The history of Breitling dates all the way back to 1884, when Leon Breitling opened his first watch shop in the small village of St. Imier in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. His workshop specialized in making chronographs and precision counters for industrial and scientific use. In 1892 he made the fateful decision of moving his shop to La-Chaux de Fonds the center of the watch making industry at the time.
His son Gaston Breitling perpetuated his legacy by introducing, in 1915, the first chronograph wrist watch. This along with other significant horological developments led them into the aviation industry by providing Breitling watches for pilots to wear on their wrists. They have, since then, consistently been ahead of its competitors in innovative design and revolutionary complications.
In 1923 Breitling Watch Co. introduced the first independent push piece replacing the traditional winding crown for the return-to-zero function in chronograph watches. In 1934, Willy Breitling, son of Gaston Breitling, and grandson of the founder, continued that tradition by producing the second return-to-zero push piece to measure several successive short times, giving the chronograph wristwatch its definitive design. This innovation elevated Breitling to a whole new level in the watch making industry and in 1934 the Royal Air Force took notice by making Breitling watches their official watch supplier.
The Breitling Navitimer watch, rolled out in 1954, revolutionized the watch world by introducing the first wristwatch with the “navigation computer” which had the capability of calculating flight plans. Astronaut Scott Carpenter, of the original Mercury space crew, came to Breitling with the novel idea of making a watch with a 24 hour dial since there is no day or night in space. Breitling obliged by producing the famous Cosmonaut Navitimer watch which Scott sported on his historic 1962 space flight.
In 1969 Breitling Watch Co. yet again sensationalized the watch making industry by inventing the self-winding chronograph watch. This technological breakthrough cemented their enduring reputation for precision and excellence in all their timepieces.
They celebrated their 100 year anniversary with the introduction of the Breitling Chronomat watch collection, which, along with its stylistic heir, the Breitling Windrider series, is still its bestselling watch line in their extensive repertoire.
The Breitling for Bentley series of chronograph watches is the result of collaboration between two illustrious companies that exude luxury, exclusivity, and advanced technology. The Breitling Bentley collection remains a bestseller among watch snobs and connoisseurs worldwide.
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