Breitling SA Company
Take flight with Breitling SA, a Swiss luxury watchmaker currently based in Grenchen, Switzerland that has been deemed the official chronograph supplier to aviation since its inception in 1884. A small workshop owner named Léon Breitling founded the company in the town of St. Imier. This company’s technological breakthrough came nearly 30 years later when the first chronograph pushpiece was invented.
With hard-work, careful craftsmanship, and research the Breitling company refined this product into the only watch system that separated the functions of stop/start and resetting. Léon’s main focus was always the chronograph. Athletes, aviators, military, and industrial workers alike benefited from this precision-made system, and watch-making competitors had to “race the clock” to compete against this worldwide phenomenon.
Breitling continued to dominate the market with new technologies. Other early accomplishments included a chronograph that was accurate to two-fifths of a second, and a device to measure pulse rates. In 1905, a timer was constructed inside automobiles that measured time between speeds of 15 and 150 km/h. This revolutionized the police force, allowing officers to accurately issue the first speeding tickets in Switzerland. Breitling was ahead of its time – in 1934 a second independent reset push piece was added to its already impressive devices.
Current Status of Breitling SA
Ernst Schneider bought the company from the Breitling family in 1979, but recently the company was sold to CVC Capital Partners in 2017. George Kerns assumed the role of CEO and continues the longstanding tradition of quality watchmaking. His research and development teams strive to meet the demands of the aviation industry.
The company prides itself on the The Breitling Chronométrie laboratory which houses the best testing equipment in the industry. All watches are engineered to withstand the most difficult conditions aviation can handle. This private company has an estimated net worth of $870 million.
A Partner with Aviation
From commercial to fighter pilots, Léon Breitling never envisioned a company that would officially benefit the time up in the sky. Onboard pocket chronographs were used in cockpits, while wrist chronographs provided precise calculations for the Royal Air Force during World War II. The world of aviation now had time at their fingertips, being able to enjoy the satisfaction of accuracy while making flight calculations. Soon enough, Breitling manufactured the first space-going wrist chronograph.
As the chronograph evolved, so did its uses on planes. By the 1960’s, chronographs became standard equipment. The Owners’ and Pilots’ Association branded Breitling as “the official supplier of aviation”. Today, Breitling is the leading precision based chronometer maker of aviators.
Watch Models – The Collection
Breitling overs over 200 watches that boast excellence, efficiency, and construction. All watches are COSC-certified chronometers, which offers the best accuracy in the business. From land, air, or sea Breitling provides the adventurer with all the technical power. The brand is marketed mostly towards divers and pilots, but has many options for even the casual navigator.
Breitling introduced over a dozen new watches in 2018 and continues to design models that are technological breakthroughs. The company prides itself on offering state-of-the art features.
In 1999 Breitling sponsored the Orbiter 3 project which eventually became the first balloon to orbit the Earth without landing. On their 10th anniversary, the company partnered with Bentley Motors and offered three watch models. Below is just a glimpse of all the collections the company has to offer.
Deemed the pilot’s watch collection, the Navitimer was designed and built in 1952 and have been flying high altitudes for 65 years. The watch comes in two variations, the Navitimer 1 and Navitimer 8 with over 31 styles between the two.
Prices for both types range from $4,150 to $21,520, depending on movement, casing, dial, and bracelet finish. Casing colors include steel, steel gold, and red gold. Band finishes range from Mercury silver to an array of colors in alligator leather. Whether you are looking for power, display features, or contrasting sub-dials, the Navitimer continues to dazzle the cockpit.
Diving deep in the seven seas, military and and professional divers were equipped with the SuperOcean since 1957. Today, this watch is worn more by the casual diver or admirer. Two models, the SuperOcean Héritage and SuperOcean, have 19 distinct qualities and character.
Set sail with the SuperOcean Héritage that sells for as low as $4,560 and as high $7,990. Boasting a rubber or steel strap, this model has an abundance of features ranging from water resistance, a self-winding caliber, and scratch proof ceramic bezels. Two-toned dial colors like blue and black provide a sleek, stylish look for anyone on an adventure. Casing options include steel, red-gold, or rose-gold. Volcano Black or Gun Blue are also available.
Reliability meets extravagance in the SuperOcean model. Prices fall between $3,900 and $4,150. This watch is fitted with a rubber or steel strap with clasp options. A steel or steel satin finish is polished and ready for any adventure at sea. Technical characteristics can include a security valve that equalizes the difference in pressure or a countdown for the last 15 minutes of a dive. All types are water-resistant up to 860 feet.
When locally traveling town to town or flying transcontinental, all those who traveled have enjoyed the accurate and beautifully designed TransOcean. Made in 1958, it served as an accessory for any frequent flyer. The TransOcean has two specific varieties; the Chronograph and the sophisticated Day and Night.
Spend anywhere from $5,615 to $17,530 with 18K red gold , gold, or steel casing. Display options are Mercury Silver or black. Rubber, steel, croco or leather bands add to the aesthetics. Enjoy the extra benefit of a screwed in caseback sapphire crystal on all options.
Breitling designed this impeccable chronograph in the early 1980’s for Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force’s elite aerobatics team that completes twenty aerobatics in about a half hour. The Chronomat offers three lines; a self-titled line – Chronomat, Avenger, and Colt.
The Chronomat line starts at $8,720 and maxes out at $13,420. Special features include water resistance up to 1,650 feet. There is a large selection of straps and dials. Many in aviation like the unique two-toned steel and gold pilot strap. The power reserve is up to 70 hours and the performance of the chronograph is stunning – ¼ second, 30 minutes, 12 hours and 28,800 v.p.h.
The Avenger model has 12 options to choose from at $4,325 to $7,655. Different casing options offered are black titanium, steel, or the ultra-light alloy patented Breitlight. Finish off the strap with military, Professional III stainless-steel, or leather. Breitling really mixes up the variety in dial colors ranging from Cobra Yellow, Mariner Blue, or Volcano Black. The Seawolf model has an astounding 10,000 feet water resistance.
Finally, the last in the Chronomat lineup is the Colt. The Colt Automatic runs at $3,620 and is available in 41 mm (with a silver or grey dial) or 44 mm (in black and blue). The Colt is waterproof up to 660 feet and flashes a steel casing. Bands come in leather or steel. The watch has a self-winding movement up a power reserve of 40 hours.
This collection is regarded as the “Instrument for Professionals” and is all about performance. From the yacht to cockpit, the Professional taps into every adventure. This collection is what defines a smartwatch. The Aerospace EVO has a price tag of $4,505, while the top-of-the-line Emergency checks in at $16,475. The movement on the Emergency is like no other – a multifunction electric chronograph that is 1/100th second and a calendar that is digital with day and date, programmed for four years. It also boasts a dual frequency distress beacon. Titanium or titanium/carbon casing is offered with a Volcano Black dial that brings covers the dual frequency transmitter.
Another model worth noting in this collection is the Exospace B55 Yachting. At $7,170 boats two LCD displays and a backlighting system that is activated with a tilt of the wrist. Pilots and yachtsman alike can record departure and arrival times, while measuring speed with its electronic tachymeter. With a battery life of 10 years and Bluetooth connectivity, the Exospace comes with a sporty or steel strap. Similar to the Exospace is the Cockpit B50 Titanium. This model also has an LCD screen with an electronic tachymeter and water resistance up to 330 feet.
Breitling Company Achievements
Breitling has revolutionized the watch-making industry with many of the world’s first breakthrough technologies. Within five years of opening the company, Léon Breitling patented a simplified chronograph. A formidable reputation followed up until this very day. Some of the major accomplishments are below, but please know that there is an exhaustive list. Current CEO George Kern strives to push the limit, past the point of no return, and continue watchmaking excellence.
1893 – a chronograph that was accurate to two-fifths of a second
1905 – Breitling patented a tachymeter that measured speeds between 15 and 150 km/h
His son, Gaston Breitling launched the world’s first wrist chronograph in 1914 with a separate push-piece above the watch crown.
Gaston’s son, Willy Breitling patented the world’s first wrist chronograph with two pushers in 1934.
In 1938, Willy established the Huit Aviation Department. Willy designed chronographs with eight-day power reserves used by the Royal Air Force during World War II.
Yet another patent was issued in 1940 for the Chronomat. The Chronomat was the first to use slide rule functions.
In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter wore a Breitling Navitimer with a 24-hour dial, which allowed him to distinguish between night and day – a first in space!
In 1965, wearers of Breitling watches could see the inner workings of the watch with the world’s first micro-rotor automatic chronograph.
1987 – The Emergency became the first wristwatch in the world with an emergency transmitter.
Breitling Watchmaking Facility
Breitling has one of the best-quipped watchmaking facilities in the business. Located in the Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, most parts are manufactured in house. Certain electronic parts are outsourced from other areas. At the Breitling Chronométrie laboratory, the company takes each watch through some of the most rigorous testing in the industry. Because of the advanced precision of the watch itself, each watch is personally inspected and undergoes a final control for visual/functioning aspects. The headquarters for Breitling is located in Grenchen, Switzerland.
Breitling Retail Stores and Authorized Dealers
Across the globe, Breitling has thousands of authorized retail stores and boutiques. You can fly the extra mile from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to locate and buy a watch for your liking. Breitling even offers the people in Oceania and Caribbean opportunities to set sail with their luxury watches.
Where to Purchase Breitling
Buyers should be wary about purchasing Breitling watches over the Internet. Be sure to use Breitling’s official website to search for official merchandise. It is better to contact and order directly from certified dealers and boutiques that can be found through the company’s simple search engine.
It is not uncommon for third-party sites to sell fakes. Official Breitling watches follow some of the most daunting standards in the industry, and most sites like eBay, or Amazon are not authorized to provide the quality and care a Breitling watch deserves.
Breitling Watch Pricing
All Breitling watches are manufactured exclusively from Switzerland and come with an international warranty. Breitling watches deserve the utmost treatment in customer service and maintenance. Depending on the model and performance of the watch, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $21,000. These highly exclusive technical watches (which are mostly chronographs) are the best in the industry for aviation.
Breitling is not known for its resale value. You can expect to make 50-70% less than the original value of your watch. Some authorized dealers and boutiques do occasionally offer discounts, but usually no more than 10%.
Buying Breitling as an Investment
The short answer — yes, Breitling is a good investment for those who have the money to purchase one and keep up with the maintenance. The most prominent Breitling watches are those vintage made in the 1970’s, as the newer watches can be depending on the technical aspects. Most luxury watch collectors have a Breitling on hand, especially the Navitimer, a chronograph with an integrated flight computer.
To prolong their life, Breitling watches need to be carefully cleaned and maintenanced, depending on the model. Every two years, maintenance service should be performed which includes; a new battery, function check, case and bracelet cleaning, and water resistance check. Every six years, maintenance should include a refurbishment of the casing, changing of seals and hands, disassembly of parts for replacement, lubrication, adjustment, and setting followed by reassembly. Some models with black carbon surfaces may not need the suggested maintenance.
How to Spot a Fake
There are distinct crafting features Breitling has that allows you to easily determine if you are encountering a fake. First, the Breitling logo is etched into the watch face, not printed. Look for abnormally large or fuzzy logos as well. Breitling places their logo in the upper center of the watch and is usually small.
Next, check the back of the casing for misspellings. Since Breitling is made in Switzerland, you may have a hard time determining if words are spelled correctly. Locate an authentic picture of your model on Breitling’s webpage to compare.
Breitling only manufactures one model that has an “open-heart” design – the Breitling for Bentley. If you have any watches claiming to be Breitling where you can see the inner workings of the watch, it is most definitely a fake.
Finally, look at the hand movement of the watch. If the movement is not constant, it is most likely a fake. Most Breitling fakes will “tick” for each second because battery powered are cheaper to produce than the craftsmanship that Breitling provides.