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Ever since Léon Breitling founded the company back in 1884, Breitling became a leader in producing the best pilot’s watches. A couple of years later, they also produced numerous diver’s watches making Breitling the perfect utility watch. With different options and features, the Breitling watches always seem to be the perfect fit on every wrist.
The history of Breitling
The founder of Breitling, Léon Breitling, started the company in 1884. The Royal Air Force became a customer in 1936 while the US Air Force ordered the Breitling Chronomat in 1942. A couple of years later, Breitling produced a special Navitimer with a 24-hour clock instead of the regular 12-hour clock, because Scott Carpenter (an astronaut) wore this watch during the space flight in order to tell if it was day or night on Earth back in 1962.
In 1979 Willy Breitling sold the company to the pilot Ernest Schneider. As a profound businessman he was able to put the company back on track. Ever since this day the Schneider family owns shares in the Breitling company. In 2017 the company joined the CVC Capital Partners Group with Georges Kern, former CEO of IWC.
When people discuss the Breitling watches, they tend to talk about the functional, rock solid and recognizable watches in the luxury watch market.
Breitling produced numerous models with different functions like the legendary Navitimer, or some high-tech quartz-movements and even some watches with smart-watch features on a Breitling Chronograph. They produce high-end pilot’s watches since the beginning, but Breitling has a reputation for making beautiful diver’s watches as well. The Superocean and Avenger are the more technical timepieces, while the retro and vintage lovers can opt for the Superocean Heritage editions.
Ever since 1999, Breitling produces calibers which all feature the COSC (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) certificate. The last couple of years, Breitling released some new models with heritage or vintage look and feel to it, like the new Premier collection or the Navitimer 806 1959 and Superocean heritage 57. These models pay tribute to the models released in the 50s and 60s by the Swiss watchmaker.
The Breitling Navitimer
With the Navitimer being the ultimate classic watch in the Breitling collection, it was released back in 1952 with a beautiful black dial. With the Breitling Navitimer, it enables pilots to make a number of calculations like speed, flight time, rates of climb and descent, distance, fuel and consumption. You can argue that the Breitling Navitimer isn’t just a watch, it is a specialized tool.
You can get your hands on a Breitling Navitimer for around €4.500 for a pre-owned or vintage piece. These watches use the automatic Valjoux caliber 7750. If you’re in the market for an early Navitimer, make sure to spend around €5.000 up to €12.000 for a well-maintained piece on Wristler.
If you like your watch to look like the original 806 but with a new caliber, you can opt for the Navitimer Ref 806 1959 Re-Edition costing around €8.500 because of its limited production of 1959 pieces.
With the Navitimer, Breitling released multiple case sizes with the well-known beaded bezels. Starting with the 35mm Navitimer this watch looks good on smaller wrists, while you can also opt for the 38mm, 41mm or even 45/46mm watches. Some watches are made of stainless-steel, while others feature a rose gold case and a price tag from over €20.000 from the Breitling boutique.
The Chronomat and Avenger II
If you’re in the market for the larger wristwatches, you can take a look at the Chronomat or the Avenger II measuring between 44 and 50mm. You can get your hands on a vintage or pre-owned Breitling Chronomat for around €2.000 with its Valjoux caliber. If you’re a lover of the B01 caliber, you should bring €4.800 to the table.
The Breitling Avenger was made in different case sizes and materials. Because the case size is bigger than the other wristwatches, the Avenger Hurricane (measuring 50mm) was made of black Breitlight: a material composed of composite fibers making it lighter than stainless-steel or gold. This piece will cost you around €7.500 in the Breitling boutique.
Transocean: elegance for every day
With the big Chronomat and Avenger II you can easily recognize the Breitling. If you’re in the market for a more elegant piece, you can opt for the Breitling Transocean. These watches feature a stainless-steel or rose gold case and there are two different bracelets: crocodile leather strap or the Milanese steel bracelet. The stainless-steel model will cost you around €4.500 while the rose gold is a bit more expensive at €15.000.
Prices of the Breitling watches
There are a lot of different watches in the Breitling collection. Starting with the cheapest Breitling around, you can opt for the Colt Quartz for around €1.200. This is a diver’s watch, made of titanium or stainless-steel with a quartz or automatic movement. The automatic movement is a bit more expensive costing you around €3.000 for a well-maintained piece on Wristler. If you’re looking to spend some more money, you can pick the Superocean Heritage or the bigger Chronomat for around €4.000 each.
There are some limited pieces as well, with the B for Bentley models which were usually numbered, depending on the model and the year of production. These watches made for Bentley will cost you around €8.000 for the stainless-steel models.
One of the most expensive Breitling watches around is the Navitimer Automatic reference R17395211A1R1 measuring 35mm with a rose gold case and bracelet. This women’s watch will cost you at least €25.000 which is quite different compared to the other models.
If you’re in the market for a pre-owned, new or vintage Breitling, there is always a watch for your wrist and budget. With pricing ranging from €1.200 up to €25.000, you can easily get your hands on your favorite Breitling watch.
Breitling and partners
Breitling is not only known in the luxury watch world, but also beyond. Breitling has been working with Bentley, Triumph and Swiss Airlines for years. Breitling is known for the Navitimer, the ultimate pilot's watch. And that is why, of course, they collaborate with Swiss Airlines, and have even produced a Navitimer Swiss: limited to 700 pieces and a sapphire caseback so you can see the B01 caliber.