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    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 100

    Breitling. A large stainless steel pilot's chronograph wristwatch with black dial and "beads of rice" bezel


    Price Realised  


    Breitling. A large stainless steel pilot's chronograph wristwatch with black dial and "beads of rice" bezel
    Signed Breitling, Genève, Navitimer, ref. 806, case no. 932'543, circa 1955
    Cal. Venus 178 copper-finished lever movement, 17 jewels, the black matte dial with luminous Arabic numerals, luminous hands, outer telemetre and tachymetre scales, three engine-turned subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, in large circular case with "beads of rice" inner revolving slide-rule bezel, extended downturned lugs, snap on back, two round chronograph buttons in the band, case, dial and movement signed
    40 mm. diam.

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    The present watch is one of the very first Breitling "Navitimer" models, distinguished by its all black dial with the "wing" logo and the "beads of rice" bezel.

    Based on the success of the "Chronomat", Breitling and the AOPA (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association) decided to develop a revolutionary watch featuring a chronograph and navigation tool, the slide rule, allowing pilots and navigators the easy calculation of remaining distances, fuel consumption etc. The name was a combination of the words Navigation & Timer and the model was available as of 1954 when the "Navitimer" became the official watch of the AOPA (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association) and the "wing" logo of the association was added to the dial instead of the Breitling "B". The first models did not have a reference number but only the engraved inscription "Breitling" and logo "B" engraved on the back. In 1955, reference number 806 was assigned and the Valjoux calibre 72 was exchanged against the Venus 178. The dial, including the subsidiary dials, was all black, the bezel was named "beads of rice" because of its shape. The "Navitimer" remained in production with this configuration until the early 1960s.