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Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch Watch Releases

Baselworld 2017 sees the introduction of a new member of the famed Breitling Navitimer collection with a new movement and the addition of a split-second chronograph (rattrapante) complication. Containing the new in-house-made Caliber B03 automatic split-second chronograph movement, the Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante adds an uncommon complication to the Breitling Navitimer, and a complication that I don’t think I’ve previously seen from the brand.

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch Watch Releases

Split-second chronographs are coveted not so much for their functionality (although I do admit they are fun to play with) but rather because they are tricky to assemble. It was actually not until Richard Habring developed a special “low-cost” split-second chronograph module for the 7750 for IWC (where he worked at the time) that I believe the rattrapante mechanism was available for the (comparable) masses. Breitling’s B03 more than likely takes a different approach to assembling a split-second chronograph system, but is certainly more accessible in price than, say… one from Patek Philippe.

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch Watch Releases

Breitling further explains that the rattrapante mechanism module is produced using an efficient 28 parts and is designed to be totally removed – and if needed, replaced – to facilitate easy servicing. Further, Breiting claims that while the B03’s split-second chronograph has been specially designed to use parts which are simpler to produce than more historic rattrapante models, this also provides the mechanism with more precise and reliable use. I say this because many split-second chronographs, given the delicate nature of their construction, are not celebrated for their precision or reliability. Note the fun design element where the Breitling anchor B logo is split, so that half of it is on the main chronograph seconds hand, and the other is on the rattrapante hand.

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch Watch Releases

Rattrapante chronographs are a bit difficult to explain without demonstrating them. The idea is that a main chronograph is supplemented with an additional chronograph seconds hand (which hides under the main chronograph seconds hand when not in use). A pusher in the crown (in this case) is used to activate this additional chronograph seconds hand, which can be used to independently measure a one-minute interval while the main 12-hour chronograph is in operation. Prior to digital devices these were clearly a bit more useful, but in today’s “technique-eager” luxury watch world, lots of people swoon over mechanical technology such as this.

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch Watch Releases

The Breitling Caliber B03 automatic chronograph movement is COSC Chronometer-certified and operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of 70 hours. The movement features the time, date, and 12-hour chronograph with split-second “rattrapante” functionality. Otherwise, this is very much your traditional Navitimer dial, only in brown. The design comes complete with a slew of markers and indicators, including the famed rotating slide-rule bezel for making various mathematical calculations only people in extreme emergencies (or with extreme analog calculator fetishes) will rely upon.

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Watch Watch Releases

To launch the caliber B03, Breitling chose the 45mm-wide Navitimer watch with the brown dial in two case materials: steel, and 18ct red gold as a limited edition. The brown dials (Breitling actually calls them “Panamanian Bronze”) are matched to padded brown crocodile straps. Though Breitling will also offer the Navitimer Rattrapante on a leather or rubber strap.

To be honest, I’m not always sure who the target demographic is for split-second chronographs. It is a special sort of watch collector who values both sport watches and high-complications – but in the same timepiece. Breitling does well to reassert their design and production strengths with this new version of the B01 series movement as the B03. The Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante will be initially available in steel as well as in a limited edition of 250 pieces in 18ct red gold. Prices are $11,090 in steel and $32,895 in gold.

About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

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What do you think?
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  • I want it! (10)
  • Interesting (9)
  • I love it! (8)
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  • TrevorXM

    A real winner in steel. Smart move for Breitling as the Navitimer’s aesthetic really suits the split second extra hand.

  • SuperStrapper

    Really attractive. These B-series movements are real contenders, and a rattapante module is an awesome evolution. Would love this watch with a 24 hour panda dial in steel.

  • Word Merchant

    I like. Any idea of dimensions?

  • Sevenmack

    I’m generally not a fan of Breitling’s non-Transocean and non-Superocean Heritage watches. But this Navitimer is pretty. Time to get blinged out.

  • ??????

    One of the best Navitimers I’ve ever seen (in steel). Well done.

  • BrJean

    Navitimers are always look great. I think it’s impossible to spoil this model. It would look good even with skeletonized dial, several exposed tourbillions and ceramic case. That ultra-complex bezel will save it.

  • Mark1884

    As with most Breitlings, I think this looks great.
    Make mine red gold!

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Best Breitling release for over a year.

  • Andrew Hughes

    So, perhaps those calculation and tachymètre scales are a bit much for the average Joe. It’s a busy dial, but some folks love that look. I wonder who actually uses either scale anymore at all, so perhaps this is a case of using the scales as decoration… at least for the majority of wearers.