Founded way back in 1884, the company’s watches are separated into three categories: diving watches (known as SuperOcean), aviation watches (known as Navitimer) and Luxury watches (Breitling for Bentley). Their polished cases and bracelets, as well as their large watch faces that are designed to make readability simple have long characterized Breitling watches. Many of the watches created by Breitling feature an automatic winding mechanism that’s purely mechanical, while other models of Breitling watches feature complications. All of the watches made by the brand are manufactured in Switzerland, despite the company’s German-sounding name. In the early 1940s, the company revolutionized the watch business by adding a circular slide rule to the bezel of their chronograph models – these watches were meant to be used by aircraft pilots. This watch later evolved into the now-famous Navitimer model, and during the 1950s and 1960s, this watch was offered by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association with the association’s logo on the dial.
The next innovation in the Breitling world came courtesy of famous astronaut Scott Carpenter, who approached the company in 1961 and suggested that they should incorporate a twenty-four hour dial instead of their usual twelve-hour dial. For Carpenter, such an innovation was a necessity, as he was one of the original astronauts in the Mercury space program and required a watch that worked regardless of whether it was night or day, as space travel eliminated the distinction between the two. Breitling agreed, and produced a special Navitimer model for Carpenter to wear on his 1962 flight to space.
Many Breitling watches are specialized – just as the Navitimer was originally created for airline pilots and was later tweaked for Carpenter’s flight into space, the Breitling Emergency watch includes a radio transmitter, which was worn by civil aviators. This watch is also used by many in the military, and under normal conditions (flat terrain or calm seas) the signal from the watch can be picked up as far as 90 nautical miles by a search aircraft. The importance of this innovation was discovered in January of 2003, when two British pilots crashed their helicopter in Antartica and were rescued by crews only after they activated their Breitling Emergency watches. The aircraft that rescued the two men was only able to find them after picking up signals from their watches. While this watch is generally used by military men and women and pilots, it’s available for purchase by regular citizens as well, but normal folk who attempt to purchase the watch must sign a letter of agreement stating that they’ll carry the costs accrued from a rescue intervention should they trigger their distress signal on the watch.
Though many Breitling watches, such as the ones described above, seem overly technological and not suited for the average individual, the truth is, the brand is also known for producing simply beautiful and functional timepieces. Though pricey, the watches produced by Breitling are the kind of watches that withstand the test of time, making them excellent gifts and true family mementos. For example, the Breitling Women’s Colt Oceane Swiss Automatic Diamond Accent Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch is a beautiful, dazzling design that literally sparkles with diamonds. This beautiful watch comes with a matching stainless steel bracelet and boasts a unidirectional rotating bezel that’s studded with diamonds. Diamonds are forever, but this watch will outlast even the hardest of gems. The perfect gift for the love of your life, Breitling watches studded with diamonds are beloved by celebrities across the globe.
Another great option is the Breitling Women’s Cockpit Swiss Automatic Rose Gold-tone Accent Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch. Another beauty, this one melds superior style with timeless execution, putting silver and gold together with a stainless steel case and back that features a matching two-tone bracelet. This watch boasts a unidirectional rotating bezel that features a white dial that hits all the right marks, with Roman numerals at 12:00, 6:00 and 9:00. At all other hours, the watch boasts rose gold-tone index markers. This watch pairs beautifully with a crisp white suit, but looks just as sophisticated with a rocker tee and jeans. No matter what your wife wears, she’ll look great in this timepiece. The best news? Though you’re dropping a lot of dough on it, it’s the sort of piece she can pass down to your daughter, and then to her granddaughter. Unlike cheaper, more easily replaceable pieces of jewelry, Breitling watches are the types of pieces you keep for a long time – they’re in it for the long haul.