This Limited Edition Breitling Bucks a Big Trend in Modern Watchmaking

Breitling’s new chronograph is an officially licensed dedication to one of the giants of mid-century commercial air travel.

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While most of the watch world is at SIHH in Geneva salivating over high-end wristwatches and using the word ‘haute’ between big bites of chocolate, Breitling announced their Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition.

The watch is part of Breitling’s broader Navitemer 1 Airline Editions capsule collection that is billed as an homage to an era when flying was still glamorous and permissive of smoking. It was during this ‘Golden Era’ of commercial aviation that the Swiss watch company’s Navitmer was released. It became a hit with pilots. The watch was big, easy to read and handsome enough to be worn proudly even when it wasn’t being used as an analog on-board computer.

So, too, is this new release from Breitling. The officially licensed watch features the Pan Am logo on the transparent case back that reveals the watch maker’s Manufacture Caliber 01 movement. That automatic winding heart at the center of this watch drives a trio of subdials, an hour minute and seconds hand, and a date window on a striking red white and blue dial. That all paired with a mesh bracelet make this a truly attractive watch. But there is a catch.

Like its name suggests, the Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition’s case size measures in at 43mm in diameter. That’s big! And while yes, the Navitimer was originally a large watch, it still measured in at 3mm smaller than this new release. Whatever your opinion or preference on case size, this watch is an interesting deviation from Breitling’s (and the watch world as a whole) trend of producing watches with smaller cases.

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