World Record Balloonist's Breitling Watch Sold in Charity Auction


A Breitling Emergency watch worn on the first ever round-the-world hot air balloon flight has sold at auction, with all proceeds going to charity.

Piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, the Breitling Orbiter 3 was the first hot air balloon to fly around the world non-stop. The balloon took off from Château-d'Oex, Switzerland, on March 1st 1999 and landed in the Egyptian desert 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes later - travelling a total distance of 25,361 miles. It remains to be longest flight within the earth's atmosphere in any form of flying machine. Piccard and Jones were both given Breitling watches to wear during the flight.

In July 2012, Jones's Breitling Emergency was sold for £5,000 at auction at Fellows. All proceeds from the sale were donated to his charity, the Winds of Hope Foundation, which is dedicated to prevention and early detection and treatment of Noma, a gangrene-like infection which kills 80% of its 100,000 victims each year.

The Breitling Emergency timepiece has a built-in micro transmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency. In the event of a crash or forced landing, the watch sends a signal to rescuers which will broadcast for 48 hours with a range of approximately 100 miles.