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Which company - IWC or Breitling? Pick one.

  • IWC

    Votes: 17 60.7%
  • Breitling

    Votes: 11 39.3%

  • Total voters
    28
  • Poll closed .
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Im not comparing build quality or perceived luxury. Comparing which company has stronger relations to pilot watches in general

Brief background -

- IWC started making pilot watches since 1936. One of 5 german watchmakers, the rest being stowa, laco, lange and wempe.

- Breitling made watches with the circular slide rule in 1940, and carried on to manufacture the navitimer, montbrilliant, airwolf and emergency.

I thought of the poll options, and it is one or the other. Share your thoughts with me.
 

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Between those two, I'd say in modern times Breitling probably has a stronger claim.

Historically, I'd say JLC, ALS and Zenith (Bleriot had a Zenith, and many early cockpit timing instruments).

Of course, Wempe, Laco, ALS, Stowa and IWC all produced fliegers for the Lufwaffe in WW2. Omega and Longines primarily supplied the British RAF (perhaps, JLC too)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree....vote please...
:-d
 

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Both brands are known for great pilot watches amongst us here. I'd say more of the general population would recognize Breitling as the more legitimate brand, warranted or not.
 

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Well depends how you define the words "legitimacy" and "affinity".

Who has the more legitimate historical significance for pilots watches? IWC, without even a second thought for Breitling. Not even close. As was already mentioned here they were one of only a few official providers to German pilots in WWII and started producing the pilot watches in the 30s.

If you want to talk modern day affinity? I think today people associate Breitling more, partly because of the difference in volume between the two brands. Breitling makes and sells a lot more watches and at a price point that pilots can actually afford (I say this not in any way meant to sound demeaning. My father was a USAF pilot for most his life).

For what its worth, a very good pilot friend of mine recently turned 40, and I wanted to buy a watch as a bday present for him. I knew it would actually be used for the cockpit by a pilot vs. for dinner parties, so I purchased him a Sinn fully tegimented watch. :) Thats not to say the other two wouldnt work there too... Breitling would have probably been my next choice for actual duty. I love IWC and the Big Pilot is a grail for me, but I think modern day they arent as tough/reliable/tool oriented for actual pilots as a Sinn or Breitling.
 

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please don't forget about Breguet Type XX, plot's watch for the French air force.
Breguet used to manufacture a lot of airplanes as well, so they have as much of a legitimate claim as anyone, if not more :).

Breguet-type-20-watch.jpg

dassault-breguet_mirage_f1cz_saaf-212_pe.JPG
 

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Based on my unscientific survey of direct observation of pilots today, the one I see most frequently worn is a Citizen Skyhawk.
 
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IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for ...

I would say Breitling because of watches like the Aerospace, Chronospace, and Emergency. Especially the last one.

IMHO IWC makes (great) pilot style watches, but some of Breitling's watches seem more to be for actual pilots.

Granted this may be a moot point, since I suspect instrumentation has gotten so sophisticated that most pilots probably only use watches to tell time (in which case a GMT complication may be more useful than a slide rule or unit conversion). But I don't really know, I'm not a pilot.


Sent from Russia.... with love.
 

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please don't forget about Breguet Type XX, plot's watch for the French air force.
Breguet used to manufacture a lot of airplanes as well, so they have as much of a legitimate claim as anyone, if not more :).
My 8 yr old came home with a joke the other day... he peformed the American salute, the Russian salute (hand turned outward), and then the French salute (both hands up in the air) :)

Seriously, I honestly didnt know that France had an Air Force.
 

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My 8 yr old came home with a joke the other day... he peformed the American salute, the Russian salute (hand turned outward), and then the French salute (both hands up in the air) :)

Seriously, I honestly didnt know that France had an Air Force.
You made me remember this:
" A few years before the outbreak of the First World War, Churchill
was at a diplomatic reception. An Italian military attache asked
a Luxembourgeois diplomat about a medal he was wearing. 'It is an
ancient order called the Royal Admiralty Cross,' the diplomat
replied stiffly. After he had stalked off, the Italian turned to
the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, and remarked
how odd it was that Luxembourg should have this when it did not
even have a navy. 'Why shouldn't they have an admiralty?'
Churchill answered cheerfully. 'You in Italy, after all, have a
minister of finance - yet you don't have a treasury!'"

Sir Winston Churchill, always ready with an awesome answer!
 

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Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for ...

If you want a watch with a strong tie to aviation, you would probably need a Cartier Santos. If you don't know much about the life of this Brazilian pilot, I suggest you spend a couple of minutes reading about his rather interesting life.
Alberto Santos-Dumont - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interestingly enough, I just flew from CO to WA today and whilst in the Airport I checked out the wrist of every pilot I walked by and I pretty much only saw multi-function digital watches.
 
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