Posted: 28 March 2023
Category: Company News
The beauty of a Breitling chronograph
The long established Swiss watchmakers Breitling were first founded in 1884 and throughout the 20th century were at the forefront of producing fine chronographs.
Their first chrono wristwatch (1915), the first to produce a two-pusher chrono (1923) and the first to patent a chrono incorporating a circular slide rule (1940). This watch was called the Chronomat and was the template for the modern aviation watch. The outer slide rule bezel could calculate distance travelled, flight time and air speed.
The one featured in the photo is a slightly later version from 1961. A great looking watch and considerably more affordable than an entry level Rolex chronograph at about £2000 – £3000, depending on condition.
The Chronomat was the forerunner to Breitling’s most famous watch the Navitimer ref 806. First conceived in 1952 the moveable bezel allowed for additional calculations including estimated fuel consumption on a flight and imperial to metric conversions.
The Navitimer went through various changes both cosmetic and mechanical one of these which commands a premium price is the Cosmonaute (ref 809) which is a 24 hour version of the Navitimer. A good example will fetch in excess of £10,000 but there are variants that can make considerably more. A record price for a Breitling was achieved in 2019 when a rare 1962 “first batch” featuring an all black dial sold for £95,400.
In 1957 the launched their first “sports” watch called the SuperOcean (ref 807) which was water resistant to a depth of 200m.
Another model launched in 1964 was made famous in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball when Sean Connery wore a “reverse panda” Top Time (ref 2002) which in the film was modified by Q to include a Geiger counter.
So if you are looking for an affordable collectable chronograph with great looks and investment potential look no further than a Breitling.
If you require a valuation of your Breitling or any other watches for sale, probate or insurance purposes please contact us for an independent, professional valuation by a RICS accredited valuer.< BACK TO POSTS