When you talk bold, enhanced styling and incredible journeys, a timepiece that immediately strikes your head is none other than Breitling’s Navitimers. From space to the celebrated industry, this watch has made its place on everyone watch enthusiasts wrist.
Breitling’s first pilot’s watch has been adored by aviators and tastemakers alike for the past 70 years. It is Breitling’s most iconic timepiece. Today, Breitling pays tribute to the legend with the launch of a new Navitimer that retains the legend’s most iconic features while adding current enhancements.
“We don’t use the word ‘icon’ lightly. One of the most recognisable timepieces ever manufactured is the Navitimer. It’s on collectors’ best-of lists of all-time wristwatches. What began as a pilot’s instrument has grown to mean something significant to each and every person who has had this timepiece accompany them on their personal trip,” explains Georges Kern, Breitling’s CEO.
What Made It theDe-Facto Pilot’s Watch
The Navitimer’s inventor could not have imagined the phenomenon that it would become. Willy Breitling created a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule in 1952, allowing pilots to do all necessary flight calculations. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest aviators’ group, announced the design as its official watch two years later. The “navigation timer”—or Navitimer—was formed when the association’s winged logo was inscribed at 12 o’clock.
The Navitimer was born into a rapidly growing civil aviation industry. It was so popular among airline captains and aviation fans that it was even worn by astronaut Scott Carpenter in space in 1962 as a 24-hour watch to tell day from night. The watch’s irresistible look drew in more than just pilots. Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg, Jim Clark, and Graham Hill were all fans, demonstrating that the Navitimer was stylish as well as functional.
Breitling’s Signature Modern-Retro Style Evolves
Breitling kept the most recognised features of the icon’s design code when creating the new Navitimer. With its circular slide rule, baton indexes, a trio of chronograph counters, and notched bezel for easier grip, this is undeniably a Navitimer. Its modern embellishments, on the other hand, come through loud and clear up close.
A domed crystal and a flattened slide rule provide the impression of a more compact profile. The metal pieces have a shiny but subtle look due to the alternation of polished and brushed surfaces. The open-caseback appearance of the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. is enhanced by a thinner design on the oscillating weight. This movement comes with a five-year warranty, has a power reserve of about 70 hours, and allows the wearer to alter the date (which is now visible through a small window in the subdial at 6 o’clock) at any time.
The watch is available in three sizes (46, 43, and 41 mm), two case materials (18-karat red gold or stainless steel), and a variety of straps (semi-shiny alligator or seven-row metal bracelet). Its redesigned dial variations are defined by modern colours including blue, green, and copper. And if there’s one element that’ll bring back memories, it’s the return of the AOPA wings to their original 12 o’clock position.
For The Journey, Celebrating What Moves Us
After 70 years, the Navitimer has evolved into more than just a navigational aid for pilots. It has become a symbol for those who are charting their own paths through life.
The Navitimer Squad, which includes basketball phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo, American Ballet Theatre lead dancer Misty Copeland, and aviation pioneer and explorer Bertrand Piccard, is featured in Breitling’s new campaign, NAVITIMER—FOR THE JOURNEY. Each individual has travelled a long and winding road to reach the pinnacle of their respective disciplines. Each of them has plotted a plan and stuck to it with tenacity.
And they’re all on their way to attaining their next set of goals. The advertisement gets to the heart of these compelling experiences by using powerful imagery and the Squad Members’ own narrative.
Since Willy Breitling initially sketched his idea for a wrist-worn flight instrument, the Navitimer has come a long way. With its emphasis on colour, styling, and accessibility, this redesign ushers in a new era for the Navitimer, one that combines Breitling’s current aesthetics and ideals with its historic watchmaking know-how to create an updated identity for the renowned watch that started it all.