When Breitling introduced the Navitimer in 1952, there was no way of knowing that the pilot’s chronograph would set the pace for nearly seven decades of pioneering aviation timepieces. More recently, the brand created a Navitimer 1 Airlines Capsule Collection of special editions commemorating the iconic airlines of the golden age of aviation, including Swiss Air, TWA and Pan Am.
Earlier this week, at New York Fashion Week, Breitling expanded that circle of legendary airline collaborations to include Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, with whom it has co-created an exclusive new model, the Aviator 8 Day & Date 41 Limited Edition, with a surprising feature.
Eastern Arabic numerals appear on the dial of a Breitling model in a nod to Etihad’s Arabian heritage. The gold-colored numerals and matching gold hands stand out against the 41 mm steel model’s black steel dial, which lies beneath the double anti-reflective sapphire glass.
The COSC-certified chronometer, which runs on Breitling Caliber 45, an automatic movement with more than 40 hours of power reserve, was unveiled during fashion week as a tie-in with Etihad’s three-year-old role as official sponsor. The collaboration with Breitling marks the kick-off of the watch brand’s partnership with Etihad as its newly designated official timekeeper.
“We are honoured and proud to be the official timekeeper of the official airline of fashion week, Etihad, and to present our first Breitling Etihad Edition watch here at NYFW,” says Tim Sayler, CMO of Breitling. “Both Breitling and Etihad represent aviation and style, and we look forward to developing this great partnership with many more projects in the near future.”
The (around £4,000) model, produced in a limited series of 500 pieces, will strictly be available in Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s home base, until early 2020, when it becomes available worldwide.