Breitling was founded by Louis Breitling in 1884 in St Imier with the specific purpose to develop chronographs and counters for scientific and industrial applications. The late 19th century witnessed a number of unique industrial developments such as the automobile and the aero plane. Breitling recognized that these new machines would need timing instruments and soon became a manufacturer of high quality timing instruments. Rapid expansion led to a move to the Swiss town of La-Chaux-de-Fonds in 1892 to accommodate growth.
In 1915 Breitling developed their first wristwatch chronograph and went on to make several significant developments in this area. In 1923 they were the first watch manufacturer to introduce an independent push piece for the chronograph, enabling the start and return-to-zero function (previously performed by the winding-crown). Then, in 1934 Breitling added a second push piece to the chronograph enabling either cumulative or incremental time recording. These developments made the Breitling watch a favorite amongst pilots.
In 1936 Breitling was chosen to supply the Royal Air Force with time keeping equipment. In the 40’s Breitling became the US Air Force official pilots watch whilst also supplying the American armed forces. By the 50’s Breitling had cemented their position in the aviation industry and was supplying cockpit clocks for most of the international airlines. In 1962, the 24-hour Cosmonaute chronograph was released, and this watch was worn by Scott Carpenter when he flew America's second ever manned orbital flight in the Aurora 7.
Breitling declares their watches to be “instruments for professionals”. With a strong focus on the aviation industry, Breitling have developed a number of watch models that have been highly appreciated by pilots and astronauts throughout the history of aviation and aeronautics. Breitling evokes the spirit, adventure and fashion of the early days of flight, and for those with a love of aviation this is the watch of choice. For those who just appreciate high precision watches with specialized functionality, Breitling is hard to pass by.