Through a mixture of personal stories, post cards, maps, striking and evocative images of early flight pioneers, design drawings and print adverts throughout the years, Breitling The Book explores the relationship between the growth of flight and the instruments used to measure time.
This beautifully designed and well-documented 336-page book is brought to life by over 450 images, as well as original and never-before-seen documents.
Published at a time when Breitling has taken the step of launching its own mechanical chronograph movement, the book also outlines the chief characteristics of this new Caliber B01, which represents the culmination of a longstanding quest for excellence, performance, and independence.
Breitling The Book charts the history of the company from its foundations in the small Swiss town of La-Chaux-de-Fonds to its position as the world’s leading specialist manufacturer of certified chronographs for aviators and professionals.
During the 1930s, Breitling strengthened its ties with aviation by creating a whole line of onboard chronographs for aircraft cockpits.
This reliable, sturdy, and (most importantly) accurate equipment found favour among civilian and military users, in particular the upper echelon of the Royal Air Force (RAF).
As WWII approached the RAF placed a large order for chronographs.
In 1952, Breitling created a ‘wrist instrument’ that quickly became the brand’s most iconic model: the famous Navitimer, with its circular slide-rule for performing all manner of air navigation-related calculations.
The implications on aviation of the first slide rule ‘flight computer’ were great indeed.
For the first time a single instrument made it possible to quickly and easily complete all calculations needed for the preparation of a flight plan and for navigation itself, namely calculating average speed, distance, fuel consumption, rate of climb or descent, and various other conversions.
The instrument immediately appealed to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) – the world’s largest association of aircraft owners and pilots.
The AOPA made the Navitimer its official watch, hence the presence of the AOPA logo, with its two small curved wings, on the faces of early Breitling models.
These days, Breitling instruments are used by some of the world’s most famous display teams, elite units of many air forces, such as ‘Top Gun’, as well as the Breitling Aviation Academy and Breitling Air Teams.
Breitling The Book is a well-researched collectors item that will appeal to anyone interested in a nostalgic look at the growth of powered flight.
Order from www.breitling-the-book.com.
Hardcover (24x30cm): US$200.
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