Breitling is known for its longtime cooperation with the world of aviation. The aviation industry needed Breitling, who specialized in industrial timing instruments, to add its passion for cutting edge instruments that matched the growth of the industry. As a result of this partnership, the Breitling Orbitor program was born and the Breitling Orbitor 3 was the first balloon to fly around the world non-stop. The Breitling Orbitor 3 was 180 feet tall when fully inflated and was piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones.
Features of the Orbitor 3 included:
- Propane gas fueled 6 burners
- Burners were enclosed in 28 titanium cylinder
- Built out of Kevlar and carbon fiber
- Solar panes recharged batteries for electricity
- Satellite based GPS systems
Despite the nay sayers, Bertrand and Brian took off on March 1, 1999 from the Swiss Alpines and landed in Egypt on March 21, 1999 . The success of the journey shows Breitling’s ongoing support of aviation that can be seen in watch designs today.To celebrate that courageous journey, there are three watches that I think really celebrate Breitling’s aviation theme. The first two watches are the Cockpit and Cockpit Lady. Both watches have all the amenities of legendary sports watches including a screw-locked crown and screwed caseback, scratch resistant sapphire crystals, rotating rider-tab bezel, and water resistance to 1,000 feet for the Cockpit and 330 feet for the Cockpit Lady.
The third watch is the Skyracer. This innovative watch has one of the most efficient self-winding chronograph in its category. Breitling didn’t stop there, the Skyracer also has a Caliber 27 which enables dual visualization of measured times. This amazing technology allows peerless readability of any measurement under 1 hour using the 60 minute totalizer. It also boasts two different readings at one time! For long trips one hand will read the time and the other will read the time elapsed.
Each of these watches can be explored in greater detail at Breitling’s website.