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Brief Brand History for
In 1884, Léon Breitling founded his eponymous company in St. Imier, Switzerland. Eight years later, Breitling moved his work to a factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds. His specialty from the start was the production of chronographs. Over the years since its founding, the Breitling family patented a number of improvements to the chronograph mechanism. Eventually, Willy Breitling patented a chronograph with independent start/stop and zero reset pushers. This mechanism is the most commonly seen today. In the 1930s, Breitling supplied chronographs to the aviation industry and the Royal Air Force. In 1952, Breitling developed the iconic Navitmer design, which was popularized as a flight computer on the wrist. The Breitling family sold the name to Ernst Shneider in 1979. The Schneider family later sold a majority stake of Breitling to CVC Capital Partners in 2017.
Product Line Overview
Breitling's most popular collections contain highly functional, purpose-based watches. Known for being a favorite of aircraft pilots, Breitling watches are popular with people from all walks of life. The company's watchmakers are governed by four essential principles: sturdiness, functionality, precision, and aesthetic sophistication.
The Breitling Navitimer is an iconic professional instrument featuring a slide rule bezel that can be used to make air speed and distance calculations. The watch is historically favored by pilots and was chosen by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association as its official watch in 1954. Navitimer chronographs now use the in-house B01 caliber and are available in case diameters from 46 to 41 millimeters. The Navitimer can also be found in a number of variations, including the Cosmonaute, the 1959 Edition, Montbrillant Editions, and a time and date only model.
Watches in the Chronomat Collection are equipped with screw-locked, safety push pieces, allowing them to withstand overpressure of 30 bars. The chronographs in the collection are powered by the B01 caliber. The collection also offers time and date only watches. The Chronomat is an excellent option for those in the market for a sports watch with an integrated bracelet.
The Avenger Collection focuses on performance in the most adverse conditions. Intended for practical use, the watches are large and robust. Most boast water resistance to 300 meters, 60 minute bezels, and rugged straps or bracelets. The Avenger is available in blacked-out Night Mission Editions, Seawolf Editions, and chronograph and GMT complications.
The Classic AVI Collection offers another alternative in the functional pilot's watch category. Classic AVI watches utilize rotating bezels and are available with date, day-date, and chronograph complications. Also themed after the watchmaker's roots in aviation, the Windrider Collection features the Cockpit, Chrono Cockpit, Cockpit Lady, Starliner, Galactic, and the special series Blackbird. The Professional line hosts flight-specific Breitling chronographs. One exceptional model in this line is the Emergency, an instrument watch with a built-in micro transmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft frequency. The Aerospace Evo, Airwolf Raven, Endurance Pro, and Skyracer Raven also feature in the Professional line.
The Superocean Collection features durable watches intended for use in diving. The collection includes striking references with pastel colored dials available in 44, 42, and 36 millimeter case diameters. The Superocean Heritage continues to use the iconic dive watch design from 1957 and offers a charming alternative to other heritage dive watch designs.
The Top Time is an automotive-inspired collection which solely features chronographs. The timepieces stand out due to their bold use of colors and slightly squared sub dials. In the 1965 film Thunderball, James Bond wore a Top Time equipped with a geiger counter. Today, the collection hosts watches inspired by several car companies. In the same automotive category, Breitling has partnered with Bentley to make automobile-themed watches inspired by the emblematic design of the Bentley brand. All Breitling for Bentley watches exude the elegance and expertise which come from the partnership between British chic and Swiss tradition.
The Premier Collection was originally created by Willy Breitling in 1943. The Premier was designed to be a more refined take on Breitling's iconic chronograph. In this collection, the appearance of the watch, rather than its use as a functional tool, takes primacy. Consequently, the Premier differs greatly from the professional oriented collections with elegant numerals and formal proportions. Often, the Premier is made in striking dial colors which contrast with the watches' formal appearance.
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