Breitling is a brand of Swiss watches from Grenchen, Canton of Solothurn (originally founded in Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura by Leon Breitling in 1884). The watchmaker offers Certified Chronometers designed primarily for aviation use, though most frequently worn as high-end luxury watches. Breitling’s watches offer aviation functions, though their chronograph functions have become more of status symbols than practically applied tools. They typically have a large face (e.g. the Breitling for Bentley Motors edition has a 48 mm Case Diameter) for better visibility and to allow display of more information on the analog dials. Many models feature an automatic winding mechanism that is purely mechanical (i.e. using no electronic components). Many Breitling watches are equipped with additional functions such as the flyback function, split-second, moon phase, date display and other complications.
All Breitling watches are manufactured in Switzerland and are made from Swiss components. Raw movements are obtained from ETA and Valjoux and are modified in the Breitling Chronometrie Workshops, before undergoing COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) certification. As of 2009, Breitling now makes a manufacture movement, designed, manufactured and assembled completed in-house (B01 Calibre).
Quartz models such as the Breitling Aeromarine Colt start at $2,055.00 on a rubber strap, while typical prices of mechanical, steel cased models are $7,300 (US) for the Breitling for Bentley Motors model. The expense is due to the exclusivity of the Bentley trademark, as well as the 38 jewel self-winding movement as these steel cased models are more expensive than some of Breitling’s Titanium or Gold models. Some special edition models also include diamonds on various parts of the watch. I.E. Diamond Bezel, Diamond Bracelet or A Breitling Bentley Mullliner Tourbillon which sells for $215000.
Breitling was a sponsor of Team Bentley during their Le Mans 24 Hours campaign, running from 2001-2003. To commemorate this event, Breitling created the Limited Edition Breitling Bentley 24 Le Mans Watch .