Anyone remember the Navitimer 38 we saw at last year’s Baselworld? Well, now it’s back, and it’s bigger, 3mm bigger in fact. We liked the last iteration of this non-chronograph Navitimer because it had lots of vintage inspirations incorporated into it, as well it offered a nice entry into the Breitling brand that dodges their more polished and chunkier styles. The new one clearly shows the direction Breitling plans on taking under its new management, eschewing the crazy but controversial designs of the past for something more subtle and approachable.
The Navitimer is a very popular line for Breitling, it’s been with us since the 1950s and brought a slew of complications and useful features with it. On top of the chronograph which could be used to calculate speeds and so on, it also had a defining characteristic, a slide rule in the bezel, which was introduced in a time where calculators were either non-existent or the size of a house and not practical for flying. While there’s no chronograph, you do still get the slide rule function, which is controlled by gripping the rice bead styled bezel and turning it as necessary.
Inside the new Navitimer, there’s an automatic winding Breitling calibre 17, a COSC chronometer certified movement which runs at 4Hz and has a microscopic power reserve of 38 hours. This is somewhat surprising, as the calibre 17 is actually based on an ETA ebauche, the 2824-2, but Breitling hasn’t tried to up the length of that reserve to make the watch more user-friendly. This movement does feature a date window, which has been located at the bottom of the dial in this case.
It seems perhaps that the new Breitling is more focused on the appearance aspect rather than the horology, a move which is bound to upset the enthusiasts but should help the brand appeal to the more general public. The watch offers lots of different customisation levels for this watch, and Breitling provides no less than 11 different variations on its website which come in either steel or two-tone with a leather strap or a metal bracelet as you like. The price of these watches starts at $4310 and goes up to $6750.