Breitling Chronograph Wristwatches – A Glorious History

With over 100 years of history since its founding, Breitling continues to lead the industry. The founder's vision has been passed down through the generations, and the brand is loved by royalty and many celebrities around the world, and it remains one of the most popular brands in the world.

In this article, we would like to introduce you to the glorious history of how Breitling was founded and how it has continued to protect its brand.

Breitling was founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling, who was born in 1860 in the small village of Saint-Imier in the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland. At the age of just 24, Leon Breitling , who was dexterous and had ample talent as a watchmaker, opened a workshop bearing his name and began producing precision instruments.

Leon Breitling, who had always had a fascination with complicated machines, poured his passion into making watches that were ahead of their time. The chronographs and stopwatches he produced were eventually exhibited at various expositions and trade fairs, and won many awards and medals. It's amazing to think that at that point, the company had only been in business for a few years.

Having grown steadily in this way, G. Léon Breitling moved its workshop to La Chaux-de-Fonds, the mecca of the watch industry, in 1892.

Eventually, Léon Breitling became interested in aviation, the cutting edge technology of the time, and as a way to get involved in aviation, which he was so fascinated by, that he wanted to become a pilot himself, he began making pocket chronographs for pilots.

However, in 1914, Leon passed away at the young age of 54, and his son Gaston Breitling took over the company. He faithfully inherited Leon's vision and continued to grow the company.

Gaston also contributed to the development of the chronograph, and in 1915 released a wristwatch-type chronograph called the "30-Minute Timer," which is said to be the prototype of today's chronograph wristwatches.

Léon died in 1914, the year of the First World War, which forced many companies to change direction or close, but Breitling, thanks to modern management, brilliant talent, and foresight, did not decline but thrived.

Breitling had the foresight to foresee the arrival of a new age of aviation and focused on producing aviation-related equipment.

The wristwatch chronograph introduced earlier was also made to be worn by pilots, but Breitling also produced a variety of other instruments for use in airplanes.

Willy Breitling, the grandson of Leon and son of Gaston, who took over the company in 1932, continued this direction and Breitling took on the production of important instruments used in airplanes. The high accuracy and durability of Breitling's instruments became famous when they were used for cockpit clocks in British military aircraft, and they began to be used in a variety of aircraft other than the British military.

Breitling instruments are still used in many airplane cabins today.

But it wasn't just aviation instruments that made Breitling famous: Breitling watches were popular among pilots and astronauts.

Then, in 1962, Mercury Space Program astronaut Scott Carpenter launched into space wearing a Breitling Cosmonaut model on his wrist.

This is how Breitling made its name known in America.

In the 1970s, quartz appeared and shook up the watch industry. Japanese watchmakers rushed into the market, ushering in a new era of watches.

Many mechanical watch manufacturers were affected, but Breitling was not able to avoid the effects and fell into financial difficulties. With the brand facing a crisis, Breitling changed management in an attempt to revive the company. Ernest Schneider, a businessman and electronics expert, took over in 1982 and breathed new life into Breitling.

They then released the new Chronomat, and the following year they released the Old Navitimer and Aerospace, which were revivals of the historic Navitimer.

Schneider revived Breitling and energetically continued to develop new watches. The watch industry, which had been dominated by quartz at one time, began to appreciate the appeal of mechanical watches again.

The Chronomat and Navitimer series were particularly popular among the many models available and were always in short supply.

Breitling is known for its pilot watches, but later it also turned its attention to the ocean and developed watches for yacht racers and divers. The Chronomat Yachting watch for yacht sailing is an automatic chronograph with functions convenient for timing races.

Throughout its long history, Breitling watches have been strongly associated with men, but in recent years they have also released watches for women. The model is called "Lady J" and, compared to traditional functional, mechanical watches, its design is more fashionable and can be worn as an accessory.

Breitling continues to eagerly explore new paths, and in 2013 it released its latest model, the Emergency.

This is a survival watch equipped with a tiny transmitter that emits the international aviation distress signal at 121.5MHz. It can continue to transmit a distress signal in the event of an aircraft making an emergency landing or crashing.

With all these features, the Emergency watch can only be purchased by pilots and other aviation professionals. It is truly a professional watch. If you think of it as a watch for adventurers, your dreams will expand.

Breitling has continued to evolve for over 100 years, and I hope they continue to release amazing models that are at the forefront of the times.