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Breitling Jupiter and Jupiter Pilot

A brief history to aid identification and dating

The 'Jupiter' was introduced in 1980 by Breitling in the year following the take-over of the company by Mr Ernest Schneider. Along with the closely related 'Mars' and 'Pluton' chronographs, the Jupiter was designed for military pilots but also with an eye on the civilian aviation market. There were various bezel options and differences between the three models but the movements and therefore the functions are identical.

At this time, all Breitling pilot's watches were considered part of the 'Navitimer' range and the Jupiter was named 'NAVITIMER QUARTZ 2300' on the dial. It has a non-ratcheted combination bezel comprising a circular slide-rule (Type 52 derived from the Navitimer ref 806) and a wind-rose (compass degrees) scale. Between the these two scales are flight levels in two colours for VFR/IFR and East/West flight separation.

The dial has a white Breitling wings logo, the design of which was heavily influenced by the logo of the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots' Association). The model reference 80390 is stamped into the case back.

ca 1980-82 Navitimer 2300 Jupiter ref 80390

Jupiter ref 80390 case back​

Circa 1983
From around 1983 the Breitling wings were now gold in colour and the model reference was 80970. It is believed some early ref 80970's were fitted with the previous white-logo dial.

Jupiter ref 80970, circa 1983-

Jupiter ref 80970 case back

The Jupiter has a Swiss made ESA Y2 900231 7-jewel analogue/LCD movement​

Please Note: Some owners have suggested that great care must be taken when removing or fitting a battery to the ESA Y2 900231 to avoid any shorting or incorrect polarity or contact and that this can lead to irreparable damage to the movement.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing (2005), the movement is no longer available and being quartz with LCD is very often impossible to repair if faulty. There has been a report of an owner sucessfully having an ESA Y2 900911 movement fitted to his watch without any problems or change in functionality but this movement too is now obsolete.

During the early to mid-1980s the Jupiter was produced for middle-eastern air forces. The Algerian Air Force version has the AAF wings, "ALGERIAN AIR FORCE" and "BREITLING NAVITIMER" on the dial. The Iranian military version has the usual Breitling wings with a Farsi (Persian language) inscription. The Iraqi Air Force version has the Iraqi AF wings on the dial and a special inscription on the case back.

Iranian Jupiter with "Army Aviation" written on the dial in Farsi script

Case back of an Iranian military Jupiter. It is the same
as the non-military version

Iraqi Air Force Jupiter

The back of the Iraqi Jupiter is unique to that version

The manual (and movement) for the Jupiter ref 80970 is shared with the Pluton, the Cosmos
and the rare Pluton Lady (a smaller version of the Pluton)​

By 1986 the Jupiter has been revised and is known as the 'New Jupiter' to differentiate it from the previous model. The new model reference is 80971. The New Jupiter is available in a choice of all-steel, bi-colour, or gold-filled. Water resistance of the New Jupiter is 100M. The revised dial has circular and arrow hour markers which look similar to some other Breitlings of the period such as many Tabarly models. Above the LCD readout are printed the words "NAVITIMER QUARTZ 3300". The bracelet is specifically designed for the ref 80971 and is also named "Jupiter".

New Jupiter ref 80971, bi-colour​

The movement is now the Japanese Miyota Y652 quartz which is shared with the updated Navitimer 3100 Pluton. Functions include 12 or 24 hour indication with two time zones, a split-seconds chronograph accurate to 1/100th sec, date and alarm.

The New Jupiter shares its manual with the updated Pluton
which has the same movement​

Like the previous model, the New Jupiter is supplied to the Iraqi Air Force.

Iraqi Air Force New Jupiter ref 80971​

Higher serial number examples of the ref 80971 have been seen with "1884" on the dial below "BREITLING" but these may possibly be later replacement dials.

The model ref is now 80972 although the watch looks the same as the ref 80971.

Jupiter advertised in the June 1987 Sporty's Pilot Shop catalogue​

Although sharing a movement with the Pluton and having the same functions, the Jupiter ref 80972 is listed at $790 compared with the Pluton at $550. The Pluton does not have an E6-B pilot's slide rule or sapphire glass although it is water resistant to 200M/660FT.

Specifications for the Jupiter ref 80972 include:
Sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating
Water resistant to 100M/330FT
Screw-down crown
Turning bezel with E6-B slide rule and compass rose

Functions include:
Analog time, hours/minutes/seconds
Digital 2nd time zone used for UTC/Zulu time
Day/date, month
Alarm and hourly signal
Chronograph 1/100th sec with split function
12 or 24 hour display
Night light

The Jupiter is replaced by the 'Jupiter Pilot', reference number 80975. The dual-function bi-directional bezel, the watch case shape, and the bracelet are passed on to the new model but the previous analog/digital movement has been replaced by a very different quartz chronograph caliber. The dial shows three sub-registers and the date in a round window at 4 o'clock. It is black with silvered sub-registers and has the word 'QUARTZ' printed on the left side. Although the previous Jupiter ref 80972 had a sapphire crystal, the Jupiter Pilot is fitted with an anti-glare coated mineral crystal.

Jupiter Pilot ref 80975

Back of a Jupiter Pilot fitted with its "Jupiter" bracelet​

The movement, known as the Breitling caliber 59, is the Japanese Miyota 3S10 which measures elapsed time to 1/50th sec. Its alarm function is controlled by pulling/pushing the button at 3 o'clock.

Miyota 3S10 12-jewel quartz movement from a Jupiter Pilot (battery removed)

Date-wheel side of a Miyota 3S10 movement​

A new inner dial colour option, silvered with black subdials, is now available as well as the already existing black with silvered subdials.

1989 Jupiter Pilot with silvered inner dial​

The model reference is changed from 80975 to the new Breitling format; the Jupiter Pilot is now ref A59027. The edge of the date window is now dial-coloured and the hour and minute hands are white.

Jupiter Pilot ref A59027

Ref A59027 case back (later bracelet)

Jupiter Pilot manual - circa 1990​

Available inner-dial colours: silvered with black sub-registers; black with silvered sub-registers; blue with same-colour sub-registers.

Ref A59027 ca. 1991-92 with all-blue inner dial

A different style of case back with english text ca. 1991-92

Jupiter Pilot manual, ca. 1991​

During 1992 the profile of the case by the lugs is softened with a slight rounding to match a new bracelet design and the model reference is changed to A59028. The new bracelet is named "Jupiter Pilot" the same as the watch. It has a fold-out extension piece so the watch can be worn over a flight suit.

The ref A59028 has rounded shoulders where the strap or bracelet attaches

A side view of the ref A59028 shows the rounded lugs

Case back of the ref A59028, ca. 1992-93

The "Jupiter Pilot" bracelet

The sub-registers of the blue dial are now silvered as with the black dial.

By late 1994 the ref A59028 had a new dial and hands. The word "QUARTZ" on the dial was replaced with "ALARM" (or the German "ALARME" or French "REVEIL"). The previously round date window was now squared. The hands were revised with the luminous compound divided into sections and the red part of the second hand now at the tip. The dial colour options remained the same as before, ie silvered with black sub-registers; black with silvered sub-registers; blue with silvered sub-registers.

Ref A59028 with black 'ALARM' dial

Ref A59028 with silvered 'ALARM' dial

Ref A59028 with black 'ALARME' dial

Ref A59028 with black 'REVEIL' dial

Ref A59028 with silvered 'REVEIL' dial

Ref A59028 with blue 'REVEIL' dial​

Information from the German 1995 'Sales Handbook':

Manufacture of the Jupiter Pilot is discontinued. Some watches remain on sale in stores until at least 2000.

Fortunately, fake Jupiter/Jupiter Pilots are very rare, but they do exist.

Unlike a genuine Jupiter Pilot, this fake has a conventional crown and pushers as well as other differences. Presumably it does not have an alarm function and bizarrely has the name of a completely different Breitling, CHRONOMAT, on the dial instead of ALARM, ALARME, or REVEIL.

- B -​

Thank you for reading this article and please don't forget, any further info or images will be most gratefully accepted!


Please click here to email me information or images

Copyright © 2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010 Alan Trott. All rights reserved.​
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