A History of… Breitling

Ok, we have a confession to make: We love watches. Which you might’ve guessed, given it’s our speciality. And we adore studying how the watch brands we know and love have grown throughout history. After all, someone didn’t just pick Rolex out of a hat and decide it was to be a premium brand. That heritage and quality takes time to develop.

 

So, with that in mind, we’re going to check out the histories of some of the most famous names in the world of watches. First up, Breitling…

 

Once Upon a Time…

 

You know what they say, the biggest brands start with the smallest cogs. …Ok, they don’t actually say that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true, especially in the case of Breitling. It all started in Switzerland, way back in 1884. Leon Breitling had only one goal in mind: to create the most accurate chronographs and timers ever.

Originally, these chronographs were designed for, and used by, the scientific community, as well as the industrial sector, where precision counts. After just eight years, Breitling was relocating from a little workshop in the middle of nowhere, to larger premises in the heart of Switzerland’s watch-making region, La Chaux-de-Fonds.

 

In 1915, a year after Leon Brietling’s death, his son, Gaston, created a very familiar sight – the first chronograph wristwatch. They were pitched to pilots, who were pretty enthusiastic about having a precise timepiece. Breitling’s relationship with the aviation sector is one that remains even today. They even bill themselves as, ‘The authentic partner of aviation.’

 

Total, Independent Control

Fast-forward eight years, and Breitling develops the original independent chronograph push-piece. This meant that instead of using the winding crown, wearers could control timing functions with a separate button. Breitling then refined this mechanism in 1934, giving users the ability to measure several short times.

 

1936, and the Breitling name gains a whole lot of prestige, as it becomes the official watch supplier of the RAF. In 1942, they add the American armed forces to their roster; in that year, Breitling also release the Chronomat, which would go on to become Breitling’s best-selling collection, even today.

 

Navigating the Field

Bretiling’s second big chronograph range, the Navitimer, came out in 1952. It swiftly becomes the go-to watch for pilots, since the chronograph comes equipped with navigation calculators for flight plans. In 1969, they invent the world’s first self-winding chronograph – an act which totally changes the way the Swiss make watches.

Cut to… 1985. Breitling produces the Navitimer Aerospace, an electronic chronograph made of titanium. Ten years later, we see the emergence of the Breitling Emergency, a fancy bit of kit which can broadcast on the emergency frequency for aircrafts. They introduce the SuperQuartz, whose movements decimate standard quartz – literally – in 2001! It’s ten times more precise than its predecessor.

 

Today, Breitling continues to innovate, crafting precision-built chronographs for many different purposes. And the fact that their timepieces are just so handsome help too. So, if you’ve got a Breitling, you’ll want it in tip-top shape. That’s where we can help. We specialise in Breitling watch repairs, and know just how important it is to show your chronograph a little TLC sometimes. For more info, simply contact us on 0141 946 6333 and our staff will be delighted to assist with all of your enquiries.