Commercial air travel is so commonplace nowadays that it's hard to imagine life without it! But it's wasn't too long ago when aviation was brand-new, and the culture surrounding it was full of style and luxury.
The Golden Age of commercial aviation lasted from the 40s to the 80s. Airlines like TWA, Pan Am, and British Airways dominated the skies and set many standards we know today. But what luxury watches accompanied pilots and flight attendants on these revolutionary rides?
Rolex is one of the most well-known luxury watch brands in the world. It's no surprise that this famous Swiss watch company played a big part in aviation.
One of the most famous watches to soar the skies during this era was the GMT Master reference 6542. This watch was a product of a unique relationship with Pan Am. The now-defunct airline asked Rolex to create a timepiece that could tell the time in two different zones.
The GMT Master reference quickly became one of the most popular pilot watches. It was a favorite among transatlantic pilots who covered many time zones. The watch helped them keep track of the time at home while staying up to date on their current whereabouts.
Breitling was another name that made a big splash during the Golden Age of aviation. While Rolex was famous for use by Pan Am pilots, Breitling was the go-to for Trans World Airlines (TWA).
The Swiss luxury watchmaker created a TWA edition of the Navitimer B01 Chronograph. It was one of a select few pilot watches that you would see in the cockpit. This model had a flight-specific slide rule.
Pilots and astronauts took advantage of the slide rule to make all-important calculations.
To the Skies and Beyond
The Golden Age of aviation was a time of luxury. In addition to timepieces from Rolex, pilots, crew members, and passengers alike wore all kinds of elegant accessories. It's wasn't uncommon to see models from brands like Cartier, American LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and more.
While many of the airlines during that era of flight are long gone, we can reflect on that remarkable period of history and the watches that made it happen!