By Osheen Arakelian
In tribute to the legendary 1950’s Navitimer AOPA, Breitling has created a 500 piece limited edition series with the “Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association” logo and a chronometer-certified self-winding chronograph. A collector’s piece for aviation enthusiasts that is in keeping and representative of all that Breitling stands for in the world of aviation.
It all began in 1952, the year that Breitling launched a chronograph that was to become its most emblematic model and one of the great 20th century watchmaking classics: the famous Navitimer, with a circular slide rule that serves to handle all the calculations relating to airborne navigation. It was not long after the release of the Navitimer that Breitling was approached by the world’s largest association of aircraft owners and pilots (AOPA), founded in 1939 in the United States of America, chose this model as its official watch. It’s for this reason that you see the AOPA logo on the dial of so many Navitimers producing during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
However, after a long time on the sidelines, Breitling has reintroduced the Navitimer AOPA in 2015, which brings us to the piece you see here today. A reinterpretation of the historical model, the Navitimer AOPA limited series today again bears the AOPA logo on the dial with its small curved wings on its black dial, as well as on its case back. In order to keep the Breitling AOPA as close as possible to those of times past, the watch has remained much unchanged apart from some modern adjustments here and there.
In their mission to accompany contemporary aviators into the clouds once more, Breitling has opted to use the Caliber 23 self-winding automatic movement that is officially chronometer-certified by the COSC and vibrates at a high 28,800 vibrations per hour.
Wrapped around the movement and protecting it from outside interference is a stainless steel 42mm diameter case with a cambered sapphire crystal glass. The sapphire crystal is also glare-proof on both sides to provide optimum legibility. A bi-directional rotating bezel with circular slide rule finishes off the case.
The timepiece is finished off with your choice of Navitimer bracelet or a leather, crocodile strap.
Breitling has always been a leader when it comes to producing tool watches for aviators across the globe and the AOPA just goes to show that it’s not always about innovating but more about refining what’s already a success. For more info, please visit breitling.com
OSHEEN ARAKELIAN – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Drawing on a lifelong love of horology and a more recent introduction to the appreciation of fine whisky, Osheen brought the two together with watch & whisky. He is the proprietor of the site, which covers everything related to watches and whisky. In between completing a degree in commercial law and supporting a rich social life, he is out and about attending all the latest watch and whisky events Sydney has to offer. His passion has also taken him around Australia attending a number of events and he hopes to continue his career in the watch industry on a more serious level after he graduates. Read his articles here.