Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican

by Olivier Müller

The number of Breitling’s limited editions is quite impressive. At a point that some might wonder if they are really limited ! After several Military and Avenger series, Breitling is now back on its legendary Navitimer, leaving for a minute its fied-ops passion for its natural-born flying instinct. Iconic in its classic version with a black dial, the Navitimer adopts even more exclusive colors in a limited series featuring a bronze dial. This limited edition of 1000 pieces reminds collectors of the Blue Sky edition that saw the light of day a couple of years ago for the 60th anniversary of the piece.

This blue dial piece was awesome and really in touch with the fanbase, which was on demand for blue dials – not only from Breitling but from a lot of brands. The trend of blue dials started in 1969 with TAG Heuer’s Monaco till it event hit recently the borders of Glashütte (remember the electric Sixties from Glasütte Originals), but it was an interesting added-value from Breitling to apply this colour to an aviation piece such as the Navitimer.

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican – Bronzy style

Created in 1952, the Navitimer has asserted itself as one of the ten great 20th century watchmaking classics – and a cult object for all passionate aviaation enthusiasts. Breitling now offers this model in a 1,000-piece limited series distinguished by a bronze-colored dial – an original and refined touch that further highlights the originality of the design with its three hollowed counters and its circular slide rule designed to perform all calculations involved in airborne navigation.

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican

Of course, now that Breitling is a manufacture, a transparent caseback let see the Caliber 01, a selfwinding chronograph developed and produced within theBreitling Chronométrie workshops and chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), as for each and every model from the company.

It’s also interesting to see that the model is offered in a 43 mm diameter. During Baselworld, Breitling unveiled a super large new Navitimer (up to 46 mm), which sounded too big on many of the commentator’s wrists. And, as a matter of fact, too close from the Bentley collection.

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican – Chronomat cousin

Before seeing the piece in stores, the new Panamerican seems to be quite close from some brown dials the company has, espcially on Chronomat references. Is is a duplicate ? Actually no, because here in the Navitimer we don’t have the square shape applied on the dial, a typical design that can be seen only on the Chronomat serie. On the Navitimer, the good thing is the B-Winged famous logo that stands at noon. Crafted in gold, it really stands out of the bronze dial.

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican

Some might even say that a full bronze / gold edition of the Navitimer would be more than welcome. Because, and that’s maybe the negative point, the choice of the steel strap doesn’t really fit the watch. The bronze dial gives it a warm charm that the steel bracelet turns cold. It might be more interesting to chose the Barenia leather strap to reinforce the feeling brought by the bronze option.

Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican – Limited edition policy

Last but not least : the limited edition itself. Or should we say so-called limited ? 1000 units is the average number of pieces that TAG Heuer, Omega or Breitling are used to make for limited editions. Still, that’s quite a big volume for a true collector, who often have a preference for Panerai or Jaquet Droz type of limited editions, with 12 up to 88 pieces, most of the time. 1000 units don’t make the piece a rare collector as such. And Breitling often goes up to 3000 ‘limited’ series, which definitely makes the brand stand on the ‘mass market’ side of the watchmaking industry. Price: 9,360 CHF

It might be interesting for Breitling to reconsider its volume of production for such limited editions in order to be back on the true collectibles side. The fanbase could probably not agree more.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.