(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com)
In an important move for Swiss watch brand Breitling, the company unveils new Navitimer watches in smaller 32mm and 36mm sizes – with mother-of-pearl dials and some sporting lab-grown diamonds. The 18-karat 5N rose gold used in these timepieces is traceable, as well. Additionally, at a huge event in New York City, the brand unveils its “Navitimer—For The Journey” campaign that stars Academy Award-winning actress and Breitling brand ambassador Charlize Theron. It also celebrated the opening of its new boutique in the meat-packing district.
This is an important move for the brand on multiple levels. First of all, it underscores Breitling’s commitment to inclusivity. The Navitimer, first unveiled to the world in 1952 with slide rule bezel for pilots, is one of the most iconic Breitling watches of all time and by bringing it to the market in slimmed-down sizes, Breitling is able to get this legendary timepiece on the wrists of those who heretofore may have found the watch too large.
Additionally, by using traceable materials and lab-grown diamonds, Breitling continues its commitment to better sustainability – a goal CEO Georges Kern says is top of mind. Late last year, he made the announcement that all Breitling watches will boast sustainable sourced materials, have end-to-end traceability and be sold in sustainable packaging by the year 2025.
Another milestone set for the brand with this introduction and the launch of the Navitmer- For the Journey campaign is that the brand now unveils a Navitimer Squad. Heretofore, the “squad on a mission” concept for Breitling teamed like-minded (or similarly accomplished) ambassadors in squads such as the Surfer squad, Aviation Pioneer, Triathlon, Spotlight or All-Star teams.
With the launch of the new collection, this marks the first time a squad has been named for a timepiece. The Navitimer- For the Journey squad consists of Theron, as well as basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, principal dancer Misty Copeland and explorer Bertrand Piccard, with Theron being the face of the campaign in the three new videos. In the videos, Theron shares thoughts on her journey from South Africa to international stardom. It is the kickoff for a series in the campaign where the brand ambassadors tell tehir journey story in their own words.
“My journey has always been about being up for any challenge,” says Theron. “I travelled from South Africa to Los Angeles when I was quite young and both that physical journey and the journey of being open-minded and ready for new experiences has served me well personally and professionally.”
Breitling Navitimer 36mm and 32mm collection
The new Breitling Navitimer collection includes 36mm and 32mm sizes with classic or colorful dials and impressive movements. Powering each of these Navitimer 36 watches is the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 17 with automatic winding and three-hands timing. The Navitimer Automatic 36 series has common elements and a jewelry-like appeal.
Each watch boasts the well-known, highly individualistic beaded bezel and circular slide rule that pilots use as a calculator. They also feature metallic dials colors like mint green, silver and anthracite, as well as stark white mother of pearl. The dials are set with either applied baton indexes or, on the white version, round-cut “better diamonds.” The lab-grown diamonds are traceable to suppliers who have achieved SCS-007 Sustainability Rated Diamonds Standard.
The watches are crafted in stainless steel, steel and gold, and all gold – with the gold being traceable to artisanal mines that meet the Swiss Better Gold Associations criterial related to social and environmental impact. The watches that incorporate better gold or better diamonds carry the Origins label that certifies the materials’ integrity.
The Navitimer 32 series, whose watches are powered by the Breitling Caliber 77 SuperQuartz™ movement (which is also COSC-certified), eliminates the slide rule bezel in order to offer the smaller diameter. The mother-of-pearl dials come in pale pink and light blue, as well as white. They feature better diamonds and better gold and also carry the Origins label. The watches are water resistant to 50 meters.