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The Watches Navitimer

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BREITLING Navitimer Cosmonaute Edition Scott CARPENTER

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Store Paris

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With its slide rule, the Breitling Navitimer became one of the best aviator watches. Let’s explore this air timepiece.

Breitling Navitimer: an aviator watch designed to conquer the air

Launched in 1952, the Breitling Navitimer revolutionized the world of aviator watches thanks to its iconic slide rule. Designed to be functional and simple, today, it remains one of the best watchmaking standards among the aviation community.

Breitling Navitimer, a watch designed for pilots

After the launch of the Chronomat and its famous slide rule in 1942, Breitling decided to create a specific watch that was targeting aviators: the Navitimer. Compared to its predecessor, this model features an even more precise bezel that can measure fuel consumption and acceleration. At that time, the Breitling Navitimer was a small revolution, because not many models could offer this amount of calculation features. It comes as no surprise that this timepiece was quickly recommended by the AOPA organization, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. As the Chronomat did, the Breitling Navitimer took its name from a mix between two words that symbolized its personality: "Navi" referred to navigation and "timer" stood for measured time.

Breitling Navitimer, timeless

Even though more than 60 years have passed since the first Breitling Navitimer was released, this model has not changed much. As proof, it kept both the AOPA emblem and the circle scales. In the end, one of the key changes remains in the calibre version. When it was released, the Navitimer was equipped with the Valjoux 72 movement that had shortly been replaced thereafter by the Venus 178. From 2010, this pilot watch featured the B01 manufacture calibre, the same as the Chronomat. It comes as no surprise that its name changed for Breitling Navitimer 01. Certified by the COSC organization (Swiss Official Controller for chronometer), this new movement possesses a 70-hour power reserve, 47 rubies and a balancing frequency of 28,800 mph. This self-winding mechanical movement is one of the most precise ever developed by Breitling.

The Navitimer, a watch with many variations

Available in many different models, the Breitling Navitimer kept all the elements that made it successful. It has united both functionality and style and is easily recognizable thanks to:

- Its bezel with notched relief.
- Its two-push buttons.
- Its triple counter.

Today, the range of this pilot watch is first composed of the Navitimer 01 and its movement B01. Since 1985, it is possible to fall in love with the Navitimer Cosmonaute and its calibre B02. It differs from the B01 by having a 24-hour graduation. We can also mention the Navitimer GMT, named World, with a dual time zone of 24 hours and a case back that displays time zones of the world’s largest cities. The Navitimer Montbrillant QP with its perpetual and lunar calendar and the Navitimer Chrono-Matic, a reissue of the original Navitimer from 1952, also became iconic within the Navitimer collection. Having so many models leads you to find your dream case size. If the Navitimer 01 starts with a diameter of 43 mm, it is also available with a 46 mm case. Please note that some models measure 48 mm.

Navitimer 01, star of the Breitling Navitimer collection

Since it was launched in 2010, the Breitling Navitimer 01 may be the most commercialized model within this range. Indeed, this watch provides many benefits. Made of stainless steel, it is also available in pink gold and yellow gold and has a sapphire anti-reflective glass. Along with other models, it features a bidirectional bezel and the famous slide rule. Besides, it’s precisely this accessory that made the Navitimer 01 successful. Its rotating bezel and hands are performing enough to achieve the main essential operations related to air navigation. The Breitling Navitimer can measure the average speed, the fuel consumption, the rate of descent and ascent as well as the distance travelled.

A watch to conquer space

Even though the Breitling Navitimer was designed for air pilots, it has even marked the history of the space industry. In 1962, the American astronaut Scott Carpenter wore it when he made several orbits around the Earth. Boarded on the Aurora 7 capsule, the Breitling Navitimer became the first chronograph that took part in a space mission. To pay a tribute to this performance, Breitling released in 2012 a custom model: the Navitimer Cosmonaute. Although the term cosmonaut is more appropriate to name Russian expeditions, the Navitimer Cosmonaute remains a lovely tribute to Scott Carpenter.

In the air, the Breitling Navitimer has more than one rival

Among the pilot watches that could outshine the Breitling Navitimer, there are several models of IWC, such as the Pilot Chronograph; - Mark XI; - Top Gun. With its more specific design, the Bell & Ross BR 01 is also a competitor, although its features are not as advanced. Concerning Rolex, the GMT-Master II has nothing to be ashamed of when being compared to the Breitling Navitimer either. It possesses a three-time-zone reading functionality and is a reference for globetrotters. Less technical, but aesthetically more refined, the Patek Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is also seducing with a design that pays tribute to the glory hours of air conquest.

Competitors of the Navitimer in the Breitling range

Within the Breitling range, the Navitimer is in competition with the famous Chronomat. In fact, it was the slide rule of the Chronomat that inspired the Navitimer model. These two associated ranges will offer you a wide choice. In several decades of existence, along with countless evolutions, you will find the perfect pre-owned luxury watch that best fits your wrist. Possessing numerous functionalities, including foolproof resistance and a waterproofness up to 3,000 meters, this aviator watch is a great classic for air adventurers.

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