1884 Léon Breitling opened a workshop in Saint-Imier in Switzerland, specializing in the production of chronographs and precision counters for scientific and industrial purposes.
1915 Gaston Breitling, son of the founder, created the first wrist chronograph and subsequently began to produce the first wristwatches for pilots.
1923 Breitling produced the first chronograph with a push-button separate from the crown.
1932 Gaston’s son, Willy Breitling, took control of the family firm and, two years after the creation of the second reset push-button, the company gave the wrist chronograph its definitive form.
1936 Breitling became official suppliers to the Royal Air Force, marking the beginning of a longstanding collaboration between the Swiss brand and international aviation.
1942 Breitling launched the Chronomat, the first chronograph to be fitted with a circular slide rule.
1952 This year marked the launch of the Navitimer, a wristwatch equipped with the famous “navigation computer” capable of handling all calculations called for by a flight plan. This became a firm favourite amongst pilots around the world. Ten years later, astronaut Scott Carpenter wore the Cosmonaute chronograph on his wrist during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule.
1969 Breitling invented the self-winding chronograph movement, in cooperation with Bürer and Heuer-Leonidas. This was a corner-stone in watchmaking progress for the entire Swiss watch industry.
1979 Ernest Schneider, a pilot, watch manufacturer and microelectronics specialist, took over the Breitling brand from the founder’s grandson.
1984 The Chronomat became the best-selling line in the Breitling collection, thanks to the cooperation with the Frecce Tricolori elite aerobatic team. Almost ten years later, the Emergency was launched, a multifunction instrument watch with a built-in, micro-transmitter broadcasting on the aircraft emergency frequency.
1998 This year marked the production of the B-1. Designed in cooperation with aviation professionals, this was the most versatile multifunctional chronograph ever to emerge from the Breitling workshop.
1999 As the crowning touch to a century of watch-making excellence, Breitling took the “all chronometer” challenge, submitting its entire product range to the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). In the same year the Swiss brand sponsored and supported Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in their challenge to make the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight.
2000 Breitling opened its new headquarters in Grenchen, Switzerland, made up of an administrative building and a state-of-the-art production unit. In the following year, Breitling opened a production unit, Chronométrie SA, in La Chaux-de-fonds. This unit specialised in movement manufacturing for mechanical chronographs.
2001 Breitling presented the Superquartz, which is ten times more accurate than standard quartz.
If you look at the brand’s official website, you will find that Breitling’s timeline often overlaps with the story of aviation. The section Technology is also very interesting, providing detailed videos on the functioning, precision and quality produced by Breitling.
Another link that can not be missed is the Breitling for Breitling section. Inside, is a photo gallery of the different products created from the cooperation between the Breitling Swiss tradition and Bentley British style. This range of merchandise draws together both elegance and performance. Just a few of the Breitling for Bentley models are: Breitling Bentley GMT, Breitling Bentley Motors, Breitling Bentley 6.75, Breitling Bentley GT, Breitling Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon, Breitling Bentley Flying B and Breitling Bentley Mark VI.
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