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Buying your first Breitling

If you know about watches, then you’ll know about Breitling. The iconic Swiss watch brand has done an amazing job of creating brand awareness – with David Beckham as the latest brand ambassador – and worldwide desire for its appealing and wide range of men’s watches has never been higher.

Think Breitling and you’ll probably think flight, performance, travel, military – and those things would be very true. One thing that Breitling can actually say for itself, above many (but not all) competing brands, is that its watches are owned and lusted for by the very people who are identified in their advertisements.

Pilots and astronauts wear Breitling and for good reason. As a member of the US Navy Top Gun training school personally said “they perform well and look great.”


If you are interested in buying your first or first few Breitling watches, where do you even begin from the vast product range that’s available? I’d like to recommend a few of my favorites, which I think any budding Breitling collection should feature. These recommendations are of course based on my own opinion, but as someone who knows watches rather well, I can easily say that these are key watches to start building your Breitling collection.


A great starting piece in terms of longevity and price is something in the Aerospace collection. These are placed in the ‘Professional’ range, as Breitling sells a lot of these watches to professional pilots. Find an Aerospace watch with a titanium case and bracelet and enjoy the functionality of its analog/digital display which uses a ‘Superquartz’movement. What is that? Well, to cut a long story short it is a sophisticated high-end quartz movement, with a lot of utility and accuracy of about plus or minus 10 seconds a year. This is many times more accurate than mainstream quartz watches. Aerospace models are good looking, reliable and make for a handsome daily wear or beater watch.


For a simple and elegant style which is still sporty, I love the Superocean Heritage collection. In a range of sizes, the Superocean Heritage has a bit of a retro design with a less cluttered dial than the instrumental look of most other Breitling watches. You could easily wear a Superocean Heritage with a suit or jeans, and there is no lack of style options. I personally like the black bezel on black dial model with the simple three-hand automatic movement. In a 46 or 42mm wide size, on a bracelet it makes for a fantastic dress or more congenial sports watch.


I am going to give you a choice for Breitling number three. It is going to be the most expensive piece I will recommend, and these two watches more or less have similar prices. Each will also contain Breitling’s own in-house made automatic chronograph movement. Which piece you choose will really depend on your taste and whether you like the look of something more modern or more classic.

Option one is the modern looking Breitling Chronomat 44. This is the mid-sized version of Breitling’s first watch with an in-house movement, and is a timeless looking (yet contemporary) chronograph with that very iconic Breitling look. It is a good choice because it mixes a lot of Breitling styles into one, and it also offers the most complete Breitling experience because of the movement.

Choice number two for your third Breitling watch is a Navitimer 01. This is Breitling’s version of its famous Navitimer watch which includes its in-house made movement. The Navitimer collection gained popularity with pilots in the 1950’s because it features a slide-rule bezel for performing calculations in-flight. The original ‘flight instrument’ watch retains these functions and has attained a distinction of its own within the Breitling range. Both watches are similar in price and size, you just need to decide which style you prefer.