Even though the name “Navitimer” was born in the 1930s to refer to aircraft cockpit instrumentation, the watch consolidated its fame in 1952 when it evolved from the Breitling Chronomat to become the Navitimer chronograph that has since become very well known for its circular slide rule.
Since its introduction, the Navitimer has been positioned as a professional flight instrument, highly sought-after in the aviation community. The famous slide rule that Breitling adapted on the watch’s bezel became an unmistakable feature that complemented its three-register dial. To this day, the slide rule defines the Navitimer and makes it just as identifiable as the Speedmaster or the Daytona.
In recent years, the Navitimer has been the subject of a major qualitative revival, the most notable being the incorporation of Breitling’s first manufacture caliber, the B01, a self-winding chronograph with column-wheel activation and generous power reserve. The Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45 follows this successful formula and embellishes it with a presentation rich in both function and appearance.
Compared to the B01, the B03 adds a split seconds complication, which uses a pair of central second hands to measure lap times without stopping the main count. For the B03, Breitling registered a pair of patents related to elements of the caliber that increase the reliability and robustness of the mechanism. The 70-hour power reserve of this COSC-certified movement puts it at the forefront of the most serious chronographs.
This split seconds Navitimer B03 looks even more opulent, thanks to its generous 45mm red gold case that wraps around its good-looking dial with applied gold and Superluminova-filled hands and baton indexes. The slide rule remains in ever-readable white to maintain its usability, while the small counters within the Stratos Grey dial stand out against it to ensure its legibility and also to identify this Breitling as a bearer of a manufacture movement.
Yet another detail that elevates this Navitimer above the rest, is the signature of the house: the “B” and the anchor counterweight that we usually see at the base of the central seconds hand of every Breitling chronograph. In the B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45, the “B” stands at the “bottom” of the red seconds hand, while the anchor adorns the end of split-time hand. When both hands are aligned, the emblem can be seen in its entirety, just as we know it. This is a small and clever detail that speaks volumes of the appreciation that Breitling has for the Navitimer and the pride of seeing it evolve into a more complete instrument.
Self-winding Cal. B03; hours, minutes and small seconds; split seconds 12-hour chronograph; date; 28,800 bph; 70-hour power reserve
Red gold, 45 mm in diameter, sapphire and gold caseback, water resistant to 30 meters (3 bar)
Black alligator leather with pin buckle