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Breitling checks in with the golden age of commercial...
History & Masterpieces

Breitling checks in with the golden age of commercial aviation

Thursday, 21 February 2019
By The FHH Journal editors
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The FHH Journal editors

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2 min read

Breitling debuts the Navitimer 1 Airline Editions, its first capsule collection in honour of the world’s greatest airlines. First off the ground is Swissair, followed by Pan Am then TWA.

Breitling’s first capsule collection captures the spirit of a memorable time for commercial flight and revives the cool and evocative style of the 1960s and 1970s. The Navitimer 1 Airline Editions pay an affectionate tribute to the pioneers of civil aviation and celebrate some of the most emblematic airlines of the era. The collection was launched with the Swissair Edition, which was followed by the Pan Am Edition, and the collection is now complete with the addition of the newly released TWA Edition.

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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 favorite 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 unrivaled official supplier to the world of aviation.

Navitimer 1 Airline Editions Swissair © Breitling
Navitimer 1 Airline Editions Swissair © Breitling

The three Navitimer 1 Airline Edition watches are powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. The inhouse mechanical chronograph movement has been acclaimed as one of the world’s finest and delivers both remarkable precision and a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. All models feature a bidirectional rotating bezel fitted with the famous circular slide rule, which serves to perform the entire range of calculations relating to airborne navigation. Their distinctive straight hands give the watches a dynamic, contemporary interpretation of a classic look. This first Breitling capsule collection will be available from April 2019 at Breitling boutiques and official retailers for a limited period of time.

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