Remember that feeling you had as a kid, running through the grass with your arms outstretched while the vast blue sky yawned overhead, the wind brushing against your cheeks and messing up your hair?
That’s the sort of thing that sticks with us through life, the urge to take flight and free ourselves for the sake of adventure and the unknown. Sure, we grow older and more practical things take up that valuable space in our minds, but even in our later years a dream will sneak in every now and then where we’re soaring through the clouds under the blazing sun.
Part of the Art (capital A) found within a luxury watch goes beyond the painstakingly meticulous craftsmanship and the physical qualities that draw the eye and make our mouths water. A true masterpiece will evoke from us those buried fantasies and feelings of joy and yearning.
When it comes to that, there’s perhaps no watchmaker more capable of reigniting those childhood memories of doing our best to take off from the ground than Breitling.
It makes sense, really. Of all the premier luxury watchmakers out there, Breitling is the most closely associated with aviation and daring pilots.
You could say that Breitling watches have enough flight hours to be considered veterans of the skies.
Their airborne pedigree began way back in the 1930s when Breitling began supplying onboard chronographs for aircraft. The Royal Air Force tasked them with producing analog cockpit clocks for Spitfires and Lancaster bombers.
They were chosen for their accuracy and ability to withstand intense conditions and stay ticking. And when we say “intense conditions,” we mean perhaps the most intense air combat in the history of human warfare.
Some of the bravest and most daring pilots of the 20th century were looking into those Breitling faces whilst speeding towards heroic acts of valor and sacrifice that will be written and talked about for generations to come.
After World War 2, Breitling continued to establish themselves as aviation’s darling watchmaker. They supplied instrument panel chronographs to manufacturers like Boeing, Lockheed, and Douglas in partnership with NYC-based watch importer Wakmann.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, the Breitling-Wakmann partnership also produced luxury wristwatches which quickly became a favorite of pilots all around the world.
Today, pilots and aircraft personnel continue to favor Breitling watches on their wrists.
The aviation world’s partnership isn’t solely based on history or image, either. Every major Breitling model is equipped with chronometer movements. Essentially, that means the movements have been tested and certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), a neural third party, to ensure the highest precision and quality.
After all, these watches aren’t just amazingly luxurious and brilliant looking. They’re also tools that need to be dependable.
Let’s take a look at some of Breitling’s most famous watches and what makes them so spectacular.
The Navitimer is probably Breitling’s most famous watch, and it’s certainly what people think of when they think of aviation watches.
The model was first launched in 1952, and quickly earned the adoration of pilots everywhere for its impeccable swiss construction, its endlessly useful functionality, and of course the amazing looks.
The standout feature of the Navitimer is the slide rule function that allows pilots to perform all of the calculations that a flight plan might require. In fact, every millimeter of the watch is designed with pilots in mind. We don’t even know if you can accurately say it has a dial. It’s more like an instrument panel.
The Chronomat was created in 1984 for the Frecce Triclolori military aerobatic display team, who are sort of like the Blue Angels of Italy. Since then, they’ve grown to become wildly popular.
Like the Frecce Tricolori themselves, chronomats are generally more eye-catching and feature a bolder aesthetic than the Navitimers. The dials are made to be as artistically satisfying as they are functional.
The case is chunkier and weightier, built with sturdiness in mind since they originally had to withstand jaw-clenching Gs and gravity defying aerial maneuvers.
If you like your luxury watches with a little bit of flair that says “I’ve seen it all, and I was upside down when I saw it,” the Chronomat is the perfect watch for you.
Don’t believe us? Check out this Grey Dial Rose Gold & Steel Chronomat. You can have it shipped today for 25% off.
While Breitling is best known for what they’ve accomplished in the skies, that doesn’t mean they don’t have other hits in their catalog.
The Superocean was created in the mid 1950s as Breitling’s answer to the dive watch boom. And what an answer it was.
The ultimate example of a “made to be worn, built to be used” watchmaking philosophy, these pieces are beautiful and sleek, but incredibly tough and functional.
There are essentially two kinds of Superocean. The more modernized versions generally feature a more streamlined design with a single crown, rotating bezel, and most often a rubber strap for underwater efficiency (many do come equipped with a steel bracelet, however).
The Superocean Heritage series features more of a chronograph design with chronograph controls flanking the crown and multiple sub dials for accessible timing functionality.
Whichever one you go with is a matter of personal choice, since they’re both going to get you exactly where you need to go, whether it’s above or below the waves.
Check out this Superocean Heritage II Chronograph with a blue dial and have it shipped today for 26% off.
To confine Breitling to the Navitimers, the Chronomats, and the Superoceans would be a criminal act against watch-enjoyers everywhere.
There are also Avengers, Chronospaces, Aviator 8s, and the list goes on.
Luckily, you can view our entire catalog of stunning, incredible, brand new Breitling watches all in one place right here.
If there’s one thing in this world that can get you to spread your wings again and look to the sky, it’s probably a Breitling.