The Grenchen watchmaker has released a new restricted edition timekeeper named Navitimer 1884. It simultaneously celebrates the foundation of the brand (which took place in 1884) and one of the best known series of Breitling. The watch comes with the famed 1952 slide rule which was present in the original Navitimer model. Additionally, its black dial made in a per epargne technique features an interesting type of calendar display, a recognizable trait of the Breitling pieces from the 1940s. Breitling Navitimer 1884 is fitted into a 46 mm wide steel housing and it can be paired with one of four available types of straps.
The latest piece by Breitling is obviously made in order to celebrate the company’s rich heritage, as it can be seen from its name which includes the year in which the brand was founded by Leon Breitling. Another nod to the birth year of the firm is the number of pieces in the new limited edition which is 1,884.
There are even more nods to the brand’s heritage. One of the most prominent is the addition of a 1952-type slide rule. The instrument for the computations that are necessary for pilots was present on the original Navitimer. This feature was one of the major reasons why the chronograph piece was the first ever timekeeper to be named as the official watch of the AOPA, the largest associations of the pilots in the world. It is the historic success that Breitling often likes to point out, as it could be expected.
Another retro trait of the newcomer is the styling of its calendar feature. It includes a central hand with a crescent-shaped tip that tells the date, while the day of the week and the current month are shown in twin apertures at the top of the face. This sort of arrangement of the calendar displays was characteristic for Breitling pieces from the 1940s.
Moreover, Breitling Navitimer 1884 features a 24-hour military type of display located inside a small seconds chrono sub-dial. The importance of the presence of the trait is that it facilitates the adjustment of the calendar.
It is also important to note that since the watch comes from the Navitimer line of products, it has its black dial made in par epargne technique. The process which is almost entirely seen solely on the Breitling watches uses dials which are made of solid chunk of precious metal (silver in this instance, but it can also be gold in some cases) which is then hollowed and snailed for the sections that are used for the chrono sub-dials. As for the present markings on the face, they are printed with the use of ink-coated silicon pads and subsequently treated several times with extreme heat. The winged B logo of the brand is made of solid piece of white gold and stamped. The application of the logo is set with extreme precision, up to 1/100th of a millimeter. It is subsequently finished with alternating polishing, sand-blasting and blanking for greater visual appeal. Along with the brand’s symbol (which is this time not set at the top of the dial as it is customary, since the top part is reserved for the 30-minute counter and date apertures), all the hour markers are then manually placed. Finally, the markers and hands are filled with the luminous substance with the use of nozzle pen which is attached to a high-pressure pipe. To create the whole shebang requires no less than 23 separate operations.
Breitling Navitimer 1884 is placed inside a round stainless steel housing which has the diameter of 46 mm. The housing includes a serrated bezel which turns both ways, a cambered sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides and a solid metal case-back in a polygonal shape. The rear side of the case sports the brand’s logo and the number of the specific piece in the 1,884-piece series. The case is waterproof to 30 meters.
When the supported movement is concerned, the specific caliber used is Breitling B 21. It is a self-winding mechanical chrono movement which operates at the frequency of 28,800 vph. It integrates 25 jewels and stores enough power reserve to keep the watch running for 42 hours.
There are four options for the attachment of the limited edition piece from the Navitimer collection. They include a leather strap, a crocodile leather strap, a rubber band with eight lowered rows and a steel Navitimer bracelet (with seven links).