Over the past year or so, Breitling has enjoyed fresh enthusiasm owing to the brand’s ‘re-birth’ under the former Richemont mogul Georges Kern. Many have speculated that Breitling will return to its former greatness under Kern, who will be looking to its heritage for inspiration for future pieces. As the excitement grows, sharp-eyed collectors have been quietly scooping up interesting and important models.
Despite the relative ubiquity of the Navitimer, the vintage expressions hold a charmed place in the hearts of the Breitling faithful, and certain examples fetch a fair price today. The Reference 806 Navitimer is, without a doubt, the most commonly sought. While most were produced in steel, a handful were plated with 18K yellow gold, giving this form-follows-function pilot’s watch a little more spirit.
And this example, complete with inverse-panda, twin-jet logo, boxed-10 dial, and Venus 178 chronograph movement, has eye-popping good looks and a stalwart movement to match.
The Breitling Navitimer is one of the most recognizable watches in the pantheon of greats. Like the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Speedmaster, the proportions and design of the Navitimer are unmistakable.
And where the Submariner dived the ocean’s depths and the Speedmaster touched the heavens, the Navitimer soared through the skies, riding the wrists of countless aviators since its introduction in the early 1950s.
Unequivocally Breitling’s crown-jewel model, the Navitimer is still in production today. And though it has seen countless interpretations and re-imaginings over the decades, it has always been part of the history of Breitling and aviation as a whole.
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