Episode 31 – The History and Watches of Breitling

Breitling has always been a brand associated wth aviation; pioneering the Pilot’s watch far beyond a simple “large dial with clear numbers format. ” Anyone who’s ever watched an air show, or a Red Bull Air Race event, will have seen Breitling’s racing planes taking home wins. Since 1884, Breitling has been obsessed with moving forward the art of precision chronometry, function, and, more recently, safety, with their innovative “Emergency” series of locator beacon-equipped wrist watches. Breitling has shown some innovative technologies, interesting designs, and passion for extreme human activities, which makes their story very interesting.

This episode is available as downloadable audio! Get it at:

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Miguel Garcia says:

You guys should do a episode on the rise and fall of watch brands that horologist hate. Brands like movado and invicta that were once real watch manufactures and Respected but their ethos changed and degraded the company. Then objectively elaborate on as to why their products aren’t good anymore. And finally elaborate on some of the good attributes if theres any.

kalibercutz says:

It would be nice if Cameron could get a condenser mic as well. I can hear a clear lack in dynamic range of his voice and lower volume compared to Matt. That being said, great episode again.

John Torok says:

The Sinn 903 is another watch to mention during the time when Breitling was selling off assets. They sold the rights to the Navitimer to Sinn which then made the 903. It looks exactly the same and is still made today albeit slightly different.

Viriatvs of Lvsitania says:

Every watch guy’s dream is to remove that “Do not unscrew” screw at the back of a Bell&Ross and the emergency pull of a Breitling emergency watch 🙂

Scott Bott says:

Richard Hammond deployed his Emergency on an episode of Top Gear.


One of the best watch brands . The word “HUGE” is a little dramatic . Also , you are a bigger guy 44mm-46mm will suit you better.

SevenW25 V says:

No mention of Sinn and the Navitimer? Helmut Sinn bought the rights to the Navitimer and apparently is responsible for keeping Breitling afloat, and still produce they’re version of the Navitimer to this day (the 903).

Watch Aficionado says:

Keep up the good work, gentlemen, I vote for Zenith or JLC next…

Matt Wasilewicz says:

I’ve always liked Breitling, except for the horrible Bentley watches. A Chronomat was my first luxury watch I bought, and I still enjoy it to this day. Not a fan of the new wingless logo though, it looks exactly like a Breguet “B”

Nicholas Bean says:

I’d love to see a history of Timex episode!

Matt Wasilewicz says:

Top Gear did a fun episode on the Emergency where James was stuck in a forest. Only problem was that they arranged it that the emergency center dispatched Clarkson and Hammond to rescue him lol

Russell Lange says:

Top Gear or Grand Tour (I forget which) did an episode featured around the Emergency. If I remember correctly they show Crash Bandicoot pulling out the beacon.

nirfz says:

The thing with the frequency: the 121,5 is still the emergency radio frequency in civil aviation. But the frequency isn’t scanned by satellites anymore, they switched to 406 MHz So the new Breitling Emergency watches can send their beacon signal on a freuqency which is picked up by satellites around the world and doesn’t interferre with the civil aviation emergency frequency which may also be used for talking. (sometimes it is suggested for planes to switch spare radio equipment to 121,5 so that if they “miss” their supposed frequency they can be reached.)

DH Skips says:

Love the podcast guys!

James Fonda says:

2250 isn’t cheap matt… it’s more than all my watches combined

Melvs15 says:

Brushed past the Transocean! Must be the most under appreciated watch made by Breitling!

S3V3N13TT3R5 says:

My favorite watch logo is Breitling

Kevin Wiltshire says:

Just Started the episode with my cuppa coffee in hand.

This is quickly becoming my favourite hour of the week

Jack C says:

Panerai next time?

nirfz says:

Jean Claude Killy won 3 olympic gold medals and 6 world championships in skiing. So one could say he was a pretty successfull athlete. (And the best french ski racer until 2016)

rebelquints1 says:

Isn’t the Breitling Emergency the watch that featured on Top Gear? The one where Hammond was pushed out of a helo in Canada and James and Jeremy had to rescue him in trucks….

Buwsur says:

Next, history of Squale.

Click Clack Bang says:

Eh, the Omega and Space thing is no different than people believing that the iPhone was the first smartphone to market or the Demon as the world’s fastest production car. The latter really only applies to American cars and specific parameters to call it that. Luminox brands itself as the watch for Navy Seals, but most just wear a $30 G-Shock. Milspec is something that people go nuts over when they hear it, but Milspec is just a standard and doesn’t mean “the best”. It’s marketing, stuff with stories sell better than those without. I would say 95% of people with a dive watch have never been in more than 10ft of water with it. 50M water resistance is plenty for the vast majority of people who actually dive, but everyone and their mother wants a 200M+ rating on them.

Watch Show and Tell says:

Solid episode! Cheers.

Taylor W. says:

I bought my dad a vintage Breitling chronograph, 37mm, manually wound Valjoux 7733 movement, gold case, champagne dial, bright sunburst blue subdials. The thing is so awesome. I wish I still had it, lol. Anyways, vintage Breitling is under appreciated.

zach jones says:

Love that navitimer heritage

The Watch Lounge says:

Great review on the history of the company, love the concept of the emergency but I think you guys forgot to mention when sinn bought out the rights to the navitmer hence the sinn903 being born with exact looks of the navi

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