Sunday, November 15, 2009

The SICURA and BREITLING story

During my raids of international eBay and the smaller Swedish cousin Tradera I have come across a great deal of Sicura watches. One of the most common models I have seen on the net (and also one of the most expensive) is the Sicura Submarine 200M.

I think it’s the popularity of the model, due to its relations to Breitling both historically and cosmetically that keeps this watch on top of the scale. In 1979 the “G. Leon Breitling” firm came to a halt after 100 years of watch making. The firm was founded in Switzerland 1884 by Leon Breitling and manufactured complicated watches.

Close to the outbreak of WWII the firm started making chronographs for aircrafts and it was this that made the brand famous worldwide. The firm also began making watches for the Royal Air Force and it was the success and the acknowledgement from pilots that led to triumph for the brand. During the early 50ies Willy Breitling, the grandson of Leon Breitling, started with the production of the famous Navitimer that was an extremely technical watch suited for technicians and engineers but became very popular with the public.


Photo by sroown


During the 1970ies a new type of watch was developed, the quartz watch. This meant that an accurate quartz watch could be produced for less cost and time than a mechanical watch and suddenly almost everybody could afford a watch that kept good time. Breitling, being a firm that produced advanced mechanical watches, unwillingly began producing quartz watches alongside its mechanical ones. But the firm finally, perhaps due to the reluctance of following the times, closed in 1979. The same year Willy Breitling passed away from disease.

A saviour came to Breitlings rescue, the same year as the firm closed, and was taken over by Ernest Schneider, the CEO of Sicura. A pilot himself, Ernest was convinced that the Breitling brand was worth the effort of saving as it had always stood for excellent quality and had the potential to keep doing so. The CEO´s first act was to produce three new models, the Jupiter, Mars and Pluto chronographs, after conferring with other pilots. In 1984 the wind of change had begun for mechanical watches, as they gained popularity once more, and the firm produced the first one since 1979.

After long consideration, Ernest decided that the Sicura brand would step down because of Breitlings greater potential. Some of the Breitling watches produced after 1979 share similar features with Sicura watches from the same period and therefore looks somewhat alike.

I personally do not own any Breitlings, but if I was to by one it would be a vintage one from the sixties, perhaps a Navitimer or one like this 1958 Bretling Cadette.

Photo by pita



My personal collection has a few Sicuras. The first one is the Sicura superwaterproof 400, bought five years ago on eBay for about 20 euros, a good price.

Photo by The Watching



Then a have a couple of Chronographs with tachymeter, none of these work but I am going to try and save one of them using the other as a donor.

Photo by The Watching


Last I have my two favourite Sicuras, the globetrotters. Both are a bit banged up but I think they only need some TLC. The Globetrotters are wonderfully oversized watches with a worldtime function that I like.

Photo by The Watching

6 Comments:

Sell Breitling Watches said...

If I were to own a Breitling... I'd go for Emergency... coz I frequently fly...

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Anonymous said...

That Sicura SuperWP blew me away. Looked at a lot of Divers lol. The line of the lugs is gorgeous and the overall balance of design is never overt or compromised !! The moment i saw it was like West Side Story........Cc

ramiz said...

i got original sicura swiss made watch if any one wants to buy contact me at rameezjemlani@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, I collect watches, and this has been most helpful.

Joao Fabio Cese said...

I have an old Sicura Submariner (200m) that a cousin of my father, dear friend and older than I, gave me when I was thirteen (now I'm fifty-four). I'm very fond of it because it was my first watch. It has manual winding and works perfectly, however it's not waterproof anymore. The only issue is that its watchband broke many years ago, and I (stupidly) threw it away, so the current one is not original. Anyway, it's a beautiful watch and I intend to keep it.