Middle East airplane enthusiasts and Breitling collectors have something special to look forward to, since Breitling’s DC-3 aircraft is scheduled to make stops in the region as part of a global tour. The tour takes place between March and September, and is in honour of the Breitling DC-3’s 77th birthday. Breitling will celebrate the tour with a 500-piece limited edition Navitimer.
As part of the Middle East leg of the journey, the aircraft will touch down in Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, between the middle and end of March. Breitling says ‘select VIPs’ will have the opportunity to get up close to the aircraft during its visit to the region. The tour will actually make history, the Breitling DC-3 will become the oldest plane in the world to circumnavigate the globe, once it returns to Geneva in September for the Breitling Sion Airshow 2017.
Breitling has said that the entire production run (all 500-pieces) of the new Navitimer will be onboard the aircraft for the duration of the tour, and 25-pieces are being made available for the Middle East. Speaking of which, the brand has taken its tried and tested Navitimer 01 (46mm), and given it a special caseback, which will feature an engraving of the Breitling DC-3 World Tour logo, and highlights the fact that the watch has traveled around the world on the Breitling DC-3. The Navitimer 01 features an in-house automatic chronograph movement (calibre B01), which features a column wheel and vertical clutch. The brand also says each watch will be delivered with a certificate signed by the flight captain.
The Breitling DC-3 flew for the first time in 1940, and was originally bought by American Airlines. The aircraft changed hands several times after that, and was even used by the U.S. Army between 1942 and 1944 (during World War II). More recently the aircraft was purchased by a group of enthusiasts and now operates under the supervision of the Super Constellation Flyers Association, which is supported by members and sponsors, including Breitling.
Through the Super Constellation Flyers Association, Breitling is also supporting the upkeep of another iconic aircraft, the Lockheed Super Constellation. The Breitling Super Constellation ‘Star of Switzerland’ was built in 1955, and is one of only two flight-worthy Super Constellations in the world.
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