Updated: June 5, 2015
Breitling Watch ReviewsThere may be no better status symbol today than a Breitling watch. I don't know about you, but every time I ask someone for the time these days, more people reach for their cell phones than look at their wrists. Although watches can and are used for practical purposes, by and large they are symbols of a bygone era of wealth and class. Nothing represents both the utilitarian and fashion purposes of a Breitling watch. Swiss based, this company has been making fine watches since 1881. Every watch made by Breitling is made in a Swiss factory, and certified through the ultra-high-standard COSC (Controle Officiel Suisse de Chronometers) organization. When the economy of your country has been shaped in part by the reliability of your watches, you can bet you take your quality seriously. Breitling originally designed their watches for the aviation industry, when it was first getting under way. This practical use aspect can still be seen in every model Breitling makes today, as all Breitlings include several different functions in addition to telling the time. Of course, as you see when we get to the price, most people who wear a Breitling today have little real use for these other functions; instead, they wear the watches as proof of worldly success.
Best Breitling Watches
Breitling manufactures five different watch lines, each with a specific practical purpose. As we'll see in a moment, all five of these lines include their own specific lines of watches, with small changes to each watch style which sets it apart. The lines are designed along practical lines, appealing to different niches within the aerospace market. The longest lasting line is the Breitling Aeromarine series, which includes the introductory level Colt model watch. Aeromarines all include a rider tab bezel (the bezel is the part of the watch surrounding the face). This line includes the Academy model, which includes a vast array of complications such as an alarm and chronograph, a 24 hour face (specially designed at the request of one of the first astronauts in space) and a second time zone function. The models in this line all have bezels which are unidirectional, whereas other lines have bidirectional bezels. The Aeromarine series includes the most expensive watches in the Breitling lineup, with the Starliner diamonds model (a 38 jewel masterpiece) selling for just under $30,000. Next up is the Breitling Navitimer line, one of the company's oldest watch lines. Navitimer watches all have crystal minerals, bidirectional bezels, as well as date functions. The Jupiter Pilot and the popular Montbrillant are both included in this line.
Also included are the Emergency Navitimer Breitlings, which include a transmitter emitting at the emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz. Watch out if you accidentally activate that feature, though; Breitling does not pay to cover rescues of watch owners who don't have pilot's licenses! These watches are at the lower end of the scale as far as Breitling prices, starting at around $2700 for the basic models. If you want the transmitter or the slide rule feature, however, you had better be prepared to pay as much as $8000 more.
The Professional line of Breitling watches are those which are truly designed with hard use in mind. They tend to be heavier and thicker than other Breitling models, and are in the mid-range as far as expense. These watches include the massive Hercules, at 215.6 g the heaviest watch the company offers. Also included are the Skyracer and the B-1, a favorite with celebrities. The Breitling Windrider watch is the next line. These watches are set apart by the rider tabs on the bezel as well as the dome shaped crown. The sapphire crystal marks these watches apart, as does the opportunity for design given to those who own the Chronomat model in the Windrider series. With many options for dial, metal, and color combination, this model allows consumers to have a more individualized watch. Also popular is the Blackbird, with its brushed matte finish for a more subtle presence, and the Headwind. The final permanent line offered by Breitling is the Breitling for Bentley line, specifically made to honor the Bentley company and its commercial enterprises. All of the watches in this line include a 30 second chronograph for measuring separate instances of time. The line includes unique models such as the diamond encrusted GT, the square, fixed bezel Flying B (the only model to have either) and the Motor Speed. Finally, Breitling has also offered several limited edition watches over the years.
How Much Do Breitling Watches Cost?
Also characteristic of the Breitling name, though, is an equally impressive price tag. Emergency models range in price from $5,400 to $34,000; Chronomats range from $4,700 to $36,675. You could always get yourself a "low end" Colt Quartz for a mere $2,055. Quite a steal. These prices can make it very tempting to go online and seek out deals. Normally, this is the exact right thing to do. Online vendors can provide tremendous bargains - but not in Breitlings case, at least not ninety-nine percent of the time. According to the Swiss watch maker, all but one percent of the Breitling watches sold online are replicas. Think you might get lucky and find the one percent that isn't? Well, those are second-hand or have "doubtful origins." Breitling, which is exceedingly proud of its reputation, goes so far as to refuse to take responsibility for any watch with a Breitling mark that has been purchased online. Instead, when you want a genuine, Swiss-made Breitling, a reputable retailer is a far better choice. The Breitling website (Breitling.com) can direct you to official distributors who can attest to its authenticity and offer a warranty. Amazon is a trusted online source for a huge variety of high-end watches, including Breitling. Check out their selection of Breitling watches here.