Breitling Aviator 8 Leather strap/bracelet

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Gaston Breitling passed away unexpectedly in July 1927. His son Willy, then only 14 years old, was not yet old enough to fill his father’s rather impressive shoes, so for the next five years the company was managed by an external team.

The company survived the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, and in 1932, Willy Breitling, though still a very young man, was ready to assume leadership of the company. When he took the helm, chronographs were still at the heart of the business. Breitling’s collection included more than 40 different models for the wrist or the cockpit.

Until 1934, chronograph wristwatches only had a single pusher, so after a start and a stop, a reset inevitably followed. Willy Breitling saw this as a key deficiency, and in 1934, he filed a patent for the world’s first wrist chronograph with two pushers.

And that was only the beginning. In 1936, he introduced a specially designed aviator chronograph with a black dial and striking luminescent numerals and hands as well as a practical rotating bezel with a useful, versatile pointer arrow that also glowed in the dark.

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