At 70 years old, the Breitling Navitimer is still going strong. This spring, Breitling added a new chapter To the watch heritage by unveiling a whole new lineup of revamped Navitimers available in multiple case sizes, dial colors and strap combinations. This is a major release for Breitling; The brand calls the Navitimer its “most iconic watch”. Given its long history, its popularity among all civilian pilot For astronauts and celebrities alike, and for its distinctive aesthetics and performance, it should come as no surprise that Navitimer is in such a haunted place. The latest versions of the Breitling Navitimer build on that stellar reputation.
“We do not take the word ‘icon’ lightly,” Breitling CEO Georges Kern said in a press release. “The Navitimer is one of the most recognizable watches ever made.”
The Navtimer traces its roots to 1952, when Willi Breitling developed a chronograph watch with a circular slide rule. When combined on a watch, a pilot can use the chronograph and slide rule to perform the various calculations needed to monitor and navigate flight. Exactly two years after the watch was introduced, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a non-profit group advocating for civil aviators and the largest such group in the world, approved the creation of the Breitling as its official watch. adopted in To celebrate the announcement, Breitling added the organization’s winged logo to the watch’s dial, and it became known as the Navitimer (short for “Navigation Timer”).
The popularity of the Breitling Navitimer grew rapidly. It was certainly at home in the cockpit, where its unique complexities helped aviators to fly safely, and it became a sought-after accessory for civilian and commercial pilots. The Navitimer also went to space: Astronaut Scott Carpenter wore one during his Mercury 7 spaceflight in 1962.
Pilots and astronauts weren’t the only people who applauded Navitimer. The head-turning style of the watch also caught the attention of collectors and celebs, including jazz icon Miles Davis.
The revamped Navitimer retains key features of its forebears. It comes with the slide rule and triple chronograph counter, baton-shaped indices, notched bezel and AOPA wings insignia at the 12 o’clock position on the dial – all hallmarks of the mid-century original.
In addition, Breitling made some significant changes to keep the watch modern and refreshed. The biggest change is the emphasis on diversity. The new Navitimers are available in three case sizes—41mm, 43mm, and 46mm—in either classic stainless steel or 18-karat rose gold. Several dial colors are also available, including blue, green, and copper, and you can pair your watch with a black alligator leather strap or stainless steel bracelet.
Compared to the older versions, the new Navitimers have a flattened slide rule and domed crystal, giving these watches a slimmer appearance. They also come with an alternating polished and brushed finish on the case and a metal bracelet for added visual interest.
Breitling also updated the mechanicals: the watches are powered by the brand’s COSC-certified caliber 01 movement. This movement offers a massive power reserve of 70 hours and allows the wearer to adjust the date separately from the time indicated. Better yet, it’s backed by a five-year warranty.
Overall, the new Navitimer lives up to the features and aesthetics that made it famous while keeping the line interesting for modern-day wearers. Even after 70 years, this clock still flies high.
[Starting at $9,100; breitling.com]
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