The Grenchen based watchmaker has presented its first in-house split-seconds chronograph at the Baselworld 2017 called Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante. The watch utilizes new Caliber Breitling B03 for which the brand has created a special module responsible for the rattrapante feature, one of the most prized complications in horology. In the creation of the complication, Breitling implemented two new innovations which are meant to make it more precise and easier to manufacture on a bigger scale. The newcomer from the legendary Navitimer collection is made in a series-produced steel version (with the price of around $11,000) and in the limited red gold (whose price is nearly three times higher and it is set at around $32,900).
New Simple Module for the Complicated Feature
As it is known, rattrapante or split-seconds chronograph (which allows the wearer to keep track of split times and then to continue to measure the elapsed interval) is one of the hardest complications to produce. With the latest model, the Grenchen watchmaker has joined the ranks of few brands that have the ability to create such watches in-house. In order to achieve it, the brand needed to develop a new caliber. It is not completely new in the strict sense, since Caliber B 03 uses Caliber B 01 as its base on which it added the module that is responsible for the new feature. Interestingly, the new module is comprised of just 28 parts. Similarly to this, Breeitling has previously done the same for its models with the second time zone and world time features. This sort of modular approach facilitates the servicing of the calibers and (which is even more important) its production on a larger scale, the a well-known watchmaker’s policy ever since it has entered its latest era.
Moreover, this brought to two innovations that were necessary to lower the energy consumption and to raise the reliability of the feature. The first novelty for which a patent is pending is made in the isolating system that disconnects the rattrapante hand when it is stopped to mark the measured split time. Instead of the common pin that is used for this, Breitling designed a new stamped part which is tougher, easier to create and which ultimately does not additionally deplete the power reserve. The other innovation is created for the stopping of the rattrapante hand. Here, Breitling found inspiration in an unusual place – in bicycle brakes. The commonly used wheel is now surrounded with an O-ring seal compressed with a clamp.
Naturally, Automatic Breitling B 03 thus retains most of the traits of its base movement. It has the extended power reserve of 70 hours and it beats at the frequency of 4 Hz. It is also a COSC certified chronometer.
Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante comes in a round case with the diameter of 45 mm and the thickness of 15.73 mm. It features a bi-directional knurled bezel with a slide-rule and it has sapphire crystals with double anti-reflective treatments on both of its sides. Supported waterproofness is 30 meters.
The possible choices for the material of the case are 18 K red gold and steel. Regardless of the material, the dial is bronze-colored with white chrono counters and the inner bezel in the same shade. The bronze face includes a date aperture. It is easy to distinguish two chronograph hands since the main one is red colored and with the brand’s logo as the counterweight, while the split-seconds hand is silver and with the anchor. The choice of wristlets includes a leather strap, a crocodile leather strap and a rubber Navitimer attachment.