Quick Take

What we have here is a very accurate re-edition of a Breitling Navitimer from 1959. This isn't just a watch with vintage cues or a design that was inspired by something from the past it's pretty close to a carbon copy. The design of the classic Navitimer is bound to be familiar to many of the people reading this site. It's iconic among pilot's watches for its design, which combines a chronograph with a rotating E6B flight calculator bezel, a scale that can be used by pilots to manually compute various useful calculations for things like fuel consumption and and air spreed.*
Details that can be traced to the original include the plexiglass crystal and continue right down to the number of beads found on the watch's beaded bezel. (I'll save you the trouble of counting, it's 94.) The precise number of these beads, which are there for easy gripping of the bezel and operation of the E6B slide rule, varied considerably from reference to reference and from year to year, with as many as 125 in the 1950s and as few as 93 in 1960.
The new movement Breitling has drawn on to power the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is the caliber B09, a hand wound COSC-rated chronograph. Since this is a re-edition of a watch that predates the advent of the automatic chronograph, a hand-wound in-house movement like this one seems like a logical choice, and indeed this is a caliber that Breitling has made specifically to power the historically influenced re-edition.
Initial Thoughts

It bears repeating that this new watch is practically a facsimile of the original from 1959. In fact, Breitling says that the only concessions to modernity that the current watch makes are its increased water resistance (to 30 meters) and the use of Superluminova in lieu of radium. The back of the watch is even closed, a period-correct connection to vintage watches that most companies can't resist breaking in the course of making vintage homages.*
I've long loved the Navitimer. The dial, while undeniably busy, draws me in each time I encounter it, and I find myself wondering why I don't own one. This is a great-looking modern take on a classic vintage watch, and I have no doubt that Breitling will easily find homes for the 1,959 examples of the Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition that they are making.*There's really nothing to complain about with regard to this watch, aside perhaps from the fact that it is essentially a reproduction of a product that already exists but that's also the reason so many people are going to love it.
The Basics

Brand: Breitling
Model: Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition
Reference Number: 806*
Diameter: 41mm
Thickness: 12.86mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: Black
Indexes: Superluminova numerals for hours
Lume: Yes
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Leather strap
The Movement

Caliber: B09
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
Diameter: 30mm
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: Manually wound
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Chronometer Certified Yes
Pricing & Availability

Price: CHF 7,900
Limited Edition: 1,959
For more click here.


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