By the 1960s, global aviation travel had increased sharply and Boeing 707 was among the world’s favourite commercial passenger airliners. In 1965, the then engineer and manager of the design team for Boeing, Joe Sutter, started working on design layouts for a new commercial airliner. Thus, 747 was born.
A four engined, two-aisle jet aircraft, powered by General Electric CF6 and Rolls Royce engines, 747 could reach a speed of Mach 0.85 (900km/h). Honouring this legendary airliner that over the years has also carried former US presidents, commonly known as Air Force One, Breitling has unveiled its 747-piece limited edition, Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 Limited Edition.
Breitling designed the Navitimer in 1952 in collaboration with Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association or AOPA. It was exclusively available for AOPA pilots. As the aviation industry expanded, the demand for the Navitimer also soared. The Navitimer was a more complex product, compared with the all-purpose Breitling Chronomat. Initially powering this timepiece was Calibre Valjoux 72, which was later replaced by Calibre Venus 178. Subsequently, it was replaced by Calibre B01, which became a part of its name, Navitimer B01.
Breitling and pilot watches are synonymous with each other — the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 Limited Edition bears testimony to this fact. The latest Navitimer features a 43 mm stainless steel case, lugs with a bidirectional rotating bezel, a cream dial and a red nautical miles scale on the outer periphery. The chronograph has black subdials for the 12-hour subdial at 6 o’clock with an integrated date window against a black background, a 60-second subdial at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock. The limited-edition watch also features the AOPA logo at 12 o’clock, representing its rich heritage.
The Navitimer logo sits at 6 o’clock with bar-shaped hour markers coated with Super-LumiNova®. The timepiece also has a red central chronograph hand with sword-shaped hour and minute hands, also coated with Super-LumiNova®. There are two stainless steel chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function with a large non screw-locked, two-gasket crown at 3 o’clock.
Turning the watch showcases the skeleton caseback, a stainless steel oscillating weight with ‘Breitling’ engraving. The ‘individual watch number out of 747’ and ‘The Original Jumbo Jet’ are etched on it as well.
Powering the watch is the self-winding, Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01 movement with a 70-hour power reserve. It is available on a black alligator leather strap or a stainless-steel, seven-row Navitimer bracelet with a butterfly clasp. The watch is water resistant for up to 30 metres.