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In 1915, Breitling introduced its first wrist chronograph with central seconds and a 30-minute counter, allowing the pilots to achieve basic calculations.Background: Pilot watches with chronograph by Breitling In 1923, Breitling introduced the first chronograph with pusher (usually, start and reset of the chronograph was made through the crown).Using a base calibre from Buren (a thin automatic movement with a micro-rotor), Dubois worked together with Jack Heuer and Willy Breitling to develop this brand new idea of an automatic chronograph.And that cooperation led to the creation of a modular chronograph mechanism, added on the top of the Buren calibre (for that reason, the integrated micro-rotor is invisible). One very unique feature of this movement is its left-positioned crown (the pushers are, as usual, located on the right side of the case).The first edition to be sold was the reference 806, powered by a manual chronograph movement with column wheel mechanism, the Venus 178.These early specimens are now highly collectible, and depending on the condition and the edition (AOPA or not, gold filled or stainless steel, full black or reverse panda dial), they can reach between 2.000Eur and 10.000Eur.Breitling decided to improve this highly practical bezel and in 1952, the ‘’ was born.
In 1892 the young company moved to La Chaux-de-Fonds and produced chronograph pocket watches under the name “G. Within the years, Breitling had seen an increasing demand for dashboard clocks (in planes) and for military chronographs.
Breitling Navitimer: a mini-computer for pilots In 1952, the very first Navitimer adorned the “Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association” (AOPA) emblem on its dial (the typical double-wing logo) and by 1960, a real cooperation with the AOPA began.
The “Navitimer” name is the contraction of “navigation” and “timer”.
Many Air Forces are even using it as regular equipment for their pilots.
John Travolta, famous owner and pilot of a Boeing 707 and a Bombardier Challenger 601, is one of the wearers as ambassador of the brand.