Breitling commemorates 20 years of non-stop global balloon flight
March 28, 2019: It’s been twenty years since balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones safely landed their Breitling Orbiter 3 in a remote region of the Egyptian desert, becoming the first people to circumnavigate the globe non-stop in a balloon. And on each pilot's wrist was a Breitling Emergency. Breitling, who sponsored the unique journey – celebrated this incredible feat of human ingenuity with the Cockpit B50 Orbiter Limited Edition, a SuperQuartz timepiece with features worthy of a true scientific and aeronautical milestone.
The SuperQuartz watch was launched on March 21, 2019, exactly 20 years after the Breitling Orbiter 3 set down in Egypt, completing a journey that had tantalized adventurers for centuries. Balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones accomplished something widely thought to be impossible.
For Bertrand Piccard, the collaboration with Breitling combines friendship and loyalty. "When I started to dream of flying around the world non-stop in a balloon, Breitling supported me with passion. Now, 20 years later, we are still partnering through the Solar Impulse Foundation to create solutions for a better quality of life on this planet. Therefore, the new Cockpit B50 Orbiter Limited Edition is not only celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Breitling Orbiter 3, it is projecting us into new dimensions to explore."
The Breitling Cockpit B50 Orbiter Limited Edition watch has been crafted from striking black carbon-coated titanium and is limited to 213 pieces, a number chosen to commemorate the date the Breitling Orbiter 3 landed in Egypt. Presented on an orange rubber strap with a folding clasp and featuring an orange dial, the numerals, indexes, and hands are coated with luminescent Super-LumiNova, which makes them legible in any lighting conditions. The image of a balloon is superimposed on a globe on the caseback of the watch, along with the words “BREITLING ORBITER 3”. Around its perimeter is the legend, “FIRST NON-STOP FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD – 20TH ANNIVERSARY – ETANCHE 100 M” as well as the limited-edition number.
The watch is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B50: a thermocompensated SuperQuartz analog and digital display movement designed in-house that delivers ten times the accuracy of a standard quartz watch. The Cockpit B50 Orbiter is a COSC-certified chronometer that includes functions that will prove particularly useful even on the most extreme missions. In addition to the chronograph with split-time and flyback capabilities, this model features a second timezone display, a perpetual calendar, two alarms with buzzer and/or vibrate mode, a lap timer function and a countdown complete with its own alarm. The Cockpit B50 Orbiter is equipped with an electronic tachymeter, a countdown/count-up system, and a chrono flight device, which records flight times by memorizing departure and arrival times as well as the date.