The Red Arrows are to the average pilot what a F1 racer is to a doddery pensioner in a 15 year-old Fiat. They’re the aviation team every other aspires to and are more than a little bit insane to boot. It makes sense then that Breitling’s latest limited edition in the Red Arrows’ honour is a little bit off-kilter. This is the Avenger Royal Air Force Red Arrows Limited Edition.
Breitling’s partnership with the RAF goes back surprisingly far, all the way back to the 1930s with the watchmaker’s early cockpit chronographs. The partnership with the Red Arrows specifically is a little newer but still clocks in at a solid 25 years and are the official watch of the display team. That means pulling some serious Gs. It’s a partnership the new limited edition wears on its sleeve – perhaps a little bit too clearly.
The starting point is the big, 45mm Avenger, complete with its chunky, unidirectional bezel and COSC-certified Breitling Calibre 32 with a 42-hour power reserve. It’s a huge piece of steel and a world apart from the more classical Navitimers and Aviator models – perfect for what the Red Arrows put it through. It’s also water resistant to 30 bar, though I’m guessing if one of the display team hits the water their watch will be the least of their worries.
As for the Red Arrow allusions… well, you just need to look at the thing. The 9 o’clock space of the blue dial is dominated by the Red Arrows icon. It’s a bit in your face, but works nicely with the other hints of red around the date window, tip of the second hand and GMT indicator.
It almost goes without saying that the Limited Edition also includes an engraved caseback with the Red Arrows crest front and centre, along with the LE number of the watch – x of 220, in this case.
The Avenger is Breitling’s most extreme watch (other than the Emergency, of course) and makes a fitting base for the Red Arrows partnership. Sure it’s less than subtle, but then the RAF’s pride and joy are pretty hard to miss themselves. Still, you wouldn’t wear a Hawk T1 on your wrist…
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Breitling Avenger Royal Air Force Red Arrows Limited Edition
Case/Dial: 45mm diameter, stainless steel
Water resistance: 300m (30 ATM)
Movement: Calibre Breitling 32, self-winding mechanical
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Strap: Steel bracelet
Price: £3,950, limited to 220 pieces
More details at Breitling’s website.