements in the world.


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