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10 Things You Should Know About Breitling

800px Breitling Navitimer 10 Things You Should Know About BreitlingImage Source: Wikipedia

If you’re a brand that has remained relevant for 130 years, then you already know that the brand is doing something right. In fact, not only staying at the forefront of class and sophistication, but also continuing to elevate the industry. And that’s exactly what Breitling has achieved.

This year the iconic timepiece manufacturer is celebrating its 130-year anniversary. It recently made an impression at Baselworld, which is the world’s largest watch and jewelry fair,  by showcasing its latest models, including selections from the timeless Navitimer series with a travel version and a model with a larger face.

The brand also launched a special series Breitling Chronomat 41 Airborne and Breitling Chronomat 44 Airborne to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of its pilot’s chronograph. There was also a model specially made for Bentley.

That’s not bad for a brand that survived both the Great Depression, the Quartz Crisis of the late 1970s and topping its fellow timepiece competitors.

In honor of Breitling’s famed 130-year anniversary, here are 10 things that you know about the luxurious Swiss timepiece maker.

1. From St. Imier to Grenchen

Breitling SA was founded in Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura, Switzerland by 24-year old watchmaker Léon Breitling in 1884.Today, the brand is hardhearted in Grenchen, a traditional watchmaking industry.

From its founding in  1884 to the present day, Breitling has had only five CEOs.

2. Breitling Has Gone to Space

In 1952, Breitling unveiled the Navitimer – this was an ahead of its time chronograph that could withstand all of the calculations required for a flight plan and quickly became a favorite among pilots. In 1962, the brand added a ground-breaking 24-hour dial that could help astronauts distinguish between night and day. The ‘Cosmonaute Navitimer’ was worn on the wrist of astronaut Scott Carpenter during the Aurora 7 space capsule.

3. Breitling Can Save Lives

Breitling achieved another first when it released the Breitling Emergency – the first wristwatch equipped with a distress beacon. In fact, the wristwatch can transmit  a distress frequency that can be picked up for 90 nautical miles.

In 2003,  two British pilots crashed a helicopter in Antarctica, activated their watches from their lifeboat and were shortly picked up by a rescue helicopter.

4. Breitling Invented the Chronograph Watch

The chronograph watch was invented by Breitling in 1915, which established itself as the pilot’s favorite brand. In 1934,  Breitling made major improvements by developing  the return-to-zero push-piece – this is the button that resets your chrono to zero. In 1985, it upped the ante yet again with the release of the Breitling Aerospace – a digital chronograph.

If you ever wondered why the British Royal Air Force have worn on Breitlings timepieces since 1936, it’s because of the brand’s technological advancements.

5. Extremely Accurate

In 1930, Breitling released its patented Vitesse stopwatch. This timepiece was so accurate that police officers actually used it to clock speeding motorists.

6. Stole the Scene in Thunderball

If you noticed – and how could you not – James Bond (Sean Connery) sports a modified Breitling Top Time chronograph watch in 1965’s Thunderball. This one-of-a-kind Breitling was given to 007 by Q and doubles as a geiger counter.

This unique Breitling Top Time featured a stainless steel case, black dial, two metal subdials and a metal tachymeter ring around the dial. The case of the watch had been modified by the prop department and is completely different than the standard Breitling Top Time.

However, the Top Time was not the only Breitling watch featured in Thunderball. Captain Derval was seen wearing a Bretling 806 Navitimer – which included a metal case, black dial, three white or silver subdials and black leather strap.

7. Saves the Swiss Watch Industry

Breitling invented the self-winding chronograph movement in 1969. It’s been argued that this invention was vital to the continued success of the Swiss watch industry.

8.Breaking World Records

When Sir Richard Branson’s team became the first hot air balloon to circumnavigate the globe in 1999, the Breitling Orbiter was taken on the journey. In 2011, Breitling supported former rally driver Juha Kankkunen when he set the world speed record on ice after he remarkably drove a Bentley Continental Supersports to 205.48mph on the plains of Northern Finland.

9. Breitling Goes SuperQuartz

Launched in 2001, Breitling’s SuperQuartz technology is ten times more accurate than standard quartz. Because of this, the Breitling SuperQuartz is the only electronic movements on the market that can meet the strict COSC requirements.

10. Is a Favorite in Hollywood

Actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis and John Travolta are just a handful of A-List celebrties who have been spotted wearing a Breitling. Other famous Breitling owners include David Beckham, Buzz Aldrin, Cal Ripkin Jr., Usher, Bear Grylls, Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Seinfeld and Herbie Hancock.

Albert Costill
Just a typical guy that wants an ice-cold PBR with some pizza and wings to go with football on a Sunday. Since venturing into the blogosphere many years ago to discuss his favorite tunes, Al has now moved onto publications by Alpha Brand Media such as AMOG and SoJones to blab about anything and everything else that matters.

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