Time check: aboard the Breitling aircraft in Dubai

The DC-3 airplane carrying 500 commemorative Breitling chronograph watches landed in the UAE this morning. Courtesy Breitling
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This morning, Breitling watches arrived into Dubai in a rather unusual way: aboard their own vintage DC-3 airplane.

The 70-year-old Breitling DC-3, which is now fully restored and updated with modern flying instruments, is attempting to become the oldest plane to circumnavigate the globe.

Flown by two seasoned pilots, it left Switzerland on March 7 this month, and will spend the next six months hopping around the world, visiting 55 cities across 28 countries.

As well as carrying 500 commemorative Breitling chronograph watches, each numbered and marked with a special engraving to celebrate this adventure, this elderly DC-3 is also helping raise money for underprivileged children, with Breitling donating to Unicef US$2 (Dh7.35) for every nautical mile flown.

Fortunate enough to be one of a handful of lucky journalists to be taken on a flight around Dubai and over Palm Jebel Ali, I was able to enjoy the roar of the prop engines – so much louder than in modern airplanes. The shape, too, is totally different. Sitting on the tarmac, the nose is several feet higher than the tail, and the plane only levels out in mid-air. Sitting in the tail section, I was able to experience the unique sensation of taking off before the rest of the plane.

The aircraft was as special as the timepieces it carried.