In 1884, Leon Breitling opened a workshop in the Jura mountains of Switzerland. It was through this shop that Breitling watches were born. When he opened his workshop, Breitling specialized in making chronograph pocket watches and precision counters, which were used primarily scientific and industrial purposes. In 1892, Breitling moved his shop to La Chaux-de-Fonds, which was the hub of the successful Swiss watchmaking industry during that time. After Leon Breitling died in 1914, his son Gaston took over the business and continued the tradition of manufacturing luxury Breitling watches.
The Breitling Legacy
Since the first Breitling watch was manufactured over a hundred years ago, the legacy and tradition of quality timepieces has continued on. In 1915, the Swiss timepiece manufacturer successfully developed a wristwatch chronograph and supplied pilots with the first aviation wrist instruments. Since then, Breitling has created genuine certified chronometers carefully designed for aviation use. Today, Breitling watches are revered outside of the aviation world as luxury timepieces and symbols of prestige. Breitling watches are crafted with aviation-specific features such as a large dial for better visibility and to display different informational analog sub-dials. In 1936, Breitling was commissioned as the official timepiece supplier for the Royal Air Force and in 1942, the American armed forces followed suit. By 1952, the company was supplying major airlines with precise cockpit clocks.
The Breitling Watch Collection
Many Breitling timepieces feature a fully mechanical automatic winding mechanism, and many are equipped with special functions such as flyback, split-second, moon phase and date display. The Breitling Emergency watch contains a radio transmitter for civil and official aviation use, which can broadcast distress signals. According to Reuters, the watch made history when two British pilots crashed their helicopter in Antarctica and were rescued after activating the distress signal. In 1942, Breitler launched the Chronomat, which was the first chronograph to be fitted with a circular slide rule. Ten years later, Breitling began offering the Breitling Navitimer watch, which was equipped with navigation capabilities. Breitling watches continued to evolve over the next few years, with the introduction of the Cosmonaute chronograph, which astronaut Scott Carpenter wore while in space in 1962. Later that decade, in 1969, Breitling created the self-winding chronograph, which served as a major advancement for the entire watch industry. The Breitling legacy lives on, particularly as the finest in luxury aviation watches. In 1979, Ernest Schneider, who is a pilot and a watch manufacturer, took over as the head of the Breitling company. The company continues to use all Swiss manufactured parts in the creation of every Breitling watch. Other Breitling watch models include the Super Avenger, the Chrono Avenger, the B-1, and SuperOcean, the Chronomat Evo, and the Top Time.
Many notable figures have endorsed the Breitling watch. This includes astronaut Buzz Aldrin, singer Celine Dion, John Travolta, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mel Gibson, Sean Connery, and Tom Cruise.
Breitling Watches at Wingate’s
Wingate’s offers a selection of men and women’s never worn and used Breitling watches for sale including several varieties of: Breitling Navitimer, Bentley, Chronomat, Colt, Emergency, and Rattrapante.