The Breitling Navitimer Gets Down to the Split-Second

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The watchmaking universe is one of innovation, and brands that possess or develop their own mechanical chronograph movements are few and far between. But Breiting is used to its own technical prowess, as innovative as it is essential. We owe them the invention of the first independent push button at 2:00 in 1915. In 1969, Breitling brought out the first automatically rewinding chronograph – today a fundamental watchmaking element. Setting out to create a split-second movement that’s entirely conceived and manufactured internally, Breitling could only have brought the world a chronograph as sovereign as it is sophisticated, reaffirming its mastery of watchmaking complications.

Breitling named it Calibre manufacture B03 – distinguished by its innovative construction that ensures maximum precision, robustness, and dependability, the technology was integrated into a timepiece as high-performing as it is elegant. The Navitimer, the brand’s unparalleled icon, was chosen to play host to this exceptional new motor. With no frills and only distinction, the Navitimer becomes the Navitimer Rattrapante. The difference? With its two central superimposed chronograph hands, one of which can be stopped to measure an intermediary time before catching up to the first one afterwards, the split-second chronograph is one of the most difficult watch mechanisms to make, and certainly one of the most high-performing. That’s why this complication is usually produced in small series, because it requires an immense job of adjusting and setting by the watchmakers themselves.

But Breitling is first and foremost an innovative brand, having made “serial quality” its calling card ever since the 40s. Precision and large-scale reliability are at the heart of the Navitimer Rattrapante – the first mechanical chronograph ever produced in 1952. Today, all the strength of this icon is unleashed through a 45mm case available in steel as well as a 250 piece red gold limited edition with a transparent background. An exclusive bronze dial subtly uses the silver highlight mark that recalls the look of the classic Navitimer. On a leather, crocodile leather, or rubber bracelet, refinement is constructed bit by bit through a logo where the B that usually sits at the base of the Navitimer’s hands is now divided between the two second hands – on the red hand and with the anchor on the split-second hand. Separated when the split-second stops,  Breitling’s signature comes together when the hands are finally superimposed. This aesthetic marvel was displayed at Baselworld.

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