The 70-year-old Breitling Navitimer - Is back this year in a big way
The 70-Year-Old Breitling Navitimer – Is Back This Year In A Big Way
THREE SIZES, TWO CASE MATERIALS AND ONE LEGENDARY PILOT’S WATCH
Amongst watch enthusiasts, the exact date of the Navitimer release is up for debate. But according to Breitling, 1952 is the year deemed as the release year as this is when Breitling started supplying Navitimers to the Aircrafts Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Now, 70 years later the brand celebrates the iconic watch with a new range of Navitimers.
The Navitimer is definitely Breitling’s most recognizable watch. Dreamt up by Willy Breitling in the early ‘50s to directly help pilots in the cockpit. Originally called the Navigation Timer, the watch featured a rotating slide rule on the bezel that worked in conjunction with the chronograph to make cockpit calculations easier. Over the years design elements were changed but the iconic watch is still a favourite today.
When changing such an iconic piece, a lot of consideration has to be taken to what is actually changed. Breitling has done a phenomenal job with the new range! The changes that they’ve made have been significant enough that you can tell a difference between this new watch and its predecessors. However, not so much that you don’t recognize the watch or the design ends up being lost to more current modern-day trends.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAS CHANGED.
THE AOPA LOGO
The first big change you’ll notice is the use of a new logo. In 2018 Breitling got rid of the wings logo on pretty much all their watches. With this generation of Navitimer, they have brought back the wings in a certain capacity. What they’ve done is they actually used the AOPA logo as the logo on the dial of the new Navitimer. It’s so appropriate because of the fact that they use the year that they introduced the Navitimer to the AOPA as what they define as their anniversary year.
THE SIZE & CASE
The next big change is the range of sizes. The Navitimer has always been a big watch and hasn’t really had much variety in sizing. This year that all changes because it is available in 41-, 43- and 46 mm. Thus it caters for all the different size ranges, it’s much more accessible and because of its proportions it’s a better-looking watch. The thickness of the watch on the 41 and 43 mm versions is 13.6mm, and on the 46mm version it is now 13,9mm.
The new Navitimer is also available in two case materials which included stainless steel and 18-carat red gold. In terms of the straps, the options include a leather strap or a seven-row metal bracelet.
Moving on to one of the bigger changes, is the colour variations that they have. One big difference that they made aside from the actual selection of colours is that on almost every watch except for the black dial version and some of the white dial versions, the slide round bezel is actually black instead of white, as it was before. This improves the overall balance on the dial.
In terms of the colour options, they still have to traditional blue, black, white or silver dial. However, they also released a lot of new colours that represent Breitling’s new colour palette. There is an ice-blue, minty green, and also a copper dial. Breitling is creating a visual identity in terms of the colours they use, as we’ve seen the same colours used in some of Breitlings other watches.
On the movement side, things remain very similar. However, Breitling did make an aesthetic change and opened up the rotor. Opening up the rotor does a lot more justice to the B01 movement. This new open rotor is not only better to see what goes on underneath, but it is also better decorated than the previous designs.
Apart from that they also made a few tweaks in terms of the finishing, there is a lot more satin finishing on the case and on the bracelet. Broadly what they have done is just clean up the Navitimer without taking away its character.
This is just a quick summary of the new Navitimer release. Overall we think the new Navitimer design is a great addition to the collection and a wonderful evolution of the Navitimer line.
Deonne le Roux Jewellers is a proud stockist of Breitling and we anticipate having the new line available in a few weeks. In the meanwhile, you can shop the rest of the Breitling range in any of our branches.
What do you think of the new Breitling Navitimer? Are you glad they bought back the AOPA logo? Which size and dial colour would you get? Let us know what you think in the comments section.