WATCHES THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME
The Big Three: Breitling Navitimer, Omega Speedmaster Professional, and Rolex Submariner. At the top of the mainstream Swiss luxury pile, these are the models that define their company identities and live in watch nut immortality. Of the three, the Breitling Navitimer was the first. Breitling claims an introductory date of 1952 for the original wristwatch "flight computer." The AOPA, a major pilots' association, claims to have specified the design and contracted Breitling to deliver the first units exclusively for AOPA members. Regardless of who gets "credit" for the legendary Navitimer, there's no denying that the it's one of the most original, inventive, and widely recognized professional watches in history. Beloved of professional pilots for decades, today, the Breitling Navitimer is the longest-running continuously produced chronograph model in the luxury watch industry. This extraordinary Breitling Navitimer Heritage A35350 sports a standout sunburst metallic blue dial that explodes into iridescent brilliance in direct light and fades to slate gray in the shadows. It’s as beguiling as the dream of manned flight itself and as dynamic as the Blue Angels. Generations of Breitling fans revere the Navitimer, and it's easy to see why. The highly technical look is born of a combination chronograph and circular slide rule. The latter is a circular logarithmic scale that can be used as a calculator to multiply and divide. Pilots use this tool for quick calculation of speed, fuel consumption, and time to arrival, but it can be used for anything from calculating a tip to currency conversion. While it may look scary, it's actually a breeze to use; remember, this thing was designed for use by guys moving 500mph and flying through IMC weather patterns! Inside the Breitling Navitimer Heritage, a sturdy COSC Swiss Chronometer chronograph movement (Breitling Cal. 35, ETA caliber 2892-A2 base) keeps time and winds automatically. But this Navitimer boasts a feature that few others share: a flyback function. Arguably the ultimate refinement for an aviation chronograph, the flyback permits single-push stop/reset/restart of the chronograph when timing events in rapid succession – especially aerial maneuvers. With the added convenience of a date feature (something the first AOPA Navitimer owners could only imagine), this could be a person's "one watch" that does it all. And the 43mm case offers contemporary sports watch scale with wrist presence that can hold its own in a luxury watch marketplace awash in oversized Audemars Piguet, Hublot, Omega, and even Rolex sports models. See this Breitling Navitimer Heritage A35350 in high-resolution images on our website, www.thewatchbox.com. It's the perfect combination of cool vintage vibe and modern luxury watchmaking refinement. Video and content by Tim Mosso.