From the time it taxied onto the runway for the first time in 1969, the Boeing 747 was an instant game changer. It was more than twice the size of its predecessor (the Boeing 707, with two aisles and two decks – the upper deck memorably debuting as an onboard lounge. The four-engine jumbo jet was the world’s first wide-body passenger plane, originally able to carry 400 passengers, and it had a range of more than 5,000 nautical miles. Its first flight took place on February 9, 1969, and for the next 50 years, it became known as the “Queen of the Skies.” Eventually, more fuel-efficient options made the 747 less economically viable and Boeing announced in 2020 that, after building almost 1,574 of the classic jets, the last of the would be delivered in 2022.
Breitling is marking the legacy of the groundbreaking 747 with a special-edition Navitimer, limited to 747 pieces. “What better way to commemorate the revolutionary jumbo jet than with a revolutionary chronograph,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “The Boeing 747 brought air travel to the skies, just as the Breitling Navitimer brought the adventure of aviation to style-savvy watch enthusiasts.”
The Navitimer, introduced by Breitling in 1952, was developed for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). It became the world’s de-facto pilot’s watch, with its signature slide rule, once used to perform all in-flight calculations. The winged AOPA logo appears on the dial of new Navitimer Boeing 747 in a retro-style golden hue, representing the golden age of civil aviation. The colors on the dial echo those on the original Boeing 747, including a red and white slide rule, black subdials, silver hands and markers, and a cream-colored dial. The Boeing logo is subtly integrated into the red ring of the slide rule. As a final tribute, the caseback is engraved “One of 747” and the phrase “The Original Jumbo Jet.” It contains the Breitling caliber 01 with 70 hours of power reserve, backed by a five-year warranty. A date window is integrated into the chronograph hour counter at 6 o’clock, and a special mechanism allows the wearer to change the date at any time. It comes on a black alligator leather strap ($9,400) or steel bracelet ($9,800).
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