Breitling the Swiss luxury watchmaker – renowned as the leading supplier of aviation watches and official sponsor of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, announces the launch of the Chronomat Red Arrows Limited Edition. The timepiece released in partnership with the Royal Air Force exclusively features the distinctive emblems of its celebrated aerobatic team and is produced in a limited series of 160 pieces, in tribute to each Red Arrows display pilot to have flown and served in the team since its inaugural 1965 season.
Partners in Precision
Breitling’s storied association with aviation, combined with its world first innovations in the functionality of the wrist chronograph, have led to its reputation as the preferred supplier to aviation. The brand’s historical partnership with the Royal Air Force dates to the 1930s, when Breitling’s precision on board chronographs were supplied to RAF aircraft to ensure precise calculations of distance and fuel during the most challenging flying conditions. Breitling remains the pilot’s choice and the brand creates private commission timepieces exclusively for RAF and military squadrons.
Today, the Red Arrows display pilots wear Breitling chronographs built to ensure accuracy, precision and reliability under the most demanding conditions, as they prepare and perform their world-class displays, in the UK and overseas. Promoting the best of British, their precision manoeuvres and close formations in the distinctive Hawk fast-jets, including their famous Diamond Nine shape, represents the very best in flying, agility, precision and operational excellence. Breitling ensures that the team’s timing equipment lives up to the needs of their every pursuit.
Chronomat - Born in the air
The Chronomat holds a significant place in Breitling’s history and is truly an all-purpose sports watch – suitable for every pursuit – on the ground or in the air. Introduced during Breitling’s centenary year in 1984, when extra-thin quartz timepieces were the order of the day, Breitling presented the bold and impressive mechanical watch, which fast become an icon of its era due to its all-purpose prowess and distinctive style. Born in the air, the design was inspired by a timepiece designed for the Italian Air Force aerobatic display team and marked the return of the mechanical chronograph.
A Patriotic Tribute
The Breitling Red Arrows limited edition features a RAF blue dial featuring tone-on-tone sub-dials and the Red Arrows Diamond Nine logo on the dial, positioned in a rare execution at 12 o’clock where the Breitling logo is normally placed. It has a 42 mm stainless-steel case with a ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel, featuring four iconic interchangeable rider tabs, unique to the Chronomat. On the caseback the Royal Air Force insignia is featured in glorious colour for the first time. This patriotic tribute is limited to 160 pieces for each Red Arrows display pilot to have served, and its case back is engraved with the words ‘one of 160’. It is presented on the Chronomat’s eye-catching Rouleaux bracelet with butterfly clasp, the perfect expression of Breitling’s cool modern-retro style. Inside is the in-house Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement that is certified by COSC – the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute that guarantees the accuracy and precision of Swiss watches.
The Breitling Chronomat Red Arrows Limited Edition is the latest in the coveted line of limited releases between Breitling and the Royal Air Force dating back 30 years, including the exclusive RAF100 Anniversary collection in 2018and the Avenger Red Arrows Limited Edition in 2020. As the only luxury watch brand granted exclusive permission to feature The Red Arrows distinctive emblems, Breitling Red Arrows timepieces are collector’s editions with a generational legacy.
Gavin Murphy, Breitling UK Managing Director, is delighted to continue to celebrate the longstanding partnership between Breitling and the Red Arrows with this exclusive Chronomat. He says: “The Red Arrows represent the best of British - their professionalism, positivity and commitment to excellence are values that inspire each and every one of us. Breitling’s partnership with the team dates back 30 years and during this time the pilots have chosen to wear Breitling whilst conducting their daring displays, demonstrating the trust that they have in our watches and the synergy of our shared brand values. We are proud to continue our relationship with the team who have become our good friends over the years and we are delighted to be presenting our flagship model, the Chronomat bearing the Diamond Nine formation, in celebration of each of the 160 pilots who have earned the right to wear the ‘red suit’.”
Squadron Leader Tom Bould, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “Precision teamwork, accurate timing and dynamic creativity are hallmarks of the Red Arrows and are fundamental to the team’s activities – showcasing the excellence of the Royal Air Force and representing the United Kingdom with world-class displays.
“The Chronomat Red Arrows Limited Edition is a distinctive example of how these qualities are shared by Breitling, forged by its historic work with the aviation community.
“Particularly special is the limited-edition number of 160 pieces, as an acknowledgement of those who’ve flown as a Red Arrows pilot since the opening 1965 display season.
“Every Red Arrows pilot understands how fortunate they are to continue the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s legacy and have an opportunity to help inspire people of all ages and backgrounds – around the globe – through an exciting display of teamwork, speed and innovation.”
The new collection was created in a partnership facilitated by IMG, the Royal Air Force’s exclusive licensing representative.
Excellence and Craftsmanship
Breitling have partnered with British luxury leather goods manufacturer, Ettinger to commemorate the release with a special Breitling and Royal Air Force, the Red Arrows branded Double Watch Roll with each purchase. Granted a Royal Warrant to HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996, Ettinger are the epitome of British excellence, luxury and craftsmanship. The watch roll is exclusively available as a gift with purchase of the Chronomat Red Arrows.
Since 1884, Breitling has established a global reputation for high-precision timepieces, its pioneering role in the development of the wrist chronograph, and its uncompromising commitment to design excellence. With the brand’s storied association with aviation, Breitling has shared the finest moments in humankind’s conquest of the skies. Renowned for its spirit of innovation, it has also earned a place of privilege in the worlds of science, sport, and technology. Breitling manufactures its own movements in-house and the quality of every watch is confirmed by its status as a COSC-certified chronometer, made in Switzerland.
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – The Red Arrows
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows showcase the excellence of the RAF and represent the United Kingdom both at home and overseas. The team consists of 11 pilots, nine of whom fly in the display, and more than 100 support personnel and technicians. Each of the pilots has previous fast-jet, operational experience flying the Tornado, Typhoon or Harrier, enabling the RAF to secure the skies and protect the nation and its interests, 365-days a year.