To celebrate 70 years since the famous Breitling Navitimer was first released, the Grenchen-based watchmaker has breathed new life into the collection with no less than 28 new references across three case sizes to choose from.
Breitling Navitimer Collection: What Is It?
Looking into Breitling’s archives, you’ll find it was a full seven decades since Willy Breitling imagined the Breitling Navitimer at the beginning of the 1950s (a portmanteau of “Navigation” and “Timer”), which would prove to be one of his most celebrated designs. Boasting both a chronograph function and a rotating slide rule around the bezel, the watch was designed to make a pilot’s (and astronaut’s) calculations easier while in the air.
This year, Breitling has launched an entirely new collection, which remains historically faithful in terms of key design elements, but brings the collection firmly into 2022 with a new movement inside and a host of fresh dial colours. It’s an instantly recognisable design language from Breitling, but one that feels a little more modern and aims to cater to more collecting tastes with such a breadth of dials and case sizes.
The cases of the new Breitling Navitimer collection are offered in 46mm, 43mm, and 41mm, offering something for pretty much everyone (and only slightly larger than the original 40mm Navitimer). All of the cases are made from stainless steel, with the exception of a single 18k red gold reference made in each case size.
With relatively slim lugs, a distinctly notched bezel and vintage-inspired pump pushers, the cases also feature sapphire crystal casebacks that guarantee them 30 metres of water resistance. The bezel notches rotate the internal slide rule, which frames the dial beneath the heavily domed sapphire crystal over it.
Across the trio of different case sizes, there are a number of dial colours, including blue, silver, mint green, black, copper, ice blue, emerald green, and even a black panda dial. All of the dial colours feature three either black or white subdials, selected respectively for maximum constant.
With bright red chronograph hands that are easy to read, bold baton indexes, and the inclusion of a subtly integrated date window at 6 o’clock, there’s no denying they aren’t all handsome watches. The only challenge is picking a favourite.
Inside all 28 references, you’ll find Breitling’s COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, which ticks away at 28,800vph and serves up 70 hours of power reserve. This is the automatic version of the movement that was used in the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, which was one of the most recent modern reissues of the Navitimer in 2019.
All members of the new Breitling Navitimer collection arrive on an alligator leather strap, with some references available with the option of a bracelet matching the case material instead.
Verdict & Price
This collection really is an entire revamp of the Breitling Navitimer, retaining enough of the historical design cues to satisfy the purists, while building in a few modern concessions for everyday wear. The new collection comes with RRPs that range between $12,090 and $52,000 depending on the size, case material and bracelet or strap.