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Breitling Creates New Collector Watch With RAF

The acclaimed Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling, best known as the world’s leading supplier of aviation watches, has just released a watch inspired by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, better known as the Red Arrows. Breitling is also a sponsor of the Red Arrows team.

The timepiece released this week in partnership with the Royal Air Force exclusively features the distinctive emblems of its celebrated aerobatic team and is produced in a limited series of 160 pieces, in tribute to each Red Arrows display pilot to have flown and served in the team since its inaugural 1965 season.

Breitling has a long and storied association with aviation, combined with its world-first innovations in the functionality of the wrist chronograph, which have led to its reputation as the preferred supplier to aviation. The brand’s historical partnership with the Royal Air Force dates to the 1930s, when Breitling’s precision onboard chronographs were supplied to RAF aircraft to ensure precise calculations of distance and fuel during the most challenging flying conditions. Breitling remains the pilot’s choice and the brand creates private commission timepieces exclusively for RAF and military squadrons.

Today, the Red Arrows display pilots wear Breitling chronographs built to ensure accuracy, precision and reliability under the most demanding conditions, as they prepare and perform their world-class displays, in the UK and overseas. The Red Arrows are known for their daring precision maneuvers and close formations in the distinctive Hawk fast-jets, including their famous Diamond Nine shape.

“The Red Arrows represent the best of British; their professionalism, positivity and commitment to excellence are values that inspire each and every one of us,” said Breitling UK Managing Director Gavin Murphy. “Breitling’s partnership with the team dates back 30 years and during this time the pilots have chosen to wear Breitling whilst conducting their daring displays, demonstrating the trust that they have in our watches and the synergy of our shared brand values. We are proud to continue our relationship with the team who have become our good friends over the years and we are delighted to be presenting our flagship model, the Chronomat bearing the Diamond Nine formation, in celebration of each of the 160 pilots who have earned the right to wear the ‘red suit’.”

The Chronomat holds a significant place in Breitling’s history and is an all-purpose sports watch that was first introduced during Breitling’s centenary year in 1984. At a time when extra-thin quartz timepieces were the order of the day, Breitling presented the bold and impressive mechanical watch, which fast become an icon of its era due to its all-purpose prowess and distinctive style. Born in the air, the design was inspired by a timepiece designed for the Italian Air Force aerobatic display team and marked the return of the mechanical chronograph.

The Breitling Red Arrows limited edition features an RAF blue dial featuring tone-on-tone sub-dials and the Red Arrows Diamond Nine logo on the dial, positioned in a rare execution at 12 o’clock where the Breitling logo is normally placed. It has a 42 mm stainless-steel case with a ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel, featuring four iconic interchangeable rider tabs, unique to the Chronomat. On the caseback the Royal Air Force insignia is featured in glorious colour for the first time. This patriotic tribute is limited to 160 pieces for each Red Arrows display pilot to have served, and its case back is engraved with the words ‘one of 160’.

The Breitling Chronomat Red Arrows Limited Edition is the latest in the coveted line of limited releases between Breitling and the Royal Air Force dating back 30 years, including the exclusive RAF 100 Anniversary collection in 2018 and the Avenger Red Arrows Limited Edition in 2020. As the only luxury watch brand granted exclusive permission to feature The Red Arrows distinctive emblems, Breitling Red Arrows timepieces are collector’s editions with a generational legacy.

“Precision teamwork, accurate timing and dynamic creativity are hallmarks of the Red Arrows and are fundamental to the team’s activities, showcasing the excellence of the Royal Air Force and representing the United Kingdom with world-class displays, said Squadron Leader Tom Bould. “The Chronomat Red Arrows Limited Edition is a distinctive example of how these qualities are shared by Breitling, forged by its historic work with the aviation community. Particularly special is the limited-edition number of 160 pieces, as an acknowledgement of those who’ve flown as a Red Arrows pilot since the opening 1965 display season.”

The new collection was created in a partnership facilitated by IMG, the Royal Air Force’s exclusive licensing representative.

 

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