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The Complete Buying Guide to Breitling Watches

From the Navitimer to the Chronomat and beyond.

breitling navitimer watch
Analog / Shift

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Breitling, headquartered in Grenchen, Switzerland, remains one of the few independent large-scale Swiss watch brands. In addition to their global retail reach, they currently have fourteen boutiques located in the United States alone. If, however, you don’t live near an authorized Breitling dealer or prefer to shop online, this guide will help educate you on the brand's vast catalog of offerings. Breitling has recently revised many of their collections and there is no better time than now to re-educate yourself on their wares.

To ensure a high level of time-keeping accuracy, all current Breitling watch movements are tested by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, or COSC). Watch movements that pass multiple rounds of stringent COSC testing earn the coveted "Chronometer" certification. Every new Breitling watch is a COSC-certified chronometer with maximum average deviations of -4 to + 6 (mechanical) and -/+ .07 seconds (quartz) per day.

Modern Breitling offers a robust catalog categorized by eight product lines, each of which represent distinct variations of sport-oriented timepieces with roots in the tradition of fine Swiss watchmaking. Breitling’s modern luxury watches also come in a variety of sizes, styles, and functional capabilities.

Breitling's History

1948 breitling chronomat ad and watch
Left: 1948 Breitling Chronomat ad, Right: "A very rare, extremely well-preserved, and historically imported stainless steel chronograph wristwatch from 1962."
Old Pocket Watches & Phillips

Breitling has been producing watches since 1884, and was the first watch company to move the chronograph activation button away from the crown in 1914. A significant game-changer came in 1932 when they added a second pusher to reset the chronograph. Breitling then innovated again in 1941 with the introduction of the Chronomat, the first watch with a basic circular slide rule on the rotating bezel, which was used for computations.

Civilian air travel boomed following World War II. By 1952, a more complex slide rule combined with a chronograph made the new Navitimer a favorite of both hobby and professional pilots who relied on analog technology. (This was famously documented when NASA astronaut Scott Carpenter flew the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission with a Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute on his wrist.) During this period, Breitling solidified its image as synonymous with aviation.

Famed jazz trumpeter Miles Davis was also known to wear a Breitling Navitimer — it’s easy to spot on his left wrist in photos from the 1960s. In Thunderball, James Bond wears a Breitling Top Time with a (prop) Geiger counter complication. On the mega-hit television show Seinfeld, a careful eye can spot Jerry Seinfeld almost always wearing a Breitling. (Seinfeld still wears a Breitling Aerospace when performing his live stand-up act.) On any given Sunday, you’ll find James Brown wearing a Navitimer on the pre-game show NFL Today.

Breitling is also rolling out their in-house caliber B01 movement that features in many of their modern chronographs. In 2017, they partnered with Tudor to exchange these B01 movements for the use of Tudor’s in-house MT5612 three-hand movement. The consumer transparency of the exchange program is non-traditional in Swiss watchmaking, and benefits the consumer by allowing both brands to add refinement to their luxury timepieces while maintaining a competitive market position.

Chronomat

breitling chronomat watches
Breitling

Breitling reintroduced the Chronomat in 2020 with a refreshed style that's consistent with the original 1984 versions. One of the main identifying features of the Chronomat is the rouleaux (stacked cylindrical-link) bracelet — there are only a few specialty Chronomat models for which a metal bracelet is not available. Even the optional rubber strap for the Chronomat retains the stacked-cycling look. The rider tabs (trapezoids) on the rotating bezel at “0, 15, 30, and 45” provide additional grip and were designed to be easy to use while wearing gloves.

Breitling
Breitling Chronomat B01 42
Breitling.com
$8,250.00

The Breitling B01 42 Copper, with its unique copper-colored dial, is a mainstay of the Chronomat line. Looking for less bold? Traditional colored dials are also available. You'll also find other features that are used across the Chronomat line, such as like the rider tabs, rounded pushers and crown, and the rouleaux bracelet. If you have a hard time finding a comfortable bracelet, the Chronomat B01 42 is worth a look.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B01 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 15.1 x 50.5mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 200m

Strap: Bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $8,250 (bracelet)

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Breitling
Breitling Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar
breitling.com
$406.00

If you love additional complications, but also like a sporty look, check out the Super Chrnomat 44 Four-Year Calendar: There are so many complications that you might want to consider keeping this watch on a winder so that you don’t have to reset all of them if the 42-hour power reserve runs out. It also has no shortage of allure, with 18k red gold accents, multiple subdials, and a commanding wrist presence.

Movement: Breitling Cal. 19 automatic

Dimensions: 44 x 14.5 x 53.5mm

Material: Stainless steel/18k red gold

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Rubber strap or bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $14,600 (strap); $15,200 (bracelet)

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Professional

breitling professional watches
Breitling

The Professional line is a no-nonsense, function-first collection — these are tool watches designed for specific purposes and harsh environments. If you're looking for a watch that's gonna take a beating, the Breitling Professional models are a great place to start. (They're tough enough for Bear Grylls to use on some of the most extreme wilderness survival adventures on the planet.) But don’t be fooled by the rugged utilitarian aesthetic — these are still high-quality luxury watches.

Breitling
Breitling Emergency
breitling.com
$18,695.00

The Breitling Emergency is a very large watch — it has to be massive to fit a dual-frequency emergency radio transmitter in the case. When its bottom crown is unscrewed, an integrated antenna system begins broadcasting a signal that will alert emergency rescuers to your location. (And it is not a gimmick — just trust us here.) While massive, the Emergency is about as authentic as it gets for wilderness, oceanic, or alpine backcountry survival gear.

Movement: Breitling Cal. 76 SuperQuartz

Dimensions: 51 x 21.6 x 63mm

Material: DLC-coated titanium

Water Resistance: 50m

Strap: Rubber strap or bracelet 26/20mm

Price: $19,950 (bracelet); $18,695 (strap)

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Breitling
Breitling Aerospace EVO
breitling.com
$4,375.00

The Aerospace EVO is the ultimate sleeper-pick from Breitling — in many ways, it represents the apex of analog/digital quartz watches: The crown activates the controls for the additional digital functions on its otherwise analog dial, which include a second-time zone, alarm, chronograph, and countdown timer. With a little practice, the user interface is fairly intuitive. There is traditional lume treatment on analog portions as well as a blueish backlight for the digital areas.

Movement: Breitling Cal. 79 SuperQuartz

Dimensions: 43 x 10.8 x 52mm

Material: Titanium

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $4,375 (bracelet)

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Navitimer

breitling navitimer watches
Breitling

Without a doubt, the Navitimer is Breitling’s flagship watch. Iconic and easily recognizable, its distinctive feature is the slide rule, bi-directional bezel. (It’s usually white, contrasting with the dial and complementing the subdials.) The iconic look is also functional: Before digital calculators, slide rules were commonly used to quickly calculate multiplication and division. The handy slide rule bezel, in conjunction with Navitimer’s chronograph complication, was quickly adopted by pilots.

Breitling
Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43
breitling.com
$9,350.00

The iconic Navitimer still has the same overall design language and function as the original released in 1952: The friction bezel is bi-directional and is used by aligning the numbers on it with the unit index numbers on the dial to perform analog calculations. The Navitimer B01 also features Breitling’s newest in-house automatic chronograph movement. Despite a very busy dial, it's also surprisingly easy to read at a glance. Don’t let the 43mm size intimidate you, as this watch wears smaller due to the downward angle of the lugs.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B01 automatic

Dimensions: 43 x 14.2 x 49.1mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather stap or bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $9,350 (bracelet); $8,650 (strap w/folding clasp); $8,350 (strap w/tang)

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Breitling
Breitling Navitimer 1959 Edition
breitling.com
$39,900.00

The overall aesthetic of the Navitimer 1959 Platinum looks more vintage than modern: The big Arabic numerals, vintage logo, and lack of a date window on the dial easily distinguish the 1959 from its modern B01 cousin. The movement is still in-house, but it’s a hand-wound, in-house Breitling caliber B09. Completing the vintage vibe, the 1959 also features a domed Plexiglas crystal. It's limited to only 59 pieces, so catch one if you can!

Movement: Breitling Cal. B09 hand-wound

Dimensions: 41 x 14.3 x 51.5mm

Material: Platinum

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather 22/18

Price: $39,900

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Superocean Heritage

breitling superocean heritage watches
Breitling

If you're looking for something aquatic with a touch of nostalgic legacy, the Superocean Heritage collection is worth checking out. The design elements reflect Breitling’s long history of producing dive watches dating back to the 1950s, with dials and bezels with more negative space for a cleaner look. Breitling has gone to great lengths to unify their straps and bracelets within collections, and you’ll find some of their best in the Superocean Heritage collection. Not only are they classically elegant, but they are also made to get wet! As a bonus, the three-hander watches in this collection feature the B20 movement, a modified Tudor in-house cal. MT5612.

Breitling
Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 42
breitling.com
$5,100.00

It’s easy for a dive watch to get overly busy. Breitling kept it simple with cues stemming from their own 1950’s Superocean. There are two great features to this watch: The first is the robust COSC-certified B20 (Tudor MT5612) movement with a 70-hour power reserve. The second is the excellent steel mesh bracelet found in the Superocean Heritage line. It’s one of the best mesh bracelets in this price range, if not the best.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B20 automatic (modified Tudor cal. MT5612)

Dimensions: 42 x 14.3 x51.5mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 200m

Strap: Steel Bracelet (mesh) or Rubber 22/20mm

Price: $5,100 bracelet; $4,750 strap

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Breitling
Breitling Superocean Heritage '57
breitling.com
$4,835.00

The Superocean Heritage 1957 had collectors clambering when it was announced: The distinct concave bezel and retro hour markers at 12, 3, 6, 9 combine to produce a watch styled for Tomorrowland but designed in the mid-century. (Ironically, the projected style of the future is now the look of the past.) Despite the 42mm spec, there is quite a bit of bezel overhang and the case wears smaller, and the lack of date complication leaves the symmetry of the dial intact. In short, the Superocean Heritage 1957 is a few standard deviations from center — in a good way.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B10 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 9.9 x 46mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Bracelet or leather strap 20/18mm

Price: $4,835 (bracelet); $4,630 (strap w/folding clasp); $4,380 (strap w/tang)

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Avenger

breitling avenger watches
Breitling

From DLC-coated cases to multi-time zone GMT functionality, the Breitling Avenger collection has you covered. While chronographs and time-only watches still exist in this collection, the Avenger watches have a distinct military feel — think of them as field watches, but with a distinct Breitling design. Most are available on a metal bracelet or on a leather strap that looks more like woven canvas. And while there are no precious metal watches in the Avenger collection, but there are few titanium options.

Breitling
Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf Night Mission
breitling.com
$4,850.00

If you like large watches and modern military styling, check out the Avenger Automatic Seawolf. The lightweight titanium case offsets its 45mm diameter and the weight of the mechanical movement. Distinguishing features of this model include DLC-black coating, a large cylindrical crown, and dial numerals in the style of surplus military stenciling that are treated with Super-LumiNova for night visibility. The rugged Avenger Seawolf Night Mission is a fully capable dive watch with a helium escape valve and 3,000m of water resistance.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B17 automatic

Dimensions: 45 x 18.3 x 55.2mm

Material: DLC-coated titanium

Water Resistance: 3,000m

Strap: Leather 22/20mm

Price: $5,150 (strap w/pushbutton); $4,850 (strap w/tang)

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Breitling
Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 43
breitling.com
$4,500.00

The Avenger Automatic GMT 43 features a 24-hr hand to track a second-time zone. The unidirectional steel bezel with rider tabs and radial brushing can also measure elapsed time. This watch fits the “GMT-Diver” category, being capable for both ventures. (The twenty-four-hour scale is printed on the chapter ring for easy readability.) Details are not overlooked on this luxury tool watch, like the red top on the sweep seconds hand and the grenade-grip screw-down crown.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B32 automatic

Dimensions: 43 x 12.2x 52.6mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 300m

Strap: Bracelet or leather 22/20mm

Price: $4,500 (bracelet); $4,350 (strap w/push button); $4,200 (strap w/tang)

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Superocean

breitling superocean watches
Breitling

The Superocean is one of Breitling’s most popular lines for good reason — it builds on the company's dive watch legacy to offer modern GADA (go-anywhere, do-anything) watches. There are seven dial colors to choose from as well as five sizes (36, 42, 44, 46, and 48mm), which should cover just about anyone. The majority of the Superocean watches are available on a metal bracelet or rubber strap with a choice of tang-type buckle or pushbutton folding clasp. You would be hard-pressed not to find a dive watch with a size/dial/strap combo from the modern Superocean collection that didn’t suit your taste.

Breitling
Breitling Superocean Automatic 42
breitling.com
$4,000.00

The Superocean line from Breitling is a top seller for a reason: From beach getaways to boring meetings, this watch can handle it all. The 42mm version wears similar to a Rolex Submariner at a fraction of the price. (To sweeten the comparison, you can actually buy the Breitling Superocean without a waitlist scenario.) And unlike with Rolex, you don’t have to pay precious metal prices for a blue dive watch. There is serious competition in this dive watch price category, as the Superocean contends with heavy-hitters like the Tudor Black Bay and the Omega Seamaster.

Pro Tip: Buy the Superocean on the bracelet and buy a Breitling rubber strap ($75) and tang-type buckle ($150). For $225 total it’s like having a whole new watch for the summer or a vacation. It’s well worth it.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B17 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 13.3 x 50.6mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 500m

Strap: Steel bracelet or rubber strap 20/18mm

Price: $4,200 (bracelet); $4,000 (strap w/pushbutton); $3,700 (strap w/tang)

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Breitling
Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown
breitling.com
$116.00

Outerknown is legendary surfer Kelly Slater’s clothing brand that embodies sustainability as a core value and not a marketing gimmick — the 44 Outerknown builds on the solid platform of the Superocean and then takes it up a level. Its single-pass ECNYL® yarn strap is made from upcycled plastic ocean waste, and it comes in a unique green colorway to differentiate it from the rest of the Superocean line. Don’t be afraid to paddle out into a set with this one.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B17 automatic

Dimensions: 44 x 14.2 x 53mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 1,000m

Strap: ECNYL® yarn single-pass 22/22mm

Price: $4,150 (strap)

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Premier

breitling premier watches
Breitling

This is Breitling’s space to show off its high-level watchmaking — the collection feels more high-end in craftsmanship, and this is reflected in the price. Split-second chronographs, moon phases, and tourbillons are all found here. You aren’t going to find the level of case or movement finishing in a Breitling that you’ll find at Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne. However, when timepieces from the Premier collection start getting mentioned in the same conversations as those high-horology watchmakers, suddenly its pricing becomes a relative value proposition.

Breitling
Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40
breitling.com
$234.00

The Breitling B09 Chronograph 40 has charming dimensions that many should find both desirable and wearable, though the visual draw is the light green-colored dial that Breitling has aptly dubbed Pistachio. The in-house, hand-wound B09 movement features a chronograph complication with a modern 70-hour power reserve, and the subdials keep the dial balanced and provide negative space with a two-register (bicompax) layout. The absence of a self-winding on the B09 keeps the chronograph 13mm tall, and it will slide under the sleeve of a dress shirt.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B09 hand-wound

Dimensions: 40 x 13 x 47.6mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather 20/18mm

Price: $8,400

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Breitling
Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42
breitling.com
$360.00

The Breitling Premier B25 Datora doesn’t simply punch above its weight class — it goes Iron Mike with a first-round knock-out blow. With all of the information that it provides, it lives up to its triple calendar designation: Its in-house B25 automatic caliber features numerous compilations: chronograph, date, day, month, and moon phase. All of the complications are well positioned within the movement to provide an exceptionally balanced dial layout. Retailing at a fraction of the price of a triple calendar Patek Philippe, the Breitling B25 Datora gives you that ultra-high-end luxury experience without breaking the bank.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B25 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 15.3 x 50mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather (w/folding clasp) 22/18mm

Price: $12,950

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Aviator 8

breitling aviator 8 watches
Breitling

The Aviator 8 collection calls back to Breitling's rich aviation history without living in the shadow of the Navitimer. Here, you’ll find lots of chronographs and 12-hour bezels, and many of the designs should seem familiar, as they often end up as homages. Don’t confuse familiarity with monotony, however — there are interesting offerings with unique function-first features, such as the eight-pronged bezel found on the Super 8. If you're into classic aircraft like the Curtiss Warhawk or De Havilland Mosquito, the Aviator 8 is the Breitling collection that you should look at first.

Breitling
Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic Day & Date 41
breitling.com
$4,550.00

Breitling offers another watch in stainless steel that Rolex only sells in precious metal (in the form of the Day-Date): The Automatic Day-Date 41, which is a versatile sports watch for those who like to see the day of the week in addition to the date. Breitling chose a circularly brushed rotating steel bezel for this model, which is plain except for an inverted triangle that can be used to count down or measure elapsed time. It also features highly legible, large Arabic numerals and is available on several different straps with different buckle options.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B45 automatic

Dimensions: 41 x 11.1 x 48.7mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Bracelet or leather strap 21/18mm

Price: $4,550 (bracelet); $4,300 (strap w/folding clasp); $4,100 (strap w/tang)

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Breitling
Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito
breitling.com
$221.00

If you're into vintage Breitling chronographs but enjoy modern reliably for daily wear, look no further: The Aviator 8 B01 43 Mosquito should remind you of those early pilot chronographs designed by Breitling. Orange-colored tips on the pencil-style hands and on the subdial details aid legibility in contrast to the otherwise black and white dial, while the black aluminum bezel insert pulls the overall design together and makes tracking an additional time zone easy. It's powered by Breitling’s in-house B01 movement found in their top-tier chronograph models, and for added convenience, there's a date window positioned at 4:30.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B01 automatic

Dimensions: 43 x 13.9 x 51.1mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather 23/20mm

Price: $7,950 (strap w/folding clasp); $7,750 (strap w/tang)

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