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Round-UpSky’s The Limit: 10 Breitling Watches That Best Represent The Swiss Brand

Breitling have a long-standing reputation for creating iconic timepieces intrinsic to the aviation industry as well as other segments such as dive watches. Repute like this isn’t built in a day, and Breitling have been consistently creating brilliant watches right since their inception in 1884. We look at some of the most outstanding timepieces that define this Swiss player's fine watchmaking ethos

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Breitling have been dominating the world of horology since their establishment in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1884. The young founder, Léon Breitling, started pushing boundaries to become the new harbinger of precision. Not only did his firm patent a complication with an eight-day power reserve, but they also gained widespread attention due to the watch’s chronograph that was precise to two-fifths of a second, and a pulsograph model with a logarithmic scale. A few years later, the founder’s son, Gaston Breitling, developed one of the world’s first chronograph wristwatches with a separate push button above the crown. Following the company’s principles to make accurate chronographs, Gaston’s son Willy Breitling simplified the use of chronographs in the early 30s. In this groundbreaking contribution, he introduced two pushers in the timepiece, replacing the single-pusher chronograph model. This led the watchmaker to establish the famed Huit Aviation Department, contributing greatly to the military aviation industry during the World War II. Through its association with the Royal Air Force, it developed flight instruments and pilot wristwatches that were precise and highly robust.

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Even though Breitling have a strong association with aviation, they have branched out to several other realms, such as diving, over the decades, with watches including this Breitling Superocean Automatic 44, which is a fresh and sporty rendition of the diver’s series that was first launched in 1957

One of the most iconic timepieces by Breitling is the Navitimer, which came to the fore after the war had ended. A portmanteau of the words, ‘navigation’ and ‘timer’, the Navitimer was way ahead of its time and was dubbed as a ‘flight computer watch’. It adopted the rotating slide-rule bezel from a popular model made in 1940—the Chronomat—but it was an upgraded version where pilots could convert miles to kilometres, minutes to hours, gallons to litres, and even calculate the ascending and descending rate, among various other functions, while flying. These unique features earned it the prestigious Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association logo on its dial.

The quartz crisis of the 70s, which caused economic upheaval due to the sudden success of quartz watches, was a major turning point for watchmakers who traditionally made mechanical timepieces. This affected Breitling too. After the firm was handed over to Ernest Schneider in 1979, he brought back this company’s glory days with inimitable innovations such as the Emergency timepiece. It had a built-in ‘personal locator beacon’ and was designed to find passengers in the event of a plane crash.

Even though Breitling have a strong association with aviation, they have branched out to several other realms over the decades. All models after the year 2000 are COSC-certified and even the electronic timepieces have patented ‘SuperQuartz’ movements, making them all ‘instruments for professionals’. Earlier, they were modifying ETA movements for their watches; but since the mid-2000s, they have been developing their own calibres as well. Here are 10 noteworthy Breitling timepieces from recent years.

Navitimer Automatic 41

Equipped with a rotating slide-rule bezel to offer numerous inflight calculations, the Breitling Navitimer soared in popularity, right after its launch in 1952. Over the years, the timepiece has witnessed various modifications to keep up with the demands of modern-day lifestyles. Refined and elegant, this Navitimer Automatic 41, launched in 2019, combines the historic appeal of a true icon with the sophistication of a contemporary timepiece. The models here are available in stainless steel cases with black or blue dials, and are powered by the Breitling calibre 17—a COSC-certified chronometer movement. While the original version was a chronograph, the new models are three-hand watches with Breitling’s familiar circular slide rule and distinctive beaded, bidirectional bezel. Both the black and blue dials feature Super-LumiNova in their hour markers, as well as in the hour and minute hands, which ensures easy reading under all lighting conditions. One also sees a central, red-tipped seconds hand, and a neat, rectangular date window at six o’clock. The automatic movement can store a power reserve of approximately 38 hours, beating at a frequency of 28,800vph. The models here are water-resistant to 30m, and are offered either with a matching steel bracelet or a black, blue or brown alligator leather strap with a pin or folding buckle.

  • The Watch Guide

    Equipped with a rotating slide-rule bezel to offer numerous inflight calculations, the Breitling Navitimer soared in popularity, right after its launch in 1952

  • The Watch Guide

    Refined and elegant, the Navitimer Automatic 41 launched in 2019, combines the historic appeal of a true icon with the sophistication of a contemporary timepiece

  • The Watch Guide

    The models here are available in stainless steel cases with black or blue dials, and are powered by the Breitling calibre 17—a COSC-certified chronometer movement

  • The Watch Guide

    While the original version was a chronograph, the new models are three-hand watches with Breitling’s familiar circular slide rule and distinctive beaded, bidirectional bezel

  • The Watch Guide

    Both the black and blue dials feature Super-LumiNova in their hour markers, as well as in the hour and minute hands, which ensures easy reading under all lighting conditions

  • The Watch Guide

    The models featured here are water-resistant to 30m, and are offered either with a matching steel bracelet or a black, blue or brown alligator leather strap

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Breitling Navitimer Explore the Collection

Navitimer 8 Chronograph 43

Enough has been said and written about the legendary Navitimer chronograph that was built to tame the tumultuous skies. The Navitimer 8 Chronograph 43 featured here, comes in a 43mm stainless steel case with a screwed-in caseback, protected by cambered sapphire crystal that’s glare-proofed on both sides. The screw-locked crown is replete with two gaskets and helps ensure complete waterproofness. The blue dial is secured by this robust framework and features 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 12 and six o’clock, respectively, along with a small seconds hand counter at nine o’clock—which is accurate to a quarter of a second. It is equipped with Breitling’s COSC-certified calibre 13, which packs an impressive performance, and once it is fully wound, it delivers a running time of more than 42 hours. Water-resistant to 100m, the watch is attached to a matching stainless steel bracelet that complements the tough case.

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The Navitimer 8 Chronograph 43 comes in a stainless steel case and blue dial, with a screwed-in caseback, protected by cambered sapphire crystal that’s glare-proofed on both sides

Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito

Inspired by the onboard clocks designed by Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department in the 1930s and 1940s, and also from its renowned reference 765 AVI—the Co-Pilot—with its distinct rotating bezel, and impressive legibility with oversized Arabic numerals; the Aviator 8 Mosquito chronograph stands out for its innovative design and an ingenious use of materials. Launched in 2019, the timepiece pays homage to the de Havilland Mosquito—a British aircraft whose lightweight wooden construction made it one of the fastest planes in the skies in the early 1940s. The watch features a 43mm stainless steel case, and a black satin-brushed ADLC-coated stainless steel bezel with a red pointer, indexes and Arabic numerals. The black dial showcases contrasting silver sub-dials with the 30-minute counter at three, 12-hour counter at six, and the 60-second counter at nine o’clock, respectively. The orange hour, minute and central chronograph hands are coated with Super LumiNova, making it legible in limited lighting. There’s also a date window between four and five o’clock. Beneath the exterior lies the Breitling manufacture calibre B01, an in-house mechanical movement that offers an impressive power reserve of approximately 70 hours. Water-resistant to 100m, the timepiece is presented on a brown vintage, leather strap with either a pin buckle or a folding clasp.

The Watch Guide
The Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito features a 43mm stainless steel case, and a black satin-brushed ADLC-coated stainless steel bezel with a red pointer, indexes and Arabic numerals

Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf

This bold and robust offering from Breitling is a pilot’s watch that’s suited for adventures in the deepest depths of the oceans or in the skies. It comes in a generous, 45mm stainless steel case with a screwed-in caseback that’s also one of the factors that contributes to its remarkable water resistance of 3,000m. The case is topped by a ratcheted, unidirectional-rotating bezel, and equipped with a screwed-in crown with two gaskets, and a special grip-pattern. It is protected by a convex sapphire crystal glass that is glare-proofed on both sides. The timepiece features a striking yellow dial with luminescent hour markers and hands, and a date window at three o’clock. The seconds hand stands out for its red-tipped arrow-head pointer. At the core lies Breitling’s self-winding Calibre 17 with a power reserve of 38 hours. This version here is presented on a black military leather strap with a folding clasp.

The Watch Guide

The Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf comes in a generous, 45mm stainless steel case with a screwed in caseback, and offers a remarkable water resistance of 3,000m

The Watch Guide

The timepiece features a striking yellow dial with luminescent hour markers and hands, and a date window at three o’clock. The seconds hand stands out for its red-tipped arrow-head pointer

Breitling Avenger
Breitling Avenger

Chronomat B01 42

Introduced in 1984, the Breitling Chronomat has established itself as the ultimate, all-purpose sports watch as it strikes the right chord between design and functionality. Over the years, the brand have constantly revamped the collection to suit the tastes of men and woman who prefer the ‘cool’ chronograph aesthetics. The new Chronomat B01 42 line was launched last year, during a webcast hosted by CEO Georges Kern. Breitling have reduced the case size for the men’s Chronomat to 42mm while the ladies’ versions are available in 36mm (automatic) and 32mm (quartz).  The brand have also brought back the Rouleaux bracelet, which was an important element of the original watch. This also makes the watch really versatile as it can be worn for a formal evening or a casual daytime brunch. Here, the 42mm stainless steel models are available in dial options of silvery grey, or salmon pink or an iridescent blue with contrasting anthracite chronograph counters. The signature rotating bezel is highlighted by rider tabs, which not only protect the glass but make it easier to control the bezel functions. Just as in the case of the original watch, the rider tabs at three o’clock and nine o’clock, are interchangeable, so the wearer can use them either for a count-up or countdown function. The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova and while the central chronograph hand stands out, in red, found in all the versions. The Chronomat B01 42 is powered by the brand’s in-house calibre B01 that delivers an impressive power reserve of about 70 hours. Water-resistant to 200m, the timepieces are presented on lustrous steel bracelets.

  • The Watch Guide

    Launched last year, the new Breitling Chronomat B01 42 line features chronographs for men, sized at 42mm, while the ladies’ versions are available in 36mm (automatic) and 32mm (quartz)

  • The Watch Guide

    The 42mm stainless steel models are available in dial options of silvery grey, or salmon pink (seen here) or an iridescent blue with contrasting anthracite chronograph counters

  • The Watch Guide

    The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova and while the central chronograph hand stands out, in red, found in all the versions

  • The Watch Guide

    The signature rotating bezel is highlighted by rider tabs, which not only protect the glass but make it easier to control the bezel functions

  • The Watch Guide

    The Chronomat B01 42 is powered by the brand’s in-house calibre B01 that delivers an impressive power reserve of about 70 hours

  • The Watch Guide

    The brand have also brought back the Rouleaux bracelet, which was an important element of the original Chronomat introduced in 1984

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Breitling Chronomat Shop the Collection

Premier B01 Chronograph 42

Introduced in 1943 as a versatile sports watch, coupled with the elegance of a dress watch, Breitling’s Premier collection has established itself in the league of ultra-luxe sports watches that offer power-packed performance. The Premier B01 Chronograph 42 models featured here were launched in 2018, and are equipped with the in-house Calibre 01—a self-winding, chronometer-certified chronograph movement with an impressive power reserve of over 70 hours, and a five-year warranty. The watch comes in a robust 42mm stainless steel case with a transparent caseback, and the versions here are available with a dark blue or silver dial with contrasting black sub-dials with a 30-minute counter at three o’clock and a small seconds counter at nine o’clock, along with a date window at the six o’clock position. Each model has a white tachymeter scale on a black inner bezel around the dial. Water-resistant to 100m, the models are presented on either a blue or black alligator leather strap, or a stainless steel bracelet.

  • The Watch Guide

    Breitling’s Premier collection has established itself in the league of ultra-luxe sports watches that offer a power-packed performance coupled with the elegance of a dress watch

  • The Watch Guide

    The Premier B01 Chronograph 42 models featured here are equipped with the in-house calibre B01—a self-winding, chronometer-certified chronograph movement with a 70-hour power reserve

  • The Watch Guide

    The watch comes in a robust 42mm stainless steel case, and the versions featured here are available with a dial in dark blue or silver with contrasting black sub-dials

  • The Watch Guide

    Water-resistant to 100m, each model has a white tachymeter scale on a black inner bezel around the dial

  • The Watch Guide

    The transparent caseback allows a peek into the in-house, automatic calibre B01, which comes with a five-year warranty

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Breitling Premier Explore the Collection

Endurance Pro

Called ‘the ultimate athleisure watch’, the Breitling Endurance Pro is designed to be both a lightweight watch for athletes and a casual, everyday sports chronograph. It blends supreme precision and innovative technology that is offered in a range of vibrant timepieces. Here the models featured are in red, blue or yellow, and are meant for men and women who love the outdoors, and prefer sporty timepieces that are trendsetters in their own right. The Endurance Pro features an ultralight Breitlight case—a robust material that’s at least three times lighter than titanium and six times lighter than stainless steel. Non-magnetic, thermally stable and hypoallergenic, it is also highly resistant to scratches, traction and corrosion. The watch is powered by Breitling’s Calibre 82—a COSC-certified SuperQuartz chronograph delivering exceptional precision with a battery life of almost four years. Water-resistant to 100m, these versions are presented on matching rubber straps in red, blue and yellow hues.

  • The Watch Guide

    The Breitling Endurance Pro is designed to be both a lightweight watch for athletes and a casual, everyday sports chronograph

  • The Watch Guide

    Here the models featured are available in red, blue or yellow and are meant for men and women who love the outdoors, and prefer fashion-forward, sporty timepieces

  • The Watch Guide

    The Endurance Pro features an ultralight Breitlight case—a robust material that’s at least three times lighter than titanium and six times lighter than stainless steel

  • The Watch Guide

    The Breitlight material is also non-magnetic, thermally stable and hypoallergenic, and is highly resistant to scratches, traction and corrosion

  • The Watch Guide

    The watch is powered by Breitling’s Calibre 82—a COSC-certified SuperQuartz chronograph movement delivering exceptional precision with a battery life of almost four years

  • The Watch Guide

    Water-resistant to 100m, these versions are presented on matching rubber straps in red, blue and yellow hues

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Breitling Endurance Pro Shop the Collection

Superocean Automatic 44

Launched in 1957, the Superocean timepiece established Breitling’s expertise in the diver’s watch segment, at a time when there was a burgeoning demand for such watches. The collection has seen several upgrades over the years, and this version here, the Superocean Automatic 44 is a fresh and sporty rendition of the iconic watch. A true sports watch, it is meant for people who are also looking for contemporary style in such timekeepers. It is up for any challenge: diving, surfing or swimming. The watch comes in a sturdy 44mm stainless steel case with a solid, closed caseback, and this model features a black dial with a matching black rubber strap. The case is topped by a ratcheted, unidirectional-rotating bezel with black inserts, and also comes with a screwed-in crown with two gaskets. Water-resistant to 1,000m this dive timer is brought to life by the brand’s Calibre 17—a COSC-certified chronometer movement with an energy reserve that lasts at least 38 hours.

The Watch Guide

The Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 is a true sports watch, meant for people who are also looking for contemporary style in such timekeepers

The Watch Guide

The watch comes in a sturdy 44mm stainless steel case with a solid, closed caseback, and this model features a black dial with a matching black rubber strap

Breitling Superocean Superocean 44
Breitling Superocean

Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 44

Following the legacy of the famed Superocean collection launched during the 50s, this timepiece has a width of 44mm and comes with an automatic movement with a frequency of 28,800vph. It has a polished, rose gold effect on the unidirectional bezel. The hands of the watch don the same rose gold hue, which contrasts with the black dial and black rubber strap. It has a tough sapphire crystal glass, with water resistance up to 200m. Additionally, this watch was among the first few to do away with the ‘winged’ Breitling logo; featuring a logo with just the ‘B’ initial of the brand. This was a deliberate move to showcase the brand’s contemporary streamlining of their product offerings, and also to reserve the winged ‘B’ for their aviation pillars.

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The polished rose gold used on the rim of the bezel and various other places adds to the charm of the Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 44 timepiece

Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Outerknown

In 2017, Breitling redesigned its Superocean Heritage line to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the brand’s legendary diver’s watch that was created for professional deep-sea divers in the 1950s. The range features some remarkable models in 44mm, as well as a 42mm versions. Featured here is the Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Outerknown that celebrates Breitling’s partnership with sustainable apparel manufacturer Outerknown, co-founded by surfing legend Kelly Slater. The watch features a single-piece strap crafted from ECONYL—a patented yarn that is made from nylon waste retrieved from the ocean, such as old fishing nets. It comes in a 44mm, black DLC-coated stainless steel case with a deep blue dial that displays chronograph counters at six, nine and 12 o’clock. At the heart of the timepiece lies calibre 13—a self-winding mechanical movement with a generous power reserve of approximately 48 hours. With 25 jewels and a frequency of 28,800vph it also has a day-date mechanism visible through a dial aperture at three o’clock. The watch offers a water resistance of 200m, and with its unique blue strap forms an undeniable link to the ocean.

The Watch Guide

The Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Outerknown celebrates Breitling’s partnership with sustainable apparel manufacturer Outerknown, co-founded by surfing legend Kelly Slater

The Watch Guide

The watch features a blue dial with chronograph counters, and comes with a single-piece strap crafted from ECONYL—a patented yarn that’s made from nylon waste such as old fishing nets

The Watch Guide

The Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Outerknown comes in a 44mm, black DLC-coated stainless steel case with a solid caseback, and offers a water resistance of 200m

 

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