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Breitling Introduces New Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46

The new trio of stainless steel Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 models have been redesigned to suit the needs of modern Breitling collectors and aviators alike with a new flat slide rule bezel, a domed sapphire crystal glass top, and the return of the earlier 1950s AOPA winged logo, stamped upon a choice of dial colours in blue, black or deep green.


The evolution of the Breitling Navitimer


It was in 1952 that the story of Breitling’s famous wrist-worn navigational tool began. Approached by the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Willy Breitling forged a 41mm tool from an initial concept – an instrument that could tell the time, wear comfortably on the wrist and assist with all kinds of air-bound calculations like measuring fuel consumption, distance travelled, decent and climb rate, average speed and the conversion of miles to nautical miles or kilometres. Its name? The Navitimer. It was met by the AOPA with resounding success and featured a beautiful beaded bezel for easy-grip purposes, a spacious, legible dial treated with radium, and large Arabic numerals. Willy Breitling had designed the concept of the slide rule bezel by adopting the logarithmic slide rule of the earlier Chronomat watch.



Today, in time for Breitling’s release of a newly designed Navitimer watch, it has become easier than ever to see just how the Breitling Navitimer has evolved. From the early 41mm model produced exclusively for the AOPA, with the US company’s logo stamped to its dial, to the first official reference – the 806, bearing the famous watch manufacturer’s stylized wings and name across its surface – the Navitimer is arguably one of the most iconic pilots watches of all time. Initially, the only way to tell the earlier Breitling Navitimer watches apart from younger models was by counting the beads on the bezel, which varied from around 125 dots during the early 1950s to as little as 93 in those models produced a decade later.


From the 1950s onwards, the Breitling Navitimer became a mainstay in the cockpit of every transatlantic flight and the collection itself has become a pillar to Breitling’s success, buoyed by values of endurance, reliability, accuracy and robustness. After a decade of success, the 1960s saw the introduction of silver-filled chronograph counters in the design of the “Twin Jet” Navitimer, taking cues from the Superocean watch released just a few years earlier. The bezel also transformed from a beaded effect to a serrated effect and was sported on the wrist of famous Jazz musicians and Formula 1 champions. Continuing throughout the 1960s, mechanical Navitimer watches were converted into models powered by a new automatic movement. The manufacturer found innovative and ambitious ways to overcome the desire for a more affordable watch during an era where quartz movements became the order of the day. The Breitling Chrono-Matic was therefore launched offering both an automatic movement and a chronograph complication in one.



During the end of the 1960s the Navitimer watch also grew in size, now measuring a hefty 48mm, counterbalanced by shorter lugs that donated the sense of an overall more compact watch. Both automatic and hand-wound versions of this model were created, whilst the former and more classic-looking 41mm model was given a date window and was also offered in both automatic and hand-wound iterations.


Without a doubt, one of the most iconic designs from the Navitimer watch range was the 2019 release of the Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition. Now just three years later, we as official UK stockists of genuine Breitling watches here at Jura Watches are celebrating 70 years of the successful Navitimer. To honour this legendary instrument Breitling has released three stainless steel Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 watches and one 18ct rose gold version, four stainless steel Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 watches and a matching 18ct rose gold version, three dial colours for the new stainless steel Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 models and a rose gold version, a special deep green-coloured dial version of the steel Navitimer Automatic 41 watch with an engraved caseback, and lastly, a lady’s steel Navitimer Automatic 35 model with a mint green dial and engraved caseback. In this article, we’re taking a look at the new stainless steel versions of the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 watches.


The new Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 stainless steel watches


The key element to note about the new launch of the re-designed Navitimer is that its core design focuses solely on bold colours whilst keeping the classic DNA of the brand’s most successful icon present. To cover the key features of these three new models in a nutshell – all have a 46mm diameter, all are crafted from stainless steel with mixed brushed and polished finishes for an eye-catching lustre, and all feature the much-loved bidirectional slide rule bezel. Available on leather bands, the new 30-meter water-resistant releases come fitted with a folding buckle stamped with the Breitling logo, crafted from stainless steel, or can be purchased on a stainless steel 7-row bracelet with a butterfly clasp. Since these models are all powered by an in-house designed movement. They come with Breitling’s impressive 5-year warranty.



To enhance the unparalleled craftmanship of Breitling’s most popular chronograph watch to date, these steel 46mm models are fitted with a flat transparent sapphire crystal glass caseback to show off the peerless performance of the Calibre 01 movement as it works. This engine provides a 70-hour power reserve and performs at a rate of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour. When the mainspring is winding down, this power reserve enables the movement to maintain greater accuracy for longer. The mainspring is wound using a bi-directional rotor mounted on ball bearings. The Calibre 01 also cleverly enables the date to be instantly changed at any time without affecting the time. With no superfluous finishing elements, this engine remains an aesthetically pleasing movement to admire through the back of the watch’s exhibition caseback.


The 46mm version of the new Breitling Navitimer series is the largest of the range. To create the impression of a more compact size, the sapphire crystal glass front with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective properties is domed.  The new design also features a flattened slide rule bezel. The dial of which this new re-designed bezel surrounds is offered in blue or black with silver-filled chronograph counters or a deep green colour with classic black-filled chronograph counters. The hour markers are baton-shaped, whilst the central hour and minute hands, treated with Super-LumiNova, taper at the tips. More notable is the return of the AOPA wings at 12 o’clock, which at one time, defined those models developed exclusively for the US association during the early 1950s. To finish, the familiar chronograph counters arranged in the 3-6-9 layout offer 30-minute, 12-hour and small second functions respectively. The date window resides at 6 o’clock and the central chronograph hand is detectable via its vivid red hue.



In terms of leather straps, both the classic black and deep green versions of the new Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 watches are fitted on a black alligator leather strap with white contrast stitching, whilst the blue dial version is attached to a brown alligator leather band with white contrast stitching.


The release of the new Navitimer range also coincides with Breitling’s NAVITIMER—FOR THE JOURNEY campaign comprising basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland, and aviation pioneer and explorer Bertrand Piccard. Relating to Breitling’s sheer courage and its unwavering determination to bring a whole new level of success to these newly-designed Navitimer watches, Misty Copeland extends on what it means to become part of the Navitimer Squad: “This project means a lot to me because it celebrates not only where I was in life, but where I’d come from and where I am going. There is an absolute parallel between navigating towards a physical destination and navigating towards the vision of where you want to be in life. You’ll see that theme come through in these three stories.”


For more information on the three new black, blue and deep green versions of the new steel Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 watches, you can check out the range here, or call and speak to a member of our Jura Watches sales team today on 01335 453453

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