In the 50s of the last century, Breitling Watches Manufacturers added a circular slide rule to the bezel of his chronographs. This simple fact gave rise to the Breitling Navitimer, an iconic watch that became the symbol of aviation throughout the world.
The taste for highly precise mechanical complications is the hallmark of the Breitling Navitimer, so it is not necessary to fly planes to show off one of its models, it is enough to enjoy the most precise complications of mechanical watchmaking.
Breitling's development up to the Navitimer
The origin of the brand is in the watchmaker Leon Breitling, in the Swiss city of Saint-Imier. In the year 1889 he obtained his first patented chronograph, the simplest in the world to date, but with a much more complex mechanism than the meters of that time.
This tradition for the measurement of time was the origin of what is today its main model, the Breitling Navitimer, but at the moment we are several decades away from reaching its origin.
In 1915, Gaston Breitling, son of the brand's founder, launched the world's first chronograph with a separate push-button, an unprecedented complication that is nonetheless very common today.
In the 1930s, and after surviving the Crack of '29, the brand already offered 40 different models and was not yet specialized in chronographs, although in 1934 he patented the first two-button wrist chronograph.
Until the early 1950s, Breitling continued to develop chronographs, at which point the brand was considering launching a new chronograph model that, from the moment of its launch, became a classic.
1952, the year of the first Navitimer by Breitling
The year 1952 saw the birth of the first prototype of the Breitling Navitimer. Its name comes from two different concepts, but united in this piece, Navigation (navigation) and Timer (timer), from the union of these two concepts the definitive pilot's watch is born, and which still continues to be a reference today.
The Navitimer included a specific slide rule for aviation, which is why, since the 1950s, many pilots have incorporated it into their usual piloting tools.
Just ten years after its appearance, in 1962, the Navitimer evolves for what was its greatest journey, a model made for astronaut Scott Carpenter with a 24-hour dial, because in space, it is impossible to distinguish the day from the night.
The circular slide rule
Contrary to what many people think, the Breitling Navitimer does not incorporate a tachymeter on the bezel, but rather a circular calculation, adapted to perform all kinds of operations related to air navigation.
A traditional slide rule is a rule with several numerical scales, which is used to solve complex arithmetic operations in a simple way. In the case of watches that incorporate it, this rule is circular, and also serves to solve calculations that, in the case of aircraft pilots, were essential to pilot.
It is true that today all aircraft have technological solutions to solve all these calculations automatically, however, this rule allows it to be done analogically with total precision.
General characteristics of the Breitling Navitimer
In almost 70 years, the Breitling Navitimer has changed little, however, its design has been slightly modified to make it a style icon, also in the 21st century.
Currently the Navitimer model is available in leather and steel straps, most of the dials incorporate three indicators, although there are also cleaner designs that dispense with central indicators.
The essential detail in all the designs is the circular slide rule, which continues to be the hallmark of this piece.
For all of us who enjoy aviator watches, the Navitimer are watches that cannot be missing from our collection, watches with a sporty look that adapt to any situation.
Breitling Navitimer 01
The Navitimer 01 model has a diameter of 46 mm, offering greater legibility than other smaller models. Its toothed crown, a house trademark, has a black sphere on a silver background that enhances its sharpness in any situation.
The caliber of this watch is the Manufacture Caliber 01, developed entirely in-house at Breitling, to fully adapt it to the design of the new Navitimer.
This watch has a luxury edition of only 200 units in red gold with a black dial, one of the best Breitling pieces.
Breitling Navitimer GMT
This watch incorporates the B04 manufacture. It has a second time zone, simply by pulling the crown and turning it we can change the time zone and obtain the time and date immediately without losing precision.
The Navitimer GMT is even larger than the 01 model, coming in at 48mm. diameter. It also has a silver edition and an exclusive red gold print run of 200 copies.
New Navitimer VS Classic Navitimer
There are collectors of the Navitimer model for all tastes, from those who believe that the watch has evolved in accordance with the tastes of current watchmaking, to those who think that this model has become distorted and has lost its essence.
The slide rule is still present in the vast majority of its models, with it you can multiply, divide, calculate speeds, ascents, descents and more.
The new Breitling Navitimer focuses on the essential fundamentals of the watch, however, some new models dispense with the circular rule, although all incorporate the rotating bezel. What Breitling has sought is to offer a cleaner and simpler reading, although it includes the complications of the three central dials.Custom Made Watches at Watches5 Manufacturer
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