Breitling’s post-Baselworld 2016 rollout of new models continues with a new, all-blue, limited-edition version of its iconic Navitimer pilots’ watch, The Breitling Navitimer GMT Aurora Blue is equipped with the brand’s in-house Caliber B04, which pairs a chronograph with a GMT indication.
The first Breitling Navitimer was launched in the mid-1950s as a watch designed specifically for pilots. It bore the logo of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and became the group’s official timepiece. The circular slide-rule bezel — still a hallmark feature in contemporary versions of the Navitimer — allowed pilots to make critical calculations such as fuel consumption, distance traveled, and rate of climb/descent. A “Cosmonaut” version of the Navitimer accompanied Scott Carpenter on Aurora 7 in 1962, making it the first wrist chronograph in space.
The new Aurora Blue version of the Navitimer has an extra-large 48-mm stainless steel case with a curved, glareproof sapphire crystal. The predominantly blue dial has a discreet sunburst pattern and tone-on-tone subdials for the chronograph readouts (30 minutes at 3 o’clock and 12 hours at 6 o’clock) and small seconds (at 9 o’clock). The date — with white numerals on a blue field — appears in a window at 4:30.
The watch contains Breitling manufacture Caliber B04, which combines a 1/4-second chronograph with an easy-to-use dual-time-zone indicator. To adjust the main hour hand to the local time, the user simply pulls out the crown and and turns it in either direction in one-hour increments, without causing any loss of precision in the minutes hand; the date also moves backward and forward automatically as the local time zone changes. In the meantime, the red-tipped GMT hand indicates the time in the wearer’s home time zone on a 24-hour scale, thus making it simple to determine whether it is day or night. The self-winding movement has a 70-hour power reserve and boasts, like all Breitling movements, a COSC chronometer certification.
The Breitling Navitimer GMT Aurora Blue is limited to 1,000 pieces and comes on a dial-matching blue rubber strap with an aircraft tire-tread pattern; other rubber and leather strap options are also available. It retails for $9,290.