I promised I would eventually write about the original Navitimer after my post on the 1940s Chronomat, so here it goes. Initially I thought the Navitimer was the first Breitling model ever made; I was wrong! While the Chronomat was launched in 1942, the Navitimer was not introduced until 10 years later in 1952.
Breitling had already tapped into the aviation world in the 1940s when it first started booming. By the 1950s, aircrafts were increasingly being used for both military and recreational purposes. At that point in time, Breitling wanted to create a timepiece designed specifically for an aviator’s needs.
The result was the “Navitimer,” a contraction of “navigation” and “timer,” and a model that has become a staple to the Breitling brand. The watch was designed to be easily legible for pilots and help them with all navigation calculations, such as distance covered, fuel consumption and average speed.
The Navitimer was equipped with a new slide rule where the outside scale and inside scale were inverted, providing aviators with multiplication or conversion tables without having to turn the bezel. The timepiece also clearly indicated the time up to the nearest second along with a chronograph function of course.
Breitling has since had unbelievable success with the Navitimer and released the 50th anniversary of the model in 2002. There is speculation and hope that Breitling will soon use the in-house B01 movement in the Navitimer. Only time will tell!