The Breitling Navitimer:A Timeless Classic for Aviators and Watch Enthusiasts

ARTICLE DATE 08/04/2023

In considering the top names in the world of luxury watches, there’s one that always comes to mind – Breitling. A powerhouse with a reputation for impeccable design and exceptional quality, Breitling has been a key player in defining the modern world of luxury for over a century. Renowned for their stunning designs and extensive collection of styles, Breitling has continued to introduce amazing innovations year over year.

One of their most popular models, both as a new Breitling watch or a pre-owned Breitling watch is the Breitling Navitimer. This timeless classic is treasured by both aviators and collectors alike, with a unique history and stylish yet functional design that is perfect for any situation.

If you’re interested in learning more about Breitling and the amazing Breitling Navitimer, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a brief history of this watchmaking authority, as well as an in-depth explanation of how the Navitimer came to be. Keep reading to discover more.

The History of Breitling

The powerhouse we know as Breitling first began in 1884 when Léon Breitling opened his first atelier in Switzerland. As he gained notoriety and success, he expanded his reach, transforming his simple workshop into a watchmaking factory in 1892.

Moving into the 1900s, Breitling’s innovative chronographs and timers quickly became the benchmark of success for the industry. In fact, one chronograph achieved an astounding two-fifths of a second accuracy, an unmatched achievement at the time.

After his son, Gaston Breitling, took over the business, this watchmaking authority began to focus on more wearable timepieces, producing one of the world’s first wrist-worn chronographs in 1915. This model was continually expanded upon, with more user-friendly features added and innovative technologies introduced.

The next generation of Breitling came at the hands of Gaston’s son, Willy Breitling, who leveraged the company’s amazing designs and introduced them to the world of aviation. In 1938, Breitling founded the ‘HUIT Aviation’ department, focusing on the needs of military and civil aviation for reliable instruments when flying.

After their success in aviation, in 1940 Breitling introduced the world to the Chronomat, an iconic model that included a circular logarithmic slide-rule applied to a chronograph. This game-changing innovation set the gears in motion for Breitling to move into a more elegant, refined style that has become reminiscent of the brand in modern times, launching their coveted Premier Collection in 1943.

Following the introduction of the Premier Collection, Breitling continued to bring more exceptional models to market, including the Duograph in 1944, the Datora in 1945 and their eventual best-selling model, the Navitimer in 1952.

Breitling Navitimer 45mm

An In-Depth Look at the Navitimer Model

The idea for the Breitling Navitimer model came about in 1952 when Willy Breitling was considering how to make a wristwatch that allowed aviators to perform all necessary flight calculations. It was through this concept that the Navitimer was born, drawing its name from a combination of the words ‘navigation’ and ‘timer.’

The original Navitimer design adopted the logarithmic slide rule from their highly successful Chronomat model, repurposing it for aviation. This involved adding a rotating bezel that made it easier to manipulate when in the air and in other high-stress situations. This design also featured an oversized 41mm case to allow for more legibility when reading the information.

While it was originally commissioned by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) as an exclusive in-house model, its popularity led Breitling to introduce this timepiece to their main collections in 1856. The original Breitling Navitimer didn’t feature the brand name on it and was rather simple in design compared to more modern models.

The Breitling Navitimer got a sleek new update in the 1960s with the introduction of the ‘Twin Jet’ Navitimer. This new model featured the now-iconic twin jet logo of Breitling along with a few other aesthetic tweaks that made it more contemporary and wearable.

Breitling continued to push the boundaries of innovation with its treasured Breitling watch model for decades following. In 1969, it introduced the world to an automatic Navitimer that included both a mechanical automatic watch and chronograph. This led to future innovations with popular models such as the Navitimer ChronoMatic caliber 1806, the 41mm 8806 and the distinctive 81600.

With over 70 years of innovations and game-changing design, the Breitling Navitimer is an icon in itself. After its integration into popular use following its success as an aviation timepiece, this iconic watch has been setting the standard for what it means to be considered a luxury watch. It’s exciting to think about where Breitling will take the Navitimer next.

When it comes to luxury watches, there is no brand quite like Breitling. And when considering the perfect used Breitling watch to add to your collection, the Navitimer is an excellent choice. With its unique design, amazing history, and highly-regarded aesthetics, this timepiece is destined to become a treasured part of your collection.

Why Trust Gray & Sons

Pre-owned and used Breitling Navitimer watches are a wonderful investment for the present and the future, but only if you are purchasing from and using the repair services of a reputable source. At Gray & Sons, we began as a brick-and-mortar shop in 1980 before rapidly expanding digitally through our website, internet platforms, and world-class print and digital catalog. We have worked to build our stellar reputation in both the international and local industry in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beaches, Florida areas, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, Bal Harbour, Coral Gables, Aventura, Sunny Isles, and more. We take pride in our accomplishments, including being awarded an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and achieving good standing with the International Watch & Jewelry Guild. Our commitment to excellence has made us a world leader in dealing with used-certified pre-owned luxury watches and estate jewelry. If you’re looking for a trustworthy, reputable, and professional source for purchasing pre-owned jewelry, sourcing luxury watches, or servicing your treasured pieces, look no further than Gray & Sons.