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Breitling Navitimer Automatic GMT 41

140 years of Breitling

Navitimer 41 and Cosmonaute B12
The Pilot Watch Magazine
Breitling
27 March 2024

Breitling honors its aerospace icons on its anniversary

Breitling turns 140 and celebrates the occasion with stories about its many incredible innovations, from breakthroughs in timekeeping in the air, on land and in the water to milestones in sustainability. In March and April 2024, the brand will pay tribute to two of its icons. The Navitimer, the first wristwatch for pilots to combine a chronograph with a slide rule. And the Cosmonaute, a 24-hour interpretation of the Navitimer, which became the first Swiss wristwatch in space. Breitling has just presented new versions of these collections: the Navitimer GMT and Automatic 41 as well as a new self-winding Cosmonaute.

Back to the roots: the versatile Navitimer GMT and Automatic 41

Breitling played a key role in the emergence of commercial air travel. Its on-board timekeepers became standard equipment, first in propeller-driven aircraft and later in the jets of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers. When the Breitling Navitimer design was released in 1952, it became an instant hit with commercial airline pilots in the then newly emerging field of civil aviation.

The Navitimer was equipped with a circular slide rule that allowed pilots to make critical calculations in the air, such as rate of climb and fuel consumption. In those glory days of commercial air travel, the Navitimer was the first wrist-worn on-board computer and ultimately established Breitling as the “official supplier to aviation”.

Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronographe 41 Cosmonaute
Navitimer B12 Chronographe 41 Cosmonaute
Navitimer B12 Chronographe 41 Cosmonaute
Breitling

As the success of civil aviation grew, so did the fame of the Navitimer, which inspired not only pilots but also trendsetters such as American jazz musician Miles Davis and French chansonnier, film actor, composer and writer Serge Gainsbourg, and became a popular icon in both aviation and pop culture.

In 2022, Breitling began to redesign the Navitimer collection, starting with the original chronograph. Today, it continues this relaunch with two new pared-down versions: a GMT and an automatic with three hands, each in the universally wearable 41-millimeter size.

As the success of civil aviation grew, so did the fame of the Navitimer.

These timepieces present the essence of the Navitimer’s iconic look, dispensing with the chronograph while retaining a balanced dial. The central placement of the 24-hour scale on the clear face of the GMT and the Automatic highlights the complex slide rule and enhances the overall aesthetic.

Further refining the collection, Breitling has incorporated a recessed bezel for a contemporary touch and added alternating polished and brushed finishes that create a dynamic play of light. Alligator leather straps with a seamless double folding clasp guarantee maximum comfort.

The range offers black, blue, silver, ice blue and green dials, set in stainless steel or 18-carat red gold, as well as a two-tone version for the automatic. The solid gold versions bear the Origins label, which stands for responsibly mined gold in accordance with the requirements of the Swiss Better Gold Association for social responsibility and environmental protection.

This reinvention of the Navitimer, which combines classicism and modernity, is designed for watch lovers and style-conscious people alike and reflects Breitling’s commitment to tradition and innovation in every timepiece.

Grounded elegance: The self-winding Cosmonaute B12

In 1962, Scott Carpenter, astronaut on the Mercury Seven space flight, approached Breitling with a unique request: to redesign the Navitimer to make it suitable for space travel. In awe of its computational capabilities, Carpenter asked for a 24-hour dial to distinguish day from night in orbit. Breitling accepted the challenge, and the personalized Navitimer, later called the Cosmonaute, accompanied Carpenter on his mission on May 24, 1962, to become the first Swiss wristwatch in space.

Astronaut Scott Carpenter on his way into space
Scott Carpenter / NASA
Scott Carpenter / NASA
Scott Carpenter / NASA

To celebrate its 140th anniversary, Breitling is launching a limited edition of the 24-hour timepiece. This time, however, the most important change is not focused on weightlessness, but on everyday life: a self-winding chronograph movement, the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B12.

Inspired by astronauts and adapted to life on Earth, the new Cosmonaute Limited Edition combines legendary tradition with modern wearing comfort.

The new launch is limited to 250 pieces and is only available in Breitling’s online boutique or locally in Breitling boutiques. It features an 18-carat red gold case, beautifully complemented by a deep green dial, gold numerals and a black alligator leather strap.

The open case back reveals the oscillating weight of the caliber B12. The manufacture caliber offers a power reserve of around 70 hours and is covered by a 5-year guarantee. An engraving on the case back refers to the limited edition “One of 250” and reveals the incredible history of the watch:“First Swiss Wristwatch in Space / Navitimer Cosmonaute May 24, 1962”

Breitling advertisement from the 1960s
Breitling

Bull’s eye: Erling Haaland joins the Navitimer Squad

After 70 years, the Navitimer has long since become more than just a tool for pilots to determine their course. It has become a symbol for planning one’s personal path in life. Breitling is celebrating this model in its campaign series “Navitimer – For the Journey” together with the Navitimer Squad, which consists of basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, American Ballet Theatre prima ballerina Misty Copeland, aviation pioneer and explorer Bertrand Piccard and Oscar-winning actress and producer Charlize Theron. Now a new member joins the squad to assist Antetokounmpo in the Navitimer 41 campaign: Soccer idol Erling Haaland. Welcome Erling!

Breitling Squad member Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland / Breitling
Erling Haaland / Breitling
Erling Haaland / Breitling

Short and sweet

  • Pilot watch: Breitling Navitimer GMT 41
  • Case: Stainless steel, ⌀ 41 millimeters, sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 3 bar
  • Movement: Automatic, Breitling 32, 42-hour power reserve
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, second 24-hour time zone, date
  • Strap: Alligator leather
  • Price: 5,650 euros
  • Year: 2024

More information at www.breitling.com

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