Founder Léon Breitling set up his workshop in Switzerland in 1884, and concentrated on chronographs (watches with stopwatch times) for sports, science and industry. The company began to get established alongside the newly-emergent automobile and aviation industries, who were both looking for reliable timers, and Breitling introduced several innovations into the field of chronographs, including wrist versions and a cockpit model used by the Royal Air Force. Focussing on the precision and reliability of its movements Breitling built a solid reputation with the aviation industry and in 1962 a Breitling chronograph was worn by astronaut Scott Carpenter on the Aurora 7 space capsule.
Today, Breitling is still a family business and is one of the last remaining independent watch brands. Breitling continued with their innovations and in 1942 they launched the Chronomat, a watch fitted with a circular slide rule which allowed it to be used for navigation (examples of these innovative Chronomat models are particularly sought after by collectors).
Breitling watches are very collectable, with condition and rarity being driving factors when determining value. As it was the brand of choice of many sports stars and famous aviators, any proven links with famous owners will add to the value, as will original packaging or cases.
We hold four dedicated Jewellery & Watches auctions each year and offer a free valuation service as well as a free collection service for items consigned to these auctions.
Contact our qualified specialist Liz Bailey to find out more.
The knowledge and passion of our experienced team enables us to achieve top prices for our vendors. For a free, no-obligation valuation complete the form below or click to find out how to sell in our auctions.