Breitling Timepieces, 1884-Presentby Benno Richter
Breitling-one watch has made this name famous worldwide, the Navitimer. In 1952 this watch was a real sensation, for the chronograph along with the calculator made it possible for the pilot to carry out all necessary calculations during the flight. This made the Navitimer a valuable on-board instrument at that time, and a valuable collectible today. But Breitling did… See more details below
Breitling-one watch has made this name famous worldwide, the Navitimer. In 1952 this watch was a real sensation, for the chronograph along with the calculator made it possible for the pilot to carry out all necessary calculations during the flight. This made the Navitimer a valuable on-board instrument at that time, and a valuable collectible today. But Breitling did not develop watches just for pilots and aircraft industry. This book shows the whole spectrum of the firm's products since its founding in 1884, and gives the reader an informed insight into more than 100 years of the firm's history. Many photos, old catalogs and advertising material support the informative text. With the help of reference numbers, the collector can also locate individual watches chronologically. This fascinating portrait of the Breitling firm will enthrall all who appreciate fine mechanical precision.
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Benno Richter¿s book, Breitling: The history of a great brand of watches, 1884 to the present, 2 ed. (Schiffer Publishing, 2000), is a good introduction to the popular watch company¿s history and early product lines. Through a working relationship with Breitling and its present owners, the author is able to relate many little known facts about the company for both the novice and seasoned aficionado. The volume is filled with pictures of the various watch models, and a good deal of period literature such as catalog pages and advertisements about the products. The book is promoted as a guide for collectors. Along side each of the pictures, current market price ranges valid at the time of publication are quoted. They should be sufficient as guidance. The adept reader will note that some of the captions accompanying the pictures have been mismatched. Unfortunately, the majority of the pictures contained are black and white, at times obscuring the true beauty of the subjects and making it difficult to assess their proper value. Although the author specifically addresses this issue in the introduction, it would be more helpful to have color photographs. The plethora of catalog and advertising pages enhances the historic mission of the text. Most of these, unfortunately, are in languages other than English. This is odd when you consider that the entire book was translated. Perhaps in a future edition, Schiffer could translate the text of these in the captions or margins as well. As with all books of this genre, only models available prior to the publication date (2000) are presented. Due to the time required for translation, however, this date is optimistic. For people trying to determine the attributes of a vintage Breitling product, the list of reference numbers at the conclusion will be a great benefit despite its lack of explanation of the current numbering system. Consult the Unofficial Breitling FAQ for this information. As the author freely admits in his introduction, it is difficult to ever consider a book such as this complete. For the interested novice hungry for further information about this brand name though, the book is an excellent place to start. Longtime followers will find, however, that the story is far from complete.