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Innovation in watches: Breitling magnetic pushers

How do Breitling's magnetic pushers work?


When designing a chronograph pusher, a lot of work is put into ensuring the pin is tightly sealed so water isn’t allowed to enter the case through the hole. Breitling tackled this with a unique approach: What if we didn’t need the hole? Breitling realised that with their quartz watches, very little force is actually required to have a chronograph operate. They simply need to make the connection in the circuit, and maybe it isn’t necessary to have a pin push through a hole in the case.

The solution came by designing a pusher that would use magnets; one inside the case and one at the base of the pusher on the outside. When the pusher is depressed, the outside magnet is moved close enough to move the magnet inside. This achieves the small motion required to connect the circuit. Thus starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph is essentially done remotely. Breitling successfully removed the need for complicated, burdensome gasket arrangements. These pushers are with two major features:

  1. Far less limited water resistance potential, with a record 2000m rating already achieved.

  2. The ability to operate the chronograph whilst diving.

Being able to use the chronograph feature underwater is something that no other pusher has been able to do to a significant depth. Breitling have patented the pusher design and have many years left, so can expect to keep their diver’s chronograph crown for some time.

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