The Montbrillant 1903

April 2003

In 1903, the Wright brothers marked the birth of aviation with their historic flight. Breitling, a major player in the aeronautical world, pays tribute to one hundred years of history of flight by issuing the Montbrillant 1903 chronograph.

On December 17th 1903, at 10.35 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright brothers made the first flight of a 'heavier-than-air' powered craft. The 'flight' lasted just 12 seconds and covered a distance of 120 feet, but it rewarded the perseverance, the courage and the innovative spirit of all pioneers of flight who had contributed to fulfilling one of Man's oldest dreams.

Today, a century later, our values of time and distance have dramatically changed as we fly, without further thought, from continent to continent. However, the necessity for ultra-precise and ultra-reliable wrist instruments for professionals has never been more demanding.

The Montbrillant 1903
Breitling is one of the recognized suppliers to the aviation industry and to celebrate the historic 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' flight, the company is issuing a special series chronograph - the Montbrillant 1903.

The Montbrillant 1903 is equipped with a highly distinctive and exclusive Calibre 35 movement that is assembled in the Breitling workshops. It is a self-winding, 38-jewel, chronometer-certified movement (frequency 28,800 vph) with a chronograph mechanism comprising a 10-minute totalizer, 1/4 second measurement, a Flyback function and a calendar. There is a cambered sapphire crystal. The watch has a Navitimer bracelet and is produced in steel, and in a limited series of 100 in yellow, rose and white gold.
The Montbrillant 1903 has a beaded bezel, an exact replica of the one used on the first chronographs equipped with the famous circular slide rule - instruments that were to remain an indispensable tool for pilots until the advent of electronics. Designed in a classic mid-century style, the two-tone dial clearly distinguishes the timekeeping zone from the logarithmic scales. It is crafted using the 'par épargne' technique, a tradition that Breitling has carefully preserved.

The final commemorative touch is on the caseback which features the silhouette of Flyer I, the plane flown by Orville and Wilbur Wright one hundred years ago.