Founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling, Breitling quickly rose to being recognized as one of the top manufacturers in the world, and especially in the field of tool and pilot watches. The Breitling Navitimer’s history is a bit muddled, but it is believed that with the success of the Chronomat, Breitling decided to release another slide-rule chronograph as a follow-up, which would become the Navitimer. Early examples of the watch were outfitted with the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) logo, and common belief is that the watch was designed for AOPA members. The Navitimer has risen to icon-status by collectors. Most well-seasoned collectors own one of these historic watches, many owning more than one example. The example offered today is an early example, featuring a gilt AOPA logo, and the popular “all-black” layout with black registers against a black dial.
This Breitling Navitimer is in excellent vintage condition. The case is unpolished and razor sharp, with beautifully beveled edges. The dial has no flaws, and has aged to a tropical grey-brown color. The original radium lume is present on both dial and hands, in great shape, and aged to a light brown/yellow color. Further, the watch is fitted, as-found, on its likely original leather strap, and with a period-correct Wakmann box, who was a distributor of Breitling watches during this period in the United States.