Breitling is a Swiss professional luxury watch brand that leads aviation themed watches. The brand also produces diving, racing and various sports models and classic watches for everyday life.
Breitling is known as an aviation watches manufacturer. The brand started producing the first aviation chronographs back in the 30s of the XX century, since then the owners of the company have continued to develop the idea of accurate, reliable and convenient pilots’ watches. The company signed a contract with British Air Force Ministry and produced watches for the Royal British Air Force. Breitling collaborated with the US Air Force and many global aviation companies as well.
Today Breitling offers the widest range of watches for pilots. There are also pilot watches produced by other Swiss manufacturers: IWC, Zenith, Cartier, but no other brand offers so many different aviation models with various useful functions.
It was Breitling that shaped the look of modern watches for pilots, which is used by other brands. The brand's watchmakers created several technical improvements necessary for aviation purposes: independent chronograph and zeroing buttons, a slide rule on the bezel.
Not only the movements are improved by Breitling, the brand comes up with innovations and experiments with materials of watches as well. The engineers of Breitling not only use different alloys and materials to create unusual combinations. They also went further and created Breitlight which is the first ever material made especially for the watch case.
The main feature of this material is it’s lightness, you can barely feel the watch made of Breitlight on the wrist: the hand doesn’t get tired of wearing the watch for hours. In addition, this material is stronger than steel and titanium, and also has a number of additional characteristics that are ideal for watches: heat resistance, anti-magnetism, scratch resistance, hypoallergenic.
Breitling pays a lot of attention to the accuracy of watches. The biggest part of watches is inspected Swiss COSC institute in order to obtain chronometer certificates. There is only Rolex that has more accuracy certified models among all Swiss manufacturers. Some watch models have a Geneva Stamp as well which is an even more prestigious certificate of quality that takes into account 11 additional watch specifications.
One of the most noticeable differences from the other brands is Breitling’s guarantee. 5 years offered by the company is the longest warranty among other Swiss watch brands besides Rolex that offers 5 years of readiness to serve and repair the watch for free as well. Other manufacturers have a shorter warranty period — usually from 1 to 4 years. Providing a guarantee of 5 years, the brand thereby declares their absolute reliability undoubted. This warranty period is valid only for watches with their own manufactory mechanisms. Models with quartz or third-party calibers are offered with 2 year warranty.
Breitling is a large professional sports watch. They have quite a monotonous appearance in which each element has a practical meaning: an ergonomic round case, large hands, scales on the bezel, contrasting trim, large crowns. In general, the design of the Breitling watch case resembles the cockpit. There are also some collections that have unusual designer models with a rectangular case, Roman numerals, diamond inlay.
Breitling is a professional watch, so when it comes to choosing a Breitling watch, it is important to understand their purpose. When choosing a Breitling, the collection has to be decided first, then you can move forward to choosing materials, functions, shape and size of the watch.
Navitimer and Chronomat are the legendary Breitling collections that are designed specifically for aviation purposes in 1950s. Pilot line also include Chronoliner, Professional and Avenger. Transocean watches, designed for travel, are also suitable for pilots. The fans of vintage pilot watches will fall in love with Montbrillant models dedicated to the long history of creating watches for pilots.
Diver watches are available in the Superocean and Superocean Heritage collections. Colt and Galactic are classic Breitling lines where female models are mostly produced. The brand’s most luxurious and spectacular watches are produced in Breitling for Bentley race watch collections.
Professional pilot, diving and other extreme activities watches have to be light, durable and comfortable on the wrist. Gold watches do not meet these requirements, so Breitling pays minimum attention to gold. Such models are usually produced in limited editions dedicated to memorable dates and important events. For these purposes, the brand often uses red and pink gold alloys.
The main materials for Breitling watches are stainless steel and titanium. Steel watches are classic in professional segment. They are durable, lasting and practical in use, hard to damage and easily polished. They are universal as they look good in different conditions including great match with business and classic suites. Steel watches make up about 70% of Breitling’s total production.
Titanium is lighter than stainless steel, that is why it is valued and appreciated by pilots who have to wear a watch on the wrist for a long time. It’s surface is a slightly more easily damaged than steel, therefore it is often treated with special coatings to keep the titanium case unscratched and the scratches are almost not noticeable. The watch made of titanium looks more sporty than steel watches. They will not suit the classic suite.
The most technologically advanced and practical material by Breitling is the Breitlight which was specially developed by brand engineers for making watch cases. This plastic is almost 6 times lighter than steel and 3 times lighter than titanium, being more lasting and strong at the same time. The case made of this material is extremely hard to scratch and it always looks like new. It does not irritate the skin as steel does sometimes. Breitlight protects the watch movement from the effects of magnetic fields, is not subject to corrosion and high temperatures.
Breitlight case looks more interesting than steel or titanium versions. It has a warm, slightly rough surface with a light speck that makes it matte black. Such models are usually chosen by pilots as they are very demanding to the weight of the watch. The customers looking for the most technologically advanced and effective Breitling watches will like these models made of Breitlight as well. The choice of Breitlight made watches is limited yet.
Breitling produces watches with a rather large case, typical for modern sports models. The most popular men's sizes are 42, 44 and 46 mm. They are universal, suitable for any width of the wrist and any style. There are just a few small sizes in Breitling watch lines, basically all the watches are available with a diameter of 40 mm. However, there are way more options with a larger case — there are watches with a diameter of 48-51 mm. Such models have a well-read dial, but they look massive and are suitable for large wrists only.
Breitling watches from women’s collections have rather small sizes compared to other sports and professional brands. The average ladies’ Breitling watch size is 36-38 mm, which is a standard version even for classic lines of Swiss watches. There is also a good choice of small ladies’ watches with a case size of 32-33 mm by Breitling. Individual versions are produced in large size 41-42 mm, they look modern and visible on the wrist.
The standard form of a Breitling watch is a circle. This is the best option in terms of practicality: minimum material consumption and weight with maximum convenience and readability of the dial. The Breitling for Bentley collection produces rectangular models with a more elegant design.
There are mostly watches with mechanical calibers produced by Breitling. In the 80s, at the peak of popularity of quartz watches, the brand produced many models based on quartz, but then returned to mechanics.
Most Breitling mechanical watches have automatic winding. It is much more convenient and practical for pilots who do not have time for manual winding. There are very few manually wound watches in Breitling collections, they are produced exclusively for men.
Since 2009, Breitling began to produce its own manufactory calibers. The first mechanism of the company was Breitling01 — an automatic caliber with a chronograph function, which measures time up to 12 hours and has 70 hours of power reserve. Navitimer and Montbrilliant models are equipped with this movement.
Another significant brand caliber is Breitling76. It is equipped with a battery for emergency radio transmitter operation, which is built into the watch of the Emergency series. This model sends a radio signal on an international frequency. The Emergency watch saved the lives of two British pilots whose helicopter fell in Antarctica. The caliber is equipped with a count-down timer, alarm clock and a second time zone indication.
One of the most complicated mechanical calibres by Breitling is installed in Transocean Chronograph 1461 watch. It consists of 450 components and has a date indication that has to be adjusted once in 1461 years.
Quartz movement BreitlingB55 is one of the most accurate quartz models. It is installed in the «smart watch» by Breitling brand with a rechargeable battery.
Standard functions of Breitling watches are date indication, chronograph and a slide rule or tachometer scale on the bezel. There is a split-chronograph with a function of intermediate finish used in many models for pilots. Most Breitling pilot watches also have double time and 24-hour indication, which is also very useful and convenient for long-haul flights.
Breitling does not specialize in complications. The brand has single models with repeater, tourbillon and perpetual calendar that are usually produced in limited editions.
There are 3 positions that Breitling watch has: the first position is for winding the watch, the second is for the date setting and the third one is for hands rotation. To set the second and third positions, it is necessary to pull the crown by literally pulling it.
Most breitling watches are equipped with a self-winding movement. If you wear such watch every day then there is no need in re-winding them. A special mechanism rotates and winds the spring of the watch during its movement.
Self-winding movement works only in motion. If your watch is not worn every day, then you will need to wind it manually before using it. In order to do this, you need to rotate the crown set in the first position in a clockwise direction. Many Breitling models can be wound by turning in both directions — clockwise and counter-clockwise.
Manually wound Breitling watches have to be wound regularly, once a day, preferably at the same time. Otherwise, the accuracy of the movement may be reduced. There are about 40 rotations to be done to achieve a full plant.
Most Breitling models have a date indicator. To set the date, pull the crown to the second position and rotate clockwise until the date prior to the desired date appears in the window. After that, pull the head to the third position and move the hands forward through the midnight mark to change the date in the window to the desired one. After that you can set the time. To fix the indications, return the crown to the first position.
Each Breitling watch comes with detailed winding instructions. If you do not have access to such instructions, you can find it on the official website. Open the «Service» page, enter or select the name of your model from the list and open the «Introduction to Operation» instruction item.
Breitling has a stylish and effective logo that is difficult to fake. This is an anchor with a stylized letter B with wings on both sides. The logo adorns the dial, sometimes the lower parts of the hands, the case back, a bracelet.
To distinguish the authentic Breitling watch from a fake, take a close look at the logo. The wings should be located at a short distance from the anchor. In fakes, the ends of the anchors are often set on the wings. Pay attention to the stripes on the wings: they should not reach the end, breaking off at a distance of several millimeters from the edge. Look closely at the anchor: its ends should be sharp, not rounded.
There is only letter B used in some Breitling models instead of the complete logo. This type of logo is easier to imitate but there are several signs of forgery that can be noticed. The letter B in the original must be engraved on the dial, not printed. It should be small, neat, with smooth and sharp edges. A large, fuzzy, sloppy logo is a sign of a fake.
If there are additional dials on the Breitling watch, they are used to chronograph changes. However manufacturers of fakes often place a calendar or other functions on such dials. The date or the days of the week in authentic Breitling watches are displayed in a special window, not on the dial. The only model with a date indication by watch hand is Breitling for Bentley Mulliner with skeleton elements on the dial.
If these significant features of authentic Breitling watches did not help, check the watch for general recommendations to determine whether it is fake or not. Track the second hand motion, inspect the labels for errors, estimate the weight of the watch, find serial number on the case and check it on official Breitling website.
Breitling watches are ranked luxury among Swiss watch brands. They rank alongside with Rolex, Hublot, Chopard, Omega, Cartier and other well-known manufacturers. The price for original Breitling watches is considered to be average in the market — it is lower than the price of Rolex but higher than Cartier or Omega.
The most expensive Breitling watches are produced in limited editions dedicated to memorable dates, important events or people. For example, the Navitimer Cosmonaute series was released in honor of the original chronograph, which was on the wrist of astronaut Scott Carpenter, who flew around the Earth in 1962. The line of diamond-encrusted Chronomat models, The Diamond Series, is an expensive line of watches as well.
The most expensive collection of the brand is Breitling for Bentley. Most of the watches in this series are produced in limited editions: in the amount of 1000, 500 and even 100 pairs. Some models have complex and prestigious improvements such as tourbillon, perpetual calendar, repeater.
The simplest and cheapest Breitling watches with a steel case, quartz movement and a modest design cost about $2,000-3,000. The brand has just a few of such models in its collections. Breitling watches with a price tag of $5,000-10,000 offer wider and more interesting choice — you can buy a mechanical watch with several functions in the collections of Chronomat, Avenger, Superocean and others at this price.
The 12-24.info watch search service will help you decide where to buy a Breitling watch. All available collections and models are presented on the website — choose a watch and contact 12-24. We will provide full information about the selected model — the best prices, the nearest stores, the conditions of purchase and delivery. And we will answer the questions: how to wind Breitling, how models of this brand differ from each other, what watches are suitable for your requests.
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