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Breitling Watches - A Brief History

[American Waltham | Audemars Piguet | Blancpain | Breitling | Bulova | Cartier | Corum | Ellesse |Fortis]
[Girard Perregaux | Gucci | IWC | Jaeger le Coultre | Longines]
[Movado | Oris | Omega | Patek Phillipe | Rolex | Seiko | Tag Heuer]

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Company History

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Fashionable, rugged and highly precise: these are just a few of the accolades one might use in describing a Breitling wristwatch. In fact, Breitling is so highly regarded that the "Navitimer" has become the standard watch for pilots around the world. One hundred and sixteen years after its founding, Breitling is one of the best-known luxury watch brands in the world.

The Breitling saga begins in 1884, when Leon Breitling - just 24 years of age - founded the company in St. Imier, Switzerland. Breitling's goal was simple: to manufacture high-quality technical watches. As his business expanded, the young watchmaker moved the factory to the Swiss village of Grenchen and began specializing in chronographs. Today, one can find chronograph pocket watches signed Breitling, which are often of very high quality.

Following World War I, Breitling began manufacturing chronographs and chronometers for airplanes. In fact, they were a pioneer in the field of aviation timekeeping. In 1942, Breitling introduced its famous "Chronomat" model - the first watch fitted with a circular slide rule bezel. With Breitling fast becoming the leading choice of pilots worldwide, it was no surprise when the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association named the newly introduced three-register version as its official watch. The watch gained further fame when launched on the retail market as the "Navitimer". The company's fame grew even greater when astronaut Scott Carpenter wore his Breitling on the moon; In honor of this event the model was named the "Cosmonaute".

Like many Swiss watch companies, Breitling was hit hard by the quartz revolution, and in 1979, former pilot Ernest Schneider was hired as its new CEO. Schneider cleverly conducted a public relations campaign designed to influence people's attitudes about the bulky, oversized watch. The campaign was a huge success, coming as it did on the heels of a renewed interest in wearing mechanical wristwatches. By the late 1980's, the Breitling wristwatch, with its large case and distinctive bezel, was a recognizable status symbol all over the world and widely copied by other companies, making the "Breitling look" even more fashionable.

Despite the fact that celebrities are often photographed wearing a Breitling, these watches are also such precise timekeepers that they remain the top choice of commercial pilots. A few of the house's famous offerings include: the "Emergency" model (which is capable of sending out a radio signal if one is lost); the Montbrillant Eclipse; the "Chronomat"; and the Colt Superocean, which is both waterproof (up to 100 ATM) and COSC-rated.

If you are looking for a sporty, rugged, reliable timepiece, Breitling is clearly one company that fits the bill.

 Please remember that this is an unofficial account of the history of this company,
Should you happen to find any mistakes with our information then please
contact the webmaster.

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[American Waltham | Audemars Piguet | Blancpain | Breitling | Bulova | Cartier | Corum | Ellesse |Fortis]
[Girard Perregaux | Gucci | IWC | Jaeger le Coultre | Longines]
[Movado | Oris | Omega | Patek Phillipe | Rolex | Seiko | Tag Heuer]