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Breitling: More than Just Watches for Pilots and Divers

Throughout its history, Breitling has always been dubbed as the pilot’s perfect companion. True enough, these watches — from the Breitling Navitimer to the Breitling Aviator 8 collections — boast a lot of functions that aviators find useful when flying or navigating. And being COSC-certified, these watches are some of the most accurate timekeepers you can find. Whether you’re a prfofessional pilot or a watch enthusiast, the quality that you will get from Breitling watches is second to none.

However, Breitling watches are more than just pilot watches. The brand also offers cutting-edge dive watches for the diving enthusiast. From Breitling Superocean to the upgraded Breitling Superocean Heritage, the brand boasts a selection of underwater watches that are a favorite among professional and recreational divers alike. Breitling also keeps racers in mind when designing new collections. The Breitling Bentley watches are committed to racing excellence both on and off the track. 

How much do Breitling watches cost?

ModelPrice (approximate)Size (mm)Features
Navitimer 8 Automatic$4,230 USD41mmChronometer-certified
Navitimer 1 Automatic Chronometer$4,310 USD38mmChronometer-certified
Chronomat 44 GMT$9,110 USD44mmChronograph, GMT
Superocean Heritage II Chronograph Automatic$5,915 USD44mmChronograph
Aviator 8 Curtiss Warhawk Chronograph$5,565 USD43mmChronograph
Bentley GMT Light Body$7,519 USD45mmChronograph
Bentley B05 Unitime$13,415 USD49mmChronograph, World time
Galactic Blue Steel$5,985 USD41mmTime only

 

Prices for the Breitling Navitimer: A Quintessential Pilot Watch

One of the most popular models of the brand is the Breitling Navitimer. With its name coming from the combination of the words “navigation” and “timer”, this watch is always dubbed as a “mini-computer for pilots”. With that said, it is one of the most essential models in the history of pilot watches. In fact, it is still being used today by aviators around the globe for its integrated flight computer. That includes air forces that still use this as equipment for their pilots.

Breitling released the Navitimer in 1952 as an upgrade to the Breitling Chronomat. Like its predecessor, the Navitimer allows the wearer to perform mathematical computations in an instant. It had the same chronograph and slide rule bezel that you can see from the 1940’s version of the Chronomat. The difference is that it is easier to calculate equations using the newer model.

One of the reasons why this watch is important to the brand is that it introduced Breitling’s first in-house movement. The calibre features a power reserve of up to 70 hours. Furthermore, its chronograph function can time periods of up to 12 hours. Today, Navitimer, including the Navitimer 1 and Navitimer 8 models, can be had for as low as $4,230 USD and as high as $5,549 USD for more complicated features.

With this watch, Breitling cemented its place in aviation history. They became the official supplier of board instruments for various aircraft companies like Boeing. The Breitling Navitimer remains an icon to this day.

Prices for the Breitling Chronomat: Breitling’s First Chronograph Watch

Before the Navitimer, there was the Breitling Chronomat, which was the inspiration for the model. In fact, the Navitimer is often dubbed as an improved version of this model. Its story begins in 1940 when Breitling wanted to obtain a patent for a circular slide rule bezel. These bezels will be used to help their watches calculate mathematical equations. A year later, the watchmakers from Breitling were able to obtain a patent from the Swiss government and as a result, they offered the first Breitling Chronomat for sale.

The first version of the Breitling Chronomat had a Venus 175 calibre movement. It was manually wound and had 17 jewels. Furthermore, customers had the choice between a stainless steel and an 18k rose gold version. With the watch’s functionality and good looks, it’s no wonder why it instantly became a bestseller.

Through the years, the Chronomat not only inspired the Navitimer but also a few other Breitling men’s watches. As examples, the Breitling Chronomat Vitesse, Breitling Avenger, and Breitling Galactic 32 share a few similarities with the vintage Breitling Chronomat watches.

Modern Chronomats have maintained their reputation of being an all-purpose watch. These timekeepers feature 1/4th of a second chronograph and 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. Moreover, its movement has been improved and is now self-winding. The cheaper versions of the Breitling Chronomat cost $4,489 USD, but the more complicated GMT version costs as much as $10,020 USD.

Prices for the Breitling Avenger: Watches for the Modern Aviator

The Breitling Avenger is one of the newest collections of the brand. Like the Breitling Aviator 8 and the Navitimer, this one is also considered as an aviation watch. Being released only in 2001, this has a more modern design. Despite lacking a rich back story, this watch has a lot to offer. For one, it features unparalleled reliability, durability, and legibility.

While this is Breitling’s third collection that focuses on aviation, it has a unique personality that differentiates it from the first two. To demonstrate, it has a bulkier bezel and dial giving it a more industrial look. This makes it perfect for the adventurer and thrill-seeker. 

Depending on the model, the Avenger’s price tag can go from $5000 USD to $10,000 USD. But no matter which model you choose, it’s a guarantee that you’ll get the durability and accuracy that Breitling watches are known for.

Customers have a wide choice of dial designs, layouts, and straps to choose from. Those with demanding timing needs can go for the classic chronograph versions. While more casual users can opt for the cleaner date-only layout. When it comes to the strap, these watches for men are available in a plethora of designs from metal bracelets to calfskin leather.

Prices for the Breitling Colt: An Unassuming Military Watch

One of the least popular Breitling watches for men is the Breitling Colt. In fact, only a handful of people have heard of this collection. It was released in the 1980s and like the other vintage Breitling watches, the Colt was marketed as a military watch.

The Colt is one of the cheapest Breitling models you can get. But that doesn’t mean it is of lower quality. In fact, it was made for the armed forces like the Navitimer and Chronomat, which means it has top-notch durability. Apart from that, it has a high water resistance rating of 200m (650ft) and its movement is certified by the COSC.

Customers have a lot of Colt versions to choose from. First up is the Colt Chronograph, which is the most functional of the bunch. Its chronograph has a tracker for 1/4th of a second, 30 minutes, and 12 hours. This model can be had for around $3,000 USD.

Moving to a much more elegant version, the Colt Lady was designed for women who want a watch that is robust and classy at the same time. Of course, these men’s watches come in smaller sizes like 33mm. The Colt Lady clocks in at around $3,000 USD as well.

Prices for the Breitling Superocean: A Must-Have For the Professional Explorer

After dominating the skies, Breitling wanted to explore the oceans next. So right when the hype for dive watches was at its peak in the 1950s, the brand launched the Breitling Superocean. When the collection was first released, it took pride in its water resistance rating of 200m (650ft). This was a win as it was more than the average rating. Moreover, a lot of watch enthusiasts found its design attractive as its oversized hands and Arabic numeral hour markers make the dial legible.

Decades after the Superocean’s release, Breitling’s watchmakers have fine-tuned this model to keep up with times. They gave the watch upgrades to achieve a deeper water resistance rating. From just 200m (650ft), they have bumped it up to 2000m (6560ft), which is more than the rating of most dive watches. Furthermore, they also included a helium valve to the Superocean models for extra resistance to pressure.

Apart from functionality, the Breitling Superocean also shines in the aesthetics department. It is even available in various colours and case sizes. Likewise, customers can also choose among three different bracelets — rubber, leather, and steel mesh — to go with their watch. The most expensive model of the Superocean is the Chronograph Automatic Blue which costs $5,915 USD. On the other hand, the date version without the chronograph costs only $3,450 USD.

Prices for the Breitling Superocean Heritage: Modern & Upgraded 

Simply put, the Breitling Superocean Heritage is an upgraded version of the popular Superocean line. Despite having modern internals with cutting-edge technology, these men’s watches maintain the timeless aesthetics that you would expect from a Superocean.

Inside, these models come with either a Breitling 10 or Breitling 20 calibre, which are both self-winding. Both movements beat at a frequency of 28,800 vph and can power the watch for up to 42 hours. Furthermore, these movements are chronometer-certified by the COSC.

Aesthetics-wise, the Superocean Heritage models come in various looks. Customers have a plethora of dial designs to choose from — from a simple black-and-white combination to a rainbow colour scheme. A simple date model can set you back for around $3,499 USD. On the other hand, an 18K red gold version costs a whopping $19,600 USD.

No matter which model you choose, you’re sure to get the quality and durability that people loved from the Superocean line. These watches for men also pay tribute to the laid-back surfing lifestyle of the ‘60s so if you’re into that style, this watch will blow you away.

Prices for the Breitling Transocean: A Global Traveler’s Watch

While the Breitling Navitimer collection was initially marketed towards professional pilots, the Breitling Transocean was built for the typical globetrotter. Compared to the former model, this one has a more classy and elegant design. This way, the watch caters to the travelling entrepreneurs who go abroad for business meetings.

The Breitling Transocean had a lot of impressive features when it first came out. For one, it is durable thanks to its “super-sealed” case. It is also resistant to shocks, magnets, and water pressure. Furthermore, it is equipped with functions like the chronograph, world timer, and date complication. With that said, this watch is proof that elegant watches can also be packed with features.

If you don’t need the world timer, you can get a cheaper model at $5,539 USD. Do note that this model only features the chronograph complication. But if you’re in the mood to splurge, a complete package with chronograph and world timer is available for $12,640 USD.

Prices for the Breitling for Bentley: The Choice of Car Lovers

Breitling has conquered the skies and seas and the only thing missing is a watch collection for land. Enter the brand’s collaboration with renowned automotive brand Bentley. The Breitling Bentley collection is one of the longest partnerships between a watchmaker and an automotive manufacturer. This partnership started in 2002 when Bentley commissioned the Swiss brand to make the onboard clock of their first Continental GT. Since then, the duo has continued their affiliation and released more watches.

One of the most common Breitling Bentley collections is the 6.75. It consists of enormous models that come in a size of up to 49mm. And with its large size comes a hefty weight. For those who want a simple, these men’s watches are available in stainless steel versions for as low as $4,000 USD. But if you want to opt for extra bling, you can opt for a diamond-studded version for $19,999 USD.

If you want to stray away from the usual round shape, the Bentley Flying B collection might just be up your alley. The watches in this collection sport a rectangular shape for a unique yet elegant look. And while every model in the collection has the same shape, these watches are also available in various designs and price tags. One of the cheapest ones goes for around $3,900 USD and features a stainless steel case and leather strap. Meanwhile, a rose gold diamond-studded version will set you back for $55,000 USD.

For those who need a more complicated wristwatch, the Bentley B04 GMT is a good pick. Apart from the chronograph function, you also get a second time zone. Due to its added functionality, the B04 GMT is not one of the cheapest Breitling watches you can buy. In fact, one of the cheapest models costs $4,850 USD with a titanium body; while a carbon model is at the other end of the spectrum with a price tag of $22,416 USD.

Prices for the Breitling Professional: An Adventurer’s Watch

One of Breitling’s motto was “instruments for professionals” and they are living up to their word. Enter the Breitling Professional collection, which can handle the demands of various adventures. Watches in this collection are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide customers with high precision timekeeping.

The Professional line is further divided into collections. First up is the Chronospace which was made for pilots. With its large size of 46mm, it follows the traditional look of aviation watches from before. Furthermore, it has a large crown and notched bezel to make it easy to adjust even with gloved hands. Another useful feature is its chronograph which can time any event up to 12 hours. The Chronospace Automatic costs around $6,550 USD.

Second is the Endurance Pro, which Breitling made with athletes in mind. From Breitling’s own words, it is “the ultimate athleisure watch”, which means it is lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. The Endurance Pro also features a Breitlight case which is robust yet 3.3 times lighter than titanium. Inside its case is the Calibre 82, a SuperQuartz that is 10 times more accurate than the average quartz calibre. Despite its jam-packed features, the Endurance Pro has a price tag of $3,000 USD, which makes it one of the cheapest Breitling models.

Continuing Breitling's production of high tech watches aimed for working professionals, the brand presents the Exospace B55 Connected — Breitling’s answer to the smartwatch trend. More than just a military watch, the Exospace boasts a 46mm titanium case reminiscent of a B50 Cockpit with an analog-digital dial. The Exospace B55 Connected costs around $5,580 USD.

Prices for the Breitling Galactic: All About Versatility & Precision

The Breitling Galactic line features Breitling watches for men and women who want versatility. Indeed, these watches demonstrate the perfect blend of sportiness and sophistication. So whether you’re going out on a fancy dinner or a casual night out, these watches can do the job.

Unlike the Navitimer’s cluttered dial, these watches are simple. In fact, they only tell the time and the date. While their layout is almost the same, the difference between models is the size, dial colour, and bracelet. People who have slim wrists may opt for the Galactic 32, which comes in a 32mm case size. 

The Breitling Galactic watches contain the famed SuperQuartz movement, yet these are some of the cheapest watches in the collection, which can go for around $4,000 USD for the stainless steel version and $8,000 USD for the diamond-studded version.

On the other end of the spectrum, a large 41mm is available. Like its smaller counterparts, this watch is also simple and elegant. It might only have the date complication but its vibrant blue dial will catch anyone’s attention. This model is available for $5,985 USD.

Prices for the Breitling Aviator 8: A Classic Military Pilot Watch

Watches from the Breitling Aviator 8 collection celebrates the brand’s ties with military aviation. To honour that history, these models have designs that are inspired by pilot watches of the past. Compared with the Avenger which has a modern take, these versions have a more vintage and timeless design. In fact, the models that come with a leather strap can even be worn with semi-formal outfits.

The dial consists of three sub-dials along with the Arabic numeral hour markers. While its layout is very similar to the Navitimer, the Aviator 8 sports a much simpler design. To achieve this look, Breitling did without the slide rule bezel. Instead, it uses a bidirectional bezel with minimal markings.

Due to its connection with aviation, many of the Aviator 8 models were inspired by fighter planes. A good example is the Curtiss Warhawk collection, which costs from $3,380 USD to $5,815 USD. These watches were named after the aviation manufacturer Curtiss-Wright. Aesthetics-wise, these models come in an army green dial with red accents. Lastly, at the back of each watch is a picture of a P-40 Warhawk. Indeed, these watches were made for the aviation buff.

Furthermore, there is also a GMT edition, which comes in an attractive black-and-blue colour scheme priced at $5,250 USD. This watch is geared towards international travellers like entrepreneurs and commercial pilots. Whether commercial pilot or Air Force airman, Breitling is sure to dominate the skies.

Prices for the Breitling Emergency: A Watch that Saves Lives

There may be lots of gimmicks for watches but very few have literally saved lives. A great example is the Breitling Emergency timepiece. It features one of the most unique and useful complications — the personal locator beacon. This feature can be used to locate persons sending out distress signals from different parts of the globe.

It took a long time for Breitling to build a flawless system. But in 1995, they were finally able to introduce to the public the Breitling Emergency. The very first model featured a one-time use 121.5 MHz frequency beacon antenna. When activated, this creates a signal that will alert search-and-rescue organizations.

When it first came out, this watch was only sold to licenced pilots and military staff. This was to prevent having any false alarms. But after a few years, Breitling decided to release it to the public with the condition that owners have to sign a waiver in case of a false alarm. Fortunately, Breitling reported no false alarms and in the years that they sold the watch, around 20 people were rescued.

Breitling sold the Emergency watch from 1995 until 2010. But soon after discontinuing the model, their watchmakers were already developing an updated version called the Breitling Emergency II. The Swiss brand introduced the Emergency II at Baselworld in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2015 when these watches were finally approved to be sold in the USA. Depending on the model, these watches can go from $3,000 USD up to $15,000 USD.

Breitling's Milestones and Innovations

Saving Lives with the Breitling Emergency

The most important milestone that Breitling has achieved is saving lives with the Breitling Emergency watch. As mentioned above, this watch was the first to feature a dual frequency locator beacon. Through the years, this watch has saved dozens of lives.

SuperQuartz Movement

Breitling watches are known for their accurate mechanical movements. Also, they excel when it comes to quartz movements. In 2001, the company introduced the SuperQuartz, which they claim to be 10 times more accurate than standard quartz. Also, it is the only quartz movement that passed the COSC certification. Some of the collections that run on this movement include the Breitling Professional, in particular the Exospace B55 Connected model, and the Breitling Galactic.

COSC-Certified Watches

Another feat under Breitling’s belt is achieving a chronometer certification from COSC for all of their watches, including the Breitling Colt and the Breitling Superocean Heritage. Yes, you’re sure that all of their watches whether quartz or mechanical are of top-notch quality. It is important to note that the COSC testing is rigorous and only a handful of watches achieve this milestone.

The Breitling Jet Team

When it comes to aviation, Breitling goes the extra mile. With that said, they even have their own jet team, which is the largest civilian aerobatic display team in Europe. The Breitling Jet Team is based in Dijon, France, and flies seven Aero L-39 Albatros jets.

Each air show presented by the jet team lasts from 18 to 20 minutes. That includes formation flying, opposition passes, and synchronized manoeuvres. The team performs around Europe at events like air shows, Formula 1 Grand Prix races, and other sports events. They are also known for supporting AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers, who perform handstands and other moves on an aeroplane.

While Aerobatics is a sight to behold, it is difficult to master. This is why the Breitling Jet Team only consists of top-notch pilots. Every demonstration of the team exhibits Breitling’s core values: innovation, precision, and sophistication.

Breitling's History and Heritage

In 1884, Leon Breitling set up his factory in Switzerland where he produced precision chronometers for pilots. During that time, demand for chronograph watches was high. So to make himself stand out from the rest of the competition, he applied for and was granted a patent for a simplified model which won many awards. This fortunate event made his brand more popular across the country.

Unfortunately, Leon died in 1914 and the watch company went to the hands of his son, Gaston. He shared his father’s passion for chronographs. With that said, he launched one of the first wrist chronographs that had a separate push-piece above the crown. He went on to invent several other watch innovations until he passed away in 1927.

After Gaston died, the company was managed by an external team as his son, Willy, was only 14 years old by then. And by the time Willy was old enough to run the company, Breitling’s collection consisted of more than 40 different watch models for the wrist and aeroplane cockpit.

It was time for the company to leave the family, so in 1979, Willy sold it to pilot and entrepreneur Ernst Schneider. But in April 2017, Schneider sold the majority stake in Breitling to CVC Capital Partners.

Breitling and its Famous Patrons

Chris Paul

Breitling may not be as famous as other brands when it comes to celebrity endorsements, but they have their fair share of celebrity patrons. One of them is star basketball player Chris Paul. According to some interviews, his favourite watch is a Breitling for Bentley, which was limited to 3,000 units. Paul says Breitling gave him watch number three, which is his jersey number.

David Beckham

Another celebrity athlete who loves Breitling watches is English football player David Beckham. Since 2012, he has been one of Breitling’s ambassadors and a proud owner of a Breitling Transocean timepiece. Apart from that, he also wears a Breitling for Bentley chronograph, which is a perfect match as he is also a lover of Bentley cars.

Henry Cavill

Moving to Hollywood, Superman actor Henry Cavill is often seen wearing a Breitling Avenger watch. In fact, this is his watch of choice when going to meet-and-greets and press conferences. 

Leonardo DiCaprio

Another Hollywood A-lister who loves Breitling is Leonardo DiCaprio. In his movie Blood Diamond, DiCaprio was spotted wearing a Breitling Chrono Avenger with a black dial and leather strap.

Simon Cowell

Breitling watches are also loved in the music industry. Music producer and talent judge Simon Cowell had been seen wearing various Breitling timepieces. However, his favourite one is the timeless Breitling Navitimer. Apparently, apart from music, he also has good taste in watches!

A Brand for Cutting-Edge Watches

More than just watches for aviators, Breitling offers cutting-edge watches for divers, car enthusiasts, and global travelers as well. WIth its COSC-certified watches and chronographs, Breitling proves its worth when it comes to precision and accuracy. 

Editor's Choice

Lloyd Stevens
Editor
Breitling Watches
Breitling is a company that is known for their precision. They make beautiful pieces that are designed with care and the utmost respect for watches. The company’s history dates back to 1884 and a few years later in 1889, they got a patent for a more simple model of a chronograph. The innovative company debuted one of their most popular collections in 1952 - the Breitling Navitimer. Other top collections include the Superocean, Transocean and Chronomat.
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