Breitling launches the Aerospace B70 Orbiter

Bertrand Piccard & Brian Jones

Founded in 1884, Breitling is celebrating its 140th anniversary. To mark this historic jubilee, the watchmaking company is paying tribute to its landmark innovations and will be staging dedicated events, exhibitions and special launches throughout the year. As part of these festivities, it is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight.

On 21 March 1999, balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones completed a daring voyage, landing the Breitling Orbiter 3 in the Egyptian desert. They shattered records and defied expectations, becoming the first to circumnavigate the globe nonstop in a balloon. It was considered the final great flight challenge of the 20th century. In all, 11 teams of prominent personalities made 21 attempts. Bertrand Piccard himself tried twice in 1997 and 1998 before succeeding on the third attempt with Brian Jones. The balloonists touched down in Egypt after traveling 45,633 km in 19 days, 21 hours, and 47 minutes, achieving the longest flight, both for distance and duration.

The Aerospace B70 Orbiter 25th anniversary edition – with its bright-orange dial reflecting the colour of the Orbiter 3 capsule – contains its very own piece of history: a segment of the original Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon visible through the transparent caseback.

This timepiece is powered by the newly designed COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber B70: a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz analog and digital display movement that delivers 10 times the accuracy of a standard quartz watch. This engine powers the watch’s array of functions, including a 1/100th of a second chronograph (equiped with split-time and flyback functions), countdown timer, second timezone, two alarms, lap function, as well as a perpetual calendar.

May 02, 2024