Up Close with the Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Gold
Thursday - 05 May 2022
Featuring a classic black dial with silver-filled chronograph counters and a newly designed slide rule bezel, the Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 watch crafted from 18ct rose gold is intended for modern Breitling collectors and professional pilots alike.
To mark the 70th anniversary of Breitling’s Flagship watch, the Navitimer has received a new selection of coloured dials in 46, 43, 41 and 35mm case sizes, together with a newly formed slide rule bezel. It also boasts the return of the AOPA’s winged logo on its dial, previously associated with vintage Navitimer watches of the past.
The instantly recognisable Breitling Navitimer watch is, without a doubt, the Swiss manufacturer’s most successful icon of all time. First developed in 1952, its name combined the words “navigation” and “timer” to offer the wearer a comfortable and practical tool for assisting with all sorts of important airborne calculations. The initial concept for the Navitimer was formed when Willy Breitling was approached by the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), who requested a wrist-friendly tool for wearing in the cockpit. One that would help visibly and clearly show the time but would also help record and calculate measurements and timings. The slide rule bezel, adopted from the logarithmic slide rule of the earlier Chronomat watch was taken and implemented into the Navitimer watch, helping to measure fuel consumption, distance travelled, decent and climb rate, average speed and the conversion of miles to nautical miles or kilometres.
But how has the iconic Breitling Navitimer watch evolved?
The earliest Navitimer watches were defined by their large radium-coated Arabic numerals, spacious dials and their beaded slide rule bezels for an easy grip. The earlier Navitimers were developed exclusively by Breitling for the AOPA and featured the US association’s winged logo underneath the 12 o’clock location, replacing the Breitling name and motif – a detail that has now returned. By the time the official 806 reference was released, the Navitimer was already the chosen watch for professional pilots and featured throughout the cockpits of most transatlantic flights.
During the 1960s the Navitimer watch underwent some significant changes. The company introduced a dial with silver-filled chronograph counters in the form of the “Twin Jet” Navitimer – a design element extracted from the Superocean developed just a few years earlier. In addition to this, the Navitimer was equipped with an automatic movement named the Breitling Chrono-Matic in an innovative attempt to remedy the huge desire for an affordable timepiece during the quartz crisis. Whilst other large Navitimer watches were arriving on the scene, the classic 41mm model was also offered in both manual-winding and automatic formats, and the watch received a date window too.
The new Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 rose gold watch
During the 1960s, Breitling counteracted the imposing feel of its largest 48mm models by creating shorter lugs that gave the Navitimer a more compact feel on the wrist. Today, and for this new 70th anniversary re-designed series of Navitimer watches, Breitling equips the top of the watch with a domed anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass front, along with a flat slide rule bezel. Polished and brushed elements across the surface of the 18ct rose gold case give the design an added sense of depth and detail. Push pieces at the 2 and 4 o’clock position on the case flank the non-screw locked crown with two gaskets, helping to uphold the model’s 30-meter water-resistant capability. Without a doubt, this new rose gold edition of the 43mm pilot’s chronograph evokes an incredibly luxurious feel on the wrist, not to mention a subtle vintage-inspired twist.
The classic black dial of the new Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 watch is adorned with rose gold elements seen in the Super-LumiNova-coated hour and minute hands and the familiar stick markers around the hour track. For the chronograph counters laid out at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, Breitling chooses a silver hue that contrasts superbly against the 18ct rose gold notched slid rule bezel that rotates bidirectionally. Splashes of red can be seen in some of the markings on the slide rule bezel, namely the number 10 that assists with multiplication and division calculations, as well as the red-coated 1/4th of a second chronograph hand, finished in a silver-coloured arrow tip. The date can be viewed at 6 o’clock and, thanks to the complexity of the in-house developed Breitling B01 movement, can be adjusted at any point without affecting the time.
Through a sapphire crystal glass exhibition caseback, the performance of the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture 01 Calibre can be admired. It features a vertical clutch and a column wheel, produces 28,800 vibrations per hour and delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. With no superfluous finishing elements, this engine remains an aesthetically pleasing movement to admire through the back of the watch’s transparent case.
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.”
The new 18ct rose gold Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 watch is fitted on a matching black alligator leather strap with white contrast stitching and secures with an 18ct rose gold folding clasp engraved with the famous Breitling logo. For a dressier finish on the wrist, you can opt for the luxurious 7-row 18ct rose gold bracelet, enclosing with a butterfly clasp. If you’d like more information on the rose gold Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 watch, you can check out the full spec here or call and speak to a member of our Jura Watches sales team on 01335 453453.