If you want a watch that’s as practical as it is handsome, a Breitling is an excellent choice. Breitling has been producing high quality watches since the late nineteenth century, and has developed a reputation for precision timekeeping paired with bold design choices.
One of the things we love about Breitling is their emphasis on building watches that are more than just timekeepers. They’re designed for diving, flying, surfing, sailing, and hiking.
We think Breitling is a great option if you’re looking for a watch that’s rugged enough to handle any adventures, and sporty enough to look fantastic while doing it.
Let’s take a closer look at Breitling.
What is the history of Breitling?
Breitling has been around a long time. Léon Breitling founded the company in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, all the way back in 1884. Since then, successive generations of the family have taken the helm.
Breitling has always been an innovative brand. They were the first watch manufacturer to reposition the chronograph activation button away from the watch crown. They also pioneered the idea of adding a second pusher for resetting the chronograph, and then in 1941 they were the first brand to add a circular slide rule on the rotating bezel.
By 1936 Breitling was the official partner of the Royal Air Force in the UK, cementing its association with aviation. A string of celebrity wearers, both real and fictional, brought Breitling into the public eye. NASA astronaut Scott Carpenter flew a Breitling into space, jazz trumpet player Miles Davies wore one, heck even James Bond has worn a Breitling!
If you’re a pro diver or pilot, Breitling has the precision and features you need. If you’re a hobbyist, you can relax knowing your watch is designed to wear well even under extreme circumstances.
What is the secret of Breitling’s manufacturing process?
Breitling is one of the last remaining large-scale Swiss watchmakers. And although they produce their watches at scale, they don’t compromise on quality.
Breitling’s state of the art manufacturing process monitors every watch movement, using sophisticated software. The software sends each part to the correct workstation within the facility, whether automated or manual.
Each watch leaves the production line ready for the next stage: Testing. Every piece is COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) tested. COSC testing includes seven extremely tough criteria, and they test each individually numbered movement over the course of 15 consecutive nights and days.
What does Breitling’s current range look like?
Breitling’s current collection includes:
The Breitling Superocean is one of its most iconic lines. Featuring designs that call to mind their original 1950s diving range, the Superocean range manages to look both vintage and sporty, with a wide range of designs.
With chunky numbers and indexes, highly legible faces, and waterproof anywhere up to 2000m depending on the model, the Superocean is a versatile diving watch that wouldn’t be out of place in any watch collection.
Ideal for: Serious divers who want a watch they can rely on under the waves, and take sailing, surfing, or anywhere else on the high seas.
Classic AVI collection
Breitling’s classic AVI collection calls to mind Breitling’s aviation history with a series of classic-looking watches, designed with pilots in mind.
Highly legible dials, rugged cases, and COSC certified chronographs make the AVI collection well suited to the rigors of any modern cockpit.
Ideal for: Pilots or aviation enthusiasts who want to own a piece of modern aviation history.
The Avenger features a simpler dial and overall more minimalist look than some Breitlings, but don’t let that fool you. This sturdy all-round watch hides a lot of power behind its understated dial. It’s a reliable companion for adventures of all kinds.
With a diving depth of up to 3000m on some models, the Avenger is a high-powered watch suitable for even the busiest superhero.
Ideal for: Divers, pilots, hikers or sports enthusiasts who want a watch that can handle whatever they throw at it.
The Chronomat means business. This sturdy, chunky watch features chronograph functionality paired with a divers’ bezel. It’s a versatile watch that can go with you from air to sea and everywhere in between.
Depending on the model, you get anywhere from 100m to 500m diving depth with a Chronomat. It also features Breitling’s unique Rouleaux bracelet, with a series of small metal cylinders for a robust yet flexible finish.
Ideal for: Adventurers who need a watch that can withstand even extreme conditions, or collectors who fancy an imposing and unforgettable watch on their wrist.
The Navitimer range is Breitling’s oldest currently still in production. A modern Navitimer still has the classic look of a 1950’s pilot’s watch, but with modern specs.
The Navitimer features Breitling’s in-house movement, for Breitling quality from cog to glass. It also features the brand’s iconic slide rule for precise flight calculations, and is water resistant to 30m.
Ideal for: Professional or hobby pilots, enthusiasts who want to own a vintage-inspired iconic watch, or anyone who loves aviation and aviation-inspired styles.
If you want the sturdiness of a Breitling but prefer a more dressy watch, Premier is a fantastic choice. This beautiful retro range harks back to Breitling’s classic lines and is refined enough for formal wear.
The Premier is waterproof to 100m and comes in a range of strap options and colourways so you can build the ideal dress watch for you – and still feel confident enough to wear it from boardroom to beach.
Ideal for: Wearers who are looking for style as well as substance, and a watch dressy enough to handle business and formal functions while still offering precision timekeeping.
Breitling’s professional collection is for sports enthusiasts who need extra performance from their watch.
The range covers several different types of model. Endurance Pro offers a highly durable lightweight titanium case for active men and women who need a sporting watch they can rely on. The Evo has a range of precision chronograph features made with pilots in mind. And the Emergency is the world’s first watch with a dual frequency distress beacon, for explorers heading into dangerous territory.
Ideal for: Sports, sailing, and flying enthusiasts who need a rugged, reliable watch that can withstand even extreme conditions.
What are the pros of buying a Breitling watch?
There’s a lot to appreciate about a Breitling watch:
- They’re high quality professional instruments with both seafaring and aviation heritage.
- Breitling offers a wide range of models, styles and colourways to choose from. Whatever you need and whatever your style, there’s a high chance you’ll find the perfect Breitling for you.
- Breitling offers a range of strap options including metal, fabric, and rubber. A lot of manufacturers only offer a small handful of strap options on select models, so this makes Breitling stand out.
- The range has plenty of quartz models, for those who prefer a quartz movement. Breitling quartz models are fitted with SuperQuartz movements that are 10x more accurate than a standard quartz movement.
- Breitlings will likely hold their value for years to come
What are the cons of buying a Breitling watch?
- Breitling doesn’t quite have the brand recognition of something like a Rolex.
- Although Breitling has toned down their designs a little in recent years, their history of strong, masculine watches is still in evidence. If you want something super understated or dressy, Breitling might not be for you.
- If you’re interested in reselling, a Breitling won’t have the resale value of something like a Rolex. Though with a watch this well made it’s hard to imagine wanting to part with it!
Should you buy a Breitling?
If you’re looking for a watch you can rely on even under extreme conditions, while still keeping a fresh modern look, Breitling is for you. Their range has strong nautical and aviation themes, while also embracing sporty and dressy looks. With a stringent testing process and plenty of colour and strap options, Breitling watches are as durable as they are precise. They’ve got plenty of options in both looks and colours, and features. Even the most dedicated collector is likely to find something to suit them.