Breitling SA (German pronunciation: [ˈbraɪtlɪŋ]) is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Grenchen, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling in Saint-Imier. Breitling is known for precision-made chronometers designed for aviators.
Breitling SA was founded in Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura by Léon Breitling in 1884. Breitling died in 1914, passing the business to his son, Gaston.
Ernst Schneider bought the company from the founding Breitling family in 1979 and his family retained ownership until April 2017. Ernst's son, Theodore Schneider, sold the majority stake (80%) in Breitling to CVC Capital Partners for over $870m. Theodore Schneider retained 20% control of Breitling until November 2018, when he sold these remaining 20% to CVC. Historically, Breitling sourced movements from suppliers such as Valjoux, ETA, and Venus rather than producing movements in-house. In 2009 Breitling developed the B01, an in-house self-winding, column wheel chronograph movement, used in the Breitling Chronomat 01 and subsequently Navitimer 01.