Breitling makes some fantastic watches. Here’s a round-up of my favorite ones.
Known for its idiosyncratic designs and its plethora of stylish pilot watches and chronographs, Breitling remains one of the world’s most popular Swiss luxury watch brands.
If you’ve been considering adding a Breitling watch to your current collection but don’t know where to begin, this guide to ten of the best Breitling watches should help get you started.
Table of Contents
An Overview of Breitling the Brand
Breitling has been crafting luxury wristwatches since 1884. Over the last century, this brand has put itself on the map for some truly iconic timepieces. These include such heavy hitters as the Chronomat and Navitimer.
In addition to these models, Breitling makes expertly crafted dive watches for professionals. There are also elegant and classic dress watches for both men and women.
Most Breitling timepieces are manufactured in the company’s La Chaux-de-Fonds workshop in Switzerland. The brand’s HQ, however, remains in Grenchen.
All Breitling watches are now chronometer-certified, guaranteeing the utmost precision and reliability. This is another reason why the brand’s mechanical watches are respected within the industry and amongst luxury watch fans.
Breitling Aviation Connection
Perhaps one of Breitling’s closest relationships in the world of timekeeping is with aviation. It has led the brand to create some of the most stylish pilot watches on the market.
The brand has maintained its aerobatic team for several years. These aeronauts are equipped with quality chronometers.
Models like the Navitimer and Chronomat have remained in the brand’s portfolio since the 1940s, each with their signature look that Breitling enthusiasts seek.
The Swiss watchmaker also played an important role in supplying cockpit clocks and pilot’s watches to the Air Force.
In addition, it remains the only watchmaker to feature the Red Arrows symbol across its watch collection.
Under the creative direction of CEO Georges Kern in 2017, the brand received a major overhaul.
Changes included remodeling its many stores and bringing a whole host of new ambassadors onboard (Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron and Adam Driver, to name but a few).
These updates helped signify a new era in pioneering watchmaking.
That said, many other models belonging to Breiting’s portfolio, such as the Super AVI, impart a strong vintage flair.
The Avenger is a bold and masculine watch that exudes great presence on the wrist.
For those with an affinity to water, Breitling offers a diverse range of dive watches that include the likes of the Superocean and Superocean Heritage.
For outdoor pursuits and extreme exploration, look no further than the Endurance Pro.
Lastly, Breitling’s Premier watch collection is more complex in design but more refined, where you can find tourbillons and complete calendars, amongst other complications.
Which Is the Best Breitling Watch for You?
Now that we’ve taken a look at what makes Breitling a popular luxury watch brand to invest in, let’s explore some of the brand’s best models to collect.
Breitling Premier B01 Norton Ref AB0118A21B1X1
The Breitling Premier B01 Norton watch fortifies the brand’s inextricable links with British motorcycle manufacturer Norton. So, if motorsport is your thing, this model is certainly worth some serious consideration.
The watch has a special sapphire-backed case with an inscription pointing to Norton’s logo and a motorcycle image. Behind this caseback is a Breitling Manufacture movement protected inside a 100-meter water-resistant stainless steel case.
The B01 movement sits inside a 42mm case, providing a 70-hour power reserve. The black dial of the Breitling Premier B01 Norton watch is a beautiful balance between classic and retro.
Chronograph counters placed at 3 and 9 o’clock guarantee that all-important instrumental look. Simultaneously, a tachymeter scale around the flange is great for measuring speed based on distance.
A brown calfskin leather strap brings together the entire design to complete its sporty, timeless look.
Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 44 Watch Ref AB2030161C1A1
Thanks to its broad 44mm stainless steel case, the Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 watch wears large on the wrist. It is certainly best suited to those with a wrist that can take a hefty piece of steel.
Saying that, its distinctively retro design draws the proportions of the watch in slightly.
The watch has an unmistakable 1950s charm that embodies the elegance and sportiness of a surfer lifestyle.
Its triangular-shaped hands, primed for legibility, have been treated with lashings of Breitling’s luminous material. So, too, have the hour markers, guaranteeing a clear view into the dial in the dark.
You can also get the Breitling Superocean Heritage in different dial colors, and a more luxurious 18k rose gold option. I think the steel version looks particularly vintage, especially with its retro-inspired mesh steel bracelet.
Breitling Superocean Steelfish 44 Blue Ref a13341c3/c893-3lt
The Breitling Superocean Steelfish watch, although no longer in production, is full of masculine appeal. Its hefty, stainless steel case measuring 44mm comes integrated with a staggering 500-meter water resistance.
Geared for underwater exploration but just as stylish on dry land, its bold personality is unmissable on the wrist.
A deep blue dial gives way to luminous-coated Arabic numeral hour markers and hands. The chronograph counters placed at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock also balance out the day-date feature perfectly.
You get the added benefit of a unidirectional rotating bezel with the Superocean Steelfish design. This eradicates the risk of accidentally extending dive time whilst underwater.
In addition to this, you also get the Caliber 13, packed with a 43-hour power reserve and a blue leather strap with white stitched edges.
Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph Ref AB01821A1B1A1
The unique design of the Breitling Avenger watch enables professional pilots to use it while wearing gloves in the cockpit. It was designed with unrivaled safety and reliability at its core.
Tailored to the needs of the airborne adventurer, this model offers a strong 45mm stainless steel case, a matching steel bracelet, and a rugged grip pattern on its crown.
This particular model is a limited edition of 500 pieces, appealing to avid Avenger collectors even more.
Thanks to its grey dial, flashes of red in the 30-minute chronograph counter and seconds hand can be seen clearly. The Breitling 01 Manufacture movement powers the Lumibrite hands. It sits inside its robust 300-meter water-resistant housing.
Breitling Top Time Deus Watch Ref A233112A1A1X1
Calling all motorcyclists and surfers!
This Breitling Top Time Deus watch has been designed in collaboration with Deus Ex Machina.
The custom motorcycle and surf outfitter brings a rally racer spirit to this model. Geared for young and active professionals, its light blue tachymeter scale is adorned with red and orange colors. There is also “In Benzin veritas” lettering.
This shade matches the “squircle” Chrono sub-counters and tastefully compliments an off-white dial center.
Limited to just 2000 pieces, this Top Time watch is sure to attract those who like the appeal of its classic brown calf leather strap and piston-style push-pieces.
The 30-meter water-resistant steel case measuring 41mm is also outfitted with the Breitling 23, a COSC-certified automatic movement that produces a power reserve of 48 hours once fully wound.
Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf Ref A17319101I1X1
If robustness and shock resistance are qualities important to you in a watch. The Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf is worth checking out. Its design is primed for harsh conditions and the most testing of external elements.
To withstand these environments, the brand equips the watch with an impressive 3000-meter water resistance, a screwed-in case back, and a screw-locked crown with two gaskets.
Enjoy the added benefit of a unidirectional rotating bezel along with a vivid yellow dial for referencing in dark conditions.
A black calfskin leather strap completes the Avenger’s distinctive military tool-like design, rounded off with a Breitling-engraved tang-type buckle.
Breitling Navitimer Watch Ref AB012721/BD09
Of course, no Breitling watch guide would be complete without mention of its iconic Navitimer watch. Renowned for its circular slide rule function, it’s ideal for completing airborne calculations like ascent and descent rates and fuel consumption.
The Navitimer first hit people’s radar back in the 1950s and has come to be one of the most sought-after pilot’s watches of all time.
It features a black and silver reverse panda chronograph design, a red chronograph hand, and a stainless steel case measuring 46mm.
It’s also powered by a movement that guarantees an accuracy of -4 to +6 seconds a day.
A sapphire crystal glass case back grants a clear view into the performance of this movement as it works. To finish, its calfskin leather strap certainly exudes a classic and elegant look on the wrist, secured with a steel buckle engraved with the Breitling logo.
Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Watch Ref PB0134101C1S1
The Breitling Chronomat will probably always hold a special place in the brand’s catalog. First launched in 1984 to mark the brand’s centenary, the multi-purpose mechanical chronograph has features that make it so valuable.
Take, for example, its in-house Manufacture Caliber 01 movement. It sits at the heart of the watch, powering a set of luminous-filled hands around an ice-blue dial.
The black chronograph counters provide 30-minute, 12-hour, and small-second functions. These perfectly match the black tachymeter scale around the edge of the dial.
The most recognizable characteristics of the Chronomat are its rider tabs on the bezel and a special Rouleaux bracelet designed solely for the watch.
This Breitling Chronomat watch, however, comes fitted on a sporty and supple black rubber band for all-day comfort.
Breitling Endurance Pro Watch Ref X82310A51B1S1
Packed full of punchy, vibrant colors, there is no overlooking a watch like the Breitling Endurance Pro.
Its design is geared towards adventure-seekers, sporty individuals, and those who like to push boundaries. Rigorous workouts and personal bests can be measured with the watch’s chronograph features, activated by sporty rubber trims around the push-pieces.
What makes the Breitling Endurance Pro watch stand out even more is its Breitlight case technology. The material is resistant to traction, scratches, and corrosion and is several times lighter than steel.
The Thermocompensated SuperQuartz™ that sits inside this robust case design is ten times more accurate than a standard quartz movement and provides a 1/10th of a second function within its chronograph design.
The Endurance Pro watch is fitted on a zesty orange rubber strap embossed with the Breitling logo.
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph Ref AB0145331K1P1
Last but not least is the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph, which tips its hat to some of the company’s older chronographs innovated by Willy Breitling. The brand’s heritage in chronograph manufacture is brought to life in this two-register salmon pink dial.
Rectangular push-pieces and cathedral-shaped hands create a look that is nostalgic yet elegant enough for present-day timekeeping. Arabic numeral hour markers sit under a strong sapphire crystal glass front framed by a tachymeter scale.
The Premier B01 Chronograph watch, as its name suggests, is powered by the brand’s in-house movement. Its elegant design preserves the look of vintage watches, completing its timeless look on a stylish brown alligator leather band.
FAQs About Breitling
Here are answers to common questions about Breitling:
What is Breitling’s most iconic watch?
The most recognizable of all Breitling watches has to be the Navitimer. It is renowned for its distinctive circular slide rule function and beautiful beaded bezel.
Although not every Navitimer fan will use this complication to its full capacity, many love its unique post-war classic style.
Is Breitling a good watch to invest in?
The Breitling Top Time watch holds its value well. The model has been around since the 1960s and was recognized throughout the era as an affordable chronograph option.
Since then, the Top Time watch has become popular with collectors and is known for the bi-complex layout of its chronograph scales and its unique bow-tie or “Zorro” dial.
Is Breitling as good as Omega?
Though both Omega and Breitling are among the world’s top 50 Swiss watch brands, Omega is more recognized than Breitling.
Both, however, offer mechanical movements made in-house and a similarly-priced entry-level watch. It is the recognizability of Omega that scores it higher on the ranking list when it comes to brand recognition.
For a family-owned business that first began at the end of the 19th Century, Breitling continues to strengthen its presence in the watch industry today.
Despite its close ties with cockpit clocks and aviation wristwatches, the brand offers an exemplary choice of designs and styles to suit all tastes.
These range from the elegant and classic to the bold and beautiful, yet many would share the opinion that nothing beats the iconic design of the Navitimer or the Chronomat watch.
What’s your favorite watch on the list? Let me know in the comments!