For 70 years, Breitling’s original pilot’s watch has captured the hearts of aviators and tastemakers alike. Adorning astronauts in space and adulated by renowned personalities, it stands as Breitling’s emblematic timepiece and one of the world’s most recognizable watches. Now the brand unveils its newest Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 – a 46mm limited edition piece that will only be available in the United States.
Breitling’s latest reveal is created in just 300 pieces. Its face is anthracite with black sub-dials, encased in a stainless steel case with an 18-karat 5N rose gold bezel, sized at 46 millimeters. Nestled on a black alligator leather strap, secured by a folding clasp, this watch is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. The B01 Chronograph is a COSC-certified chronometer, boasting 70 hours of stored power and water resistance of 30 meters. The caseback bears the inscriptions “One of 300” and “Limited Edition”.
The Navitimer’s journey from its inventor’s mind to reality was astonishing. In 1952, Willy Breitling developed a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule to enable flight calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) adopted it as their official timepiece. The winged logo of the association adorned the 12 o’clock position, and thus, the Navitimer was born.
Since its inception seven decades ago, various models of this iconic Breitling watch have emerged. The newest Navitimer B01 Chronograph presents a fusion of traditional traits and modern enhancements, refining its design. The slide rule is levelled and the glass is domed, giving the illusion of a sleeker form. The mix of polished and brushed metal parts bestows a delicate shimmer. Still, it retains the classic elements – the circular slide rule, baton indexes, three chronograph counters, and the notched bezel for grip – augmented with contemporary touches.
A flatter slide rule and a domed crystal contribute to a slender façade. Interchanging polished and brushed metal components endow a subdued yet radiant finish. The oscillating weight’s slimmer silhouette enhances the view of the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 through the open caseback. This movement is accompanied by a five-year warranty and enables date adjustments via a discreet subdial window at 6 o’clock. One particularly nostalgic update is the restoration of the AOPA wings to their original position at 12 o’clock. The watch retails for $11,900.