A Swiss watchmaker based in Grenchen, Switzerland, was founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling. The reputation of this brand was made as it became the go-to precision watchmaker for aviators. At such precarious heights, precision is key and as such Breitling have forged a reputation on helping pilots fly high with confidence.
With such a long history, this is a watch brand with both prestige and quality sewn into the fabric of their brand.
Founded in 1884, the Breitling brand is Switzerland-born and bred. The watch design hails from this nation, as do all components that go into making the watches as part of the brand promise of Breitling. The movements that these components make – specific to Breitling – include the calibre BO1 and BO4. Both of these have received COSC (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres) certification.
From 2009, all watches produced by Breitling have been made of components exclusively made by the company.
As a brand, Breitling focuses its efforts towards both aviators and divers. Though the function of the Breitling watch has largely been replaced by computers in modern aviation, they still offer complications which are useful for the pilot and are offered in larger watch faces to help with readability in this light.
Breitling have also created an Emergency watch. This is a watch which has a radio transmitter, able to access civilian broadcasts in the case of an emergency as it releases a distress signal at 121.5 MHz. There is also a military variation that can be used by the armed forces.
An updated version of the Emergency has a frequency which can be picked up by satellites.
Breitling, in a nod to its history and continued involvement in the aero industry, sponsors many aeronautical causes. Including, aerobatic teams such as the Breitling Jet Team and Breitling Wingwalkers. They even sponsor the Reno Air Race.
A Breitling watch also appeared in a James Bond movie from 1965, named Thunderball. It has a fictional Geiger counter installed and allows Bond to track down two stray nuclear warheads. This is obviously not a real-life Breitling, but it is something which helped the fictional spy immensely. The watch went missing following the movie, but it did resurface recently to fetch an incredible £100,000 at auction.