Breitling first launched its legendary chronograph watch in 1952, right at the height of the postwar aviation boom. The useful timepiece was made for pilots and came equipped with a circular slide rule. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association named the design as its official timepiece and Breitling stamped the organization’s winged logo on the watch’s dial and began calling it the Navitimer (navigation timer) by 1959.
Now, 70 years later, the Swiss luxury watch brand is unveiling a redesigned Navitimer for a new era. The new collection consists of a wide array of variants, with three different cases sizes across the range: 46mm, 43mm, and 41mm. The cases come in stainless steel or solid 18-karat red gold options, with either alligator leather straps or seven-link stainless steel bracelets. The new Navitimers are also water resistant up to 3 bars.
Still containing the iconic watch’s circular slide rule, baton indexes, trio of chronograph counters, and generously notched bezel, the Navitimer 2022 has a sleeker and more modernized look, with a slew of contemporary dial options in various shades of blue, green, and copper in addition to more traditional white and black panda variants. The date window has been moved to six o’clock, and is color-matched to the sub-register in which it sits. The slide rule has been flattened, which, along with the domed crystal, allows the timepiece to look much more compact. The rotor has also been minimized, allowing for a better view of the nicely decorated COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 automatic movement through the sapphire exhibition case back.
But the new Navitimer isn’t just an exercise in modernity. It also has one nostalgic eye on the past, with the AOPA wings logo returning to the dial at the 12 o’clock position. Available now via Breitling’s online store, the Navitimer 2022 collection starts at $9,000 for the 41mm version in steel on leather and goes up from there.