Léon Breitling was born in 1860. His interest in watchmaking started at a very young age leading young Léon to initiate his first internship still as a teenager, a pursuit which would changed the course of his life.
In 1884 at the age of 24 years old he established his first business venture, the watchmaking company "G Leon Breitling" in Saint-Imier (Bernese Jura). L.Breitling founded his manufacture producing complicated watches, chronographs and chronometric instruments. 
In 1892, Léon Breitling moved his company to La Chaux-de-Fonds to larger production facilities, renaming the brand "Leon G. Breitling Montbrillant SA Watch Factory" and eventually growing the business to 60 employees. 
L. Breitling built one of the most famous Swiss watch companies in history both in popular acclaim and annual revenues.
Ernst Schneider bought the company from the founding Breitling family in 1979 and his family retained ownership until April 2017.
Ernst's son, Theodore Schneider, sold the majority stake (80%) in Breitling to CVC Capital Partners for over $870m. Theodore Schneider retained 20% control of Breitling until November 2018, when he sold these remaining 20% to CVC.
- "Breitling SA: Private Company Information". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- Breitling SA historical references
- Further reading on Breitling historical relevance in watchmaking
- 'The History of the World’s Most Famous Pilot’s Watch'
- Key people behind the Breitling brand
- Megaw, Nicolas (28 April 2017). "CVC to take majority stake in Swiss watchmaker Breitling". Financial Times. London. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
- Kowalsky, Marc (21 December 2018). "Breitling: "Kern und Schneider sind wie Feuer und Eis"" [Breitling: "The core and cutter are like fire and ice"]. Bilanz (in German). Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- Breitling Highlights - by Henning Mützlitz, 2011 ISBN 3868521976 ISBN 9783868521979
- Breitling: The History of a Great Brand of Watches (1884 – present) ISBN 9780764326707
- Breitling. Die Geschichte einer großen Uhrenmarke. 1884 bis heute; Author: Benno Richter; ISBN 3766711350
- Das ZEITGEFÜHL-Uhrenbuch; Author: Gerd-Lothar Reschke; ISBN 3938607610