The Navitimer. This faithful Breitling workhorse has been meeting the needs of pilots since the 1950s. This epitome of aviation and chronograph functionality comes in a wide range of different models. You know Breitling’s created a hot piece of tech wizardry when it can take over the board instruments of an aircraft. With the help of the right synchronisation of the numbers on the borders of the dial, the descent rate and the average speed can be calculated.
It has been fittingly honoured as the timekeeper of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a proclamation tantamount to knighthood from those that know exactly what makes or breaks a real aeronautical watch. What was once and still is a tool for a pilot is nowadays, a technical gadget proficient in a multitude of tasks, all while strapped right to your wrist. Truth be told, a heritage model is always at its very best when it hasn’t forgotten its roots. Expectedly, this gadgets recipe for success is simple: just don’t change the original formula. It’s a sure bet that, other than the occasional tweak, Breitling’s not going to be messing with this watches winning ingredients anytime soon.
The Navitimer has two independent, rotating numbered rings. The right synchronization of both of the scales of the inner and outer rings enables division and multiplication, ascent and descent flight calculations, fuel consumption, as well as the average speed and fuel consumption rates. Even exchange rates and distance units can be calculated. Due to its versatility, the Navitimer really can take over for some of the flight instruments on-board an aircraft.
Of course a stopped time can be determined by subtracting the time of the beginning point from that of the arrival time. The Navitimer became a pilot’s tool watch, because a pilot’s concentration is generally fixated on flying the aircraft and because aviator watches are easily legible. Besides being able to pause the flight time, it also can be used to determine the average speed and the likely arrival time. However, a third counter shows the stopped hour, and is one of the main reasons why the Navitimer has been fitted with three additional sub dials.
One of the main design choices of the Navitimer is the grooved bezel borders that provide a non-slippery grip when turned. Half-ring formed notches are also present in many different Breitling models e.g. the Navitimer, the Montbrillant, a few from the Superocean series, and also the Chronomatic Special Edition.
Vintage Navitimers in pristine condition sometimes fetch a five figure sum. This is especially true for models that are equipped with a Valjoux 72 calibre. For all those that don’t want to pass up the opportunity of a new watch purchase, we have the actual collection of Breitling Navitimers in our store for a fraction of the price that they usually retail, with the box and all original documents included.
All those that own a Breitling Navitimer with a manufacturers movement fall under Breitling’s 5 year warranty policy. Along with the Breitling 01, this also covers the GMT calibre Breitling 04. In terms of its service guarantee, consider this a personal statement from Breitling that it is more than well equipped to deal with any high demand that is placed upon its own movements.
1952/1954: The Navitimer is launched and made into the official watch of the Pilots Union AOPA. It’s a watch that is still highly coveted and not just because of its rarity, which is identified via the lettering on their dials.
1954: From this point forward, the Navitimer is available for purchase on the market. For a short period of time, it’s equipped with the calibre Valjoux 72. Navitimer models with this movement are very sought after by collectors and sold for five figure sums of cash.
1955: The Navitimer is released with a Calibre Venus 178. The Venus 178 is considered to be a premium movement and only incorporated into top-shelf models e.g. Breitling Premier. At the same time, other than the 170 and 175 creations, it facilitates the display of the stopped hour.
1969: For the first time, the Navitimer recieves an automatic winding mechanism.
1986: The Breitling Navitimer is reissued and is still a part of the collection today.
2012: The new Navitimer 01 receives the Breitling 01, a manufacture movement.