The peak of precision
Breitling is the world’s only major watch brand to equip all its models with movements that are chronometer-certified, the highest official standard in terms of precision and reliability. The firm also offers a whole range of mechanical chronograph movements entirely developed and produced in-house – Manufacture Breitling calibers distinguished by their innovative functions.
100% chronometer certification
As a specialist in chronographs and instruments for professionals, Breitling attaches crucial importance to the performance of its movements. In 1999, the firm took a decisive step by becoming the world’s only major watch brand to submit all its movements to the ultra-stringent tests of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), a neutral and independent body. The official chronometer certificate represents the ultimate benchmark in terms of precision and reliability. To earn this much-coveted title, each movement is individually tested for 15 days and 15 nights, in five different positions as well as at three different temperatures, and must meet seven eliminatory criteria established by an international standard – including when the chronograph is in operation. Breitling is thus the only brand in the world to offer a complete range of models equipped with the most accurate and reliable movements on the market, backed by the guarantee of official certification and tests conducted by an accredited body. The only brand that can lay claim to 100% chronometer-certified Swiss precision.
An authentic Manufacture
In 2009, in order to ensure its long-term independence, Breitling joined the exclusive circle of watch companies with their own mechanical chronograph movement. Developing and industrializing the base caliber took almost five years and required substantial investments as well as major changes on an industrial level. The firm had to regroup in-house a number of watch development and construction specialists, and then to create the entire production infrastructure. It also tripled the surface area of its Breitling Chronométrie building in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Breitling has thus become an authentic movement Manufacture in the watch-industry specific sense of the term, meaning that it develops and produces its own calibers and is equipped for industrial production of movement-blanks (mainplate and bridges). Very few companies are currently able to handle this type of production in Switzerland.
A high-performance engine
In developing its in-house “engine”, Breitling’s objective was to create the new benchmark selfwinding chronograph. Caliber 01 therefore had to be efficient, reliable and smart, as well as particularly accurate and chronometer-certified. It also needed to ensure optimal comfort and secure handling. Contrary to other in-house made chronograph movements, produced in very small series, it had to be suited to production runs of several tens of thousands of units, all meeting the same standards of quality.
Breitling Caliber 01 is distinguished by its all-new architecture complete with column wheel, coupling clutch and an over 70-hour power reserve. It was designed to deliver the highest possible performance, reliability and functionality. It comprises numerous innovations and technical features, including a patented auto-centering system for the reset hammers. Its smart design offers several key advantages in terms of maintenance and after-sales service. It also paves the way for the development of variations such as travel watches and versions featuring 24-hour display, 30-second chronograph, split-second chronograph and other functions.
A revolutionary assembly system
Breitling has also innovated in terms of production. Drawing inspiration from other high-tech sectors, the firm has developed a production chain that revolutionizes the traditional assembly mode. Each movement is individually tracked by ultrasophisticated software that automatically directs it towards the appropriate workstation. Calibers spring to life through a cleverly balanced association between hand and machine, each entrusted with doing what it does best – the ultimate goal being to achieve the highest degree of quality and the finest large-scale reliability.
New capacities for innovation
Breitling has already played a major role in the history of the chronograph through various inventions and technical breakthroughs (first independent pushpiece, second independent pushpiece, selfwinding chronograph, etc.). The firm now has the full range of skills required for movement development available in-house, thus enabling it to strengthen its innovative capacities, to enhance its horological legitimacy and to consolidate its leading position in its chronograph stronghold. Within just a few years, the brand has developed an entire range of Manufacture Breitling calibers. The aim is not to produce the most complicated movements in runs of just a few units, but instead to offer customers useful and easily handled functions in keeping with the philosophy of “instruments for professionals”. On Calibers B04 and B05, Breitling engineers have thus developed innovative and entirely crown-adjustable dual timezone and worldtime systems that are real child’s play for users.
An exclusive five-year warranty
In spring 2012, Breitling introduced an exclusive five-year warranty for all its models equipped with in-house movements. This measure that is truly exceptional in the watch industry (standard warranties extend over just one or two years), especially for such a large production volume, provides concrete proof of how much the brand trusts its own movements.
Looking firmly to the future
In 2011, Breitling produced around 40,000 in-house movements and these calibers already equip almost half its mechanical chronographs. Total production capacity currently stands at about 50,000 movements per year. 100% Breitling calibers equip agrowing number of models. The range of movements will also be enlarged to encompass new useful and innovative functions. Breitling thus has all the assets required to pursue its chosen path of independence, performance and 100% chronometer-certified Swiss precision.