131 Equip Be­fore Flight

Bre­itling Nav­itimer 01 Lim­ited Edi­tion is the leg­endary pi­lot’s chronograph gone dark

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Contents - WORDS YEO SUAN FUTT

Bre­itling Nav­itimer 01 Lim­ited Edi­tion is the leg­endary pi­lot’s chronograph gone dark

The Nav­itimer is the grand­daddy of pi­lot’s chrono­graphs and not just a field watch that pilots took into their cock­pits. When it was first in­tro­duced in the early 1950s, it bagged a first by fea­tur­ing a cir­cu­lar slide rule ac­tu­ated by its ro­tat­ing bezel, spe­cially in­tended for pilots (an­other Bre­itling, the Chrono­mat, was ear­lier with a cir­cu­lar slide rule by a decade, but it was pur­posed for math­e­mat­ics and en­gi­neer­ing). In an era be­fore the cal­cu­la­tor and other elec­tronic/satel­lite aids, a few twirls of the Nav­itimer’s bezel al­lowed pilots to make quick cal­cu­la­tions re­lat­ing to speed, dis­tance, fuel con­sump­tion, and unit con­ver­sions that gave them crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion about where they were, and how long more the plane would keep fly­ing. Stu­dent pilots to­day are still taught to use the E6B slide rule. For the rest of us with our feet on the ground, the slide rule is per­fect for cur­rency con­ver­sions while shop­ping overseas.

And it’s a tes­ta­ment to its de­sign longevity that the 60-yearold Nav­itimer looks as suave to­day as it did, at birth. Also, Bre­itling has not been slack in keep­ing this pre­cious piece of its her­itage cur­rent. In 2010, the Nav­itimer 01 was launched with Bre­itling’s first man­u­fac­ture move­ment: the cal­i­bre B01 that it had de­buted the year be­fore. Hav­ing a man­u­fac­ture move­ment is not just about pres­tige, it also gives the com­pany the op­por­tu­nity to spec­ify and en­gi­neer higher tech­ni­cal pa­ram­e­ters, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that the stan­dard ETA chronograph move­ment still used by a great num­ber of brands across all price seg­ments dates back to the 1970s. For Bre­itling, the B01 is de­signed for large-scale pro­duc­tion as well as easy reg­u­la­tion and main­te­nance. Al­ready, it has formed the foun­da­tion stone for two more of Bre­itling’s man­u­fac­ture move­ments, the B04 (with GMT) and B05 (world time). For the wearer, the Nav­itimer can now be had with a mod­ern, ro­bust chronograph move­ment with col­umn wheel and ver­ti­cal clutch, that’s a Cosc-cer­ti­fied chronome­ter with a sub­stan­tial power re­serve of 70 hours.

This lat­est it­er­a­tion is the same watch in a dif­fer­ent colour com­bi­na­tion, shed­ding black dial and sil­vered coun­ters for dark grey dial and black coun­ters. It’s a de­li­cious match-up that is darkly glam­orous, while giv­ing no quar­ter to pur­pose and leg­i­bil­ity. In a lim­ited edi­tion of 1,000 pieces. MOVE­MENT B01 self-wind­ing chronograph with 70-hour power re­serve

CASE 43mm in steel, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 30m STRAP Black calf leather with steel de­ploy­ant buckle PRICE $11,860

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