Breitling Navitimer

A watch (not only) for pilots

The Breitling Navitimer has become an unsurpassed classic with its legendary bi-directional rotating bezel. Navigation and timer: the name of this famous aviation watch highlights the outstanding combination of a navigation calculator with a chronograph, which characterizes the Breitling Navitimer.

Adjusting the slide rule and reading the result from the scale - calculating with the Navitimer is that simple. With the efficient chronograph, timing is just as easy, and calculating speed, distance, or fuel consumption is effortless. Watch admirers, pilots, and aviation enthusiasts value the practical functionality as well as the rich tradition of this distinguished wristwatch.

According to experts, the Breitling Navitimer is truly timeless: after all, the design of the watch has only undergone minor changes since its introduction in 1952. It is no surprise then, that current models such as the Navitimer 01 (Ref. AB012012) or the Navitimer GMT (Ref. AB044121) clearly mirror the spirit of the very first Navitimer (Ref. 806).

The history of a watch legend

Breitling Navitimer

The Breitling Navitimer was first introduced in 1952 and is now a watch that enjoys cult status. The model with the ingenious slide rule succeeded the Breitling Chronomat and specifically catered to professional pilots. The integrated slide rule allowed easy and quick calculations of fuel consumption, climb and descent rates, average speeds, and other important navigation data. Thanks to the domed sapphire crystal, the results of slide rule calculations can easily be read. The design of the original Navitimer is characterized by a black watch face and chronograph display, as well as a pearl bezel that guarantees easy grip and overall handling.

It did not take long for the Breitling Navitimer to gain cult status in the field of aviation. Before long, the watch was chosen as the official timepiece of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). The winged logo of the AOPA therefore decorates the watch dial of the first Navitimer models (Ref. 806), and symbolizes the close connection between Breitling and the pilots association that to this day, is still going strong. The success of the Navitimer did not stop

The success of the Navitimer did not stop there, however: in 1962, a special edition of the Navitimer - the Cosmonaute with the 24 hour-display - accompanied the astronaut, Scott Carpenter, to space. Regularly, the Navitimer can also be admired on the silver screen: the James Bond movie Thunderball (1965) shows Captain Derval with a bold Breitling Navitimer (Ref. 806), whose elegant design has since enchanted generations of watch admirers.

A watch favourite among pilots

Navitimer from 1952 to 1979

The Breitling Navitimer comes equipped with the legendary circular slide rule and provides the face of the watch with a unique recognition factor that attracts countless watch enthusiasts worldwide. Although the watch has stayed true to its basic shape for decades, some important features of the Navitimer have been adapted over the course of time and countless special editions have been added to Breitling’s annual catalogue - the Chronolog.

Some collectors prefer the Navitimer models that were created before 1979 (Ref. 806, Ref. 1806, and Ref. 7806). Today, these men’s watches are considered to be vintage classics amongst experts, and they, therefore, enjoy a remarkable demand on the second-hand market.

The Navitimer collection offers numerous versions that were created before 1979 that mainly differ in small details. The original Navitimer watches can be found with either a single-coloured black dial or a two-toned black and silver dial. The logo is not always consistent either: on some watches, the AOPA-symbol can be found, whereas a simple “B” for Breitling can be found on others.

A number of Navitimer models are still decorated with the Breitling symbol: two aeroplanes beneath the twelve. The watch movements also differ when it comes to these Navitimer vintage-models. They mostly consist of high-class calibres with manual windings, but beginning in 1969, Navitimer models were also equipped with the legendary Chrono-Matic movement that combines chronograph function and self-winding mechanism. Surprisingly, even Navitimer models were produced with quartz movements for a period of time - a sign of the Quartz Crisis when not even Breitling could be spared.

The top-class pilot chronograph

Navitimer models from 1979 until today

In 1989, the Breitling company was acquired by an amateur pilot named Ernest Schneider. During that time, the company needed to assert itself against the quartz-competition and find its new place in the watch industry. With ultra-modern navigation computers on board, pilots were no longer dependent on the Navitimer. But with its tradition and aesthetic, the famous pilot watch continued to fascinate aviators and watch admirers. 

The Navitimer thus made its way back to the top in the ‘90s. Besides the classic Navitimer (Ref. A13322 and Ref. A13022), some extraordinary models were created including the Navitimer Airborne (Ref. A33030), the Navitimer 92 (Ref. A30022), the Navitimer Twin Sixty (Ref. A39022), and the Navitimer Spatiographe (Ref. A36030 and Ref. A36330). 

Since the year 2000, the Navitimer models have been awarded the certificate of the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute - COSC - just like all other Breitling wristwatches. The 21st century was just as exciting for the Navitimer: the 41.8-millimetre-watch (Ref. A23322) met the demand of the time for larger men’s watches. The anniversary models of the Navitimer with the old Breitling logo, such as the Navitimer 50th Anniversary (Ref. A41322), or the Navitimer 1952 SE (Ref. A41322), were met with great enthusiasm.

Today, these models are only available on the second-hand market. With the impressive case diameter and the characteristic slide rule, the Navitimer stays on top when it comes to the world of watches.

A ticking legend

The current Breitling Navitimer

All Breitling Navitimer men’s watches stay true to the aesthetics of the classic aviator chronograph - nevertheless, every model fascinates with its very own style. The prices of the models vary and depend strongly on their case material and bracelet. Every single Navitimer model opens the door to an exclusive world filled with tradition and the spirit of aviation.

  • /The Navitimer 01 (Ref. AB0112012) unites the classic design of the world-famous pilot chronograph with innovative and solid technology: the 43-millimetre-watch is equipped with the manufacture calibre Breitling 01. The chronometer movement, the slide rule, as well as the legendary design, make the Navitimer 01 an extraordinary men’s watch. The Navitimer 01 with the remarkable 46-millimetre-case (Ref. AB012721) is an interesting alternative. The transparent caseback offers a view of the outstanding automatic chronometer movement.
  • /Those who travel frequently - whether on business or for fun - often venture into new time zones and have to keep an eye on the time of two places at once. The Navitimer GMT (Ref. AB044121) serves this purpose in the best possible way, since the manufacture calibre B04 allows for a second time zone to be set. The steel case with the bold diameter of 48 millimetres guarantees ideal legibility and makes this watch a sophisticated statement on the wrist.
  • /The Navitimer World (Ref. A2432212) is designed as the ideal watch for travellers. The double time zone display is not only practical but also easily readable. Since the second time-zone is displayed on a 24-hour scale, there is no danger of mixing up day and night. The engraved time zones of cosmopolitan cities on the caseback are an elaborate detail that make this watch a truly unique timepiece.
  • /The Navitimer 1461 (Ref. A1937012) is a special edition of the Breitling Navitimer limited to 1,000 pieces. The striking watch face easily captures the eye and surprises with a moon-phase aperture. The name of the watch - Navitimer 1461 - refers to the integrated leap year-calendar that has to be corrected once every four years - in other words, every 1,461 days. This especially elegant watch has a delightful design, and impresses beyond that with function and precision. Admirers of bigger timepieces appreciate the Navitimer 1461 with a 48-millimetre-case (Ref. A1938021), which is also limited to 1,000 pieces. Easy legibility and exquisite design is guaranteed with the overall form of this men’s watch.
  • /The Navitimer QP (Ref. R2938021) is a particularly exclusive and elegant version of the famous Navitimer. The case in its entirety is comprised of red gold and is equipped with an aviation slide rule. The watch face is available in a black or bronze-tone. This fashionable wristwatch is limited to 25 pieces. Due to its luxurious craftsmanship, the price of this watch is much higher compared to most other watches of the Navitimer collection.
  • /A hommage to the famous Navitimer Cosmonaute that accompanied the Mercury-astronaut, Scott Carpenter, to space: continuing the company connection to aeronautics, Breitling presented the 1,000-piece limited Navitimer Cosmonaute (Ref. AB021012), which impresses with a 24-hour display and a modern 43-millimetre-case.

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