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Review: Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

by Chester Lau on April 6, 2019
Overview
Brand

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

Complication / Type of Watch

Pilot's Chronograph
Re-Edition

Recommended Retail Price

S$11,750 inclusive of GST

Breitling releases an ‘all-new’ Navitimer at Baselworld 2019. Known as the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, the timepiece is a faithful recreation of the original Navitimer in 1959.

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

The Case, Dial and Hands

The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition has been designed with painstaking attention to every detail to faithfully match the design of the original Navitimer in 1959. It has a stainless-steel case of precisely the same dimensions as its inspiration and an all-black dial with tone-on-tone small second, 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters. Recreating one of the signature elements of the original Navitimer Ref. 806 in 1959, the dial, protected by a highly-domed acrylic glass, is highlighted with a Breitling inscription in capital letters and an unsigned winged logo.

In fact, the only concessions to modernity are the water resistance, which has been increased to 3 bar (30 meters), and a Super-LumiNova® coating for which a very special attention has been paid to the color to ensure that it aligns with the aging of the luminescent material on earlier watches.

The stainless steel case uses a snapped in caseback, much like traditional case construction of the period. A bidirectional bezel is fit on the 41 mm case which totals 12.86 mm in thickness. Capping it off with the vintage look, a domed hesalite crystal is fit on the watch and tested to 3 Bars water resistance.

The Movement

At the heart of the watch, lies the hand-winding in-house Breitling B09 caliber; a hand-wound COSC-certified caliber based on the renowned Breitling Caliber 01 used in the top Breitling chronographs and by Tudor. The B09 is hand wound and developed specifically for historical re-editions. Beating at 28,800 v.p.h, the chronograph movement bears 3 counters 1/4th second, 30 minutes and 12 hours. The 39 jewels movement has a total of 70 hours power reserve.

Concluding thoughts

The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is possibly the Breitling to own if one is considering adding a piece of the brand to his collection. The Navitimer is the most iconic design from the brand, and loved for its tool-watch purpose design, and its ‘cluttered’ dial. The watch is priced competitively, a nod in the direction of the multiple limited edition Speedmasters.

The Breitling Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is almost 98% faithful to the original

Fred Mendelbaum, Breitling collector extraordinaire. Disclosure: Fred was involved in the Re-Edition, and owns a minty copy of the 1959 original.

The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is available on a black leather strap and as a limited-edition of 1959 pieces, all individually numbered and engraved on the caseback. The watch is priced at S$11,750 inclusive of GST.

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