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There are five different models across the Breitling Navitimer 1 collection. And that doesn’t even account for variations in dial colour, case metal, and so on. Choosing the best Breitling Navitimer 1 for you can thus seem a bit daunting. Overwhelming even. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. It covers every Breitling Navitimer 1 model in the current collection. We have all the important details – including price – and suggest who might be best suited to each model. We’ve also included a handy index, so you can jump straight to the model you’re interested in.


Index:
Model:Price:
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46GBP 6,610 – GBP 17,950
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43GBP 6,460 – GBP 16,460
Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45GBP 9,210 – GBP 22,640
Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41GBP 4,620 – GBP 5,820
Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38GBP 3,350 – GBP 4,460

A (Very) Brief History Of The Breitling Navitimer

The Breitling Navitimer made its debut in 1952. Targeted at pilots, its name combines the words “navigation” and “timer.” Its most distinguishing feature is of course its flight-specific slide rule bezel. The slide rule allows pilots to calculate things like average speed, fuel consumption and climbing speeds. Nowadays, of course, electronic equipment in the cabin makes all those calculations. Regardless, the Breitling Navitimer still remains a favourite among pilots.

The slide rule bezel wasn’t actually created for the Navitimer. Instead, it was the Breitling Chronomat that was the first to feature this unique bezel in 1942. It built on Breitling’s pioneering work with the chronograph. Breitling introduced the first wrist-worn chronograph with a pusher in 1923. Before that, everything was done through the crown.

In 1934, Willy built on this idea with the creation of the two-pusher chronograph. One pusher to start and stop the chronograph function. The other pusher to reset it. A practical design that is now standard across nearly all chronograph models.

Willy Breitling was intent on creating the most practical wrist worn calculator possible. So he asked mathematician Marcel Robert to create a slide rule bezel. One that could perform complex logarithmic calculations. Robert designed a scale that features the 3 most important units for pilots: STAT for standard mileage, KM for kilometres and NAUT for nautical miles. It was officially recommended as a pilot’s watch by the “Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association” in 1952.

It may make for a busy dial to the untrained eye, but it is a practical tool in the right hands. Plus, it’s fun to get people at dinner parties to try and guess how it works.

Now that we know about the backstory, let’s get on to the Breitling Navitimer 1 models in the current collection.

Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46 is the granddaddy of the collection. As the name suggests, it’s big. 46mm big in fact and 14.51mm thick. This is not a bad thing, mind you. The larger case size affords more room for the dial. That means everything can be spaced out nicely, improving legibility. Hours and minutes are displayed centrally, with running seconds shown on the subdial at 9 o’clock. You do need a big(ger) wrist to back it up, however.

The central chronograph seconds hand is in red for strong contrast. A 30-minute and 12-hour counter appear at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock respectively. A small date window appears in-between. Surrounding the dial is the iconic circular slide rule complete with ratcheted bezel. Inside is the Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01, a chronometer certified chronograph manufactured in-house. This  movement is accurate to 1/4th of a second and offers a minimum power reserve of 70 hours. It’s partly visible through a sapphire caseback.

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46 is available on either a crocodile leather strap or a steel bracelet.

Who Should Wear One:

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46 is a larger than life watch. It will suit someone with a big personality (and a big wrist). This is a watch for those people who want to make a statement wherever they go.


Technical Specifications: Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46

    • Case: 46 mm x 14.51mm – available in steel, steel & gold, black steel, 18K red gold – transparent sapphire crystal exhibition back – bidirectional slide rule bezel – non screw-locked, two gasket crown – waterproof to 3 bars/30m.
    • Dial: Available in anthracite, silver, black, aurora blue – centre hour, minute and chronograph seconds – running seconds shown on sub-dial at 9 o’clock – date – elapsed time chronograph counters at 3 and 6 o’clock.
    • Movement: Breitling 01 (Manufacture) –self-winding – chronograph – date – min. 70-hour power reserve – COSC-certified Chronometer.

  • Price: GBP 6,610 – GBP 17,950.

Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43

Next on the list is the Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43. Arguably this model is the most wearable of the classically styled Navitimers. At 43mm x 14.22mm, it’s still a touch on the large side. That said, there is a lot of information displayed on the dial. It follows then, that the smaller the case, the less room there is to display said information. It’s a difficult balance to strike.

The dial layout of the Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 is identical to the model above. That’s because they use the same chronometer-certified, Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01. The key difference is that the 43mm version includes a silver dial/steel case option. The 46mm version only offers a silver dial with a red gold case. It’s also 3mm smaller, of course.

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 is available on either a crocodile leather strap or a steel bracelet.

Who Should Wear One:

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 is the best option for pilots. Its modest case size means it’s still easy to read and operate but it’s not so bulky that it will get in the way.


Technical Specifications: Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43

    • Case: 43 mm x 14.22mm – available in steel, steel & gold, black steel, 18K red gold – transparent sapphire crystal exhibition back – bidirectional slide rule bezel – non screw-locked, two gasket crown – waterproof to 3 bars/30m.
    • Dial: Available in black, blue, stratos gray and mercury silver – centre hour, minute and chronograph seconds – running seconds shown on sub-dial at 9 o’clock – date – elapsed time chronograph counters at 3 and 6 o’clock.
    • Movement: Breitling 01 (Manufacture) –self-winding – chronograph – date – min. 70-hour power reserve – COSC-certified Chronometer.

  • Price: GBP 6,460 – GBP 16,460.

Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45 introduces another layer of complexity. Powered by the Manufacture Breitling Caliber B03, it boasts a split-seconds chronograph. This means you can stop and restart the split-seconds hand as many times as you like. As long as the chronograph is running. This allows you to measure intermediate (split) times.

To operate the split-second, Breitling has integrated a third pushpiece into the crown. This pusher stops and restarts the split-seconds chronograph hand as needed. The reset pusher at 4 o’clock returns both chronograph seconds hands to zero. Developing this movement resulted in the filing of two patents. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about a third chronograph pusher digging into your hand on the left side of the case.

This added complexity doesn’t come without its trade-offs though. The 45mm case is a bit thicker at 15.73mm, which will be noticeable on the wrist. Dial layout is the same as the 46mm and 43mm versions. There are only three versions available though. One is a limited edition of 250 pieces in red gold with black dial. The other two are non-limited, in steel, with either a black dial or a Panamerican bronze dial.

Who Should Wear One:

The Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45 is for those who want a technically impressive watch. Let’s face it. It’s unlikely you will use the split-second functionality on a regular basis. so it’s more about appreciating the complexity of the movement.


Technical Specifications: Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45

    • Case: 45 mm x 15.73mm – available in steel or 18K red gold – transparent sapphire crystal exhibition back – bidirectional slide rule bezel – non screw-locked, two gasket crown – waterproof to 3 bars/30m.
    • Dial: Available in black or Panamerican bronze – centre hour, minute and split-second chronograph seconds – running seconds shown on sub-dial at 9 o’clock – date – elapsed time chronograph counters at 3 and 6 o’clock.
    • Movement: Breitling 03 (Manufacture) –self-winding – chronograph – date – min. 70-hour power reserve – COSC-certified Chronometer.

  • Price: GBP 9,210 – GBP 22,640.

Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41

The Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 is in some ways the baby of the group. Presented in a small case – by Breitling standards at least – it measures 41mm in diameter. It’s a little thicker than the 43mm version though, at 14.44mm. That’s because it doesn’t use a Manufacture movement. Instead, inside is the Breitling Calibre 13. It’s based on the tried and tested Valjoux/ETA 7750 chronograph movement. It is still chronometer certified and extremely reliable.

This change in movement is also reflected in the dial layout. The circular slide rule is still there but the arrangement of the sub-dials is different. It doesn’t follow the 3, 6, 9 arrangement the Navitimer is known for. Instead this tribute pieces features a 6, 9, 12 configuration. Running seconds are still shown at 9 o’clock. The 30-minute counter has migrated to 12 o’clock and the date is now shown at 3 o’clock.

Some people prefer this layout as being more balanced. It’s  a matter of personal taste. The key advantage to an external movement from a customer point of view is it makes the watch cheaper. Not necessarily any less reliable, just more accessible.

Who Should Wear One:

The Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 is best suited to non-purists. Those who like the look of the Breitling Navitimer and the story behind the slide rule, but don’t feel the need to own a model with a Manufacture movement.


Technical Specifications: Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41

    • Case: 41 mm x 14.44mm – available in steel or steel and gold – screwed-in caseback – bidirectional slide rule bezel – non screw-locked, two gasket crown – waterproof to 3 bars/30m.
    • Dial: Available in black, Aurora blue or Mercury silver – centre hour, minute and chronograph seconds – running seconds shown on sub-dial at 9 o’clock – date – elapsed time chronograph counters at 12 and 6 o’clock.
    • Movement: Breitling 13 –self-winding – chronograph – date – min. 48-hour power reserve – COSC-certified Chronometer.

  • Price: GBP 4,620 – GBP 5,820.

Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38

The Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 is a watch that is both interesting and surprising. For a start, it is smaller than most Breitling models at 38mm x 10.10mm. It also the only current Navitimer 1 not to have a chronograph. It’s a bold move to be sure but one that opens up the Navitimer 1 to a broader audience. Plus, it’s not entirely unprecedented.

The design is actually inspired by the 1950s reference 66. That was also a three-handed (non-chronograph) Navitimer. The fine beaded, bi-directional bezel pays homage to the first generation Navitimer, reference 806. The aviation-inspired slide rule is still there. The omission of the chronograph gives the dial a cleaner, more sophisticated look.

Inside is the Breitling Calibre 17, based on the ETA 2824-2. This movement appears in several other Breitling models. They include the Avenger Seawolf and the Superocean Heritage. Certified as a chronometer, this reliable movement sits behind a screwed-in caseback.

Who Should Wear One:

The Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 is meant to appeal to the brand’s female audience. That said, the smaller dimensions, coupled with the clean aesthetic, make for an eye-catching everyday watch suited to both sexes.


Technical Specifications: Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38

  • Case: 38 mm x 10.44mm – available in steel or steel and gold – screwed-in caseback – bidirectional slide rule bezel – non screw-locked, two gasket crown – waterproof to 3 bars/30m.
  • Dial: Available in black, silver or blue – centre hour, minute and seconds – date.
  • Movement: Breitling 17 –self-winding – date – min. 38-hour power reserve – COSC-certified Chronometer.
  • Price: GBP 3,350 – GBP 4,460.

www.breitling.com

Tom Mulraney
Tom Mulraney
Founder & Editor
Tom likes to write about luxury watches. So much so, that he created The Watch Lounge just so he would have an outlet for his passion. Together with his team, he is dedicated to bringing you original, entertaining (and maybe even a little educational) luxury watch and lifestyle content.

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