It’s time to take off

In the 1950s and 1960s, commercial aviation experienced an unprecedented boom. The world suddenly became smaller as the dream of flying was no longer limited to a privileged elite. Flying had become accessible to a wider group of passengers, who, for the first time, could consider flying across a continent or even an ocean. Breitling played a key role in the emergence of commercial flight. Its onboard chronographs became standard equipment, first in propeller-driven planes and later in the jets produced by the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers.

When the Breitling Navitimer wrist chronograph was launched in 1952, it became an instant favourite with aviators and notably with the dashing pilots of the late 1950s, who flew their iconic passenger aircraft, such as the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8, across countries or on intercontinental flights. The Navitimer featured a circular slide rule that allowed the pilots to make any critical calculations they might need to make in the air. In these glory days of commercial aviation, the Navitimer chronographs were the original wrist worn onboard computers and ultimately established Breitling – already highly regarded for its onboard chronographs – as the unrivalled official supplier to the world of aviation.

Breitling’s Capsule collection captures the spirit of a memorable time for commercial flight and revives the cool and evocative style of the 1960s and 1970s. It builds on the Navitimer aesthetic for a special Airlines Edition series celebrating the golden era of air travel. Three Navitimer chronographs—Pan Am, Swissair and TWA were launched at Basel World 2019.

Breitling CEO Georges Kern says: “We are introducing these Airline Editions in a new capsule collection that is produced for a limited time and consequently in a limited volume, but the watches are not numbered. With these capsule collections, Breitling aims to tell specific stories rooted in the history of its core collection. This distinguishes them from our limited editions, which will retain their original intent: to be limited to a small, fixed number of watches.”

The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition

The officially licensed Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition is distinguished by one of the most recognisable logos in the history of aviation printed on its transparent sapphire caseback. For decades, Pan American World Airways was a dominant force in commercial aviation and, long after the airline ceased operations, it is still closely linked with the excitement of air travel. The Pan Am Edition has a stainless-steel case with a blue dial, silver subdials, and a vintage-inspired brown leather strap, a Breitling Air Racer bracelet, or a stainless-steel mesh bracelet. The Pan Am Edition is the second member of Breitling’s capsule collection, joining Swissair.

 

The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 TWA Edition

The Navitimer 1  B01 Chronograph 43  TWA  Edition has  a transparent sapphire caseback with the TWA logo printed on it. Trans World Airlines, which was based in the United States, was a familiar sight at the world’s major airports throughout most of the twentieth century. This stainless-steel watch has a silver dial, anthracite subdials, and a vintage-inspired brown leather strap or a stainless-steel mesh bracelet. And, like the other editions in the capsule collection, which honor Swissair and Pan Am, it commemorates one of the airlines that played such an important role in the emergence of commercial flight in the twentieth century and which were largely responsible for introducing passenger aviation as we know it today.

The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Swissair Edition

The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Swissair Edition features a transparent sapphire caseback with a printed Swissair logo. Its 43-millimeter stainless-steel case is presented with a black dial, silver subdials, and a vintage-inspired black leather strap or a stainless-steel mesh bracelet. The chronograph celebrates the former national airline of Breitling’s home country, which incidentally was the first launch in the collection.

Keep an eye out for another legendary airline that will be taking off shortly!