Breitling, who will be attending Baselworld 2019, has announced the release of its first Navitimer re-edition timepiece, with more launches planned for the future.
The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is a chronograph that replicates, 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 a rotating beaded bezel.
Breitling developed the Navitimer in 1952. It was a game-changing wrist-worn chronograph that instantly became a mainstay of every cockpit. It was worn by pilots for some of aviation’s most impressive developments, thanks to an innovative slide rule that enabled them to make all critical flight calculations. The watch was especially favored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in the US. Its status would be further enhanced in the 1960s when it was worn by cult figures such as jazz great Miles Davis and Formula 1 champion Jim Clark.
Breitling now unveils the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, which celebrates one of the early designs of the Navitimer, released exactly 60 years ago this year.
The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition
The new watch is a direct link to the Navitimer tradition. In celebration of the year this specific design was produced, it has been created in an edition limited to just 1959 pieces, each individually numbered and engraved on the caseback. Breitling also plan to create other models that celebrate some of the brand’s significant milestones.
“In the past year, we’ve been thrilled to learn that there are so many people who have always been passionate about Breitling’s legacy and that there’s enormous interest not only in our new products but also in our heritage and our early timepieces. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition will give new Breitling fans and people who have followed the brand for decades a chance to own and enjoy their own exclusive piece of our legendary past.”
Georges Kern, Breitling CEO
The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition has been created with painstaking attention to every detail of the 1959 Navitimer design. Like the original it has an all-black dial with tone-on-tone subdials and, as with the original Ref. 806 in 1959, the dial is adorned with a Breitling inscription in capital letters and an unsigned winged logo. A little-known fact is that the unsigned winged logo was used for the European market, while the watches sold in the US had an AOPA-signed logo.
The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition has a rotating beaded bezel made of precisely 94 beads, exactly the number found on the 1959 model. In the course of the production period for the original Navitimer Ref. 806, the number of these beads – the small markings around the bezel – varied from as many as 125 in the early 1950s to as few as 93 in 1960. This may be a small detail, but for enthusiasts of historical wristwatches, it is an important one. 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 comes on a black vintage-inspired leather strap. The famous circular slide rule is positioned beneath a piece of high-domed acrylic glass fashioned in exactly the same shape as the original.
The water resistance is one of the few concessions to modernity. It has been increased to 30 meters and has 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. Its hand-finished application gives the dial an additional touch of vintage allure.
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-certified chronometer. This movement will also power many of the other hand-wound historical re-editions to come.
the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition (ref. AB0910371B1X1) will arrive in stores in June 2019, priced at US$8600 before taxes.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.