Breitling was established by Léon Breitling in 1884 in St. Imier, Switzerland. The company’s chronographs have been used extensively in fields like science and athletics, and even in manufacturing. The company relocated to larger quarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1892. The location’s name, “Montbrillant,” would later be used for several models of Breitling’s timepieces.
A chronograph-equipped wristwatch by Breitling was first introduced in 1915. Léon Breitling’s son, Gaston, came up with the brilliant idea of placing a push-piece to activate the chronograph at 2 o’clock. The original Navitimer was developed in the 1940s. In 1967, Jack Heuer approached Breitling with the idea of collaborating on the research and development of a new self-winding chronograph. Calibre 11 was developed from the secretive Project 99, and it is widely regarded as the first self-winding chronograph when it was released in 1969. The legendary Heuer Monaco and Breitling Chrono-Matic lines both housed the Calibre 11 in their movements.
Breitling is currently blazing a new trail in the high-end watch industry. With Georges Kern at the helm as its new CEO, the company is taking on new challenges and forging a path forward in the world of luxury timepieces.