Breitling Watches: Everything You Need to Know

Founded in Grenchen, Switzerland in 1884, Breitling is one of the few watch brands that remain an independent company to this day. That steadfast longevity carries through to their timepieces, with every Breitling watch showcasing both a classic design and absolute accuracy.

16th August 2023

A Brief History of Breitling

Léon Breitling was just 24 years old when he opened his workshop and set his sights on watch-making. The Industrial Revolution was reshaping the world, and the technological advancements it brought about gave rise to far more accurate timing methods than anything at the time. Breitling, using groundbreaking scientific chronometric instruments, created, refined, and redefined the timepieces of the era, creating precision chronograph pocket watches.

Breitling’s Innovation in Watchmaking

Building on their early success, Breitling continued their role as a pioneer in the timepiece industry. In 1915, Breitling released the world’s first chronograph wristwatch with an independent push-piece. This mechanism greatly simplified the operation of the watch, making it the go-to timepiece brand for pilots as the accuracy and ease-of-use was unlike anything else available.

Further advancements to this design led to the creation of the first chronograph wristwatch with two push-pieces: with an upper button for start/stop functionality, and a lower button for timing reset. Other timepiece manufacturers quickly followed suit, and this went on to become the blueprint for the modern chronograph.

Breitling and Aviation

Breitling’s progress matched that of the aviation industry, and by 1936 the brand was supplying cockpit instruments to numerous airlines. Breitling’s accuracy made the brand a favourite amongst pilots, a bond that was cemented in 1952 with the launch of their legendary Navitimer model. This featured a circular slide rule, making the Navitimer capable of performing crucial calculations for pilots.

Iconic Breitling Watches

To date, Breitling watches can be split into four categories: aviation, diving, sports, and formal watches. A blend of vintage designs and modern technology, some of the most well-known Breitling watches include:


The Navitimer is more of an icon than a watch. Since the first model release in 1952, the Navitimer has since seen a wealth of additional functionality, all of which have added to the precision, reliability and prestige of the watch.


Released in 1984 to commemorate the centenary of the brand, the Chronomat is a durable and reliable watch with a diver’s bezel and a chronograph function. Its blend of functionality and style make it a popular watch among a wide audience.

Aviator 8

Featuring stainless steel,18 karat red gold, and titanium materials, the Aviator 8 retains a classic 1930s vintage look. The twenty pieces that make up the Aviator 8 collection range from simple time-only watches to day-dates and chronographs.


Breitling Superocean watches are some of the most capable dive watches available. The models (eighteen in total, excluding the Superocean Heritage range) have a variety of depth ratings, from 200 metres right down to a staggering 2,000 metres. Most Breitling Superoceans have helium escape valves fitted, and dials and hands designed for low-light visibility.

Is a Breitling Watch a Good Investment?

Both modern and vintage Breitling watches are synonymous with luxury, precision, and timeless appeal. While the specific model, age, and condition play a large factor in determining the watch's value, iconic pieces like the Breitling Navitimer often hold value or appreciate in value over time. For a comprehensive evaluation, we are happy to provide a free, no-obligation quote.

Sell your Watch with Panache

Our friendly staff welcome any questions you may have about Breitling watches and the second hand watch market. Whether you want to learn how to identify your Breitling watch model, spot a fake Breitling watch or you’re interested in selling your own, we offer an easy, stress-free service. We are based in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and our secure premises ensures a safe and smooth transaction, ensuring you can enjoy the rewards of your luxury timepiece.

Contact us now to sell your watch with Panache today!

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