Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 green

The Premier collection stands out and apart from Breitling’s classic pilot and dive watches, while still leaving all its distinctive Breitling features intact. We review the flagship model of this recently launched line, with original photos by Olaf Köster.
In marked contrast to the Navitimer 1 with its instrument-like tracks around the dial, or the Chronomat with its structural unidirectional rotating bezel, the timepieces in Breitling’s Premier collection embody understatement. But if we look to the past, we can see they’re clearly identifiable as Breitling watches. Most people who choose a Breitling Premier today weren’t even born when the original Premier watches were launched in the 1940s. During that time of turmoil and new beginnings, watches in the Premier line were intended to convey reliability, value and a touch of elegance. These merits are welcome today as well and give us a chance to step away from our fast-paced world for a bit of peace and quiet.

And so the Premier collection not only recalls a different era with its name but also hits the same marks with its design as it did back in the 1940s. It is also “the first modern Breitling collection that stands for elegance in everyday life,” according to Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
Our test watch, the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Green , is the flagship of the collection. Its name makes it abundantly clear that it is equipped with Breitling manufacture movement 01, available with either a silver or blue dial with black counters. A special Bentley version is available with a British racing green dial and the Bentley Centenary Limited Edition is also available with a brown dial and a red-gold case. Our test watch was housed in stainless steel.
For the sake of clarity, let us mention here that the collection also includes chronographs with ETA/Valjoux 7750-based movements and various three-hand watches with a small seconds subdial or weekday/date displays.

Speaking of the date, on the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Green, it is easily legible at its location at 6 o’clock. Its prominent placement is made possible thanks to the reduction of displays with the chronograph movement 01, which omits the 12-hour counter and lets the offset position of the date between 4 and 5 o’clock shift to a straight up-and-down position at 6 o’clock. The two black subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock present an attractive and readable “panda” face on a white background. This bicompax arrangement places the chronograph minutes counter at 3 o’clock and a permanent small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. This gives the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 a very balanced appearance and follows the current trend of chronographs with only two counters. Of course this only allows the timing of intervals of up to 30 minutes, but let’s be honest – who among us in these rapid-fire times needs to record extended time spans, especially since the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 was designed for “powering down.” Powering down is no problem with this Breitling manufacture movement. With its power reserve of 70 hours, the timepiece can easily be taken off the wrist and set aside for an extended “time out” without any worry of its stopping, especially since the rate results are shown to be stable despite gradually falling amplitudes. The same is true for the operation of the chronograph. The timepiece runs at an average rate of +2.4 seconds per day with amplitudes around 265 degrees. It provides chronometer-level quality in every situation, a long-standing Breitling standard for all of its timepieces.
But the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Green shows the instrumental nature Breitling is known for – more than merely chronometer performance. The center-mounted stopwatch hand has a red tip that travels around a delicate but fully legible tachymeter track, which is expertly printed on the black flange ring around the dial, and glides above the seconds track that is divided in thirds to reflect the 4-Hz rhythm of the Caliber 01 automatic movement. The precision and accuracy Breitling is known for is beautifully staged beneath a domed anti-glare sapphire crystal that reveals a certain retro charm. It is a nod to the past, just like the Premier logo on the dial: Premier models in the 1940s were the first Breitling watches to bear the product name on the dial. Its understated elegance extends even as far as the minimal application of luminous material on the hour and minutes hands – enough to barely read the time in poor lighting conditions. By contrast, legibility during the day is excellent. The watch’s sporty stainless-steel case boasts both polished and brushed-finish surfaces and is pressure-resistant and water-resistant to 10 bar (100 meters). Its 42.5-mm diameter meets current tastes – while it’s not nearly as large as other Breitling watches, it’s definitely not small. Its 13.81-mm height is not readily apparent thanks to carefully considered architecture that ensures that the watch doesn’t look overpowering. A narrow, stepped bezel and angular threaded caseback with a sapphire viewing window overlap a smaller midsection with engraved grooves along its body. The crown does not screw down and is easy to grasp and turn for manual winding, and can be pulled out smoothly and firmly into the individual operating positions. The modern-looking, elongated square pusher at 2 o’clock requires some pressure to start the chronograph function. It’s much easier to stop and reset using a similar pusher at 4 o’clock. The lugs are steep and angular; polished top surfaces add to the overall elegance of the Premier B01 Chronograph 42. It also fits well and snugly on a smaller wrist as the lugs bend downward. The leather strap is fastened to the lugs with curved spring bars. But for a larger wrist, the strap almost feels a bit too short – especially if you need to insert the prong into the last hole to fasten it. Otherwise, the solution is comfortable with side buttons to open the elegantly simple, single-sided folding clasp.

Breitling Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission

Wow, that’s hot! Show up wearing the Breitling Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission, and that’s how you’ll be greeted. This chronograph is one of 14 models presented in fall 2019 as the reinvigorated and streamlined Avenger collection, including four watches that replace the former Colt collection.

Such enthusiasm for our test watch! It’s no doubt because of its sporty, striking design with a military green dial and strap as well as its dark coated case, which gave the watch its “Night Mission” name. Everything about it exudes strength and robustness: the wide stepped bezel, the sturdy ringed chronograph pushers, the large screw-down crown with crown guard, the striking hour markers and the calfskin strap with an industrial-looking embossed pattern.
Size alone is not the determining factor in making its powerful impression – even though the watch measures 48 mm across and a strapping 16.5 mm in height, neither dimension is really all that noticeable and surprisingly, the wearing comfort is still great. With its smooth underside, supple leather strap and flat buckle, the watch fits snugly on the wrist. Of course, the light 120-gram weight also plays a role, thanks to Breitling’s use of titanium.
The solid watch case has a DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating that increases the surface hardness and adds to the industrial/military look of the watch. The carbon coating Breitling uses is more anthracite in color than pure black and is a better match with the khaki green components.

The brushed finish on the case fits the overall military design of the watch. There’s only one minor drawback: despite the matte surface, it’s still possible to see fingerprints here and there, and they’re more difficult to wipe off the stepped bezel than they would be with a simpler case design.

The dial stands out with the military-look numerals that have been an iconic part of the Avenger collection from the outset. Such stenciled numerals are painted on military vehicles and other equipment – the vertical line you see here on the 0, 4, and 8 is a typical feature.
Numerals, hands, and the luminous dot on the unidirectional rotating bezel glow brightly at night, so legibility is guaranteed for many hours. It is just as easy to read the time during the day as at night — at least approximately, because the minutes track around the edge of the dial is extremely fine and doesn’t offer a great deal of contrast to the dark khaki green background. There is also a lack of contrast in the dark gray chronograph hands, so legibility is reduced here as well.

Overall finishing is excellent and designed for functionality. Thanks to a high water resistance of up to 300 meters and the unidirectional bezel and luminous dot, this pilots’ watch (with a different strap, of course) can also be used as a dive watch. The pronounced structure on the bezel makes it easy to grasp and sturdy guard rings protect the chronograph pushers from damage from side impacts. The caseback is simple — solid titanium with beige-enhanced engraving of the Breitling name and watch specs.
The chronograph is easy to start, stop and reset. Maybe a little too easy — crisper pressure points would be a better fit for the powerful appearance of the new Avenger.
Breitling submits 100 percent of its watches for chronometer certification so the new Avenger encases the Breitling 13 caliber based on the Sellita automatic SW500 “Chronomètre,” the highest of its three quality categories.

The official Swiss testing agency COSC confirms that the movement runs at a rate of between -4 and +6 seconds per day in five positions while the chronograph is engaged. We also checked the sixth position known as “crown right,” the most common position when looking directly at a watch, and often the position when a watch rests on a watch winder for several hours. The electronic timing machine showed an acceptable average daily rate of +4.7 seconds and a small maximum difference between the individual positions of 6 seconds. This was confirmed during our real-life test on the wrist where the Avenger gained almost 5 seconds per day.

The only fault found in the otherwise sturdy and accurate chronograph movement is the detectable play in the hands of our test watch when setting the time. To compensate for the slack, it’s important to advance the minutes hand forward first and then move it backward to set the exact time so the hand will engage properly upon returning the crown to its locked position and as the movement begins to run.
All in all, the test confirmed our first impression. Breitling has created a sturdy sports watch that is suitable for everyday wear, and whose design is in harmony with its functionality. The design, finishing, comfort and ease-of-use of this new model are particularly pleasing, and the only real drawback is the difficulty in reading the elapsed time.

The Breitling Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission is therefore the right companion for sports and everyday missions, whether by day or, as the name suggests, by night.

INTRODUCING THE 2022 NAVITIMER

As Breitling’s legendary timepiece turns 70, the brand unveils a redesigned collection that is all about bold color, enhanced styling—and incredible journeys.
For 70 years, Breitling’s original pilot’s watch has been beloved by aviators and tastemakers in equal measure. Worn by an astronaut in space and the biggest stars on Earth, it is Breitling’s most iconic timepiece. Today, Breitling honors the legend with the introduction of a new Navitimer that captures its most classic features, while enhancing them with modern refinements.

“We don’t throw the term ‘icon’ around lightly,” says Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling. “The Navitimer is one of the most recognizable watches ever made. It’s on collectors’ lists of the greatest watches of all time. What began as a tool for pilots has gone on to mean something profound to every single person who has had this timepiece along on their personal journey.”
THE DE FACTO PILOT’S WATCH
Not even its inventor could have predicted the phenomenon the Navitimer would become. In 1952, Willy Breitling developed a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule that would allow pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the largest aviators’ club in the world, announced the design as its official timepiece. The association’s winged logo was emblazoned at 12 o’clock, and the “navigation timer”—or Navitimer—was born.

The Breitling Navitimer grew up alongside the burgeoning civil aviation industry. Beloved by airline captains and aircraft enthusiasts, it even made its way into space on the wrist of astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1962 as a 24-hour timepiece to tell day from night. And it wasn’t only pilots drawn to the watch’s irrepressible aesthetic. Celebrities of the day, such as Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg, Jim Clark, and Graham Hill, were devotees, proving that the Navitimer had style as well as function.
AN EVOLUTION IN BREITLING’S SIGNATURE MODERN-RETRO STYLE
To create the new Navitimer, Breitling Navitimer preserved the most recognizable aspects of the icon’s design code. From a distance, this is unmistakably a Navitimer, with its circular slide rule, baton indexes, trio of chronograph counters, and notched bezel for easy grip. Up close, however, its modern refinements come through loud and clear.

A flattened slide rule and a domed crystal create the illusion of a more compact profile. Alternating polished and brushed finishes give the metal elements a lustrous yet understated quality. A slimmer silhouette on the oscillating weight enhances the open-caseback view of the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. This movement is backed by a five-year warranty, provides approximately 70 hours of power reserve, and allows the wearer to change the date—now visible through a discreet window in the subdial at 6 o’clock—at any time.
The Breitling Navitimer watch comes in a range of sizes (46, 43, or 41 mm), two case materials (stainless steel or 18-karat red gold), and a choice of straps (semi-shiny alligator or seven-row metal bracelet). Modern colors in shades of blue, green, and copper define its updated dial options. And if there is one feature sure to spark nostalgia, it’s the return of the AOPA wings to their original position at 12 o’clock.
FOR THE JOURNEY, CELEBRATING WHAT MOVES US
Today, after 70 years, the Navitimer has gone beyond being a tool used by pilots to navigate their course. It has become a symbol for those plotting their personal journeys through life.

Breitling celebrates this significance in a new campaign, NAVITIMER—FOR THE JOURNEY, featuring the Navitimer Squad, made up of basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland, and aviation pioneer and explorer Bertrand Piccard. Each member has been on an incredible journey to get to where they are today at the top of their fields. Each one has charted a course and stayed on it through sheer determination. And each one is on route to achieving their next set of ambitions. Using powerful visuals and the Squad Members’ own narration, the campaign gets to the heart of these moving journeys.

“This project means a lot to me because it celebrates not only where I was in life, but where I’d come from and where I am going,” says Misty Copeland. “There is an absolute parallel between navigating towards a physical destination and navigating towards the vision of where you want to be in life. You’ll see that theme come through in these three stories.”

The Breitling Navitimer has come a long way since Willy Breitling first drafted his idea for a wrist-worn flight tool. This redesign, with its focus on color, styling, and inclusive appeal, marks a new phase in the Navitimer’s journey, one that blends Breitling’s modern aesthetics and values with its historic watchmaking savoir faire to create an updated identity for the iconic watch that started it all.

Breitling Endurance Pro El Paradiso

Breitling Endurance Pro, featuring a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz movement, is the ultimate athleisure watch positioned in the brand’s Professional range. Designed both as a lightweight watch for athletes and a casual, everyday sports chronograph, it is the perfect lightweight and lighthearted luxury sports watch combining high precision, innovative technology, and vibrant, colorful design. The launch will be accompanied by the Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge, which offers the opportunity to competefor some incredible prizes.

The Breitling Endurance Pro combines an ultra-lightweight 44 millimeter Breitlight case and a thermo-­compensated SuperQuartz movement ten times more accurate than conventional quartz, and it offers optimal comfort, matchless precision, and functionality that will appeal both to committed athletes and to more casual sports enthusiasts. Designed for men and women whose active lives blend a professional mindset with a sporty lifestyle, the Endurance Pro is equal to the challenges of a rigorous workout but fashionable enough for everyday wear.

As Breitling CEO Georges Kern explains, “When Jan Frodeno first became a member of our Triathlon Squad, he asked me what Breitling he should wear. We started brainstorming about the perfect sporty lifestyle watch and that conversation led to the development of the Endurance Pro. With this watch, we adapted our SuperQuartz technology to the needs of people like Jan who play as hard as they work. And the Breitlight case is so light that it won’t interfere with anyone’s training routine or sporting activity.”
A SuperQuartz movement powers every piece in Breitling’s Professional range, the tool watches that have long been favorites with explorers and pilots. The Endurance Pro takes the range into the world of sports, in which Breitling also has a significant legacy. In cycling, the brand has partnered with major competitions, including the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, and cycling legends Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali. The same is true in motorsports, where Breitling has sponsored famous rallies. The brand has long offered watches with sports-friendly functions and the Endurance Pro carries on that proud legacy.

Today, Breitling stands for aspirational yet accessible sports, such as running, cycling, and swimming – the disciplines that come together in triathlon competitions. High performance, yes, but activities that everyone can also enjoy at their own pace.
Strava is the world’s leading app for runners and cyclists. Its features allow athletes to track and analyze every aspect of their activities, regardless of their choice of sport. The Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge was created to engage and motivate participants from all over the world.

Those who take part in the Strava Challenge, which goes live on 26 August 2020, will be competing for some great prizes, including a Breitling Colnago C64 bike, Breitling Endurance Pro watches, and Breitling jersey kits. To be eligible for the prizes, competitors will have to complete 500 minutes – about the time it takes a world-class triathlete to complete a full triathlon – in the activities of their choice, be it swimming, running, cycling, hiking, or another sport. Unlike the triathlon stars, participants in the Breitling Endurance Pro Strava Challenge will have two weeks to rack up their 500 minutes. The winners will be selected at random from the pool of competitors who complete the Strava Challenge.
The Endurance Pro is inspired by the Breitling Sprint, a memorable watch from the 1970s that combined a pulsometer with an impressively light weight. It was ideal for athletes who wanted to be able to monitor their heart rates. It was made from resin so it was particularly comfortable on the wrist. Of course, it was also produced in some dazzling 1970s colors, and the Endurance Pro is clearly a modern evolution of that design.
There are five colorful variations of the new Breitling Endurance Pro. Each one features a black dial and a black bidirectional rotating bezel with engraved cardinal compass points (N, S, E, and W). The five variations are distinguished by their own bold colors: they are designed with an inner bezel, which is marked with a useful pulsometer scale, in a choice of white, blue, yellow, orange, or red, making it easy for the user to keep track of their heart rate during sports sessions. The watches are presented on a Diver Pro rubber strap in the same color as the inner bezel ring. The strap is secured with a Breitlight double-pin buckle. For Endurance Pro fans who want to add even more color to this already dazzling watch, vibrant Outerknown ECONYL yarn NATO straps that pair perfectly with this eye-catching chronograph can be purchased separately. The watch also has a tactile molded crown in the same color as the strap and the inner bezel ring for excellent grip and maneuverability. At the heart of the Endurance Pro is the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 82, whose SuperQuartz technology delivers exceptional precision.

The hour and minute hands are coated with Super-­LumiNova, making them legible even in limited lighting conditions. The chronograph second hand has a red pointer so it is easy to keep track of the elapsed time. Along with a small-second subdial, there are 1/10th second and 30-minute chronograph counters that have also been designed for easy reading. The Breitling Endurance Pro is water-resistant to 10 bar/100 meters/330 feet and comes with a two-year warranty. Breitling introduced Breitlight in 2016. The robust, ultra-light material’s characteristics speak for themselves: 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, the material is nonmagnetic, thermally stable, and hypoallergenic. Breitlight is highly resistant to scratches, traction, and corrosion. It also feels warmer to the touch than metal and has a slightly textured effect, accentuating the originality of the design. Exclusive to Breitling, it is 100% Swiss made. With its dazzling colors, impressively light weight, and world-beating precision and functionality, along with a price tag that will attract new enthusiasts to the brand, the Breitling Endurance Pro occupies a unique position among sports watches. It is equal to the needs of committed athletes but also ideal for anyone wanting to combine an active lifestyle with a laid-back attitude.

Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41

Last year in Basel, we saw a 38mm three-hand Navitimer with a beaded bezel equipped with a slide rule. Sure, it was on the smaller side for a Breitling, but it was also a clear signal that under its then-new new management, Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 was going to be open to trying new things to reach a wider range of watch buyers. This year, we see the same aesthetic applied to a 41mm mid-size three-hander with date.
It’s a good looking watch that takes the aesthetic of the Navitimer, a tool watch if there ever was one and definitely Breitling’s most iconic design, and applies it to a fashionable time and date in a wide range of executions incorporating various dial colors, two case metal configurations, and choice of a leather strap or a bracelet. Based on the shear number of examples within this new collection, it would appear that Breitling expects this collection to be a big success and a pillar for the brand. The Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 17 is not produced in-house, but it’s based upon one of the most widely used and time-tested movements in all of Swiss watchmaking, ETA’s 2824-2.
I’m a fan of the Navitimer aesthetic, and I think a lot of you out there are too. It’s definitely Breitling’s best-known watch and easily one of the most instantly recognizable pilot’s watch designs from any watchmaker. These new time and date models successfully transfer the design language of an iconic tool watch to more of an everyday watch with mass market appeal. There are a heck of a lot of different possible configurations here – I count 15 when taking the optional folding clasp versus pin buckle into account, and I think some of them look really great: the blue dial option below matched with a blue strap, for example.

Breitling’s simplistic Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 range never really sat right with me. I’m not a purist, in fact, I’ve never owned a Breitling, but when you get stuck on an idea or design that just works, it’s challenging to get your mind around it. Enter the new Navitimer Automatic 41 Silver and Blue limited edition, which might well be the first of the simple Navitimers that I genuinely really like.

Let’s start with the classic Navitimer. It’s a chronograph with a black dial, cream-coloured subdials and a complicated slide rule bezel. It’s got some touches of red, but it’s primarily monochromatic, but everything’s balanced really well. My ideal Navitimer is on a polished stainless steel bracelet, because there’s no reason why you can’t show off every now and then, right? Without those details, the three-handed Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 never seemed to work, and they just took away the fun for the sake of adding another range. But, Breitling seems to have taken a page out from IWC’s book and offered the new watch with blue hands and markers and a silvery dial. It’s simple but colour-matched well, the dial is clean and crisp, no fancy sunburst here to make things busier than they need to be. A date window is included at 6 Oclock because that’s standard these days, and in true Navitimer fashion, you can swizzle the bezel around thanks to the beaded grips.

Breitling Navitimer Was Released 70 Years Ago

Among the enthusiast community, the exact date is up for debate – but according to Breitling, 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the Navitimer. And the brand is celebrating with not a single re-edition, but an entire range of Breitling Navitimers coming in 46mm, 43mm, 41mm, in stainless steel, and red gold. And if the range of sizes doesn’t offer enough variety, then consider that there are 13 different dials to choose from.

The Navitimer is one of Breitling’s most celebrated designs. Willy Breitling dreamed up the watch in the early ’50s to directly aid pilots in the cockpit. He called it the Breitling Navigation Timer, or “Navtimer.” The watch featured a rotating slide rule on the bezel that worked in conjunction with the chronograph to make cockpit calculations easier. The watch caught on big-time. It was so popular with aviators that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association teamed up with Breitling to release a branded design that featured the company’s winged crest at 12 o’clock. It was during the ’50s that civilian aviation proliferated, and weekend warrior pilots, along with professional and military pilots, all needed a watch. The Breitling Navitimer became commonplace with the aviation set. It was considered a worthy tool.
Scott Carpenter approached Breitling about modifying the Navitimer for 24-hour time for spacefaring applications in the early ’60s, and based on the design of the Navitimer, the Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute was born. Beyond professionals like Carpenter, the watch became popular with celebrities like Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg, Jim Clark, and Graham Hill, as well.

The crop of 2022 Breitling Navitimers retain all the elements from the Navitimers of mid-century years, like the circular slide rule, baton indexes, trio of chronograph counters, and a notched bezel. The most prominent change is inside, with the inclusion of Breitling’s COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. It’s a column wheel chronograph that boasts a healthy 70-hour power reserve. There’s a new date function, as well, present at the 6 o’clock position
The Navitimer ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition released at Baselworld 2019 got collectors excited. It was an accurate re-edition; a proper way to honor a watch with such a strong legacy. It meant that it was only a matter of time before we saw an update to the Navitimer collection.
The slide rule is now flattened out and the crystal domed, which visually creates a more compact profile of the watch. But let’s be clear here: Breitling didn’t make the cases any smaller. The original Navitimer was executed with a 40mm case. This new Navitimer tops out at 46mm. For those who want to stay as close to the original as possible, the 41mm variant is the closest we’re going to get. They all boast the Caliber 01, and they’re all water-resistant to 30 meters.

Since there are so many dial choices, case sizes, and metals available, let’s break ’em down.

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph Replica

It’s iconic. It’s complicated. It’s the Breitling Navitimer. Without a doubt, the Navitimer is Breitling’s flagship model. When you think of Breitling, an image of the circular slide rule bezel surrounding three subdials is the first thing likely to pop into your head.

My dad and I always talk about space and aviation. It’s been a staple topic of conversation since I was a little kid. Aerospace has been my dad’s passion since he was a child. Over many decades he’s passed that same interest on to me. Whenever I mention the Omega Speedmaster to him, my dad quickly reminds me (in the way dads do), “…you know? The Navitimer is the real space watch.”
There is an element of truth in that statement. Dads are usually right and modern marketing is not always consistent with history. Omega wasn’t the first to market watches with astronauts just as the United States space program didn’t start with a Moon landing. A vintage Breitling advertising campaign depicts the (at the time) larger-than-life NASA Astronaut Scott Carpenter. Scott Carpenter famously wore the Breitling Cosmonaut-Navitimer (24hr dial) on the NASA mission Mercury-Atlas 7 (May 24th, 1962). This took place seven years before the Moon landing.

Throughout many iterations since its commercial release in 1952, the Breitling Navitimer continues to retain most of its original design and functional elements. Is there a modern place for yesterday’s analog pilot’s tool in today’s upscale modern life? As a fashion item, sure, but what about as a useful tool? To assess the Navitimer B01 we will look at the watch with a critical eye, but we will also provide instructions for operating the watch’s slide rule bezel in order to focus on its often overlooked functionality as a tool.
Unlike most watches that I have the opportunity to review, I wore this one for almost a month straight to make sure that I got the full experience. I had this weird preconceived notion that I could never be a Navitimer Person, whatever the hell that is. After about two weeks, the Breitling Navitimer B01 felt fully integrated into my daily kit. I missed my Rolexes and Speedmasters, but it was clear to me why the Navitimer has remained a popular watch for decades.

Within the entire Breitling Navitimer line, my personal money would be on the “806” 1959 Re-Edition ($8,600), because of the vintage characteristics such as painted indices, hand-wound movement, beaded bezel, etc. If it’s someone else’s money to play with, the 1959 Edition in Platinum and blue ($39,900) would be superlative, because nothing defies constitution like a precious metal tool watch. But the B01 in hand for review was really a fantastic introduction into the Navitimer experience because there is a genuine connection that bridges modern watchmaking with an iconic representation of the past.
Any watch over 40mm sends my guard up. Will it feel too big? Are the proportions going to be OK? I’m pleased to say that the 43mm Navitimer that Breitling loaned me put my anxiety to rest. I’ll save you the “wears smaller” lines and simply point out that I have a 6.75” wrist that’s relatively flat across the top. It’s hard to imagine the larger 46mm version working for me, but the 43mm Navitimer fits great.
The Navitimer bezel sticks out like jagged teeth overhanging the case. The 43mm width is measured by the diameter of the bezel, not the case beneath it, and that’s key in understanding why this watch wears smaller. The action of the friction bezel is remarkably smooth compared to a dive watch, which tend to provide greater resistance in the bezel’s ratchet mechanism. The teeth on the Navitimer bezel are so pronounced that I actually scratched my son as he slid out of my arms while setting him down. Maybe this is not the best watch for child handling, but with aviation gloves on the bezel is easy to grip.

I’m a sucker for exposed pump pushers and crowns on chronographs. The pump pushers reinforce the nostalgic feeling of the Navitimer.

The entire Navitimer case is polished. After all, most traditional Breitling designs were quite shiny, and that continues to be a signature look of the brand. Luckily the black dial ate up a lot of the light, so it wasn’t overly shiny on wrist. Moving to the flanks of the Navitimer’s case, the lugs retain that high polish while sloping down at just the right angle for a comfortable fit.
The Navitimer’s caseback displays the Breitling B01 movement and reminds you that 3 Bars of water resistance means that the Navitimer is not a great choice for the pool. It’s actually a poor choice for any water activity. The crown does not screw down, and the rating just isn’t there. However, this watch was designed for use in thin atmospheres at very high altitudes, so pressurizing the case would have been pointless, difficult, and would likely have enlarged the watch to ridiculous proportions.

The Breitling Navitimer B01 features a domed (Breitling calls it cambered) sapphire crystal. I would describe the amount of camber as just enough to be visually interesting without causing too much distortion. The Navitimer crystal has anti-glare treatment on both sides. Breitling’s anti-glare treatment gives the glass a quick flash of magenta at a certain angle. Photographers love to show that little bit of color off on social media posts (I’m guilty). You won’t see a lot of lume photos due to the sparing amount Super-LumiNova on the Navitimer B01 dial, however. This is a watch intended to be used in bright light and with perfect eyesight.
The Navitimer that Breitling lent me for review came on a black calfskin leather strap with a tang-type buckle. The leather strap felt substantial between the Navitimer’s 22mm wide lugs. Breitling wisely chose a thick leather to back up the proportions of the 43mm Navitimer. The calfskin strap tapered from 22mm to 18mm at the buckle and was slightly padded. In the interest of full disclosure, I swapped the Breitling strap for a Barton Silicone Elite because I don’t care for leather. That is just a personal preference and does not take away from the high-quality Breitling leather strap. With the five options listed above, you can find something you’ll like, for sure.

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46

For 2022, Breitling has redesigned its iconic Breitling Navitimer Chronograph watch, which for decades has been a staple of high-end tool timepieces originally designed for commercial airline pilots in the early 1950s. The Navitimer has seen countless iterations over the years and is one of the world’s most recognized luxury sports watches. It has not, however, experienced a recent makeover under Breitling’s current stewardship by Georges Kern. The updated Breitling Navitimer for 2022 is known officially as the Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph and comes in three case sizes with a variety of different dial options, many of which have never been offered in a Navitimer watch before. The aBlogtoWatch team was able to go hands-on with all of the new Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph watches and below is our take on this modern version of a timeless classic.
For me, the Navitimer has always been a staple of tool watches because of its focus on computational utility. Its core design element is a slide-rule bezel that once allowed pilots to make various necessary calculations such as time to their destination or fuel consumption rate. The rotating slide-rule bezel mixed with the chronograph offered a small universe of capabilities. Only the smartest and most competent pilots would be seen wearing such a wrist instrument, and the legacy of the learned aviation professional lives on in this decidedly Breitling brand watch. With a design DNA that was perfected long ago, according to many timepiece enthusiasts, what was Breitling able to do with a modern Navitimer that hasn’t been done before?
It is important to mention some useful context at play when Breitling designed the new Navitimer. First of all, it was the brand’s goal to make the Navitimer look and feel as pleasant as possible while fitting into contemporary trends in luxury timepieces. That means the watches also need variety and be able to appeal to multiple audience sizes and color preferences. While the slide rule feature is truly iconic, few Navitimer customers are known to actually use this piece of functionality, which means the feature needs to be there but Breitling doesn’t really talk about it much. In fact, Breitling has a series of prototype Navitimer watches with more water resistance (hard to accomplish with the bezel functioning as it does). None of those ever made it to market because the resulting watch cases don’t really look “Navitimer enough.” So, Breitling’s goal with the redesigned Navitimer is mainly two-fold: to create a commercially successful luxury watch that fits into Breitling’s “relaxed luxury lifestyle” brand personality, and to offer a product that looks and feels like the classic Navitimer enthusiasts love. Note that to make the dial a bit cleaner, this generation of Breitling Navitimer Chronograph watch dials do not have a tachymeter scale, and I don’t think a single person will really miss it.
It was also important that Breitling get to feature its extremely competent in-house caliber B01 automatic chronograph movement but also to make the Navitimer case thinner. Older Navitimer watches are thinner, but they are also manually wound (versus automatic). The 2022 Navitimer watches are about 1.5mm thinner than previous-generation models, and they also feature an exhibition caseback. The case thinness (they are all about 13.6-14mm-thick, depending on the version) is thanks to a redesign of the slide-rule bezel system, which is now flat instead of sloped, as was the case on previous models. The dial doesn’t appear flat, however, thanks to the recessed subdials. Many people will not notice, at first glance, the different architecture of the Navitimer dial, but it is very apparent once you start to inspect it or compare it to other recent Navitimer Chronograph watches.
Breitling decided to go very commercial with the dials in terms of colors and finishing. That’s a business decision that probably makes sense, but purists will probably still be more attracted to some of the more historic-looking recent Navitimer watches that have more of a “tool watch” look. The various metallic colors and copious reflective surfaces test well with luxury seekers but make the new Navitimer B01 Chronograph watches quite “blingy” when compared with the classic models. Adding to that look are new colors, including two different greens (one is a fun mint), two blues, and a variety of grays, whites, and black tones mixed together. There are even 18k red-gold case options in addition to the main steel-cased versions to offer an even more high-end feel. The dials are very nice, but I prefer a more matte style to watches with this level of dial detail, and for the snazzier shiny look, I am still very much taken by Breitling’s Chronomat 42 masterpieces.
For me, the most jarring aspect of the new Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph case design is the polishing. While not always true, most recent Navitimer watches have had all-polished cases — really nice polished cases. For 2022, Breitling goes a different route by maintaining the core Navitimer case style but offering both polished and brushed surface finishing over the case and the available bracelet. This adds a lot of visual interest to the case and bracelet, but the dual-finishing of the 2022 Navitimer watches do make them stand out from the rest of the modern versions of the watch and will probably help them stand out to customers who have previous-generation Navitimer models.
On the dial, we see a return to the AOPA Breitling “wings” logo, which has been used on some retro-remake models but no standard collection pieces, until now. Breitling CEO Georges Kern presided over the Navitimer B01 Chronograph launch event and explained something very interesting about the brand’s logos. The problem is that none of the current logos work with all of the watches. Some logos appear better on the modern watches but not the classic ones. Some of the watches have just a Breitling “B,” and others have mere graphic logos. It is great that Breitling has so much history to pull from to make this possible, but it is also interesting that the brand’s current logos don’t actually work well on all watches. Breitling isn’t the only watch brand now to play with different logo designs on contemporary watches but probably has the best reasons to use multiple logos across product collections.
To serve the needs of various customers (including women), Breitling made the correct decision to offer what is essentially the same watch in three different case sizes. It is true that some dial color configurations are only available in some sizes, but for the most part, Breitling makes sure that the 41, 43, and 46mm-wide Navitimer B01 Chronograph watches are more or less the same in terms of style and look. Having worn all three sizes, I would say that my personal preference is the 43mm wide version, but I would gladly wear any of them. The cases are water-resistant to 30 meters, and 13.6, 13.69, and 13.95mm thick, respectively. Watch size is a matter of taste and not a matter of correctness. So the correct size for you will depend on your anatomy and, to a degree, the watch dial colors that you prefer.
Breitling’s B01 automatic chronograph movement powers each of these watches and, for the first time in a Navitimer Chronograph piece, you can see the very nice movement through an exhibition caseback. This was designed by former Rolex engineers who worked on the chronograph movement inside the Daytona and is very accurate. Each is a COSC-certified Chronometer and operates at 4Hz with 70 hours of power reserve. The watch features the time and date (integrated into the lower subdial), as well as the 12-hour chronograph. All of the watches are available on a brown or black alligator strap, or a matching seven-link metal bracelet (steel or gold depending on the version). The bracelet option (in steel) costs just $400 more and also features a new butterfly-style deployant clasp, a serious upgrade from the previous fold-over deployant clasps.
The new for 2022 Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph comes just in time for the 70th anniversary of the original Navitimer from 1952. The collection is as dazzling and handsome as ever, while Breilting hopes the invigorated new colors and styling will help the thinking person’s tool watch appeal to a more general luxury audience. There are no fewer than 15 new versions available at launch, and the full pricing for all of the latest Breitling B01 Chronograph watches

Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Watch

In Beverly Hills at an event held at the Breitling boutique, the Swiss brand unveiled the latest “capsule” Top Time watches collection honoring three classic American cars. Breitling’s U.S. president lamented that not enough of the special edition watches were allocated for U.S. soil given the inherent popularity of these automotive icons in their home soil. If you are an American, then cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang are as well-known as bread and butter. To a slightly lesser degree but known to all classic car enthusiasts is the original Shelby AC Cobra. Even if not enough of these particular Top Time watches are in the U.S. right now, they aren’t limited editions (meaning more will come), as Breilting correctly feels these products will have enduring value. And they aren’t priced incorrectly, either.

While these three Breitling Top Time watches are part of the same collection, the Top Time Shelby Cobra has a different case and movement than the Top Time Ford Mustang and Top Time Chevrolet Corvette. It features a 40mm-wide (13.3mm-thick) polished steel case with a two-register chronograph dial and houses the Swiss Made ETA-based Breitling Caliber 41 automatic movement, which operates at 4Hz with about 42 hours of power reserve. No, the watches do not have display casebacks, but they do feature laser-etched logos of the iconic cars they are inspired by.
The Top Time Shelby Cobra reference A41315A71C1X2 has an elegant blue and white dial with red accents and the famed Cobra logo. Like all the models, the periphery of the dial has a colorful tachymeter scale. Each of the watches features different colors, but the center color has the same vertically brushed color application. I think they were going for an automotive paint look, but the effect feels a bit more like something else. It just makes me wonder how interesting a watch dial done in automotive paint might be.

An interesting design feature that most certainly hearkens back to classic Breitling Top Time watches chronograph watches (often from the 1970s) is the “TV screen” shaped subdials. These, combined with the round case, make for a particularly elegant overall design that doesn’t feel generic or staid given the overall simplicity of the vintage-style case and overall timepiece presentation. Next, the reference A25310241K1X1 Top Time Chevrolet Corvette and A253101A1L1X1 Top Time Ford Mustang watches have slightly larger 42mm-wide cases that are 13.6mm-thick. Like the 40mm-wide Top Time Shelby Cobra, the cases are water-resistant to 100 meters and have a sapphire crystal over the dial. Breitling opts for red as the color to represent the Corvette and a handsome green to represent the Ford Mustang. To my eyes, the Chevrolet Corvette watch with the red dial is the most eye-catching (Breitling says it is inspired by the C2 body Stingray Corvette, which looked handsome in red), but in truth, all of the Top Time automotive watches are very attractive and well-done Breitling watches. The 42mm-wide Top Time Corvette and Mustang watches have three versus two-register dials allows for full 12-hour chronographs. They include Swiss Made ETA-based Breitling caliber 25 automatic chronograph movements that also operate at 4Hz with about 42 hours of power reserve. All of the watches eschew having date windows in order to opt for a more classic, collector-friendly look for the faces. Attached to the various Top Time watches are style-appropriate calf-leather straps.
In the United States, and probably around the world, buyers of Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvettes, and Shelby Cobras are nostalgia lovers who enjoy speed, a few thrills, and definitely halcyon days. Even though plenty of current Breitling fans will be turned on to this new trio of watches, Breitling is smart in creating a product meant to appeal to the emotional sensibilities of a different powerful buyer demographic. If the Breitling Top Time Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Shelby Cobra continue to do well, expect more variations on the theme in the future.

Breitling Premier Top Time Triumph replica

Those feeling jaded by yet another motorsport-watch collab may want to give the new Breitling x Triumph pairing a look. The partnership may have the usual trappings – a focus on performance and innovation, marketed with a special edition watch to match a special edition vehicle – but because this is Breitling and Triumph, in comes a dose of rebellious, retro-cool. Plus bucketloads of history.
The new Breitling Top Time Triumph specifically harks back to the “café racers” of the 1960s, a subculture that sprung up in post-austerity, post-war UK and America, when stylish motorcycles became the must-have wheels, their riders shuttling from hip café to hip café. Think James Dean on his Triumph Trophy and the biker outlaws in The Wild One. “It was a birth of a subculture of people in their teens who had time, who could borrow money – when the world was a bit of a brighter place post the second world war,” describes Miles Perkins, Triumph’s head of brand management. “You had an explosion of popular culture: music, movies, motorcycles.”

Channeling this spirit on the wrist was the Breitling Top Time Triumph , a daring chronograph that launched in the 1960s. The watch’s highly graphic dials and unconventional square cases were designed for a younger crowd – “to speak their language,” said Willy Breitling in 1964 – with the watch featuring in the likes of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. “It was a little bit more nonconformist and disruptive,” says Gavin Murphy, managing director of Breitling UK. “It appealed to a much younger, hipper generation.”
Fast-forward to 2022, and the new 41mm Top Time Triumph unsurprisingly oozes a modern-retro vibe and is complemented by the Triumph Speed Twin Breitling motorcycle, limited to 270 pieces (the speed and RPM gauges were co-designed with Breitling). The crowning feature on both is the eye-catching ice-blue hue, which recalls the history of both brands: the polychromatic blue from the 1951 Triumph Thunderbird 6T, which Marlon Brando later immortalized in the film The Wild One. And a rare, blue-dialed Breitling Top Time Ref 815 from the 1970s.

Breitling has notably fashioned the dial in its hallmark Zorro motif – an ultra-graphic, bow-tie look where the contrasting colors of the two chronograph counters recall the mask of Zorro. But rather than contrasting tones here, Breitling lets the ice-blue color do the talking, and employs a beautiful, brushed finish that frames not only the sub-dials but the two brand logos at the 12 and six o’clock positions. Boosting the graphic look is a black tachymeter scale, which matches the racing-themed black leather strap, as oversized mushroom pushers further the vintage, sporting theme. The caseback is engraved with a sketch of the Triumph parallel twin-engine and houses the Breitling self-winding caliber 23, a COSC-certified chronometer with a 48-hour power reserve. Buyers of the Triumph co-branded bike will also have the opportunity to purchase a special owner’s edition of the watch, this one with a sunray dial and engraved with the individual number of the bike.
These days it feels like every watch brand has teamed up with a motoring one, but something about this collaboration feels especially refreshing. That’s partly down to motorbikes being slightly more niche – and dare we say it, cooler than cars, which Breitling seems to be embracing full throttle (this is the second motorcycle collaboration it has launched in a year, plus Breitling’s CEO Georges Kern is a keen motorcycle rider, which helps). Meanwhile, the strong history on both sides of the collaboration also adds authenticity.
Triumph celebrates its 120th birthday this year, and the British marque has been behind key motorcycle innovation and development, earning accolades along the way like the only maker to have broken the motorcycle land speed record five times (fact: it held the World’s Fastest Motorcycle title between 1955-1970, save for about a month). Such heritage no doubt appeals to petrol heads, and for the rest of us, there’s Hollywood star power: there’s Dean and Brando, as mentioned, but also Steve McQueen jumping and crashing his 1962 TR6 650 Trophy in The Great Escape and Tom Cruise’s two Triumphs (a Daytona T595 and Speed Triple) in Mission Impossible II, followed by a Thruxton in Edge of Tomorrow. Most recently, a Tiger 900 and Scrambler 1200 did some pretty bad-ass stunts in the latest Bond film, No Time To Die. Throw in the whole nod to café racer culture in this particular watch, and it makes for a compelling story, especially for the less motorcycle-inclined (like this writer, admittedly).

Like Triumph, the Breitling Top Time Triumph has both insider and outsider appeal. The watch and that striking Zorro dial have their place in horological history as a daring 1960s creation for the hip, Swinging Sixties crowd. And there’s Bond cred all its own, too: a modified Top Time had a starring (and world-saving) role in 1965’s Thunderball – a watch that hammered down in 2013 at Christie’s pop culture sale for a cool £103,875.
These coinciding histories mean that both Breitling and Triumph should attract attention and new audiences – which ultimately is what all these collabs are about. Indeed, it seems already on-track: all 50 of the Triumph Twin Speed motorcycles allocated for the UK market were snapped up within 12 minutes of the partnership going live last week with buyers no doubt keen to engrave their matching Breitlings with their bike’s unique number.

But hype aside, this watch hands-down is a real looker. That ice-blue dial is truly beautiful and instantly grabs attention, and especially pops against the contrasting black tachymeter scale, black subdials, black logos and black perforated leather strap. The “squircle” counters and oversized mushroom pushers channel the ongoing craze for 1960s watches and all that retro geometry. Finally, Breitling’s caliber 23 will definitely deliver, the watchmaker being a pre-eminent house alongside Rolex and Omega in serving up the best chronometers in the biz. This is the first watch in Breitling and Triumph’s reportedly long-standing partnership, and we’re intrigued to see where the road leads.