Breitling, the Swiss watch manufacturer, has appointed Jim DiMatteo Breitling U.S.A. Aviation Consultant.
“Breitling has a long history in the world of aviation and as we plan for 2014 and beyond, Jim’s experience as a naval aviator and air show executive will help us navigate many opportunities, and give us greater visibility in the skies above the United States,” said Thierry Prissert, Breitling U.S.A. President.
He will continue his affiliation with EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, serving as Vice President of Flight Operations, Features and Attractions. He has also served as the first and only U.S. Race Director for the International Red Bull Air Races.
His military career spanned 25 years in which he logged over 5,000 flying hours in five different fighter jet aircraft and was promoted to Commanding Officer of the TopGun Adversary Squadrons on both coasts. Following his time with TopGun, he worked for the Commander of the Naval Air Forces where he led the foundation that organized the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation celebration.
Breitling commands its own fleet of aircraft, including the Breitling Jet Team, the largest civilian jet team in the world consisting of seven L-39 C Albatros Jets based in Dijon, France. Breitling also flies one of the last airworthy Super Constellations in the world. The rest of the Breitling fleet includes a DC-3, the Breitling Angels, as well as Yves “Jetman” Rossy.
Breitling’s affiliation with aviation dates back to the early 1930’s when it manufactured on-board chronographs for cockpits. These instruments enjoyed great success in the various armed forces, including the Royal Air Force, which used them in World War II propeller-driven fighter planes. This connection to aviation continued, and in 1952, Breitling launched its Navitimer timepiece, featuring a circular slide rule in conjunction with Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). In 1962, Scott Carpenter wore a Navitimer on his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7, becoming the first space-going wrist chronograph.
Other favorites among pilots are the Aerospace watch, which was launched in 1985, and the Emergency timepiece with a built-in transmitter that was originally introduced in 1995 and was recently updated to a new version that will launch in 2014 and is the world’s first wristwatch with a dual frequency locator beacon.