A Breitling watch, which was on board the first ever around the world flight in a hot air balloon, will provide one of the highlights at a Birmingham, UK auction on July 26.
After 21 failed attempts from numerous would-be pioneers including Virgin boss Richard Branson, Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard completed the first ever flight around the world in March 1999. Flying a Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, they became the winners of a historic race which had lasted for almost 20 years.
The Breitling Emergency watch, which was provided by the company as sponsor of the flight, was originally designed for pilots and air crews, and features a built-in microtransmitter which broadcasts on the aircraft emergency frequency. Following a crash landing, the transmitter can be activated by extending a hidden antenna, which will then broadcast for 48 hours with a range of 90 nautical miles.
Accompanied by a signed and mounted piece of the record-breaking balloon, a signed copy of the pair's book on the flight, and a signed Swiss first day cover stamp, the watch provides a bargain for collectors at £5,000-7,000.
The top lot of the sale will be provided by an 18k white gold quartz chronograph Chopard Imperiale bracelet watch, which has been set with 0.74 carat diamonds. Also set with 1.76 carat sapphires at the crown, pushers and shoulders, it is expected to make $15,000-20,000.
Watch collectors will want to view our Longines Olympic series men's watch, which provides an excellent entry level options for collectors. For aviation fans, we have a stunning collection of memorabilia, here.