Breitling

Breitling SA was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling in Saint-Imier. He focused on chronographs, which were in demand for industrial, military, and scientific applications and for athletic organisations. When Léon Breitling passed away in 1914, his son Gaston took over the family business. Inheriting his fathers pioneering spirit he launched the world’s first chronograph with a separate button above the crown. When Gaston passed away unexpectedly in 1927 an external team managed the company as his son, Willy, was only 14 years old.

In 1979 the brand was sold to Ernest Schneider, watchmaker and entrepreneur whose family looked after the brand until 2017. In that year Breitling became part of CVC Capital Partners and Georges Kern (former CEO of IWC) was appointed CEO.

Highlights

1884
Breitling was founded by Léon Breitling in the Swiss city of Saint-Imier.
1915
Launch of one the world’s first wrist watch chronographs with separate pusher which was located above the crown.
1923
Introduction of a patented chronograph pocket watch with two pushers
1932
Willy Breitling took leadership in the company while still being very young of age. He was only 14 when his father passed away in 1927.
1934
Willy Breitling filed the patent for the world's first wrist chronograph with two pushers.
1940
Breitling was granted the patent for the Chronomat, which is characterized by a patented rotating slide rule for technicians and scientists.
1958
Breitling launches their first dive watch which has a case that is water-resistant up to 200 meters.
1965
Willy Breitling participated in the development of the world’s first micro-rotor automatic chronograph in cooperation with Jack Heuer, the Büren-based movement manufacturer, and Dubois-Dépraz.
1973
Breitling introduced quartz versions of the Navitimer.
1979
Willy Breitling sold the remaining assets to Ernest Schneider
1982
The company headquarters is relocated to Grenchen.
1988
Launch of the first wristwatch that was equipped with an integrated emergency transmitter. The Breitling Emergency.
2009
Breitling introduces their in-house developed B01 chronograph movement
2017
CVC Capital Partners acquires Breitling and Georges Kern moves over from IWC
2018
Breitling introduces new collections, including the Navitimer 8.

Did you know?

B01

Since 2017, Breitling and Tudor exchange movements (B01 chronograph for Tudor, MT5612 for Breitling

170000

The annual production for Breitling watches

1952

Astronaut Scott Carpenter wore a Breitling in space in 1952
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