Breitling - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: 1955
    Case No: 867’923
    Model Name: Navitimer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Venus 178, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel expandable bracelet, max. length not expanded 190mm
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by original Breitling guarantee and hang tag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1952, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) commissioned ‘Navitimer’ watches by Breitling exclusively for pilots and AOPA members. The watches provided a slide rule bezel for calculating fuel consumption, flight duration and distance traveled. The catchy name, ‘Navitimer’ is a combination of the words ‘navigation’ and ‘timer.’ This soon became the official watch of the AOPA and the ‘winged’ logo of the AOPA replaced the Breitling ‘B’ on the dial.

    The earliest models did not tend to have a reference number, but were distinguishable by the engraved ‘Breitling’ and “B” logo engraved on reverse. Few stylistic modifications were made to this classic, except that between 1954-1955, the reference number 806 was assigned to the timepiece and the Valjoux caliber 72 replaced the original Venus 178 movement, seen here in this example. For obvious reasons, the majority of the Navitimer wristwatches were cased in stainless steel. When found preserved in such wonderful original condition, they can be considered rare collectors’ watches.

    The present example, fitted with a lovely black gloss dial, shows few signs of having hardly ever been worn. Also, it is accompanied by the original Breitling guarantee from its date of purchase on 28 April 1960 at Artland Watch Co. in Hong Kong, offering excellent value for any collector.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1884

    The firm started by Leon Breitling in 1884 is best known for its technical aviation and oceanic watches. Today, all models are outfitted with certified chronometer movements, used for accurate timing. Early aviation pioneers in specialized chronograph timepieces, Breitling introduced the circular slide rule to watches in the 1940s for use by pilots. The firm’s most iconic chronograph, the Navitimer, was introduced in 1954 and continues to be manufactured today. Another key model is the Duograph, a split-seconds chronograph that was Breitling's most prestigious wristwatch during the 1940s through '60s. Their watches are built on their reputation for precision and sturdiness.

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A very rare, highly attractive and early stainless steel pilot’s chronograph wristwatch with black dial, “beads of rice” slide rule bezel, and expandable bracelet.

40mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF15,000

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016