The watch enthusiast community is ecstatic and why shouldn’t they be? The year 2022 has marked the 70th anniversary of the industry icon Breitling Navitimer, and the brand is celebrating this with an entire range of new Navitimer watches coming, in 46 mm, 43 mm, 41 mm, in stainless steel, and red gold. The brand recently launched the watches at the Watches and Wonders 2022 Geneva show.
The New Range of Breitling Navitimer
The Navitimer is one of Breitling’s most iconic watches. Willy Breitling himself dreamed up the timepiece in the early 1950s to directly help pilots in the cockpit. He named it the Navigation Timer, ergo the ‘Navitimer’. This was the first watch to feature a rotating slide rule on the bezel. This slide rule worked in conjunction with the chronograph to make life in the cockpit easier.
A History Lesson – Breitling Navitimer
The watch became an instant hit. It was so famous among aviators that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association collaborated with Breitling to release a branded design that featured the company’s winged crest at 12 o’clock.
Another factor that contributed to the rise of the Navitimer was civilian aviation. During the 1950s, civilian aviation proliferated. This meant that weekend warrior pilots, professional aviators, and military pilots, all required a watch that met their needs. The Breitling Navitimer became commonplace with aviators and became a constant in the aviation genre. It has cemented its place as a worthy tool.
Scott Carpenter, the celebrated American naval aviator and astronaut, approached Breitling about modifying the Navitimer to a 24-hour time format for spacefaring applications in the early 1960s. This led to the birth of the Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute.
The New Navitimer
The new batch of 2022 Navitimers retains all the original elements from the Navitimers from the 1950s. This includes the circular slide rule, baton indexes, trio of chronograph subdials, and the signature notched bezel. The most prominent change is inside, with the inclusion of Breitling’s COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. For those who do not know, the B01 is a column-wheel chronograph that offers a healthy 70-hour power reserve. There’s a date window as well, at the 6 o’clock position.
Unlike the slide rules in the previous models of the Navitimer, these ones are flattened out and sapphire crystal domed, creating a more compact profile of the timepiece. But let’s be clear here; Breitling did not commit the sin of making smaller cases.
The original Breitling Navitimer was released with a 40 mm case. This new Navitimer offers cases that go up to 46 mm in diameter. If you want to stay as close to the original Navitimer as possible, then go for the 41 mm version.
All the new Navitimers carry a Caliber 01.