Breitling's participation in challenging the last remaining aeronautical record is part of its own longstanding cooperation with the world of aviation. In the first half of the century, aviation developed in giant leaps and bounds. Its increasing need for purpose-built reliable instruments naturally led the burgeoning industry to rely on Breitling, which specialized in the manufacture of scientific and industrial timing instruments.
Over the decades, a whole range of specialized products have been developed: cockpit timers for commercial and military aviation, the Navitimer chronograph with its circular slide rule, still produced today, and more recently the Emergency, a multifunction chronograph with miniaturized distress signal transmitter which Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard will wear on their wrists on board Breitling Orbiter 3.
For Breitling, aviation also constitutes a tremendous testing ground for its chronographs, as they fly in the company of exceptional professionals such as Patrick Paris, the brand's official pilot and world aerobatics champion, or pilots from the most prestigious national flight teams.
It is thus not by chance that Breitling should be playing such an active role in this non-stop round-the-world balloon flight project, for its operational involvement results both from its ongoing interest in technology and innovation, and from its passion for aviation.
Breitling is currently offering to share this passion with those who dream of flying, by setting up a contest open to all. Prizes will be awarded to those making the closest estimate of flight duration, distance covered and maximum speed, highest altitude and number of countries overflown during the Breitling Orbiter 3 flight.
The bottom line of this contest takes the shape of an original reward, as Breitling will offer these five lucky winners a chance to earn their private pilot's license.