Miles Had Style

Miles Davis is without a doubt considered one of the best and most influential Jazz Musicians of all time.  The guy is also considered to be one of the coolest cats to ever walk the planet.  Apparently, Bob Dylan called him the very definition of cool.  When I found out that he rocked a Breitling Navitimer throughout the 1960s, I was inclined to agree!

I always enjoy hearing what various celebrities wear on their wrists.  I found it interesting that Albert Einstein was pictured wearing a Wyler, Brad Pitt has been seen wearing a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms tourbillion and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers wore a Roger Dubuis at the 2011 ESPYS.  I am told that the overall watch of choice by athletes at the ESPYS was Breitling.  I know that baseball superstar Carl Crawford supposedly just purchased a Bentley at Breitling’s boutique on 57th street in New York not too long ago.

Miles Davis clearly had an appreciation for the finer things in life.  He had several exotic cars, including a Ferrari, a Mercedes and a Lamborghini.  To read that his go-to watch was a Navi is pretty awesome.  I always appreciated Davis’ musical talent, and now I appreciate his taste in watches.  Well played.

Fine and Rare: The Navitimer Perpetual Rattrapante

A friend of mine had been telling me for weeks that I needed to check out a watch that he has.  I finally got a chance to get over to his place last night, and he was able to show me what I like to call an absolute beast.  He told me it would not disappoint and he definitely was not lying.

At first glance the watch looked like a standard black dial Navitimer.  I then noticed that it had four subdials as opposed to three, and realized that the watch felt extremely heavy.  The pusher at 10 o’clock gave it away that this was a seriously complicated timepiece.

After I stared at the timepiece in awe for around thirty seconds, I looked at him and said, “Perpetual rattrapante, huh?”  He responded, “Platinum perpetual rattrapante.”  We both immediately started laughing…

What a watch!  It is not every day that you see a perpetual calendar split-second chronograph movement. A perpetual calendar watch takes into account the different lengths of the months of the year as well as the leap year’s day in February.  A split-second chronograph is a watch that includes two separate stopwatch mechanisms to help time events with two different durations.  The combination of the two is simply incredible and not something you see every day.

Navitimer Perpetual Rattrapante - caseback

Apparently there were only ten pieces of this model made in platinum.  This particular watch was limited edition number 03/10. What is crazy is that my friend told me the gold version of the watch is arguably even nicer than this platinum one and has a blue face.  I would love to see that version in person, but hey, after that, I am not complaining.

Breitling Navitimer Perpetual Rattrapante

On the Big Screen.

I was watching TV the other night and randomly turned on Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 film Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.  The movie takes place in Los Angeles and features a group of surfers who use masks of former Presidents to disguise themselves while robbing various banks.

I had seen the film a bunch of times before, but never since becoming a watch addict.  Perhaps that is why this time around I could not believe what Patrick Swayze was rocking on his wrist before the surfers’ first bank robbery.  Right after the ex-presidents put their masks on and right before they enter the bank, Patrick Swayze looks down at his watch and yells, “The little hand says it’s time to rock and roll!”

Camera zooms in on the Breitling Pluton.

Swayze’s watch that the camera focuses on is a quartz Breitling Navitimer known as the Breitling Pluton.  I had no idea that this watch was ever made!  It was definitely before my time.  Watching Breitling release a Navitimer model with an exhibition caseback that displays the brand’s first ever in-house chronograph movement can easily make us forget about the previous Navitimer models that were released before it.

The Pluton was first introduced by Breitling in 1980 and was one of the first quartz chronographs the brand ever made.  The model was designed for military pilots and had a digital display at 6 o’clock.  In 1986, the steel version of the Pluton was upgraded and referred to as the “New Pluton.”

Breitling Pluton - diagram

The New Pluton was made with a variety of bezel options.  The ex-presidents’ ring leader in Point Break was rocking a Pluton with a bezel featuring a 60-minute countdown timer.  The watch was operated by the Japanese Miyota Y652 movement and its functions included two timezones, a split-seconds chronograph, the date and an alarm.  Pretty cool, huh?

Surgical Doc Gives the Ultimate Gift

Phillies Phever is starting to go into full effect as the National League Championship Series begins this coming Saturday.  On the hill for the Phils will be stud pitcher and Breitling Navitimer World owner Roy Halladay.

Earlier this season, “Doc” threw a perfect game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.  In order to show his appreciation for the contribution of his teammates, the Phillies’ ace got each of them a Baume & Mercier watch.  Each caseback was engraved with the player’s name , and the watch boxes read as follows:  “We did it together.  Thanks, Roy Halladay.”

Roy Halladay - Baume & Mercier

Just last week, Halladay threw the second no-hitter in MLB playoff history against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of the National League Division Series; the guy was absolutely surgical.  So, what watch should he give his teammates this time around?

I am sure Roy is more focused on helping the Phils win their second World Series in three years than he is on buying celebratory watches, but if all goes well, I am hoping Roy is faced with this decision…

But this time around, go Breitling, Doc.

What’s Mine Is Yours….

I was at the Phillies game Tuesday night, and my watch addiction was in full effect yet again. For those of you who are aware of what happened in the game, I did not stay all 16 innings…

Anyway, during one of the half innings in the middle of the game, several people were shown on the jumbotron at the stadium.  Believe it or not, one of the people I randomly saw when I looked up was a young woman sporting a two-tone, white dial Rolex Daytona!  I spotted it right away and told my friend whom I was with to check it out.  He is a pretty big watch guy himself and he confirmed the identification of her watch.

Rolex on the Jumbotron

I have always thought of the Rolex Daytona as a man’s watch; it is a 40mm chronograph, as I am sure some of you know.  Does that mean it is necessarily a man’s watch in this day and age of the watch world?  I thought it looked pretty awesome on her!

This certainly was not the first time a woman has worn what many refer to as a “man’s chronograph.” In 1967, actress Raquel Welsh wore a Breitling Co-Pilot chronograph in the film Fathom.  Apparently it was extremely well received, and she still rocks a Navitimer with a Co-Pilot module today.  I really dig it when I see women transition a “man’s watch” to a unisex one, and I think it is starting to happen more and more.

Raquel Welsh wore a Breitling Co-Pilot Chronograph in the 1967 film Fathom.

I do not think that women should necessarily limit their selection of Breitling timepieces to the Colt Oceane, the Starliner or the smaller Galactic models.  Why not sport a Navitimer, a Chrono Galactic or even a time-only Flying B if your wrist size allows it?  It could be a nice form of peacocking!

What do you guys think?  What direction are ladies’ case sizes heading in?  Are they following suit with the larger contemporary case sizes that men are now wearing?

A watch can say a lot about a guy.  It, without a doubt, can say a lot about a woman too.

Precision for Pilots: The Navitimer

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!


Breitling Navitimer 50th Anniversary Edition

Evolution of the Chronomat

A lot has changed since the 1940s to say the least.  As of 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the President of the United States, we were in the middle of World War II, baseball owners were finalizing an agreement to allow each team to have 14 night games, and the Breitling Chronomat looked like a Navitimer!

Chronomat from 1940s, Navitimer 2010

I saw a picture of the old-school Chronomat yesterday and was shocked.  The difference between the current version and the 1942 version of the model is huge.  There is no question in my mind that the 1942 Chronomat looks more like the current Navitimer than the current Chronomat.

Chronomat 1940s, Chronomat Evolution 2010

Apparently the Chronomat was extremely innovative at the time for its circular slide rule around the dial.  Owners of the watch were able to perform a variety of calculations that could be applicable for many different situations in everyday life.  The key to the Chronomat was perfecting the rotation of the bezel.  Once the watch was introduced, it received a lot of attention and has been one of the brand’s most popular models ever since.  I personally love the piece and would love rocking it in a bunch of the different dial configurations it is offered in.

Anyway, for all of those owners of the hip, sporty chrono that is one of Breitling’s hottest pieces today, check out what your watch initially looked like!

The Many Faces of the Breitling Chronomat, circa 1942