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PostSubject: Breitling Watch Company   Breitling Watch Company Icon_minitimeTue Oct 16, 2012 9:49 am

Since there are more than a few members here that own a Breitling or two, I thought that I would pull together a brief company summary. This is based on various different sources -- see bottom of post for links.

A History of Breitling Watches

In 1884, Leon Breitling opens a workshop specializing in making chronographs and precision counters for scientific and industrial purposes in St. Imier, in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. In response to his company's significant growth, Leon Breitling relocates the company in 1892 to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the center of Swiss watchmaking in those days.

In 1914, Leon Breitling dies and the company is passed over to his son Gaston, a year later Gaston creates the first wristwatch chronograph and subsequently provides pilots with the first wrist instruments. By 1923, Breitling had developed the first ever independent chronograph push piece. In 1932, Gastons son, Willy Breitling takes over control of the company.

In 1936, Breitling signed a contract with the British Air Ministry and started making chronographs for the Royal Air Force. The Chronomat is introduced in 1942 and it is the first chronograph to be fitted with a circular slide rule. By 1946, Breitling manufactured about 250 different models in six categories. Obviously, they included their famous chronographs. In addition, Breitling now also offered waterproof watches.

In 1952, Willy moved the company's headquarters to Geneva, while production remained in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The company had now abandoned in-house movement manufacturing and relied on suppliers such as Venus. This saved cost and allowed Breitling to focus on its main strength: designing and refining their special dials.

In 1954, the Navitimer was created which was a wrist instrument equipped with a navigation computer. This super chronograph becomes a favorite among the pilots across the globe. By this stage, Breitling is already supplying the major international airlines with cockpit clocks. In 1962, Astronaut Scott Carpenter wears the Cosmonaute Chronograph during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule.

In 1969, in cooperation with Hewer-Leonidas, Hamilton-Buren and Dubois et Depraz, Breitling introduced in 1969 the new Chronomat. The Chronomat was the first ever self-winding chronograph that was marketed by Breitling as Caliber 11. This technical feat represents a major breakthrough for the entire Swiss watch industry.

As the quartz revolution began, Breitling reluctantly introduced a quartz version of the Chronomat in 1975. It was manufactured alongside their mechanical varieties. A quartz Navitimer followed the next year. Adjusting to the new quartz technology was a difficult, if not impossible, task for Breitling and in 1979 the Breitling firm was voluntarily closed by Willy Breitling. In 1979, the Breitling name was taken over by Ernest Schneider of the Sicura firm in Grenchen. Schneider reaffirmed to the public that Breitling was worthy of their confidence. He showed them that the original philosophy was unchanged and that special focus was, as always, given to the flying sports.

In 1984, the Chronomat is launched and marks the return of the first mechanical chronograph manufactured by Breitling since the passing of Willy Breitling. It becomes the bestselling line in the Breitling collection, a position it has held ever since. Soon afterwards in 1985, the Breitling Aerospace is launched.

In 1997, Breitling purchased Kelek (Rebranded as Chronometrie Breitling). Kelek is a Swiss watch manufacturer founded in 1896 and owned by Breitling. In addition to finishing and modifying Breitling’s ETA/Valjoux/other base movements to high standards, Kelek develops in-house modules for them.

Today, Breitling continues its involvement in aviation and all the adventures that it entails. The "Breitling World Cup of Aerobatics" was introduced in 1993 and is recognized by the Federation Aeronatique Internationale as having the same status as a world championship. Breitling also had enormous success with the Breitling Orbiter 3, the first balloon to fly around the world. In the year 2000, Breitling inaugurated its new headquarters in Grenchen.

Breitling Models

1952 - Navitimer launched. Models in the range include Navitimer 50th Anniversary, Navitimer Heritage, Navitimer Breitling Fighters, Navitimer Olympus, Cosmonaut, Montbrillant and Montbrillant Datora.

Windrider - Models in the range include Chronomat, Chronomat Longitude, Wings Automatic, Crosswind, Crosswind Racing, Crosswind Special, Headwind, Calisto, Callistino, Blackbird and B-Class.

Professional - Models in the range include Emergency, Emergency Mission, Aerospace, B-1, B-2 and Hercules.

Aeromarine - Models in the range include Chronograph Avenger, Chrono Avenger Rattrapante, Chrono Avenger Sixty Nine, Chrono Avenger M1, Avenger Seawolf, Superocean, Chrono Colt Quartz, Colt Automatic, Colt Quartz and Colt Ocean.

Recently Breitling has formed a unique partnership with Bentley and have introduced a range of exclusive chronographs. Models introduced are the Breitling Bentley 6.75, Breitling Bentley GT, Bentley Motors Chronograph and the Breitling Bentley Lemans.

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PostSubject: Re: Breitling Watch Company   Breitling Watch Company Icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2012 1:57 pm

I have to try out a Breitling one of these days!

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PostSubject: Re: Breitling Watch Company   Breitling Watch Company Icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2012 2:16 pm

andrema wrote:
I have to try out a Breitling one of these days!

Careful, tough to eat just one. Possibly due to their variety and relative affordability on the secondary market. Started looking for my 2nd and 3rd almost immediately after acquiring my first. If you're so inclined to take the plunge on a pre-loved B. Always run it by the replica busters at BreitlingSource.com. Can't thank those guys enough for the great/fast service they provide. There is at least 1 possibly 2 more in my distant future. My current Breitlings in order of purchase...

Montbrillant Legende

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Breitling Watch Company Breitling_Blackbird_jaw_01-vi

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Chrono Avenger

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Breitling Watch Company Reitling_ChronoAvenger_jaw_B02-vi
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