Fan base: how a vintage Breitling collector forged the path to the brand’s design future

Fan base: how a vintage Breitling collector forged the path to the brand’s design future

Breitling, the classic aviation watch brand, is undergoing as thorough a brand reinvention as you’re ever likely to see, shifting its focus, cleaning up and, above all, re-connecting with its past. While the first two require experience and imagination, the last needs knowledge. But when Breitling’s new owners turned up, they discovered only the basics of an archive for a brand that spans 133 years of production.
 

Heritage, of course, is the nucleus around which great brands thrive. So, It was a seriously savvy move by new Breitling CEO Georges Kern to turn to a fan - the esteemed Breitling collector Fred Mandelbaum, the most authoritative source on Breitling’s history around, known to aficionados as @watchfred. It is Mandelbaum and his fabulously tended personal collection, then, that have filled in the sizeable gaps, creating a springboard for a future with its roots in the past. Here’s our pick of the best classic watch design..

 

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