March 22, 2019
Breitling commemorates vintage commercial aviation
This year Breitling celebrates its historic involvement in aviation by unveiling the Navitimer Chronograph Airline Edition
In an effort to celebrate what was the ‘golden age’ of commercial aviation, Breitling is unveiling its first-ever capsule collection of Navitimer 1 B01 chronographs. The new series heralds the 1970s and 1980s and the finest airlines of that era from around the world. Each of the new pieces also evokes a stylistic look indicative of the period.
Aside from giving recognition to those first big-name airlines, and from offering true vintage appeal, the new collection naturally underscores Breitling’s rich aviation experience. From the mid- to late 20th century, Breitling had a separate division that created on-board instruments that were standard equipment in the world’s leading jets. Additionally, the very first Breitling Navitimer wrist chronograph – launched in 1952 – fast became an icon timepiece for aviators and pilots of the era. Thus, Breitling became a preferred supplier for more than a dozen aircraft manufacturers.
The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph Airline Edition timepieces all house the brand’s Manufacture Breitling Calibre 01 mechanical chronograph movement. The automatic movement is equipped with a dual-acting ball-bearing rotor and offers about 70 hours of power reserve. Additionally, the watch has a date and a bi-directional rotating bezel with the iconic circular slide rule. Each of the watches is C.O.S.C.-certified.
The first model of the series is the Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Swissair Edition, with a transparent sapphire case back that bears the Swissair logo. Its 43-mm case, crafted from stainless steel, presents a black dial, silver subdials and bright red accents. It is finished with either a vintage-inspired black leather strap or a stainless-steel mesh bracelet.
Additionally, Breitling offers the officially licensed Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition. The most distinguished of the three versions being created, the Pan Am edition features a blue dial, red accents and an inner blue chapter ring with silver subdials. It recalls the well known logo in aviation history, which is also printed on the sapphire case back. Pan American World Airways was one of the biggest names in air travel during that time. The watch is offered in steel and is sold with either a Breitling Air Racer bracelet, steel mesh bracelet, or a vintage-inspired brown leather strap.
The final model is the Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43mm TWA edition, commemorating Trans World Airways. The dial on this watch is silver with dark grey anthracite subdials and red accents. The TWA logo is printed on the case back, and the watch is offered with the choice of a brown vintage-styled strap or bracelet. The watches are designed to herald the past but to do so in a way that works for today’s customers, featuring modern updates such as straight hands and bolder colours.
According to Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, the new capsule collection is being “produced for a limited time and consequently in a limited volume, but the watches are not numbered. With these capsule collections from Breitling, we aim to tell specific stories rooted in the history of its core collection.”