Everyone who knows watches knows that Breitling is perhaps the brand most closely affiliated with flight and pilots’ instruments for the wrist. It therefore makes great sense that this is the company that would pioneer the way for aviation sponsorships. In fact, it was in 2003 that Breitling’s owner, Teddy Schneider, joined forces with team leader and manager, Jacques Bothelin (who had been part of the Patrouille Martini team) and put together the Breitling Jet Team.
This year marks the team’s second year on the American Tour circuit, and its last before heading back to Europe, where aviation aerobatics fans are anxiously awaiting the return.
The team is an incredible aviation force that flies seven jets – flying just 10 feet apart from one another – in perfect formation, and completes a host of thrilling, precisely timed aerobatic maneuvers that have onlookers staring in disbelief at the startling sky moves that include full 360-degree rolls, straight-down dives, loops, barrel rolls and a host of other feats that somehow one just can’t equate with a machine in the sky.
The reality is that this type of flying is a blend of perfect precision by those in the cockpit – seemingly as one with the metal around them – bringing man and machine together. The pilots fly their jets at speeds of more than 500 miles per hour, and withstand G forces of 5 and 6 on a scale that would have most of us feeling sick.
Indeed, while it looks like an air show of fun and excitement, it is instead an extremely precise and exacting orchestration of man and machines. The fit of the jet team and Breitling makes perfect sense. Breitling is always on the pioneering side, the cutting edge, when it comes to bringing even greater ingenuity and excellence to its flight instruments and other timepieces.
In fact, of late, Breitling has introduced new ultra-light materials, and connected watches; it has brought the tried-and-true slide-wheel and navigation tools to new heights in new and updated versions and has finally been able to bring the potentially life-saving Emergency watch to America (this watch, when activated, sends out a distress call on a special highly monitored frequency). The brand also offers the Chronomat 44 Breitling Jet Team American Tour Limited Edition watch and the Chronomat GMT Breitling Jet Team American Tour Limited Edition – to celebrate these two glorious years.
If you are in or nearby a city when the Breitling Jet Team is flying – I urge you to go. It is a site not to be missed. The schedule for the rest of the year includes stops from late June through October in places such as Salt Lake City, Utah, Oregon, British Columbia, Michigan, Toronto, Miramar, San Francisco and Huntington Beach.