Brand Histories

The Watch Quote™ - February 12th, 2004

Léon Breitling
1860 • Birth of Leon Breitling.

1884 • First Leon Breitling chronographs and meters for automobiles made at St-IMIER

MONTBRILLANT WATCH FACTORY
1892 • The young captain of industry created the watch factory G LEON BREITLING SA, MONTBRILLIANT WATCHFACTORY at LA CHAUX DE FONDS

1914 • Gaston Breitling joined the family firm. Death of his father LEON.

Gaston Breitling inherited a passion for chronographs and systematically worked to make the family firm a success story.
A special model, patented with the name VITESSE, was a huge success with the police: it enabled them to time drivers breaking the speed limit.
Moving with the fashion, BREITLING accelerated the development and production of wristwatches with chronograph functions.

1932 • Willy Breitling, the son of Gaston Breitling, became head of the business.

1936 • BREITLING launched a chronograph for aircraft cockpits.

1942 • Launch of the CHRONOMAT BREITLING, the first watch chronograph equipped with log scale calculator.

1952 • Launch of the BREITLING NAVITIMER with optimised calculator function.


1962 • Launch of the COSMONAUT, with a 24hour rather than 12 hour single circuit of the dial.
BREITLING chronograph (Cosmonaut) goes into space; worn by astronaut Scott Carpenter on board the AURORA 7 capsule.

1969 • The brand that used, above all, VENUS ebauches in its mechanical hand-wound models, was one of the pioneers of the automatic chronograph developed in collaboration with HEUER-LEONIDAS and HAMILTON-BÜREN. With a combined DUBOIS-DEPRAZ chronograph module, they created the micro-rotor Chronomat.


1979 • BREITLING closed. Ernest Schneider, from SICURA, took over the firm and registered it under the name MONTRES BREITLING S.A. in GRANGES.

1983 • Creation of the GMT NAVITIMER. Launch of Eric Tabarly products.

1985 • the END OF LIFE system for divers was created (3300 feet/1000 meters).
Launch of the NAVITIMER CHRONOMAT model.

1987 • Launch of the WORLD model with indicator for 4 time zones.

1988 • Launch of the J-CLASS model specially developed for yachting.



1999 • Certification and Control for chronometry norms.
BREITLING backed the project of the Swiss and British team, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, who completed the first non-stop round the world trip by hot air balloon, landing on March 21st after a flight lasting 20 days.

2003 • At the International Automobile Salon in Geneva, BREITLING presented two new models, I association with BENTLEY.

BREITLING was BENTLEY’S partner at the Le Mans 24hr. race.

Limited edition 1903 MONTBRILLANT NAVITIMER.

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