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Breitling Navitimer 01 chronograph limited edition watch review

There is no denying it, the Navitimer 01 Chronograph Limited Edition is most certainly a Breitling timepiece. Few items in the watch world are so dressed up in brand DNA that from across the room anyone with even basic Swiss watch knowledge would pick out the model and brand name with ease. Breitling watches are always in style, being a solid maker of consistently good sport watches, so when you are seen with a Breitling, you’ll be judged well.

The Navitimer collection has roots back to the 1950’s and this dial design is among the most enduring. A principally black face with sharply contrasting white chronograph subdials in a tri-compax array is made iconic when matched to a slide rule bezel. This watch is aviator chronograph incarnate. The busy dial today is mostly vestigial to be honest. Only those who are particularly clever and placed in particularly precarious situations without modern gadgets will use the slide rule calculator on their wrist to determine things like fuel consumption and metric to standard weight conversions. The wealth of details on the dial is reminiscent of just how much information pilots must consume whilst operating an aircraft – a little detail that aviators (and would-be aviators) take comfort in toting around on their wrist.

Years of Navitimer popularity has resulted in dozens of models, and this contemporary Navitimer 01 version is actually meant to be retro-inspired. True aficionados will pick it out of line-up as not only being a bit larger than its siblings at 43mm wide, but also containing a true in-house made Breitling movement. That being the manufacture made caliber 01 automatic chronograph with 70 hours of power reserve.

The polished steel case is available with a very interesting steel bracelet that collectors were pleased to see make a comeback in the Breitling collection. I affectionately call it the “racer handcuff bracelet” because opposed to being made of a series of articulating links, it is made of large sections of curved metal (with portholes in it). You have to try it on to see how you like it. If you are more classic in taste then a more standard bracelet or padded leather strap, then you will suit this handsome watch just fine.

Breitling has offered these Navitimer 01 models as a limited edition, with the price premium mostly being due to the movement and exclusivity. For those with the means it is an excellent Breitling watch to own.

Browse all Breitling watches.