About Breitling

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About Breitling

Post by iwasbanned » July 5th 2011, 8:51am

BigCheez brought up some info I did not know about Breitling. So I did some Googling and found the below at http://people.timezone.com/breitling/bfaq/:


What is the history of Breitling?

The "G. Leon Breitling" firm was founded in Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 1884 by Leon Breitling. Leon Breitling started out inventing and creating complicated watches, chronographs and special measuring instruments. He moved his company to La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1892 where he built a full-fledged factory. At this time, the company was renamed to "Leon G. Breitling S.A. Montbrillant Watch Manufactory" and had 60 employees.

After much success, Leon Breitling passed away in 1914 and his son Gaston inherited the business. Gaston knew that Breitling's specialty and biggest seller was the chronograph, and he set out to develop this market further. His first big accomplishment, the Vitesse chronograph, was enthusiastically used by police authorities, the military and governments.

During World War I, Gaston grew the brand outside of the closed European markets. He continued to invent new chronograph models with special time-event scales on the dials. Gaston Breitling died in 1927 and the Breitling firm was without leadership until 1932 when his son Willy stepped in.

Vintage PremierWilly Breitling developed the aircraft chronograph and made Breitling famous worldwide. Breitling signed a contract with the British Air Ministry and started making chronographs for the Royal Air Force. People associate Breitling with aviation largely because of this contract and the success it brought the company. Many more contracts were subsequentially signed with aircraft manufacturers and airlines. Pilots took notice and acknowledged the great quality of Breitling's chronographs.

Willy Breitling was also responsible for one of Breitling's most famous inventions, the slide rule bezel. The first watch to include this feature was the Chronomat. By 1946, Breitling manufactured about 250 different models in six categories. Obviously, they included their famous chronographs. In addition, Breitling now also offered waterproof watches.

In 1952, Willy moved the company's headquarters to Geneva, while production remained in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The company had now abandoned in-house movement manufacturing and relied on suppliers such as Venus. This saved cost and allowed Breitling to focus on its main strength: designing and refining their special dials.

Cosmonaute Scott CarpenterThe same year also saw the introduction of Breitling's most famous model, the Navitimer. Flight and rally calculations could be made with this wrist-worn navigational instrument and it was a huge hit with pilots around the world. The famous Cosmonaute, a 24-hour dial Navitimer, was introduced in 1962. It went into space on Lt. Commander Scott Carpenter's wrist.

Time magazine wrote of the Navitimer in 1957: "The firm of Leon Breitling introduces a new stopwatch that is intended for engineers and technicians, and is equipped with a calculator as well as three hands for time and speed measurements." Around the same time, the Super Ocean diver's watch was introduced. The trendy Top-Time was introduced in the early 1960s.

In cooperation with Heuer-Leonidas, Hamilton-Buren and Dubois et Depraz, Breitling introduced in 1969 the new Chronomat. It was an automatically winding chronograph, something that took 500,000 Swiss francs to construct. This movement, marketed by Breitling as Caliber 11, was nothing short of a Swiss watch industry sensation.

As the quartz revolution began, Breitling reluctantly introduced a quartz version of the Chronomat in 1975. It was manufactured alongside their mechanical varieties. A quartz Navitimer followed the next year. Adjusting to the new quartz technology was a difficult, if not impossible, task for Breitling and in 1979 the Breitling firm was voluntarily closed by Willy Breitling. He had become ill and passed away the same year. The inventory went to the family, but Ron Geweniger of Chicago purchased half of it.

100 years of watchmaking and Breitling tradition was not about to vanish off the face of the Earth, however. In 1979, the Breitling name was taken over by Ernest Schneider of the Sicura firm in Grenchen. Willy Breitling's two sons, Gregory and Alain, were too young to take over the business.

Schneider reaffirmed to the public that Breitling was worthy of their confidence. He showed them that the original philosophy was unchanged and that special focus was, as always, given to the flying sports. A pilot himself, Schneider conferred with other pilots and introduced the Jupiter, Pluton and Mars chronographs in 1980. The market at this time wanted electronic watches, so these watches had quartz movements.

Chronomat BlackbirdTimes were changing again in the early 1980s; the mechanical watch was making a comeback. In 1984, Breitling introduced its first mechanical chronograph since the death of Willy Breitling. It was, like the 1942 model, to be called the Chronomat. 1986 saw the comeback of the 1950s-style Navitimer. Watches catering to sailors were also introduced at this time. Breitling had re-emerged as the indisputable champion of "Instruments for Professionals".

Today, Breitling continues its involvement in aviation and all the adventures that it entails. The "Breitling World Cup of Aerobatics" was introduced in 1993 and is recognized by the Federation Aeronatique Internationale as having the same status as a world championship. Breitling also had enormous success with the Breitling Orbiter 3, the first balloon to fly around the world. In the year 2000, Breitling inaugurated its new headquarters in Grenchen.

Also see the Milestones section on Breitling's official Web site.

Who owns Breitling?

Breitling is independently owned by the Schneider family who purchased the name from Willy Breitling in 1979. The Schneider family is paying close attention to the ideas, values and visions of Leon, Gaston and Willy Breitling.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by boscoe » July 8th 2011, 4:01am

Breitling, like IWC, does not make it's own movements, if I recall correctly. (Not going to google this to check myself).
I find this disappointing. I went through a Breitling phase in the 1990s (as well as a Corum insanity a few years later). All are gone.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by RaiderFan » July 8th 2011, 4:26am

boscoe wrote:Breitling, like IWC, does not make it's own movements, if I recall correctly. (Not going to google this to check myself).
I find this disappointing. I went through a Breitling phase in the 1990s (as well as a Corum insanity a few years later). All are gone.


You're right, they buy movements and then modify them into their own calibers. I don't really mind that since they do have every movement COSC tested as do most of the high end brands. Most that build their own in-house movements are either not my cup of tea or are just plain out of the ranges I'm willing to pay for a watch. I like that they have a very unique take on aviation and aviation sport watches. The Navitimer was developed during the 40's I think, and though they have changed somewhat they still harken back to those designs. It's a brand that builds a great watch for the money spent, and the Pro II bracelet is what I guage others against. IMO it's one of the best looking and comfortable out there at any price.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by BigCheez » July 8th 2011, 4:36am

Breitling makes one in-house movement, the B01.

All indications are that it's an exceptionally good movement.

Omega, which has been offered by Boscoe as a superior alternative, generally uses ETA movements, too. Up until this year, they had but one in-house movement, the 8500.

In 2011, they came out with their second, a chrono. We'll see how it stacks up against the new Breitling movement.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by RaiderFan » July 8th 2011, 5:13am

boscoe wrote:True, cheez, but Swatch owns Omega & ETA, hence I consider it in-house.
:cxv:


If other brands in the Swatch Group didn't use them, maybe. I'm not sure about it since they are still being sold outside the conglomerate also. To me, in house means proprietary, used only by the named brand, not one offered across the board. Brands like Rolex are what I consider in-house, am I right in that? What about brands like Patek and Breguet? I really don't know what those companies do, but since they're at the top of the food chain I assume everything is in-house, right?
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Re: About Breitling

Post by morgan1124 » July 8th 2011, 5:25am

They make a great watch regardless of whether you like their designs or not. Only watch company that only build COSC watches from the get go ,no matter what line you look at.
And Cheez stated correctly the B01 is there in house movement ...there work horse was always the B17 a great movement in itself that has stood the test of time. Thanks for sharing the article.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by morgan1124 » July 8th 2011, 11:07am

iwasbanned wrote:What about the co-axial movements? Does anyone but Omega use them. Not the 8500 or 9500, but the 2500.


As far as I know Omega is the only one that uses it...there signature trademark...the co-axial was invented by a English watchmaker by the name of George Daniels...Eta has the exclusive rights to it and owns Omega...Orginally Patek had contacted him for the movement...that never came to fruition...the rest became history with Omega. I am a big Omega fan if cannot tell...lol
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Re: About Breitling

Post by BigCheez » July 8th 2011, 3:31pm

boscoe wrote:True, cheez, but Swatch owns Omega & ETA, hence I consider it in-house.
:cxv:


Apparently Omega doesn't agree with you as they advertised the 8500 as their only in-house movement before the chrono came out.

ETA was Eterna.

As a side note, since Swatch owns Nivarox and EVERY watch company uses their hairsprings (except Rolex which only began within the last year or so), you could basically say NOBODY makes a fully in-house movement.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by RaiderFan » July 8th 2011, 3:32pm

BigCheez wrote:After Daniels shopped Rolex and others, he sold the exclusive rights for mass-production to Omega.

He still makes spectacularly-expensive handmade custom watches, as I understand, but not many.

He has made all of 37 watches in his life, according to his website.


Is there a link available to a site with some more info and pics? Never could afford one, but at that level there's real talent and art in the watches, and I never tire of seeing them, especially when the movements are exposed to view.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by BigCheez » July 8th 2011, 4:04pm

Here's the site:
http://www.danielslondon.com/

RaiderFan wrote:
BigCheez wrote:After Daniels shopped Rolex and others, he sold the exclusive rights for mass-production to Omega.

He still makes spectacularly-expensive handmade custom watches, as I understand, but not many.

He has made all of 37 watches in his life, according to his website.


Is there a link available to a site with some more info and pics? Never could afford one, but at that level there's real talent and art in the watches, and I never tire of seeing them, especially when the movements are exposed to view.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by ocean » July 10th 2011, 4:57pm

fatman wrote:Thank you gentelmen for the lesson....greatly appreciated.

+1 Great info that I didn't know
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Re: About Breitling

Post by Tzimisces » July 11th 2011, 3:49am

BigCheez wrote:
boscoe wrote:True, cheez, but Swatch owns Omega & ETA, hence I consider it in-house.
:cxv:


Apparently Omega doesn't agree with you as they advertised the 8500 as their only in-house movement before the chrono came out.

ETA was Eterna.

As a side note, since Swatch owns Nivarox and EVERY watch company uses their hairsprings (except Rolex which only began within the last year or so), you could basically say NOBODY makes a fully in-house movement.


If we move the discussion to Japan, we can consider Seiko. They make their own hairsprings.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by AlbertaTime » July 11th 2011, 6:14am

Tzimisces wrote:If we move the discussion to Japan, we can consider Seiko. They make their own hairsprings.


As does Sea-Gull.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by Aqua Homer » July 11th 2011, 6:49am

Tzimisces wrote:
BigCheez wrote:
boscoe wrote:True, cheez, but Swatch owns Omega & ETA, hence I consider it in-house.
:cxv:


Apparently Omega doesn't agree with you as they advertised the 8500 as their only in-house movement before the chrono came out.

ETA was Eterna.

As a side note, since Swatch owns Nivarox and EVERY watch company uses their hairsprings (except Rolex which only began within the last year or so), you could basically say NOBODY makes a fully in-house movement.


If we move the discussion to Japan, we can consider Seiko. They make their own hairsprings.


+1 and good thing to keep impressing upon watch fans. When getting into the MarineMaster series, and some of the Japan only models, every single componet of the watch is produced by Seiko.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by eddiea » July 11th 2011, 1:42pm

BigCheez wrote:
boscoe wrote:True, cheez, but Swatch owns Omega & ETA, hence I consider it in-house.
:cxv:

As a side note, since Swatch owns Nivarox and EVERY watch company uses their hairsprings (except Rolex which only began within the last year or so), you could basically say NOBODY makes a fully in-house movement.

Let's desagree here Dave... not ALL watch companies use Nivarox all the time, aside from the already mentioned Rolex (Parachrom) and from the top of my head, Patek Philippe uses now the in house Spiromax hairspring, a silicon based spring and like Mike's stating, Seiko as well as Citizen use their own hairsprings... an interesting subjet to dig in a bit.
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Re: About Breitling

Post by fatman » July 11th 2011, 1:52pm

Aqua Homer wrote:
Tzimisces wrote:
BigCheez wrote:
boscoe wrote:True, cheez, but Swatch owns Omega & ETA, hence I consider it in-house.
:cxv:


Apparently Omega doesn't agree with you as they advertised the 8500 as their only in-house movement before the chrono came out.

ETA was Eterna.

As a side note, since Swatch owns Nivarox and EVERY watch company uses their hairsprings (except Rolex which only began within the last year or so), you could basically say NOBODY makes a fully in-house movement.


If we move the discussion to Japan, we can consider Seiko. They make their own hairsprings.


+1 and good thing to keep impressing upon watch fans. When getting into the MarineMaster series, and some of the Japan only models, every single componet of the watch is produced by Seiko.


Is this why the marinemaster and some of the Japan only models are considerably more expensive?
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Re: About Breitling

Post by eddiea » July 11th 2011, 3:51pm

fatman wrote:
Is this why the marinemaster and some of the Japan only models are considerably more expensive?

Among other things, like labor cost, materials used , movement adjustment, better and more sophisticated/complex movements , limited production etc....
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Re: About Breitling

Post by RaiderFan » July 18th 2011, 4:06pm

Just try to buy a yellow dial Seiko Monster if you can even find one, and the blue dial all Japanese ones are pretty rare too. There just weren't many real ones made.
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