IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

View Poll Results: Which company - IWC or Breitling? Pick one.

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  • IWC

    17 60.71%
  • Breitling

    11 39.29%
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Thread: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

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  1. #1
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    IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    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.
    Last edited by MrOmega; June 29th, 2013 at 21:52.
    50 years down the road, probably half of the watch companies in existence today would perish. Buy your watches carefully.

  2. #2
    v76
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    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)?
    Last edited by v76; June 29th, 2013 at 21:54.
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  3. #3
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    I agree....vote please...
    50 years down the road, probably half of the watch companies in existence today would perish. Buy your watches carefully.

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  5. #4
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    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.

  6. #5
    Member cedargrove's Avatar
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    Hard for me to pick one over the other.

  7. #6
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    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.
    Last edited by jtrichel; June 29th, 2013 at 22:32.
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    Neither. I vote Cartier

  9. #8
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    A plug for Longines, the greatest pilot watch of all, the 'Hour Angle'.

  10. #9
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    A plug for Longines, the greatest pilot watch of all, the 'Hour Angle'.
    Obviously the Breitling Emergency is the greatest pilot watch of all.

  11. #10
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    Re: IWC vs Breitling - which watch company has greater legitimacy & affinity for pilot watches?

    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 :).

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    Last edited by PanzerOrange; June 30th, 2013 at 01:53.

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