I am writing this article in the middle of the corona global pandemics crisis. Watches do not matter as much now but perhaps it is a good time to reflect and be happy with what we have. I just realised that I never featured it and after few months of ownership it is time to post a review.
One of the indisputed stars of BaselWorld 2019 was the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-edition. (Note: there won't be a BaselWorld 2020 due to the Pandemic).
As described by Breitling this watch "has been designed with painstaking attention to every detail to faithfully match the design of the original Navitimer in 1959. It has a stainless-steel case of precisely the same dimensions as its inspiration and an all-black dial with tone-on-tone small second, 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters. Recreating one of the signature elements of the original Navitimer Ref. 806 in 1959, the dial, protected by a highly-domed Plexiglas, is highlighted with a Breitling inscription in capital letters and an unsigned winged logo. In fact, the only concessions to modernity are the water resistance, which has been increased to 3 bar (30 meters), and a Super-LumiNova® coating for which a very special attention has been paid to the color to ensure that it aligns with the aging of the luminescent material on earlier watches. Its hand-finished application gives the dial an additional touch of vintage allure and all its character. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is powered by the in-house Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, a hand-wound COSC-certified caliber based on the renowned Breitling Caliber 01 and developed specifically for historical re-editions. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is available on a black leather strap and as a limited-edition of 1959 pieces, all individually numbered and engraved on the caseback"
I love the idea of a retro-chich watch and liked it immediately as soon as I saw in BaselWorld.
Apparently the watch was pretty much on demand as I couldn't find it for a while even in Breitling boutiques. At one point I was asked to make a deposit but I thought that it would be better to wait till the watch was in stock.
In October 2019 I got a call from an AD so I decided to get it.
I like the idea of a box that can be used as a travel pouch.
So I applaud the idea of breitling to make a functional box and not another bulky fancy box that serve no real purpose.
At 41mm (true to the original size) the watch is very wearable. It weights 75gr so is fairly light too.
The glass is not sapphire crystal but plexyglass that fits within the retro theme of the watch
The dial is fantastic. A lot of retro, 50's and 60's vibes in a wearable size (not a big fan of the huge navitimers but obviously the size depends on your wrist. I also like the IWC big pilot that is 46mm so..it depends!)
the strap is nice but not extraordinary. Somehow doesn't feel as nice as I expected. It is however fairly comfortable so not a big complaint.
Busy dial but super cool with the original "rice" style bezel.
the back case is very minimalistic but true to the original. The movement has been developed by Breitling for this watch and is a manul movement (again true to the original) but with an improved 70h power reserve.
In summary this is very well executed re-edition. From the logo, the plexiglass, the improved manual movement all the elements are true to the original model with some technological improvements.
A very versatile watch for the modern CEO: can easily work with Casual outfits or is awesome on a suit. Not too big or flashy so it stays under the radar as a true pilot chronograph, an instrument for professionals (or dreamers!)