NEW: Breitling Navitimer Automatic 35
A new Breitling icon for the ladies.
Since its inception in 1952, Breitling’s Navitimer has been as emblematic to the brand as, say, the Birkin is to Hermès. And why wouldn't the watch be one of Breitling's top calling cards? Not only was it a handsome ticker, it was an essential tool for pilots back in the 1950s, who used it to calculate airspeed, distance travelled and even the remaining fuel, thanks to the watch's trademark integrated slide rule. Most importantly, like all enduring icons, the Navitimer remains extremely popular today. And with the growth of the female market, it would be foolish for brands not to address this segment with specially tailored timepieces.
Although the Navitimer Automatic 35 is not an entirely new collection conceived just for women, it is an important one because it leverages an icon that is the flagship of the brand. This is essentially a collection that invites the women into a circle that, for far too long, had been the exclusive domain of their masculine counterparts.
Of course, it should be clear that the Navitimer is, at heart, a tool watch. And to represent it as anything other than that would be to greatly dilute its DNA. So while it has been sized down to better accommodate feminine wrists, 35mm really is the smallest it should go. We would actually have preferred a 36mm or 38mm option but we’d need to see the watches in the flesh to determine that.
As expected, the design codes of the Navitimer are present in the new model, with the beaded bezel from the Ref. 806 and the three-hand dial from the Ref. 66. The circular slide rule retains pride of place while the seconds hand has been given a red tip for added legibility.
At the heart of the watch is Breitling’s ETA-based Calibre 17, a tried-and-tested movement also found in other collections like the Superocean. Equipped with a power reserve of about 38 hours, the Calibre 17, like all other Breitling movements, is COSC-certified.
The Navitimer Automatic 35 is available in four options. The first is a combination of stainless steel cases with alligator straps in a choice of blue dial and matching strap, copper dial and brown strap, or silver dial and burgundy strap.
The second option comes in a steel case with white mother-of-pearl dial and diamond hour markers. This version is available either in a burgundy alligator strap or a stainless steel Navitimer bracelet.
The third option is a two-tone model with steel case and 18K red gold bi-directional rotating bezel with a white mother-of-pearl dial and diamond hour markers. It comes in either a brown alligator strap or two-tone Navitimer bracelet in steel and 18K red gold.
The last version is perhaps the most luxurious, with an 18K red gold case and Navitimer bracelet, a white mother-of-pearl dial and diamond hour markers. But if that’s too much red gold for you, the model is also available in a perfectly complementary brown alligator strap. And since women can never have too many options, additional alligator straps in green or gold brown are available for purchase.
The Navitimer Automatic 35 is certainly an encouraging and very welcome move from Breitling to address the growing female market. Will we see a brand new women’s collection soon? We wouldn’t be surprised.
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