The Replica Breitling Navitimer is an evolution of the 1942 Breitling Chronomat, with its typical slide rule bezel. Breitling decided to improve this highly practical bezel and in 1952, the ‘Navi’ was born. This slide rule bezel was used to calculate complicated operations without any other tool. The 1942 Chronomat came with an out-sourced movement, the Venus 176. It was long time used by the United States Air Forces. The bases of the Breitling were settled: a brand dedicated to pilots. The Navitimer featured a Venus movement, meaning a manual winding chronograph calibre with a column-wheel. In 1969, the Navitimer took advantage of the first (well, one of the first…) and newly presented automatic chronograph(s) made by Heuer, the Calibre 11.
Because of the circular slide rule, the Navitimer became a co-pilot in addition to being a watch. In an industry where miniaturization is key, the use of such cases is questionable. The pilot could use his Navitimer to calculate ground speed, kilometers (or miles) per minute, fuel consumption, rate of climb or descent, and distance required for climb or descent. He was able to multiply, divide and convert statute miles, nautical miles and kilometers.
Almost unchanged for 30 years, having undergone only a few improvements, the Navitimer has weathered the quartz crisis, as has the rest of the Breitling range. A new era began, and Fake Breitling held dominance in the cockpit throughout the fifties. Concerning a strong trend for neo-classical watches and an increasing demand for large sizes, it was surprising that Breitling didn’t introduce a larger Navitimer earlier than Baselworld 2016.
How does the slide rule work? Using the formula: rate x time = distance, let us consider ground speed. If the pilot knows his time and distance, he can find the variable of ground speed. If he has flown 104 km (or miles) in 35 minutes, he can position the 10.4 on the outer scale next to the number 35 on the inner scale. The answer of 178 km/mph (17.8) appears above the MPH arrow mark at the top of the dial. Within the years, Breitling Replica watches had seen an increasing demand for dashboard clocks (in planes) and for military chronographs. In 1915, Breitling introduced its first wrist chronograph with central seconds and a 30-minute counter, allowing the pilots to achieve basic calculations.
What you do not see on the wrist is the Caliber 01 in-house movement, but turn the watch over and look through the transparent caseback to see yet another Breitling advance.
The Navitimer Blue Sky comes in a 43mm case with the model number engraved Flieger-style on the case side at 9 o’clock and can be bought with either a sleek, matching blue alligator leather strap with white stitching or the familiar stainless steel bracelet. Produced with state-of-the-art assembly, the Caliber 01 has the axiomatic column wheel with a vertical coupling clutch to ensure a smooth engagement. This certified chronometer chronograph (COSC) has a 70-hour power reserve. Either way, Breitling brings us a cause for celebration. Happy birthday Navitimer! The official pricing of the Breitling Navitimer Blue Sky 60th Anniversary Limited Edition is € 7,240 with blue alligator strap and € 8,080 when it comes on a stainless steel bracelet. These prices are official retail prices in the Netherlands, including taxes.
On my small wrist, as you can see in the photos, it looks big but it’s not uncomfortable. I had some previous experiences with this watch that actually felt bigger than this one. For a man with a bolder wrist, it looks really good and emphasizes the pilot-watch feeling. This addition to the collection is answering a real demand and we can’t blame Breitling for such a choice. I would say that it’s just a matter of taste and wrist size.