Breitling Official Time Partner at the Concours d’Elégance Suisse
This partnership is a natural extension of Breitling's automotive legacy, as its CEO Georges Kern points it out.
Breitling, whose connection to automobiles dates back to the early years of the twentieth century, made its debut as Official Time Partner at the 2018 edition of the Concours d’Elégance Suisse, which was held from June 22 to 24, 2018. This year, the Concours d’Elégance Suisse gave owners of some of the world’s most outstanding classic and vintage cars a chance to display their showpieces with some 70 preserved vehicles presented in four dedicated classes at the Château de Coppet near Lake Geneva.
The theme of the 2018 edition, 1920–1939: From Modernity to Design, particularly resonates with Breitling because it was in that era that the brand forged the strong links to motoring and aviation. It was also a period of groundbreaking design, and many of Breitling’s current products were inspired by those decades that bridged the gap between the past and the present.
Breitling’s presence at this year’s Concours d’Elégance Suisse signaled a new chapter in its association with fine motorcars and this partnership is a natural extension of its automotive legacy, as Breitling’s CEO Georges Kern points it out. “Our involvement with automobiles and motorsport is truly a part of our DNA and can be traced back to some of the earliest days of our brand. We’re thrilled to be part of the Concours d’Elégance Suisse, an event whose focus and values align so perfectly with our own”, he said.
In 1905, Breitling’s founder Léon Breitling applied for a Swiss patent for the first chronograph specifically designed to measure the speeds of racing cars. In the same year, it was a Breitling timepiece that allowed the Swiss police to issue the country’s very first speeding tickets. The link to racing drivers that started early in the twentieth century continued, and Formula 1 legends Graham Hill and Jim Clark sported Breitling’s iconic Navitimers in the 1960s. In the intervening years, Breitling distinguished itself with timepieces for aviators, scientists, sportsmen, and divers, but the Breitling sports chronographs were also a favorite for use on automobile dashboards.
Breitling took this opportunity to highlight its heritage. The brand explored its history in a moderated discussion with representatives of its management board and watch collector Fred Mandelbaum. The talk was complemented by a display of some of the vintage Breitling models that helped drive the brand’s success in its early years. At its pop-up boutique on the lawn of the Château de Coppet, Breitling presented its new timepieces. Historic Breitling models from the 1920s and 1930s were also on display alongside the watches from the current collection.
At the Concours d’Elégance Suisse, Breitling also celebrated its ongoing partnership with Bentley Motors. Selected media representatives and influencers enjoyed an experience made possible by the Bentley Drivers Club – Swiss Region. They had the chance to drive some classic Bentleys – including a 1947 Le Mans 8 Open Tourer – through the Swiss countryside between the Château de Coppet and Breitling’s Chronométrie in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
From humble family beginnings Breitling grew into a major player in the world of chronographs and aviation instruments. At the dawn of a new era, the brand is poised for a legendary future.Find out more >
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