In 1952, Breitling developed the Navitimer, a revolutionary wrist-worn chronograph that instantly became a mainstay of every cockpit. It was worn by pilots for some of aviation’s most important achievements, thanks to an innovative slide rule that enabled them to make all critical flight calculations.
Breitling has now unveiled the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, which celebrates one of the most iconic early designs of the Navitimer, released exactly 60 years ago.
Breitling launches the first new edition of its historic timepiece (we have been told that more are planned for the future!). The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is a chronograph that replicates – almost to the smallest detail – the design codes of one of the most venerated early Navitimers, the Breitling Ref. 806, including an all-black dial with tone-on-tone subdials and, recreating one of the signature elements of the original Ref. 806 in 1959. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition has a rotating beaded bezel made of precisely 94 beads, exactly the number found on the original model. During the production period of the Ref. 806 the number of these beads varied.
Even the stainless-steel case, measuring precisely 40.9 millimeters, has been developed specifically for the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, with the same lugs profile and finish as the original Ref. 806. The watch is presented on a black vintage-inspired leather strap. The famous circular slide rule, positioned beneath a piece of high-domed acrylic glass fashioned in exaclty the same shape as the original.
The only concessions to modernity are the water resistance, which has been increased to 3 bar, and a Super-LumiNova coating. While this is a modern luminous material, attention has been paid to its color to ensure it remains faithful to the luminescent material on earlier watches.
The timeless chronograph can be recognised at first glance and is just as popular today as it was decades ago.
In respect to the original manual caliber that powered the early Navitimer, a completely new manual movement has been developed. The in-house Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09 mechanical movement is based on the brand’s renowned in-house Manufacture Caliber 01 and is a COSC-certification. It operates at a frequency of 4 Hz and provides a power reserve of 70 hours.
To celebrate the year in which this specific design was produced, the edition is limited to 1959 pieces – all individually numbered and engraved on the case back.