Days before Baselworld 2018, Breitling holds no punches with a slew of new surprise releases, giving enthusiasts some much needed breathing room after the release of the Navitimer 8 Collection with the Navitimer 1 Collection this morning. The 43mm and 46mm models were still a bit larger and more contemporary than I think a lot of enthusiasts might have expected. Fret not though, Breitling releases 4 more models to the Navitimer 1 Collection that channel some vintage aesthetics, and measure in at a more conservative size (especially for Breitling). The Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 is not only smaller, and dare I say realistically sized, it comes in a little bit cheaper than its larger B01 counterpart.
I’m going to come straight out with it – the Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 does a fantastic job of channeling the Navitimers of an older era and fit cleanly and fantastically into the new collection. Where its older brother gives the Navitimer a bit more modern appeal, this watch taps into a vintage vein that I feel will resonate with a more hardcore set of Nav-Heads.
The single toned dial with just the texture to separate the sub-dials takes me back to the earliest releases of the Navitimer (especially the r.806) with the size to match. I’m a little disappointed in the 6/9/12 register layout instead of the traditional 3/6/9 of its great grandfather, but I can’t fault Breitling too much, as I suppose the watches need to have their own DNA – you know, with the re-work of the collection and all. I feel these do a fine job of keeping a more vintage inspiration than say, the later released Navitimer II or 60th Anniversary models – with the added benefit of not coming with a steeper price tag.
I think these will definitely appeal to fans of the Navitimer that don’t want to strap a shiny UFO on their wrists. The exclusion of the coveted B01 movement may deter prospective buyers who want an exclusively “Breitling” watch, but the lower cost due to that exclusion and smaller size may make the Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 all that more appealing to new fans of the brand without a spare three grand in their pocket and the wrist of a cave troll.