H e's the Vice President of one of the world's most specialist watches makers, his affiliation with flying goes beyond horology and into the cockpit and now Breitling's Jean-Paul Girardin sits down with Buro 24/7 Middle East's Editor in Chief, Shannon Wylie to discuss flying, formulating the perfect following and firsts...

On the Navitimer Rattrapante, Breitling's first in-house split-seconds chronograph...

It will be reserved for a real connoisseur. I think it's for people who are really interested in complicated chronographs, that's for sure. Especially if you want the piece in gold, which is limited to only 250 pieces. Of course we will sell more in steel.

Navitimer Rattrapante

On the industry's reaction to the Rattrapante...

It was so, very positive. Everybody was waiting for the Rattrapante for years. Then when we debuted it, everyone was surprised with the partnership that we have with the Rolex group, but if you look twice, it makes a lot of sense. The products, with the ceramic bezel, are pretty well appreciated. The design and the depth of the colours are much better now, so we are pretty satisfied with the response.

On opening new stores around the world...

We have just opened two boutiques in Geneva and Zurich, last year. We really do wait until we find the right location. It's exactly the same for the Middle East.

On taking to the skies...

The DC-3 just landed in the Middle East on its world tour and it's expected back in Switzerland in September. The 77-year-old aircraft went to Qatar and Dubai. Breitling are also the official timekeepers for the Dubai Air Show, which is taking place in November. Then we had Mika Brageot, he's the Red Bull Air Race pilot, who was in Abu Dhabi in February, making his debut in the Master Class.

Mika Brageot

Breitling DC-3

On being a pilot...

I have my helicopter pilot license, which I received in 1999. So I mostly fly from one production site to the other for Breitling. Most of the time, I fly during the week when the weather is OK in Switzerland. It's about an hour drive but flying it's only 10 minutes.

On trends...

We prefer to go our own way. Remaining faithful to what made Breitling successful in the past while continuing to innovate is what we think will continue to be successful. We are not going to make a square watch. We don't want to dilute the brand and the Breitling image by following every trend. We find the right strategy and we will keep heading in the right direction. 

Now, discover the best of Baselworld 2017.