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Vintage Breitling Watches

A specialist in technical watches, Breitling has played a defining role in the development of the wrist chronograph. Founded in Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura by Léon Breitling in 1884, the Swiss watchmaker has reached cult status for its precision-made chronometers and longstanding partnerships with aviators and astronauts: Scott Carpenter, one of the original astronauts in the Mercury Space Programme, wore the 24-hour Navitimer model on his 1962 space flight. Breitling watches have also gained Hollywood stardom: in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, Bond is given a Breitling Top Time watch with a geiger counter by Q, which enables Bond to track down two stolen nuclear warheads.

Designed to withstand intensive use in the most trying conditions, below is a brief outline of the top characteristics defining and distinguishing a vintage Breitling watch.


Breitling chronographs and wrist instruments are all equipped with sapphire crystals that are glare-proofed on both sides. This guarantees extreme sturdiness, combined with optimal readability of the information in all circumstances.


Breitling cases are designed to accompany professionals on their most extreme missions. They must therefore provide maximum protection in case of impacts, and each detail of their construction has been developed and tested to withstand intensive use.


Breitling bracelets are distinguished by their proven sturdiness, their comfort on the wrist, their exclusive design and their high-end finishing.


Breitling makes two movements: the calibre B01 and calibre B04, a B01 with an added GMT module.

Key vintage Breitling models include the Navitimer and Emergency (made for aviation – the latter with a built-in radio transmitter for civil aviation use); and the SuperOcean (marketed towards diving). Breitling watches are made in Switzerland using Swiss components, and the family business is also one of the last remaining independent Swiss watchmakers around.

OfV says: A vintage Breitling watch is a fine feat of creativity and craftsmanship. The brand’s intriguing ties with aviation history and precision-driven, advanced technology gives it a special place amongst watch brands. With or without an aviator licence, the owner of a vintage Breitling watch will enjoy a durable watch with historical appeal to elevate everyday ensembles. Perfect for gifting, Open for Vintage’s fine edit of pre-owned and vintage Breitling watches boasts rare timepieces from the past in excellent pre-loved condition.

At Open for Vintage, we consider everyone as a collector with a desire to possess beautiful things with a story worth living on. Our curated edit of unique and contemporary vintage and pre-owned fashion pieces are hand-picked for their individuality, relevance, and of course, style appeal.