Breitling was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling, who started a workshop specialising in pocket watch chronographs and precision counters. The brand’s affinity with the chronograph complication and tool-timekeepers was established right from the start, and further cemented when Léon’s son, Gaston, took over the company and introduced several pioneering innovations. They included the first chronograph wristwatch in 1915, and improvements to the complication such as an independent chronograph pusher (1923) and return-to-zero pusher (1934).
It was also during Gaston’s tenure that Breitling began forging ties with pilots and the world of aviation, resulting in close-knit partnerships that continue to define Breitling and inspire its timepieces to this day. In 2009, Breitling introduced its first in-house movement, the Calibre B01, and has gone on to develop more proprietary calibres since.
From being the official supplier of timekeeping instruments to the Royal Air Force in the 1930s, to the creation of watches like the Chronomat, Navitimer and Emergency, which feature hardy, innovative and practical features suited to the rigours of adventure and professional use – all boasting COSC certification – Breitling is a brand that takes its ‘Instruments For Professionals’ motto seriously.
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