Chelsea “Abingdon” Welch of luxury watch brand The Abington Co. is living the high life — literally — with a line of watches and accessories for women who are frequent flyers. Among several other projects, most recently Welch and The Abingdon Co. have partnered with the Mercedes-Benz Owner's Club to take part in the United Kingdom's Diamond Jubilee. As a part of the collaboration, the brand is offering scholarships to women over the age of 18 to participate in an annual aviation conference to learn more about careers in the air.
Welch became a pilot quite by accident. After being lured to a career conference in high school that was led by professional pilots from Burbank Airport with the promise of a free lunch, Welch discovered that she actually did want to become a pilot. Getting paid to travel? Why not? So she saved up and eventually got her pilot's license, joining just 6.7 percent of women who fly.
Once she was a pilot, she began to notice the fancy watches that her male peers sported. But her female pilot friends talked her out of getting one— at the time, professional aviation watches were made only for men and were much too bulky for her very slim frame. So Welch decided to fill a void in the aviation watch market and The Abingdon Co. was born.
With the "Jackie" and the "Amelia" styles as the brand's first collections, The Abingdon Co. creates beautiful, high end watches using quality materials. Welch's personal favorite is the "Jackie" in Seaplane Green. The beautiful hue of the mother-of-pearl is a feminine way for pilots, stewardesses and other constant travelers to stay aware of different time zones and conversions. With Japanese and Swiss movements, The Abingdon Co. watches are accurate on time, and have calculator and conversion functions. They are also super luxe with mother of pearl faces, 24k gold plating, and Swarovski crystals or optional diamond details.
Welch is constantly adding to the couture watch brand, with a new model slated to be released next year as well as accessories, luggage, sunglasses, and other high quality, long-lasting travel essentials. Next on the list is the Paper Airplane jewelry collection— handmade earrings and necklaces inspired by a paper airplane design.
In addition to her new work as a designer, Abingdon makes it a point to fly at least once a week. She (and her "Jackie" watch) can be seen in her other job as a ferry pilot on the Discovery Channel's Flying Wild Alaska program.
To view the full collection, visit TheAbingdonCo.com.
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