You’ve heard it before, travel is back. And if you’ve flown commercially any time in the last few months you know it’s back with a bang.
So leave it to Breitling—a Swiss watchmaker with a long history providing instruments for the aviation industry—to hop on the boom. On Wednesday, the company debuted a new Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 made in partnership with American Airlines. The timepiece continues Breitling’s retro bent with a design that evokes the heyday of commercial airline travel in the ’60s and ’70s, an era that is currently seeing a major resurgence in inspiring both new watches and jewelry.
The red-and-blue hues of the dial mimic the signature colors you see on AA’s birds. The only obvious branding is found on the sapphire crystal caseback, which features a stamp of the airline’s eagle logo in blue. The 43 mm by 14.25 mm stainless steel Navitimer is powered by Breitling’s manufacture Caliber 01, which is driven by approximately 70 hours of power reserve. It features a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch with quarter-second, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. Like its 1952 predecessor, it comes with a signature slide rule and rotating bezel, originally used to help pilots calculate critical information like wind impact, speed and fuel consumption. Today, the function typically serves as a nifty toy on the wrist rather than a lifesaving flight computer, but it still looks as good and operates better than the days of its infancy.
If you’re an American Airlines pilot or a die-hard frequent flyer, then maybe this one’s for you. The watch will definitely appeal to aviation enthusiasts who appreciate the symbolism of two brands, rooted in the history of flight, coming together to celebrate the rebirth of the skies.
The watch is exclusive to the U.S. and limited to 100 with 25 on a stainless-steel mesh bracelet ($9,350) and 75 on a calfskin leather strap ($8,650). Go on, let your credit card fly.