At a summit that took place today in Switzerland, Breitling celebrates the 70th anniversary of the iconic Navitimer watch – with famed slide-rule bezel – by unveiling several important new variations that boast retro-inspired looks with contemporary movements.
Like much of what Breitling has been introducing in the past few years, the new Navitimer watches are all about color and details. Naturally, the circular slide rule was a must-keep feature, as was the triple-counter chronograph and notched bezel. However, all of these features received a modern update.
The New Breitling Navitimer Watches
The slide rule has been flattened and the crystal is domed, both to give the illusion of a thinner watch. The brand also alternates the finishes between polished and brushed to tone down any brilliance that an all-polished finish would emit. In an effort to really please Navitimer lovers, Breitling returns the coveted AOPA wings to the 12:00 position on the dial. The new versions are offered in 41mm, 43mm and 46 mm sizes in either stainless steel or in 18-karat 5N rose gold.
The dials are in coveted colors such as blue, green, copper and silver (along with black and white) but vary in hue based on the diameter size. For instance, in the 46mm size, ocean blue and dark green dials come into play, but in the 43mm size, pale blue and light green make a statement. In the 41mm size in stainless steel, there are three dial choices, with one being the clear leader: mint green with white slide rule and subdials.
The watches are all powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, that boasts 70 hours of power reserve. It also offers the date window inside the lower chronograph subsidiary dial for a cleaner look.
To further excite the cult-like following the Navitimer watch enjoys, Breitling has introduced a new Navitimer Squad and campaign under the title, Navitimer—For the Journey. The squad includes three people who are already friends of the brand and who embody a special journey to the top of their fields. They include basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo, ABT ballerina Misty Copeland, and pioneer and explorer Bertrand Piccard.
“This project means a lot to me because it celebrates not only where I was in life, but where I’d come from and where I am going,” says Misty Copeland. “There is an absolute parallel between navigating towards a physical destination and navigating towards the vision of where you want to be in life. You’ll see that theme come through in these three stories.”
History of the Navitimer
As told by Breitling in its release about the new watches. “Not even its inventor could have predicted the phenomenon the Navitimer would become. In 1952, Willy Breitling developed a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule that would allow pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the largest aviators’ club in the world, announced the design as its official timepiece. The association’s winged logo was emblazoned at 12 o’clock, and the “navigation timer”—or Navitimer—was born.
The Navitimer grew up alongside the burgeoning civil aviation industry. Beloved by airline captains and aircraft enthusiasts, it even made its way into space on the wrist of astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1962 as a 24-hour timepiece to tell day from night. And it wasn’t only pilots drawn to the watch’s irrepressible aesthetic. Celebrities of the day, such as Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg, Jim Clark and Graham Hill, were devotees, proving that the Navitimer had style as well as function.”
Since then, Breitling has regularly reinvented the Navitimer, always with a nod to the past and a visionary eye to the future. The newest collection is no exception.
“We don’t throw the term ‘icon’ around lightly,” says Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling. “The Navitimer is one of the most recognizable watches ever made. It’s on collectors’ lists of the greatest watches of all time. What began as a tool for pilots has gone on to mean something profound to every single person who has had this timepiece along on their personal journey.”
Stay tuned for more information on this collection after the summit and the watch shows.