The reason why the Breitling Navitimer 01 is so special is because it is the first Navitimer ever that was powered by the new in-house Breitling B01 movement. Also, the Navitimer is one of the most famous and iconic traditional aviator watches, the only chronograph model that has been produced contentiously for over 50 years.
The Breitling Navitimer was launched in the late 60s, around the time when the automatic chronograph was invented. The brand worked with prestigious watchmakers like Hamilton, Heuer and Zenith to design its first Navitimer. The model was a huge success and over the years it has turned into a true horological legend, a symbol for boldness, performances and style.
Breitling watches are notorious for their “bling” factor and the Navitimer is no exception. The case of the watch is made from a very polished stainless steel and it has a classic looking fluted ring bezel. The current version, the Navitimer 01 keeps the initial look of this iconic design, but it offers smoother and more elegant shapes and details. Also, Breitling has recently extended the guarantee for the Navitimer series- from the usual standard two years warranty available within the watchmaking industry to a five years one.
One of the parts of the Breitling Navitimer that hasn’t changed over the years is the complex dial that no matter how busy it may appear to be, it remains very legible. The mate finish dial has three sub-dials and the traditional white slide ruler at the exterior of the dial. This ruler rotates when you turn the bezel. Another particularity of the Navitimer are the three concentric rings of markers that when used correctly they transform the watch into an analog computer.
By using the chronograph function and the slide-ruler you can measure productivity rate and average speed, multiply and divide numbers, convert currencies, calculate miles per minute, gas consumption, the rate of climb or elapsed time. You can even use the Breitling Navitimer as a compass. Last, but not least, the caseback features a Celsius to Fahrenheit table that allows you to convert temperatures.
On the busy face, the B-winged logo is elegantly applied and raised above the surface of the dial. The hour and minutes hand and hour markers are made of solid stainless steel and have applied luminescent coating that improve night legibility. Simply keep the watch for a couple of minutes under bright light and it will shine in the dark for a few hours. Between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers there is a date window that has white numbers over a black background.
Unquestionably, the best part of the Breitling Navitimer 01 is the inside mechanism. This model has the first Breitling in-house manufactured movement that enjoys an up to 70 hours power reserve. The mechanism also supports a quick date change and a hacking second hand. This is a classic column-wheel chronograph that offers high precision, clever complications and extended durability.
The Breitling Navitimer is the classic chronograph type with two buttons- a reset pusher and a start/stop pusher. When you push one of the buttons it makes a click to confirm that it has completed the command. The look of the buttons is a very sleek and masculine one with a pronounced sense of modernity.
One of the most beautiful and creatively designed parts of the Breitling Navitimer 01 is the strap which features an excellent folding clasp and buckle. The band is made out of calf leather with white stitches at the periphery that complement the dial very nicely. The leather is incredibly thick, but still soft thus feeling very comfortable and natural on the wrist. To adjust the strap you just need to pull its loose end part over the folding clasp. Another magnificent design touch is the buckle and clasp that are made from the same polished stainless steel and the buckle is adorned with the applied and raised B-winged logo.
The case diameter of the Breitling Navitimer is 43 mm which isn’t such a small size, but due to the middle black dial and the outer white slide ruler, the timepiece tends to look smaller. Also, the dynamic shape of the watch also contributes to this visual illusion. Avoid imitations at all cost, here is why.
The Breitling Navitimer 01 is one of the first chronograph aviation watches ever designed and it also represents a timepiece that has been in continuous production for more than 50 years. Its success was impressive right from its launch and over the years it has turned into a true legend within the matchmaking industry.