From Flight Tool To Icon: Introducing the 2022 Breitling Navitimer

From Flight Tool To Icon: Introducing the 2022 Breitling Navitimer From Flight Tool To Icon: Introducing the 2022 Breitling Navitimer

From Flight Tool To Icon: Introducing the 2022 Breitling Navitimer

For 70 years, Breitling's original pilot's watch has been beloved by aviators and tastemakers in equal measure. Worn by an astronaut in space and the biggest stars on Earth, the Navitimer is Breitling's most iconic timepiece, and today the brand honors the legend with the introduction of a new Navitimer collection that captures its most classic features, while enhancing them with modern refinements.

"We don't throw the term 'icon' around lightly," says CEO of Breitling, Georges Kern. "The Navitimer is one of the most recognisable watches ever made. It's on collectors lists of the greatest watches on all time. What began as a tool for pilots has gone on to mean something profound to every single person who has had this timepiece along on their personal journey."

The De Facto Pilot's Watch

Not even its inventor could have predicted the phenomenon the Navitimer would become. In 1952, Willy Breitling developed a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule that would allow pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the largest aviators' club in the world, announced the design as its official timepiece, and with the association's winged logo emblazoned at 12 o'clock, the "navigation timer" - or Navitimer - was born.

Growing up alongside the burgeoning civil aviation industry and beloved by airline captains and aircraft enthusiasts (it even made its way into space on the wrist of astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1962 as a 24-hour timepiece to tell day from night), it wasn't only pilots drawn to the watch's irrepressible aesthetic. Celebrities of the day, such as Miles Davies, Serge Gainsbourg, Jim Clark and Graham Hill, were devotees, proving that the Navitimer had style as well as function.

An Evolution In Breitling's Signature Modern-Retro Style

To create the new Navitimer, Breitling preserved the most recognisable aspects of the icon's design code. From a distance, the watch is unmistakably a Navitimer, with its circular slide rule, baton indexes, trio of chronograph counters, and a notched bezel for easy grip. Up close however, its modern refinements come through loud and clear.

A flattened slide rule and domed crystal create the illusion of a more compact profile, whilst alternating polished and brushed finishes give the metal elements a lustrous yet understated quality. A slimmer silhouette on the oscillating weight enhances the open-caseback view of the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement, which is backed by a 5-year warranty, and provides approximately 70 hours of power reserve alongside the ability to change the date - now visible through a discreet window in the subdial at 6 o'clock - at any time.

Available in a range of sizes (41, 43 and 46mm), two case materials (stainless steel or 18-karat red gold) and a choice of straps (semi-shiny alligator and seven-row metal bracelet) and updated dial options, if there is one feature sure to spark nostalgia, it's the return of the AOPA wings to their original position at 12 o'clock.

For The Journey, Celebrating What Moves Us

Today, after 70 years, the Breitling Navitimer has gone beyond being a tool used by pilots to navigate their course. It has become a symbol for those plotting their personal journeys through life.

Breitling celebrates this significance in a new campaign, Navitimer - For The Journey, featuring the Navitimer Squad, made up of basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland, and aviation pioneer and explorer Bertrand Piccard. Each squad member has been on an incredible journey to get where they are today at the top of their fields, and staying on course through sheer determination. And each one is one route to achieving their next set of ambitions. Using powerful visuals and the Squad Members' own narration, the campaign gets to the heart of these moving journeys.

"This project means a lot to me because it celebrates no only where I was in life, but where I'd come from and where I am going," says Misty Copeland. "There is an absolute parallel between navigation 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 stories."

The Navitimer has come a long way since Willy Breitling first drafted his idea for a wrist-worn flight tool. This redesign, with its focus on colour, styling and inclusive appeals, marks a new phase in the Navitimer's journey, one that blends Breitling's modern aesthetics and values with its historic watchmaking savoir faire to create an updated identity for the iconic watch that started it all.

For more information on the new collection, visit us in-store at The Beacon, Eastbourne.


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