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Breitling Navitimer Chronograph Boeing 747

A tribute to the Queen of the Skies
The Pilot Watch Magazine
19 March 2024

Breitling launches a limited Navitimer edition in honor of the legendary Jumbo Jet

It was known as the Queen of the Skies. From the moment it first taxied onto the runway in 1969, the Boeing 747 was destined to change air travel. This true Jumbo Jet had two aisles and two decks, could carry twice as many passengers as the next largest airliner and could fly more than 5,000 nautical miles. The Boeing 747 revolutionized commercial aviation, made long-haul flights affordable for a new generation of air travelers and connected the world like never before. While the last of a total of 1,574 Jumbos will be delivered as a cargo plane for the US airline Atlas Air in January 2023, Breitling is launching a limited edition 747 Navitimer in honor of the legendary jet.

Aviation history for the wrist – The Breitling Navitimer Chronograph Boeing 747
Breitling Navitimer Chronograph B01 Boeing 747
Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 / Breitling

The Queen of the Skies

The history of the Boeing 747 – also known as the Jumbo Jet, in reference to a large African bull elephant known in the USA at the end of the 19th century – began in the mid-1960s when the American airline Pan Am approached the aircraft manufacturer Boeing with a request for a new type of passenger aircraft. In response to the growing demand for long-haul flights, the future airliner was to be able to carry twice as many passengers and significantly more freight than Boeing’s current flagship, the Boeing 707. The famous dialog between Pan Am boss Juan Trippe and Boeing boss William Allen became famous, in which Trippe said: If you build it, I buy it. To which Allen is said to have replied: If you buy it, I build.

After Pan Am ordered 25 aircraft in April 1966, Boeing immediately began development of the new four-engine wide-body aircraft. The concept of the first 747-100 is – at least in part – a two-storey passenger jet with a wide fuselage, a length of around 71 meters and a wingspan of almost 60 meters. The super aircraft is equipped with four Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, which enable it to reach a top speed of over 900 kilometers per hour and a range of 9,700 kilometers. The maiden flight of the Boeing 747 takes place on February 9, 1969. The plane took off from the Boeing factory airport in Everett, Washington, and landed safely at Seattle-Tacoma Airport after a flight time of just under 3 hours.

Over the years, ever more powerful and modern versions of the Jumbo Jet were developed. Until the introduction of its most important competitor to date, the Airbus A380, in 2007, the Boeing 747 is the largest passenger aircraft in the world. In July 2020, Boeing announces that it will cease production of the Jumbo Jet. The main reason for this is the weakening demand for the wide-body aircraft. The Jumbo is now too big, too heavy and too expensive for many airlines, which are increasingly opting for smaller and more efficient aircraft with just two engines – even for flights across the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the Boeing 747 is and remains one of the most iconic airplanes in the world that has changed aviation forever. Even though it is no longer in production, the plane with the distinctive hump will certainly be seen in the skies for many years to come.

The Boeing 747 – The first big Jumbo Jet
Breitling / YouTube

The design

The development of the Navitimer goes back to a commission from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, or AOPA for short. In the early 1950s, the world’s largest pilots’ association turned to Willy Breitling in search of an official watch for its members. The result is history: a chronograph that, with its characteristic circular slide rule, enables all important calculations to be made during a flight and whose dial is still adorned with the Breitling lettering and the winged AOPA logo at 12 o’clock.

The colors of the Navitimer Boeing 747 reflect the color palette of the original aircraft, in particular the cream-colored dial with black subdials and the red inner slide rule scale with blue accents. The Boeing 747 lettering is discreetly integrated into the inner scale of the slide rule. The watch also has an integrated date window at 6 o’clock. It is available with a black alligator leather strap or a seven-row metal bracelet.

The case

The case of the Breitling Navitimer Boeing 747 has a diameter of 43 millimetres, a height of 13.6 millimetres, a double-sealed crown and two chronograph pushers. The rounded shape gives the watch an elegant and timeless look. The toothed relief bezel can be rotated in both directions and has a round slide rule for a wide range of aeronautical calculations. The domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides is scratch-resistant, durable and offers optimum protection for the dial and hands. The case back is screwed down with a sapphire crystal movement window. Breitling guarantees water resistance up to a maximum of 3 bar.

The colors of the Navitimer Boeing 747 reflect the color palette of the original aircraft.

Breitling Navitimer Chronograph B01 Boeing 747
Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 / Breitling

The movement

The open case back reveals the unique Breitling manufacture caliber 01, or B01 for short – a true masterpiece of the watchmaker’s art. It is engraved with One of 747 and the words The Original Jumbo Jet, has a power reserve of around 70 hours and comes with a 5-year guarantee. Introduced back in 2009, the B01 is the first automatic manufacture caliber with chronometer certification developed entirely in-house by Breitling and produced in its own workshops, meaning it is guaranteed to be highly accurate and reliable. The movement features a ¼-second chronograph, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers and a date display with unlimited rapid adjustment. 47 jewel bearings ensure smooth operation of the timepiece, which is made from 346 individual parts.

The Breitling Navitimer Chronograph Boeing 747
Breitling / YouTube

Short and sweet

  • Pilot watch: Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747
  • Case: Stainless steel, ⌀ 43 millimetres, sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 3 bar
  • Movement: Automatic, B01 manufacture caliber, 70-hour power reserve
  • Functions: Chronograph, ¼-second, 30 minutes, 12 hours, date
  • Strap: Alligator leather
  • Price: 9,050 Euro
  • Year: 2023

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