Breitling has created precision timepieces since 1884 when Leon Breitling opened a workshop specializing in chronographs. Breitling instruments for professionals have a long history in the aviation world where accuracy, technical innovation and reliability are critical dating back to 1915 when Gaston Breitling created the first wristwatch chronograph which subsequently provided pilots with their first wrist instrument.
Breitling has had a long association with the world of aviation and in 1936 becomes the official supplier to the Royal Air Force. This association continues in the early 1950’s as Boeing, Lockheed and Douglas chose Breitling cockpit clocks along with more than 25 airlines. In 1952, Breitling introduced the Navitimer, a wrist instrument equipped with a circular slide rule, or “navigation computer” which quickly became the favorite among pilots.
Breitling developed a space-going version of the Navitimer, the Cosmonaute featuring a 24-hour indication over a single turn of the dial. On May 24, 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter was the first to test this new instrument in real conditions during his flight aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule