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MCM: The Beginner's Guide to Breitling

Founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling, the Breitling brand has become synonymous with high-quality craftsmanship. This privately held company is among the last family watchmakers still operating today.

Breitling earned a reputation for precision made watches almost from the onset. However, the brand would become synonymous with exceptional quality and high performing chronographs. Eventually the company would begin being the go to brand for individuals in the aviation industry.

Breitling’s fascination with short term measurement was explored during his apprenticeship. In fact, he would go on to eventually develop the first chronograph on his own Saint Inmar timepiece. The development of this first counter chronograph was dated 1884; the year that Breitling turned age 24. The company’s founding date was dated the same year for that reason.

Leon Breitling would pass away in 1914 at the age of 54. His son Gaston would take over the company. Gaston had an interest in aeronautics, and with the industry just emerging at that time it provided the perfect pathway for him to merge the two industries.

In 1915 Gaston Breitling developed the first chronograph with a second hand counter and 30 minute counter. Later, in 1924 and additional aviation chronograph was developed. Gaston however would have away at the young age of 30 in 1927.

today, the influences of the aviation industry and these early chronographs are clearly seen. Breitling offers a number of timepieces today which display their early roots in chronographs and in the aviation industry. In fact, one of their more popular models is named the aviator.

Characteristics of their modern chronographic timepieces include Aviation inspired styling, exceptional attention to detail, and many of their newer timepieces are effective underwater. The Breitling brand has unique, sophisticated styling which sharply separates their brand from other timepieces within their class. Of course, their reputation for quality means these timepieces are always in demand and maintain their valuable over time.

Today’s Breitling in particular is a popular choice for many a Man crush-worthy watch collector. As evidenced by last week’s #MCM post, we can’t get enough of Breitling, and neither can our guys. This week, we’re all about the Breitling Superocean Heritage, a large & in charge 46 mm behemoth on a sporty black rubber strap. The beautiful blue chronograph dial is accented by stick markers and a small, unobtrusive date window. The sleek stainless case back, crown and pushers hold the impressive automatic movement and keep this watch sporty, but cool.

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