Breitling decide 2019 is the year they offer something truly special and much needed, a faithful re-issue!
Originally released in 1952, there is no doubt that the Navitimer has gone to become a legend in the industry. The watch has been enjoyed on a range of wrists, from pilots of the aircraft owners and pilots association, jazz musician Miles Davis and of course F1 champion Jim Clark. The watch itself is Breitling's flagship model. If you think of Breitling, most of us think of the Navitimer.
This is something Kern knows well. The other thing Kern has learned being CEO of Breitling is people's love and appreciation for the brands legacy and vintage models. With this in mind, Breitling has announced an extremely accurate and faithful re-issue of the Breitling Navitimer 806 1959...
The dial of the 806 Navitimer 2019
When we say extremely accurate, we really mean it. This new release from Breitling is literally exactly the same design as an original model from '59. The dial on the watch naturally feels very familiar, featuring an all-black dial with sunken sub-dials. The hands and indices on the dial are complete with faux lume in that light custard colour. The iconic winged logo is back on this re-issue unsigned, with just simple BREITLING in caps above.
The case of the 806 Navitimer 2019
The bezel on the re-issue is yet again, identical to the original model with exactly 94 beads used. Sticking with the externals of the watch, the stainless steel case comes in at 40.9mm wide, with a 13.4mm thickness. The lugs on the re-issued case are also identical with the same profile and finishing as the original. The circular slide rule sits underneath a high-domed acrylic crystal fashioned in exactly the same shape as the original.
The strap on the watch is an all black leather strap with a double stitch design either side of the strap around the lugs.
Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition - AB0910371B1X1
Movement: The New Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09 - hand wound
Power reserve: 70 hours
Balance frequency: 28,800
Chronograph: column-wheel, vertical clutch, 1/4th second, 30-minute
and 12-hour counter
Water resistance: 3 bar (30 meters)
Bezel: bidirectional with a slide rule
Lume: Super-LumiNova® luminescent numerals, hour and minute hands
Strap: Black vintage-inspired leather strap with pin buckle
Price: 7,900 CHF
Modern upgrades + movement
The watch isn't completely old school as it does have a new hand-wound movement the Caliber B09. This COSC certified movement comes with 70 hours of power reserve, vibrates at 28,800 vph and is the start of something special for Breitling. We can all expect to see this movement power many other hand wound historical re-issues in the future. I for one like the sound of this, a lot...
What do we think?
Personally, this is the sort of stuff I want to see more of from Breitling. As you probably know by now, we all love a good re-issue here at WatchGecko and one so faithfully created here gets us going. Not only do releases like this pay homage to an original, stunningly designed piece of history but it also means many more people can enjoy the design on the wrist, rather than having to look at them on screens.
Getting your hands on original vintage models isn't normally an easy process (especially if its got a Breitling logo on it) however releases like this means the original design is still remembered and enjoyed.
What's it like in person?
In the Breitling meeting, with all of the other releases, their array of props, photo studio set up and complimentary beers (cheers) it feels very special. The execution of the very slight faux patina-ed lume is perfect, many times we have to see brands almost overdo it with this effect, luckily Breitling hasn't.
On the wrist, the watch is clean, crisp and very comfortable. It doesn't feel big or bulky at all, something which Breitling watches have felt in the past. As mentioned previously, this watch comes with a new manual wind movement. Breitling has hinted a few times in the past week that we can expect more releases that make the most of this new movement. If they're anything like the 806 re-issue all we can say is bring them on...