Known for their highly functional and durable timepieces, Breitling is not only famous for its extreme precision. A primarily athletics-aimed company, the watch making brand has accompanied a number of extreme sports members in their energetic pursuits. This year, pilot and extreme record guru Herbert Nitsch will take the Breitling test to a new level – 800 feet below sea level, to be exact.
In June of 2007, Nitsch, or “The Flying Fish,” freedove a record 700 feet into the Aegean Sea off the Greek island of Spetses. Though this surpassed the efforts of his adventurous competitors, Nitsch is currently in preparation to take another plunge with his Breitling with the goal to break his own record. After a handful of successful trial runs with equipment as high-tech and reliable as Breitling watches themselves, Nitsch is scheduled to dive again this summer, this time off the island of Santorini, to officially claim 2012’s Breitling Extreme 800 for the second year in a row.
Originally founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, the private company is currently headquartered in Grenolen. Since 2000, the company has focused on the production of certified chronometers, due to their high functionality in extreme conditions. Sounding somewhat of a misnomer, the watches are famous for their complications, meaning they frequently feature qualities beyond the simple display of hours, minutes, and seconds. This ambitious style is used because the Breitling pieces are typically created with a targeted clientele in mind—the manufacturer generates watches for diving, aviation, as well as traditional luxury, and many end up in conditions as intense as the drive of their owners.
With names like Navimeter and SuperOcean, it’s no secret that Breitling watches are built to withstand excessive environments. The Navimeter offers aviation functions, the SuperOcean is capable of enduring the utmost amounts of water and pressure, and extreme luxury options like the Breitling for Bentley can offer highly complex movements, gold cases and bracelets, and diamonds on the bezel. The watch was even a competitor with Omega to launch to the moon, but Breitling instead remained experts of the sea, sky, and sports car.
Perhaps most impressive is the Emergency. This incredible timepiece is intended for civil as well as military pilots, but is also available to the public on the condition that buyers sign an agreement to compensate in the event of a rescue service. The Breitling Emergency features a radio transmitter which broadcasts on distress frequencies, and has even been reported to save lives.
Whatever the feat, the extreme events associated with this brand make Breitling watches a reliable and trustworthy choice, for highway cruisers and freedivers alike.