O Captain! My Captain! Celebrating the Breitling Navitimer’s 70th Anniversary

O Captain! My Captain! Celebrating the Breitling Navitimer’s 70th Anniversary

The 19th century poet Walt Whitman presented himself as one who championed individuality over social norms. His poetry has stood the test of time because of how it challenged traditional narratives while still resonating with the common man. Whitman knew that beauty and art and a meaningful story need not just be for the wealthy or the hierarchy or the gifted, but rather he felt everyone could and should experience whatever adventures this life has to offer. And over the last 70 years, the Breitling Navitimer has offered up its own stories and taken us on an adventure unlike any other collection in the brand’s line, and this week’s release of the new novelties was no exception.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, This Is Your Captain Speaking.”

Georges Kern is no “silent partner” when it comes to the brand he has helmed and helped change for the better since his tenure began with Breitling in 2017. Let’s face it… Kern is a showman, and giving his audience an experience they will remember — even if it means he must dress up and play some imaginary role (which he did his time in the form of a Swiss Air Pilot) — means bringing joy and laughter and smiles to those in his universe, which, by rights, is the Breitling universe. Georges Kern is far from snoozedom, and because of that fact, Breitling’s retailers, collectors, and the journalists who cover the brand actually remember the moments surrounding new releases. What brand on earth wouldn’t want that?

Putting on Air

Over 600 people were in attendance for this week’s Breitling summit in Zurich, Switzerland. The guests consisted of a mix of global retailers, members of the international media, collectors and Breitling employees. All had an inkling that what was about to go down would be something they’d never experienced before, and they were correct, for likely more than one reason. Attendees were required to show up on Tuesday morning at one of four Swiss Air Lines counters at the Zurich airport marked “Breitling” where they would receive their Breitling boarding passes, seat assignments and gate information before entering a pre-boarding area stocked with champagne, Bloody Marys, and various other cocktails, as well as boxed lunches passengers could take on their flights. It was here that Georges Kern made his entrance down an escalator and through the crowd, dressed head to toe in a flight captain’s uniform.

70 is the new 20

For the 70th anniversary of the Breitling Navitimer, several new novelties were released which were introduced, in the flesh, to the 600-plus attendees across three different Swiss Air flights. Since the flight from Zurich to Geneva is a relatively short one, those unable to see all the novelties up close were invited to attend a touch-and-feel at Le Chef restaurant at the Geneva airport.

The new Navitimers may look like those of old from a distance (circular slide rule, baton indexes, trio of chronograph counters, notched bezel), but a closer look makes apparent the modernized refinements and additions. These 2022 Navitimers come in a variety of case sizes: 46mm, 43mm, and 41mm, respectfully. The new editions are available in two case materials (stainless steel or 18K red gold), as well as a choice of straps/bracelets (semi-shiny alligator or seven-row metal bracelet in either stainless steel or 18K red gold). The colors of the new Navitimer dials are subtle, soft and quite special: ice blue, dark blue, dark green, mint green, copper, black and silver. But the most standout change for those familiar with the Navitimer line is the return of the AOPA wings to their original position at the 12 o’clock mark.

New Navitimer B01 Chronograph in 46mm with a deep green dial
New Navitimer B01 Chronograph in 46mm with a deep green dial
The 43mm Navitimer B01 Chronograph
The 43mm Navitimer B01 Chronograph
Two different color versions of the new 41mm Navitimer B01 Chronograph
Two different color versions of the new 41mm Navitimer B01 Chronograph

The Navitimer is one of the most recognizable watches in the history of pilot’s and/or tool watches. As Mr. Kern stated, the term “icon” shouldn’t be used lightly, but the Breitling Navitimer, at the ripe, young age of 70, is nothing short of that. It’s a wearable icon that is an individual, and that is able to resonate with collectors and novices, both young and old, alike.

46mm
43mm
41mm

Tech Specs

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46

Movement: Self-winding Breitling manufacture caliber 01; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph; date
Case: 46mm x 13.95mm; stainless steel or 18K red gold; water-resistant to 30m
Strap: Black or brown alligator leather with folding buckle, or red gold or stainless steel 7-row Navitimer bracelet with a butterfly clasp


Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43

Movement: Self-winding Breitling manufacture caliber 01; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph; date
Case: 43mm x 13.69mm; stainless steel or 18K red gold; water-resistant to 30m
Strap: Brown alligator leather with folding buckle, or red gold or stainless steel 7-row Navitimer bracelet with a butterfly clasp


Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41

Movement: Self-winding Breitling manufacture caliber 01; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph; date
Case: 41mm x 13.6mm; stainless steel or 18K red gold; water-resistant to 30m
Strap: Black, brown or gold-brown alligator leather with folding buckle, or red gold or stainless steel 7-row Navitimer bracelet with a butterfly clasp

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