Breitling watches History

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Breitling History

The History of Breitling


The Beginnings of Breitling
Breitling Models
Breitling case dating and identification

The Beginnings of Breitling

Breitling was founded by Léon Breitling in 1884 in St Imier with the specific purpose to develop chronographs and counters for scientific and industrial applications. In 1892, to face up to the unstoppable growth of his company, Léon Breitling decides to relocate his workshops to La-Chaux-de-Fonds, metropolis of the Swiss watch industry in those days. Louis Breitling dies en 1914 and leaves his son Gaston Breitling in charge. One year later, Breitling creates the first wristwatch chronograph. Later, he continues to make several significant developments in this area and supplying the first wristwatch instruments to aviators. By 1923, Breitling develops the independent chronograph push piece. Gaston's son, Willy Breitling takes over control of the company in 1932 and in 1934 Breitling adds a second push piece to the chronograph enabling either cumulative or incremental time recording giving the chronograph its current configuration. In 1936 Breitling becomes the official supplier to the Royal Air Force. Breitling introduces the Breitling Chronomat in 1942 - the first chronograph to be fitted with a circular slide rule. The company also widens its professional clientele to include the American armed forces. 1954 sees the creation of the Breitling Navitimer, a wrist instrument equipped with the famous "navigation computer". This exceptional chronograph becomes the favourite among the pilots across the globe. By that time, Breitling was already supplying the major international airlines with cockpit clocks. In 1962, the astronaut Scott Carpenter wears the Breitling Cosmonaute chronograph during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule. Along with Büren and Heuer-Leonidas, Breitling invents the self-winding chronograph in 1969. This technical feat represents a major breakthrough for the entire Swiss watch industry. Will Breitling dies in 1979. The company was subsequently bought by Ernest Schneider. Breitling launches, for its 100th year anniversary, the Breitling Chronomat which would later become Breitling's best selling line in the collection. In 1985, the Aerospace, a titanium multi-function electronic chronograph, attracts the attention of a large number of pilots and 10 years later, Breitling presents the Breitling Emergency, with a built-in micro-transmitter transmitting on aircraft emergency frequency. In 1999, Breitling ends the century with the ambitious bet of subordinating the totality of its production to the Swiss Official Chronometer Control. In 2000, Breitling opens in Grenchen, Switzerland, its new headquarters. A year later, with the introduction of the Breitling SuperQuartzTM , Breitling proposes a mechanism ten-fold more precise than the standard ones due to its electronic mechanisms which are the only that fulfill the criteria of COSC. Today, Breitling is still established in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the town where Léon Breitling opened his first chronograph factory 110 years earlier.

Breitling Models


The Windrider models have inherited the exclusive style of the Breitling Chronomat, indisputable leader of the Breitling collection. This automatic chronograph - created with the collaboration of the Frecce Tricolori, the elite flight team of the Italian Air Force - had already been equipped with distinctive technical and aesthetic features which gave it its recognizable style. If the rotating rider-tab bezel constitutes the common characteristic of Windrider line, each model possesses the highest reliability criteria and a unique quality finish present in the smallest details.
  • Chronomat Evolution
  • Cockpit
  • Chrono Cockpit
  • Cockpit Lady
  • Starliner
  • Blackbird


Since its launch in 1952, the Navitimer Chronograph quickly became the favourite watch among aviators. Apart from its capacity of measuring short periods of time, it is equipped with a 'navigation computer', a circular slide rule that allows to solve navigation flight calculus such as ascent times, fuel consumption, and even conversion from miles to nautical miles or kilometers. This first Breitling Navitimer will be officially chosen by the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), an association that groups pilots worldwide. This model has currently given its name to line of original mechanic chronographs equipped with the most advanced technical improvements and, of course, the famous calculus rule.
  • Navitimer
  • Navitimer Heritage
  • Navitimer World
  • Cosmonaute
  • Montbrilliant
  • Montbrilliant Olympus
  • Montbrilliant Datora
  • Chrono-Matic
  • Montbrilliant Legende **
** New Release 2007


The Professional line gathers the most flight-specific Breitling chronographs. From the Breitling Emergency with built-in microtransmitter to the electronic sophistication of the B-1, along with the simplicity of use of the Breitling Aerospace, Breitling makes available the most-advanced of its technology. The Breitling Professional watches also find use in everyday life, and more precisely on the wrist of demanding users who know to appreciate its numerous functions. That is why the acquired experience constitutes the best quality guarantee.
  • Emergency
  • Emergency Mission
  • Aerospace
  • Airwolf
  • Skyracer
  • Co-Pilot


Breitling Aeromarine designates the Breitling watches and chronographs that satisfy the most rigorous demands in the matter of sturdiness and reliability. Clearly inclined to sports, the Aeromarine watches are destined to a growing number of users that bet on a complete watch, capable of enduring the harshest conditions- on land, in the air, in the oceans.
  • Super Avenger
  • Chrono Avenger
  • Chrono Avenger M1
  • Avenger Seawolf
  • Avenger Skyland **
  • Chrono Superocean
  • Superocean
  • Superocean Steelfish
  • Superocean Heritage **
  • Chrono Colt
  • Colt GMT
  • Colt Automatic
  • Colt Quartz
  • Colt Oceane
** New Release 2007


The Breitling for Bently chronographs illustrate the spirit and the values that share both brands: tradition, exclusivity, and high technology. This chronograph line incarnates all the mastery of Breitling concerning the mechanic chronograph, and, of course, its advanced aesthetics which gets inspiration from most emblematic design of the Bentley brand.
  • Bentley Flying B
  • Bentley Flying B Chronograph **
  • Bentley Flying B N 3 **
  • Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon
  • Bentley Perpetual
  • Bentley 6.75
  • Bentley Motors
  • Bentley Motors T
  • Bentley GT
  • Bentley GT Racing
  • Bentley Mark VI
** New Release

Breitling case dating and identification

Model identification

Each Breitling watch comes with some relevant numbers engraved on the back.
Those numbers are:

Reference number: Ea: A25362 which identifies the material and model **.

The following numbers represents the Model name (in this case a Bentley Motors).

Serial number

Located at the bottom of the case back in a small engraving, each watch has a unique serial number for piece identification purposes.


It's not very known the fact that Breitling identifies each watch production date since a couple of years ago. They engrave som numbers between the lugs (the only way to access there is removing the bracelet). Ea. 2405 means the watch was produced the 24th week of 2005.

C.O.S.C. Certificate

Every Breitling watch comes with its own C.O.S.C. (Controle Officiel Suisse Des Chronometres) Certificate which is individually numbered with the watch serial number. This 'Attestation de Chronometre' it's extended from that neutral Swiss organization after testing the watch for 15 days and nights in 5 different positions and 3 different temperatures. The variation could not be more than 6 seconds a day or less than 4 which is equivalent to a precision of 99.9%.

The material

...The first letter represents the material the watch has been made with.

  • A: All Steel
  • B: Two Tone
  • C: Rose Gold Bezel/Steel Case
  • D: Steel & 18KT
  • E: All Titanium
  • F: Two Tone Titanium
  • H: 18K Rose Gold
  • J: 18K White Gold
  • K: 18K Yellow Gold
  • L: Platinum
  • M: Blacksteel
  • P: Platinum Bezel/Steel Case
  • R: Red Gold
  • T: Palladium