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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: 1966
    Reference No: 806
    Case No: 1'090'445
    Model Name: Navitimer
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 178, 17 jewels, stamped "WOG"
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Breitling Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with solid yellow gold case in September 1966

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the early 1950s, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots association (AOPA) was looking for a professional timepiece capable of performing a number of mathematical operations useful for navigation. In 1952, Breitling was tasked with creating these watches, destined exclusively to pilots, and usually only for AOPA members. They provided an excellent and straightforward tool which fully satisfied the AOPA demands: the sliding rule bezel could be used to calculate fuel consumption, the duration of flights, distances covered and so on. The 'Navitimer’, The name a combination of Navigation & Timer, soon became the official watch of the AOPA and the 'winged' logo (at first, to become later the superimposed airplane tails such as in this example) replaced the Breitling 'B' on the dial.

    The earliest models tend to not have a reference number, but were distinguishable by the 'Breitling' and "B" logo engraved on reverse. Few stylistic or modification changes were made to this classic, except that between 1954-1955, the reference number 806 was assigned to the watch and the Valjoux calibre 72 replaced the original Venus 178 movement, seen here in this example. For obvious reasons, the majority of the Navitimers were cased in stainless steel. Few were realised with gold plating. And finally, an exceedingly small quantity was made in 18k yellow gold - such as the present watch - starting from the early 1960s. Such examples, especially when preserved in such wonderful original condition as the present specimen, are among the most collectible Breitling timepieces ever made.

    The present example belongs to the late production of ref. 806: until 1964, reference 806 features luminous Arabic numerals and a black dial. Then, the present configuration is employed, featuring baton numerals and the outer white scale for improved readability. Also worth noting, the present example features the “twin jets” AOPA logo, rather than the earlier "winged" one, and the movement stamped "WOG" confirms its original American destination, as stated also in the Extract form the Archives.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 806
A large, rare and attractive yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with black luminous dial and sliding rule bezel

1966
40.5mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF10,000 - 20,000 
€9,300-18,500
$10,900-21,800

Sold for CHF15,120

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020