As he admired his new Breitling Navitimer Blue Sky limited edition watch, John Travolta had a gleam in his eye. The Hollywood actor is not only a fan of the iconic aviation watch, he is also a qualified pilot, which means he truly appreciates the unique qualities of the timepiece.
In Singapore recently to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Navitimer, Breitling’s flagship aviation piece, the veteran actor was at ease and relaxed. Having flown himself, wife actress Kelly Preston, daughter Ella and son Benjamin from his backyard in Florida to Singapore, he seemed none the worse for wear.
“I am here to promote this fabulous new version of the Navitimer,” said the Breitling brand ambassador. “I have been a fan all my life because of its close relationship with aviation.”
For Travolta, a love for Breitling runs in the family.
“As a child, I was obsessed with aviation and my brother-in-law had a Breitling when I was a teenager and I loved it,” he said. “It did everything an aviation watch should do.”
Travolta developed a romantic notion of flying that would later drive him to earn 11 pilot licenses and five of his own planes.
“I am trying to keep four licenses alive and you need to fly 300 hours a year to remain proficient in the air,” he said. “I am very serious about flying and I am not done, so hopefully I can earn more flying licenses.”
Since Breitling introduced the Navitimer to the aviation industry in 1952, the watch has embodied the brand’s aeronautical vocation and has been adopted by pilots and other aeronautical professionals as the instrument of choice.
Now in its 60th year, the watch is the world’s oldest mechanical chronograph still in production, maintaining a cult status among aeronautical professionals and watch enthusiasts. The limited edition Navitimer Blue Sky, with only 500 individually numbered pieces, was created to mark the historic milestone.
One of those pieces now sits proudly on Travolta’s wrist. “My relationship with Breitling is due to my accomplishment as a pilot, because the brand has a strong co-relationship with aviation,” he said.
All in all, Travolta has seven Breitling watches. But his favorite is the Navitimer. “If I had one watch I could choose above all others, this would be it,” the actor said.
Travolta has been an ambassador for the brand for the past seven years and he said he has enjoyed every minute of it. “I get to fly around the word promoting the brand and a watch I truly admire,” he said.
Having just completed “Savages,” a movie directed by Oliver Stone, Travolta said that what attracts him to a particular role is usually the director and the story.
“I usually like an excellent director or excellent people to work with,” he said.
And would he prefer to play the role of a pilot or a disco dancer in his next movie?
“I would choose a pilot as I have already done the disco dancer and I would love to do a movie in Asia,” he said.
And as he adopted a more thoughtful pose, Travolta said he would like to leave a legacy as an actor who has done entertaining movies and as an aviator, someone who has achieved something unique. On both scores, he is well on his way.