BRE­ITLING NAV­ITIMER

Plaza Watch International - - Final Call - Wo r d s JOSH SIMS FILIPPA BR AGE

Mr. Nav­itimer, I see that you’ve been on the pro­tein pow­ders.

Plaza Watch:

Bre­itling Nav­itimer:

bet­ter.

PW:

BN:

PW:

BN:

PW:

BN:

Prob­a­bly?

Well, they say that big­ger is

They also say… if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Yes, but in three years time I will be 65… time to col­lect my pen­sion – and I’m aware that my orig­i­nal fans may be re­quir­ing some bi-fo­cals by now too. A boost to 46mm makes my leg­endary clar­ity – thanks to the epargne tech­nique used to cre­ate my black dial – even clearer still.

One hopes that your re­ac­tions aren’t fail­ing you in your dotage too. You’re called the Nav­itimer, as in Nav­i­ga­tion and Timer, not the Old-timer.

Far from it. My Bre­itling Cal­iber 01 – prob­a­bly the world’s first au­to­matic chrono­graph move­ment – still beats away to win its COSC cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Well, you know at my age my mem­ory is start­ing to go. And the his­tory books are rather vague. Did I men­tion the epargne tech­nique used to cre­ate my black dial? That’s all about su­per- im­pos­ing a trans­fer made by screen-print­ing onto a bright opa­line sur­face, which is rather rare th­ese days and so if....

Erm, yes I know, and yes you did. That’s all the more ap­par­ent in your sec­ond new ver­sion, at a whop­ping 48mm. Are you aim­ing to take up be­ing a sta­tion clock when you re­tire?

PW:

That’s more to make room for my new GMT time­zone fea­ture – you can set a travel time zone by one-hour in­cre­ments just by us­ing my crown and with­out los­ing any pre­ci­sion in terms of min­utes. You can even look through the lit­tle win­dow at the rear and see it all hap­pen­ing. Oh I do so like a good view th­ese days. So re­lax­ing.

BN:

That’s not what you were hun­gry for in your glory days is it? You were one of the orig­i­nal ad­ven­turer’s watches, pur­pose-de­signed for pi­lots with a cir­cu­lar slide rule to take care of air­borne nav­i­ga­tion the old-school way. You were the of­fi­cial watch of the Air­craft Own­ers and Pi­lots As­so­ci­a­tion – and it wasn’t much more man-glam than that. You were part of that golden age of post-war pro­peller-driven air­craft. In fact, you were made just two years after the Lock­heed L-1049 Su­per Con­stel­la­tion was launched, trans­form­ing world travel, and in the same year as the world’s first pas­sen­ger jet, the De Hav­il­land Comet.

PW:

Ah yes, I re­mem­ber that – the one that kept de­vel­op­ing hair­line cracks in the fuse­lage and crash­ing...

BN:

Well at least it wasn’t down to nav­i­ga­tion er­rors.

PW:

True enough – my Mar­cel Robert-de­signed slide rule re­ally was quite in­ge­nious, and yet sim­ple, with its par­al­lel log­a­rith­mic scales pro­vid­ing en­tire mul­ti­pli­ca­tion or con­ver­sion ta­bles at a glance, and its aero­nau­ti­cal units of mea­sure­ment. Back then pi­lots didn’t rely on com­put­ers. They had an ex­cel­lent way with charts. They had ex­cel­lent taste too.

BN:

They cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ated the techy, in­stru­ment style of watch de­sign that you in­tro­duced.

PW:

As soon would many oth­ers. Did you know that Bre­itling didn’t even get around to reg­is­ter­ing my ‘Nav­itimer’ name for three years, un­til 1955. They fig­ured that I’d al­ways just be a niche, spe­cial­ist prod­uct, so why bother.

BN:

Maybe old age was tak­ing its toll on them too, and they just for­got?

PW:

Ex­actly. They needed to leave a note and put on their specs. They needed the full 48mm.

BN:

ILLUSTR ATION

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