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The Rise of Digital in Swiss Watches- Watch Repair

Watch Repair

Watch Repair

The reign of the digital watch started in the early 80’s, after technology improved and lowered the cost for a digital display watch. These low priced LED or LCD watches became so popular that many luxury Swiss timepiece brands saw sales decline dramatically and even a few brands went out of business. It was not until the late 80’s that digital watches lost much of their popularity and Swiss retook the throne. It is no wonder many Swiss brands have shunned digital and rarely incorporate digital display into their watches. (It is important to note that these high end luxury brands will likely not have full digital displays, instead they will only have small digital displays with classic displays.) Watch Repair.

Lately it seems some Swiss brands have buried the hatchet and are starting to warm to digital displays. Breitling one of the top Swiss brands has really embraced digital and has many models that incorporate some form of digital into their displays. Some of Breitling’s most popular collections feature watches with digital dials such as: Breitling Aerospace Avantage, Breitling Airwolf, Breitling Emergency and Breitling Co-pilot.

TAG Heuer also has partial digital displays and even has one watch collection that has an all digital dial (TAG Heuer Microtimer). Having an all digital dial may not seem like such a big deal but it is quite rare for a high end Swiss watchmaker to have a watch with a full digital dial. TAG Heuer has quite a few partially digital dial watches: TAG Heuer F1 Chronotimer, TAG Heuer Monaco Sixty Nine and the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Chronotimer. My favorite would have to be the TAG Heuer Monaco Sixty Nine that has a really unique look with its large rectangle swivel case, mechanical and quartz movement.

-Carlos at Raymond Lee Jewelers

manufactures the following watch collections where watches have digital dials: TAG Heuer F1

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Chronotimer, TAG Heuer Microtimer, TAG Heuer Monaco Sixty Nine and TAG Heuer Aquaracer Chronotimer

Breitling Chronomat: A History- Watch Repair

Watch Repair

Watch Repair

Breitling is a name that has as much to do with aviation as it does with watches. The watchmaker was founded in 1884 and for years has produced watches of exquisite quality but it was not until 1940 that Breitling became world renowned for its watches. It was in this year that Breitling patented a wristwatch that contained a circular slide rule in its bezel. Released in 1941 during the height of War World II, the Breitling Chronomat became wildly popular with aircraft pilots who needed the best tools to help them survive the dangerous sky’s of Europe. It was during this tumultuous time in our history that the quality and superb function of the Breitling Chronomat became legend. Pilots all over the world would seek out Breitling watches for years to come, knowing that their planes may fail them but their watch would not.

Breitling continued to create versions of the Chronomat well into the late 1970’s until the rise of the electric watch forced Breitling to cease production and close its doors. In 1979 Breitling was purchased by a new owner;  new models were being released but the Chronomat would lay dormant for five years.

During the Chronomat’s hiatus the watch market had been saturated with LCD, LED and quartz watches which had become a staple of the 80’s. Behind all the consumers that craved flashing red numbers there was a small but growing market seeking the quality mechanical watches of old. Breitling took a bold step by reintroducing the Chronomat in 1984 specifically designed for pilots.

The new Chronomat had a mechanical Valjoux 7750 movement that was so successful that it’s still used today. The pushers and crowns were made more prominent and the old type 42 slide rule was replaced with a rotating timing bezel with four projecting “rider tabs,” allowing pilots who often wore gloves in the cockpit  to manipulate the watch easier. The new Chronomat had been tested to withstand the accelerated pressure of 20G, which no pilot could endure.

As the years ticked on the Breitling Chronomat would become a top seller and its popularity would go well beyond the aviation world. Many versions of the Chronomat would be introduced and would eventually be marketed towards yachtsmen and other luxury watch buyers. Raymond Lee Jewelers has many Breitling watches and we carry beautiful modern and vintage Chronomats. We also have a CW21 watchmaker on hand to do all types of watch repair.

-Carlos at Raymond Lee Jewelers

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