To commemorate its role as official supplier to a legendary aerobatic team, Breitling has launched a very special watch, the Avenger Royal Air Force Red Arrows Limited Edition, built to ensure absolute accuracy in the most demanding of conditions.
The Diamond Nine: turning aerobatics into horology
The robust Breitling Avenger Royal Air Force Red Arrows Limited Edition timepiece has a 45mm stainless-steel case and matching bracelet. Its striking blue dial provides the perfect foil for the bright red of the RAF Aerobatic Team’s famous ‘Diamond Nine’ flying formation in the nine o’clock position. The red accents also appear on the tip of both the seconds hand as well as the additional ‘Red Arrows’ GMT seconds hand, which allows the hour in another time zone to be read. Both the hands and the indexes are coated with Super-LumiNova®, guaranteeing legibility in any lighting conditions. The case back is engraved with the Red Arrows crest and, beneath it, the unique limited-edition number of each piece – just 220 of which have been made.
As well as being aesthetically dedicated to the RAF, the Avenger has been created to be highly functional for professional pilots’ use. Thanks to its rugged ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel and the specially designed grip pattern on its crown, it can be easily operated while wearing gloves. The calibre is also super-reliable: its case houses the shock-resistant Breitling calibre 32 – a COSC-certified chronometer movement with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours.
Partners in the skies: a shared passion for aviation
Léon Breitling, who founded Breitling in 1884, had a passion for flight – in his watchmaking, he focused primarily on chronographs, owing to the increased need for them in industrial, military and scientific applications. His son, Gaston, continued this work when he took over the company in 1914, and, a year later, succeeded in creating the world’s first wrist-worn chronograph with a separate push-piece above the crown. This was ideal for pilots, who needed to keep both their hands on the controls instead of fumbling for a pocket watch while flying.
Breitling’s history with the RAF dates back to 1930, when its flight chronographs were installed in the cockpits of bombers and fighter aircraft. In 2018, the brand created a timepiece to mark the RAF’s 100-year anniversary. After that launch, its CEO Georges Kern, said, ‘On this significant centenary, Breitling is proud to pay tribute to the world’s first independent air force as the official watch partner to the Royal Air Force, recognising and commemorating the gallant men and women who’ve served in the RAF during the past 100 years, and inspiring a new generation of aviators towards its legendary future.’
The brand’s collaboration with the Red Arrows began over 25 years ago and it remains the only luxury watchmaker with permission to feature its distinctive emblem on its timepieces. A team dedicated to showcasing the excellence of the RAF, the Red Arrows consists of 11 pilots, nine of whom fly in the display, and more than 100 support personnel and technicians. It is one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams and regularly appears at airshows across the country, as well as performing fly-pasts on special occasions such as the Queen’s Birthday, leaving trails of red, white and blue vapour reminiscent of the Union Jack.
If you have designs on owning a timepiece that’s not only stunning to look at, but also pays homage to British aviation heritage, take it from us: a Breitling Avenger Royal Air Force Red Arrows Limited Edition is the watch you need to be sporting this spring.
Breitling Avenger Royal Air Force Red Arrows Limited Edition
• 45mm stainless-steel case and bracelet
• Breitling COSC-certified calibre 32
• Approximate 42-hour power reserve
• Ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel
• Super-LumiNova® indexes and hands
• Limited to 220 pieces
• Product no: 17531807
• Price: £3,950
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