Functionality, reliability, accuracy, and style have been in the DNA of Breitling ever since its founder, Léon Breitling, started the company in 1884 in Saint-Imier in Switzerland. In fact, accuracy was so important that even the Swiss police relied on the precision of Breitling watches to issue the first speeding ticket ever. But this is just one example of the company’s many achievements throughout the years.
While Léon focused on chronographs, his son, Gaston, who inherited the company after his father’s death, took it further. In 1915, he launched one of the first wrist chronographs with a separate push-piece above the watch crown. Eight years later, his pocket watch with two chronograph pushers was an industry game-changer—a configuration that sports watches use to this day.
Then, it was Willy Breitling, Gaston’s son, who launched the Huit Aviation Department at Breitling (named after the eight-day power reserves of its dashboard clocks), which won the company recognition in the world of professional aviation—something that Breitling has been famous for and has celebrated for decades through collections such as the iconic Navitimer and the Aviator 8.
Nowadays, Breitling’s watches are known for their premium quality, unparalleled accuracy, and sophisticated looks. Here we rounded up five of the best timepieces you can shop right now.
Breitling Navitimer BO3 Chronograph Rattrapante 45
The Navimeter is probably Breitling’s most iconic model and it has been around since the 1950s. In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter famously made three trips around the Earth wearing a Navitimer.
This 2019 version dons the model’s highly technical (and instantly recognizable) dial and bezel design. It also features a complication called the “rattrapante” which allows measuring two elapsed times simultaneously—a function especially useful to pilots (the Navitimer was initially meant to be a pilot’s wristwatch).
Its 18-karat red gold case and elegant leather strap turn this watch into the ultimate statement piece.
To buy: $27,480, breitling.com
Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 46
In 1957, Breitling launched its first Superocean model aimed at aquatic explorers. More than 60 years later, its adventurous spirit lives on with the Superocean Heritage collection.
This automatic timepiece is definitely built to last. It features a scratch-proof ceramic bezel and a self-winding Manufacture caliber. Naturally, it’s water-resistant up to 660 feet. Its stainless steel mesh bracelet is a nod to the watch’s original design from the 50s.
To buy: $4,985, breitling.com
Breitling Aviator 8 BO1 Chronograph 43 Curtiss Warhawk
Breitling has a deep connection with commercial and military aviation, so to honor one of America’s most famous aviation manufacturers, Curtiss Wright, the company launched three new watches this year. One of them is this Curtiss Warhawk piece dedicated to the notorious P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft that flew in the late 30s. The watch—just like the plane—sports the famous shark mouth logo on its back. The Curtiss Warhawk also has a matte green dial enclosed in a stainless steel case with luminous numerals, as well as hour and minute hands that are visible in the dark. It features a self-winding mechanical movement, which delivers an impressive 70-hour power reserve.
To buy: $7,710, breitling.com
Breitling Premier BO1 Chronograph 42 Wheels and Waves Limited Edition
This year at Biarritz’s annual Wheels and Waves festival, Breitling launched two limited edition timepieces to celebrate its connection to the worlds of motorcycling and surfing. The stainless steel version of the watch has only been produced in 500 pieces and all of them feature an engraved plate with the words “Breitling SPECIAL.” Another element that sets them apart is the striking anthracite dial with golden markers, hour and minute hands. The watch’s in-house mechanical movement is visible through the case’s transparent back. Another notable design element is the stylish brown nubuck leather strap.
To buy: $8,500, breitling.com
Breitling Superocean Automatic 44
The design team at Breitling gave one of its most popular collections, Superocean, a sleek makeover in 2017. The result is a sporty yet modern-looking watch fit for every wrist. It has a stainless steel case and a bold yellow dial—the company’s signature color. This watch is perfect for water sports enthusiasts, especially those who like diving—you can take this watch deep underwater—down to 3,280 feet!
To buy: $4,200, breitling.com