The Navitimer can trace its lineage back almost 70 years to aviation’s pre-digital era. Approached by CEO and son of Breitling’s founder Willy Breitling in 1934, mathematician Marcel Robert was tasked with designing a dial that pilot’s could use to calculate distance and in turn, fuel consumption and average speeds. His design became what we see here today – the Navitimer.
Based on the ETA 2892-A2 movement, the Breitling Caliber 19 that sits beneath the feature-packed dial powers a seemingly endless list of features. At the noon position is the first of three dual-feature subdials, this one indicating date (on the outer rim) and a small seconds indicator (on the inner one). Opposite at the 6 o’clock position, another subdial shows day indication and a 12-hour timer readouts at the inner and outer spots, respectively. Finally, the 9 o’clock subdial indicates the month on the inside ring and a 30 minute timer on the outermost ring. Of course, this being a Navitimer, the functionality doesn’t stop there – there’s also a moonphase indicator as well as the Navitimer’s signature aviation slide rule.
These chronograph features and others combine for a dizzying array of functionality. Despite a packed dial, Breitling has managed to create a look of stylish elegance that counterpoints the watch’s serious functionality. The 42mm rose gold case and blue alligator strap provide a pop of color and, limited to just 50 pieces, the special exclusivity of this piece is even more pronounced.