It’s arduous to discover a watch fanatic who wasn’t taken with this Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Version watch, a restricted version that’s as trustworthy to the unique as will be. The now-iconic Breitling Navitimer was launched again in 1952, with the Ref. 806 coming shortly thereafter in 1959. Aesthetically equivalent, this re-edition additionally is available in a 41mm-wide metal case with the non-AOPA (Plane House owners and Pilots Affiliation) winged brand on the dial. The insides are modernized, with the in-house Breitling B09 motion powering the re-edition.
The trustworthy recreation of the classic Navitimer look together with the sensible comfort of a contemporary motion and case-making methods leads to a really tempting package deal. That mentioned, it’s not low-cost at $eight,600 however the restricted version run of 1959 items will go quick, it doesn’t matter what (in the event that they haven’t already). Although I wouldn’t fear an excessive amount of about lacking out as a result of, when discussing the brand new in-house guide wind B09 motion, Breitling representatives say that it’s going to “energy most of the different hand-wound historic re-editions to come back.”
This watch is one other consider determining how Georges Kern’s period of Breitling is shaping up. Inside one 12 months now we have seen the Navitimer eight create an entire new lane for the gathering, whereas items like this re-edition are firmly staking the flag of satisfaction in heritage — a lot as how the Superocean Heritage assortment can exist in tandem with, and truly complement, the Superocean Computerized assortment. Kern determined there’s no want to decide on between counting on heritage and creating new merchandise, and he’s ushering Breitling into what might be its greatest period in a while.
Housed in a 41mm-wide and 12.86mm-thick metal case, the Ref. 806 1959 Re-edition faithfully sticks to some issues that different manufacturers could have been tempted to “improve” and, consequently, break the product that they had in thoughts. Thankfully, Breitling stored its eye on the ball and retained the snapped-in metal caseback slightly than fall into the temptation of an exhibition caseback. Apparently, additionally they selected to make use of an old-school domed plexiglass crystal slightly than sapphire (used on principally all modern-luxury watches).
With three chronograph sub-dials, slide-rule fixed-scale dial rings, and, in fact, the slide-rule cell scale operated by the bi-directional bezel, all make for a dial that’s endearingly dense with data. Lots of people use the hackneyed time period “busy” in a unfavourable approach when vaguely criticizing dials for not adhering to austere minimalism, however I feel a watch that makes use of a design financial system to legibly convey as a lot data because the Navitimer does advantage reward for its design.
In reality, some years again, a collector uploaded sections of the guide for the unique Breitling Navitimer 806 that’s equivalent to this re-edition (aside from it has the AOPA brand on the wings). You may browse the guide beneath, however having the ability to calculate multiplication, division, floor velocity, miles per minute, gasoline consumption, charge of descent/climb, distance of descent/climb, and nautical and statute mile conversion is remarkably ingenious.
Having the ability to do all that throughout the parameters of a watch with a 41mm-wide case is commonly taken as a right as simply being inherent to the Navitimer but it surely’s doubly spectacular on this fashionable re-edition.
Identical to the unique, there are 94 of these beads dotting the circumference of the bezel within the re-edition. All through the lengthy historical past of the Breitling Navitimer, these beads have grow to be an aesthetic staple of the watch, although the variety of beads varies from 94 to one thing like 125. Clearly, these beads had been added in order to assist pilots get a stable grip on the bezel.
Hilariously, Breitling refers back to the couple of variations between this re-edition and the unique as “concessions to modernity.” I’m glad they made these concessions, although, since they’re restricted to a few very helpful issues: water resistance elevated to 30M; addition of Tremendous-LumiNova on the arms that fortuitously doesn’t fiddle with the authentically old-school aesthetic; and eventually, a brand new motion.
The previous Navitimer Ref. 806 watches used a manual-wind Venus 178 chronograph motion which was changed by the Valjoux 7740 round 1969, I imagine. This re-edition is outfitted with an all-new in-house manual-wind motion known as the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, which is predicated on the automated Caliber B01. Working at 28,800 vph, the B09 has an excellent 70-hour energy reserve. I’m excited to see the longer term re-editions Breitling goes to outfit with this manual-wind caliber.
For my part, Breitling is totally dominating the $10,000 and underneath luxurious watch class proper now. This Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Version is an instance of how a model can stroll the tightrope of doing an aesthetically trustworthy re-edition that additionally nonetheless captures the essence of the previous motion whereas giving it fashionable upgrades. Restricted to 1,959 items, the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Version is priced at $eight,600 and will ship this summer time. You may study extra at breitling.com.