A very rare, highly attractive and early stainless steel pilot's chronograph wristwatch with black dial and slide rule bezel

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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: circa 1959
    Reference No: 806
    Case No: 968'441
    Model Name: Navitimer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 178, 17 jewels, stamped WOG
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 40mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of the most famous amongst aviator watches, the Breitling Navitimer is a small computer for the wrist. 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.’ It 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 are 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. As can be expected for such a useful tool watch, the majority of Navitimers were cased in stainless steel. When found preserved in such wonderful original condition, they are considered rare collectors’ watches.

  • Maker Bio

    Breitling

    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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118

Breitling

Ref. 806
A very rare, highly attractive and early stainless steel pilot's chronograph wristwatch with black dial and slide rule bezel

circa 1959
40mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF5,000 - 8,000 
€4,600-7,300
$5,200-8,200

sold for CHF8,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016