New for 2019, Breitling releases an all-new Navitimer with some interesting influence and aesthetic changes. The all-new Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Swissair Edition seems to be the first of an Airlines collection that Breitling promises to expand. Last year, Breitling made a bold move and released an “updated” Navitimer 8 Collection to mixed reviews. Later, they released their more modern B01 take on the classic Navitimer design, and that was a lot less controversial if a bit predictable. Now, quite unpredictably, drawing from the Navitimer’s early days and airlines from that era, the new watch takes influence from what Breitling claims is the “most emblematic airlines of the time,” starting with this Swissair Edition.
Model: Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Swissair Edition
Dimensions: 43mm x 14.25mm
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire, front & back
Movement: Breitling Manufacture Calibre B01
Power Reserve: Up to 70 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Black leather or stainless steel bracelet
Price & Availability: TBD
This is an interesting move for Breitling, and one that seems to be the start of a new subset of Navitimers. This Swissair edition seems to be the cornerstone of what Breitling claims will be a “capsule collection.” It is fitting, I suppose, considering the brand’s Swiss nature, as well as a previous Swissair “collaboration” signified only by the watch’s name and an airplane-tipped seconds hand. This watch in particular is unique-looking, if not a bit seemingly racing-inspired, but I guess there’s no way around that when you’re working with a red and black color scheme.
The Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Swissair Edition has all the same features as your standard Navitimer, including the slide rule bezel and panda dial sub-registers with the exception of the red colorway, and “Swissair” logo on the sapphire caseback. Curiously, Breitling uses the modern logo of Swissair (post 2002 bankruptcy) despite the stated influence of the 1950s and ’60s (though I would argue it’s more ’70s). Regardless, the more modern branding is unlike so many of the Pan-Am branding we’ve seen in the industry over the years. Unlike the TAG Heuer x Gulf Monaco, Breitling hasn’t exactly had a rich heritage with this airline in particular, so I will be interested in seeing how well it fares.
Regardless, this is a cool-looking watch. I can’t help but see a bit of racing influence in this watch – I’m immediately reminded of the panda dials of the Chopard Mille Miglia – which doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a typical aviation inspired watch. What I do see here is a unique colorway, however peculiar the branding. While Swissair is only the first in a series, it’s a great start to an interesting direction the brand is taking. Price for the Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Airlines Swissair Edition watch hasn’t been announced yet, but I would imagine it will be right around the $8,500 mark – keeping it in line with previous 43mm stainless steel models, and allowing for a bit of a premium for the collaboration and bracelet option. Learn more at breitling.com