Our top 5 Breitling watches
The most legendary and well known of the Breitling family, the Navitimer is a classic chronograph that many Air Force pilots have used. The Navitimer was an evolution of an earlier Chronomat with a typical slide rule bezel. The brand decided to improve this highly practical bezel and in 1952 the ‘Navi’ was created. The slide rule bezel was used to calculate complicated operations without any other tool. The United States Air Force used this watch and Breitling became a brand dedicated to pilots. Again in 1952, the Breitling Navitimer became a mini-computer for pilots with the name coming from ‘Navi’ and ‘Timer’.
In the 1950’s the brand success skyrocketed thanks to marketing and ambassadors. Swiss advertisers and Willy Breitling created a campaign targeting pilots which created an even bigger demand for navigation chronographs. From there, Breitling continued to be the official supplier of board instruments for all the major aircraft companies, e.g., the 1957 Boeing 707 with a Breitling dashboard instrument.
A real military watch that was intended for the armed forces, the Colt was always seen as a sturdy and reliable timepiece; it has definitely established itself as the most accessible Breitling model. Today’s modern version reinterprets all the essential assets on which the Colt has built its success. The watch features a broad unidirectional rotating bezel and engraved hour-markers with four rider tabs; a Breitling signature feature. The sapphire crystal is glareproofed on both sides too. There’s a polished steel case, water resistant to 200 meters and its equipped with a large screw-locked crown with further protective reinforcements. For straps there’s a choice between rubber or leather, sizes are vast and there are ladies options. The Colt is a true all-rounder for any lover of Breitling.
A robust and highly waterproof watch, the Avenger has a loyal following of divers and swimmer; it’s the chronometer designed for life in the water. The current Avenger series has been developed to be “even more technical, functional, and sophisticated,” with a slimmer and more ergonomic case profile, aviation-style “stencil” numerals; an engraved, satin-brushed bezel with integrated rider tabs; and a lighter, titanium caseback with a conversion scale for metric measurements.
Up until the 1950s Breitling’s focus was aviation watches but with that huge success under their belt they set to perfect the diver’s watch. In 1957, Breitling released its Superocean; water resistant to 200 meters which at the time beat out all its contemporaries including Omega and Rolex. The Superocean also had a focus on a clean and practical design with large Arabic numerals and oversized hands to make it easier for dives to read.
Today the Superocean has been finsessed to withstand the deepest ocrans on select models is water resistant up to 2000 meters. The watch has evolved to include a helium valve and there are more colours and case sizes on offer.
Often considered as Breitling’s flagship model, the Chronomat is known for its functional design and outstanding precision. The striking bezel has four ride tabs and is considered to be one of the trademarks of the Breitling collection and is now included in other models across the brand. Breitling created a watch that offered a time display and chronograph function with an integrated slide rule. This gave the wearer the option to perform calculations by simply turning the bezel. This manual chronograph function was named the “Chronomat” to combine the chronograph and mathematical functions.