Round-the-World Breitling Flies Out of the Saleroom

On Monday, 23rd July Fellows auctioned one of only two watches to have been worn on the first ever round-the-world flight in a hot air balloon.



Since 1981 there have been 21 failed attempts to make the first uninterrupted circumnavigation of the globe in a hot-air balloon. Richard Branson failed in December 1998 when his attempt ended dramatically with a crash landing in the Pacific. In March 1999, however, Brian Jones and Bertrand Picard made the first complete flight around-the-world aboard the Breitling Orbiter 3, becoming the undisputed winners of a race that had lasted almost 20 years.


The entire expedition was sponsored by the watch brand Breitling – the obvious choice considering their pedigree in manufacturing instruments for aviation professionals. Their contribution included providing each of the avid balloonists with their own watch, perfectly suited to the job in hand. The timepiece they received was the Breitling Emergency - an instrument watch with a built-in micro transmitter allowing rescuers to locate one’s position following a crash or forced landing.


The fascinating timepiece fetched an impressive £5,000 on the day, with all proceeds going to Brian Jones’ charity: Winds of Hope.


Fellows’ next auction of Vintage & Modern Wrist Watches will take place on Monday 15th October 2012.