Breitling, a renowned Swiss watchmaking company, has a rich and storied history that spans over a century. Established in 1884 by Léon Breitling in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, the brand initially focused on producing precision chronographs and timers. These instruments quickly gained popularity among aviators, as they provided accurate timekeeping crucial for navigation and aeronautical calculations.

In the 1930s, Breitling solidified its reputation as an aviation watchmaker with the introduction of the Chronomat, a wristwatch equipped with a circular slide rule, a groundbreaking feature for aviation calculations. This innovation marked a significant milestone in the company's history, propelling it to become one of the go-to brands for pilots worldwide. Breitling's commitment to innovation continued throughout the years, with the release of the Navitimer in the 1950s, a chronograph featuring an integrated flight computer, further cementing its position in the aviation industry. During the late 20th century, Breitling's expertise in precision timekeeping extended beyond aviation, as the brand ventured into divers' watches and luxury timepieces. This diversification broadened Breitling's appeal, attracting not only professional pilots but also individuals seeking high-quality and stylish timepieces. Today, Breitling remains a symbol of Swiss craftsmanship and precision engineering, with a diverse range of watches that pay homage to its heritage while embracing modern innovation. 

Reaching For The Skies

Breitling offers a diverse range of collections, each tailored to different lifestyles and preferences. Here are some of the prominent collections:

Navitimer

The Navitimer collection is deeply rooted in aviation history. Its inception in the 1950s was driven by the need for a comprehensive tool for pilots, hence the inclusion of a circular slide rule on the bezel. This feature allowed aviators to perform critical calculations for navigation, fuel consumption, and other flight-related tasks directly on their wrists. The Navitimer embodies precision, functionality, and reliability, making it an essential instrument for pilots around the world.

breitling navimiter watches

The Breitling Navitimer

Chronomat

The Chronomat collection originated in the 1940s and was designed for the Italian Air Force aerobatic team, the Frecce Tricolori. Its robust construction and distinctive rider tabs on the bezel, which allowed for easy manipulation even while wearing gloves, catered to the requirements of precision flying. Over the years, the Chronomat has evolved into a versatile timepiece that combines ruggedness with elegance, appealing to a wide range of individuals.

Avenger

The Avenger collection embodies strength and durability, catering to professionals in demanding environments. Originally developed for military use, these watches are designed to withstand extreme conditions. They feature rugged cases, robust movements, and a range of functions tailored to the needs of individuals who require a reliable timekeeping tool in their line of work.

Professional

The Professional collection is designed for individuals who require specialised tools for their professions. The models in this collection, such as the Emergency and Aerospace, offer advanced functionalities beyond traditional timekeeping. The Emergency, for instance, features a distress beacon, making it a potentially life-saving device in emergency situations.

Premier

The Premier collection combines elegance with functionality, making it suitable for a wide range of occasions. Inspired by Breitling's history of creating chronographs for everyday wear, the Premier models exude a classic and timeless charm. They are designed to be versatile for formal settings, casual outings, or equally at home.

Superocean

The Superocean collection is inspired by the world of diving. Breitling's dedication to providing professional divers with reliable and robust timekeeping instruments led to the creation of this line. The watches in this collection are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of deep-sea exploration. Features like high water resistance, a unidirectional rotating bezel, and luminous markers cater to the specific needs of divers, ensuring safety and accuracy underwater.

breitling superocean watch

The Breitling Superocean

Transocean

The Transocean collection draws inspiration from the mid-20th-century chronographs, reflecting a time of elegance and sophistication in watchmaking. These watches are characterised by clean lines, understated dials, and a classic aesthetic that recalls a bygone era of travel and exploration.

Chronoliner

The Chronoliner collection is designed for aviators and travellers, emphasising functionality for tracking multiple time zones. Its combination of a chronograph function and a 24-hour second time zone display caters to the needs of individuals who frequently cross time zones, such as pilots and frequent flyers.

Aviator 8

The Aviator 8 collection pays homage to Breitling's historical connection with aviation. It takes inspiration from the Huit Aviation Department, which produced cockpit instruments in the 1930s and 1940s. The watches in this collection are characterised by their functional design and vintage-inspired aesthetics.

Each Breitling collection is a testament to the brand's commitment to precision, functionality, and innovation, catering to the unique needs and preferences of different individuals and professions.

Craftsmanship & Design

Breitling watches have garnered a coveted status among enthusiasts and connoisseurs for several compelling reasons. Firstly, the brand's unwavering dedication to quality sets Breitling timepieces apart. Each watch undergoes rigorous testing and meticulous craftsmanship to ensure it meets the highest standards of precision and durability. From the selection of premium materials to the precision of the movements, Breitling spares no effort in crafting timepieces that stand the test of time. This commitment to quality not only assures owners of the reliable and accurate timekeeping but also imbues a sense of confidence and trust in the brand.

In addition to superior quality, Breitling's design detail is a hallmark of its appeal. The brand's watches are characterised by their striking aesthetics and functional elegance. Every element, from the hands and indices to the case and bezel, is meticulously designed to be both visually captivating and highly functional. The attention to detail extends to the ergonomic considerations, ensuring that a Breitling watch not only looks impressive but also wears comfortably on the wrist. This fusion of form and function exemplifies Breitling's dedication to providing timepieces that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are utilitarian. Furthermore, the manufacturing process at Breitling is a testament to the brand's commitment to excellence. The brand employs a combination of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology to create watches that are both timeless and technologically advanced. Expert watchmakers meticulously assemble and test each component, ensuring that every Breitling watch meets the brand's exacting standards. This dedication to the art of horology is reflected in the precision of the movements, the smoothness of the mechanisms, and the overall reliability of the timepiece. The result is a watch that not only reflects the brand's heritage but also embraces modern advancements in watchmaking.

In summary, the desirability of Breitling watches is rooted in a trifecta of quality, design detail, and manufacturing excellence. These timepieces embody a perfect union of craftsmanship, functionality, and aesthetics. The confidence instilled by the brand's unwavering commitment to quality, meticulous attention to design, and precise manufacturing process all contribute to the allure and prestige of owning a Breitling watch.

Breitling Vs Patek Philippe

Breitling and Patek Philippe are two prestigious Swiss watchmaking companies, each with its own distinct characteristics, heritage, and target audience. Here's a comparison between the two:

patek phillipe vs breitling watches

Patek Philippe (left) VS Breitling (right)

Heritage and History

  • Breitling was founded in 1884, Breitling initially gained prominence for its precision chronographs, particularly in the aviation industry. The brand has a strong association with aviation and has supplied instruments to pilots and military personnel for decades. Their emphasis on functionality and precision has made them a favourite among professionals.
  • Patek Philippe was established in 1839, Patek Philippe is one of the oldest and most esteemed Swiss watch manufacturers. It is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship, timeless designs, and the creation of some of the world's most complicated mechanical watches. Patek Philippe's heritage is deeply rooted in haute horology, and the brand is known for producing some of the most valuable and sought-after timepieces in the world.

Focus and Specialisation

  • Breitling, known for its emphasis on functionality,  specialises in creating watches that serve specific professional needs. Their collections often cater to aviators, divers, and professionals in demanding environments. Breitling watches are prized for their precision, durability, and technical innovations.
  • Patek Philippe is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and high-quality finishing. The brand is considered a pinnacle of fine watchmaking, with a focus on complicated movements, such as perpetual calendars, minute repeaters, and tourbillons. Patek Philippe watches are often considered heirloom pieces, passed down through generations due to their enduring value and timeless elegance.

Design Aesthetics

  • Breitling watches are characterised by their bold and sporty designs. They often feature large, legible dials, and functional elements like chronograph functions, slide rules, and rotating bezels. While functionality is a priority, Breitling also pays attention to creating visually appealing timepieces.
  • Patek Philippe watches are known for their understated elegance and classic designs. The brand places a strong emphasis on clean lines, refined details, and timeless aesthetics. Patek Philippe watches are often considered as much a piece of art as a functional timekeeping instrument.

Pricing

  • Breitling watches are typically priced in the mid to high-end luxury range. They offer exceptional quality and functionality for their price point, making them accessible to a broader range of luxury watch enthusiasts.
  • Patek Philippe watches are among the most expensive and exclusive in the world. They are considered true investments due to their enduring value and collectibility. Patek Philippe timepieces often command premium prices in the resale market.

Ultimately, the choice between Breitling and Patek Philippe comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and what you value most in a watch. Both brands represent the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking, albeit with different areas of expertise and focus.

Investing In Breitling

Investing in a Breitling timepiece can be a savvy move for those looking to combine luxury with potential financial returns. These watches are known for their enduring quality, precision, and timeless design, all of which contribute to their collectability. Many Breitling models, especially limited editions or vintage pieces, have demonstrated a tendency to appreciate in value over time. Additionally, Breitling's reputation for reliability and precision further enhances its appeal as a potential investment.

When considering the purchase of a second-hand Breitling, there are several key factors to keep in mind. Firstly, it's crucial to authenticate the watch and verify its provenance. Look for original paperwork, serial numbers, and any accompanying certificates of authenticity. Consulting with a reputable watch dealer or appraiser can provide valuable insights into the watch's history and authenticity.

Next, examine the overall condition of the watch, paying close attention to the case, dial, hands, and movement. Signs of wear and tear, such as scratches, dents, or fading, should be assessed. A well-maintained and serviced Breitling is more likely to hold or appreciate in value. Additionally, inquire about the watch's service history and whether any components have been replaced or restored, as this can affect its collectability and value.

Finally, consider the rarity and desirability of the specific model. Limited edition Breitling watches or vintage pieces from iconic collections may have a higher investment potential. Research market trends and consult experts in the field to gain insights into which models are currently in demand and likely to be appreciated in the future. By conducting thorough due diligence and seeking expert advice, prospective buyers can make informed decisions when purchasing a second-hand luxury watch, such as Breitling as a potential investment.

breitling watches

A Rare Find

Breitling has produced several rare and highly sought-after watch models over the years. These models are often characterised by limited production runs, special features, unique designs, or significant historical significance. Here are a few notable rare Breitling watch models:

Breitling Navitimer 806 1959 Re-Edition

This is a re-edition of the original 1959 Navitimer, one of the most iconic pilot watches ever produced. It faithfully replicates the design of the original, with its distinctive beaded bezel, slide rule, and vintage Breitling logo. It's highly sought after by collectors due to its historical significance and limited production.

Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Limited Edition

Released to commemorate the 1957 Superocean model, this limited edition timepiece combines retro aesthetics with modern technology. It features a colourful dial and a unique concave-shaped bidirectional bezel. The vintage-inspired design and limited production run make it a desirable collector's item.

Breitling Top Time Limited Editions

The Breitling Top Time collection includes several limited editions, each paying homage to the brand's history. Notable examples include the "Zorro" and "James Bond" editions, which gained popularity for their distinctive designs and associations with pop culture icons.

Breitling Emergency

The Breitling Emergency is a truly unique watch with a built-in distress beacon. This life-saving feature makes it one of the most distinctive and sought-after models in the Breitling lineup. While not as rare as some other models, its specialised functionality sets it apart.

Breitling Bentley Mulliner Limited Editions

These watches are part of the collaboration between Breitling and Bentley, and they often feature unique design elements inspired by Bentley's luxury automobiles. Limited production runs and exclusive materials contribute to their rarity.

Breitling Super Avenger Military Limited Edition

Designed for military use, this rugged and highly durable watch was produced in limited quantities. Its military-inspired design and specialised features, such as a camouflage dial and rugged case, make it a sought-after model among collectors.

These are just a few examples of rare and limited-edition Breitling models. The availability and popularity of these models can change over time, and new limited editions may be released by Breitling in the future.

The Designer Pre-owned Watch Experience From S&R Jewellers 

Discover the World of Timeless Elegance and Precision at S&R Jewellers. As seasoned experts in designer watches, our curated selection includes coveted timepieces from Breitling, renowned for their impeccable craftsmanship and aviation heritage. Explore our exquisite collection of second-hand editions, where you'll find iconic models that stand the test of time. Elevate your wristwear with a Breitling masterpiece, knowing that each piece is meticulously inspected for authenticity and quality. Visit us today and let our team of watch aficionados guide you to the perfect timepiece. Experience the legacy of Breitling, only at S&R Jewellers.

Do you already have a Breitling watch and are interested in selling? Please fill out the enquire form at Suttons & Robertsons to get a quote.

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October 24, 2023

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