Replica Breitling Navitimer Watch
Although Breitling was initially founded in 1884, the entry of digital watches almost a century later necessitated Breitling to find a new owner in Ernest Schneider in 1979. However, the change in ownership did not affect in the very least the quality of Breitling watches, nor its design.
In fact, the Navitimer, first produced in the 1940s, still continues production today, like the Chronomat, the Breitling Navitimer was intended as an aviator's watch, with a slide rule engraved in the bezel around the perimiter of the watch. The quality of the Navitimer was such that the AOPO, or the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association offered to add its logo to the design of the Navitimer as a stamp of approval.
A curiosity in the Navitimer's history is that in 1961, an astronaut in the pilot Mercury Space Program by the name of Scott Carpenter asked Breitling to design a watch made especially for astronauts. In space, day and night meant little, but the 24 hour time was crucial in daily operations. The proposal meant that the Navitimer was to have a 24-hour clock face instead of the usual 12. Seeing the need of the astronaut and the potential market and exclusivity of the proposal, Breitling promptly complied by producing the 24 hour watch, the Cosmonaute Navitimer.
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The Breitling Navitimer World 108
At a price tag of around $7,500, the Navitimer World 108 is a heavy-set and imposing watch. The harsh black contrasts sharply to the pure silver sheen of the casing and bracelet of the watch. Even the buttons mean business, sticking out of the Navitimer's body, unmistakable in its purpose. And the flecks of different shades of red stamping out the information on the face are clear and concise, serving their purpose and adding to the all-business effect of the Navitimer World 108.
The Breitling Navitimer World 109
Knock off a few hundred dollars from the Navitimer World 108, and you have the Navitimer 109. While basically the same in structure as the 108, the 109 creates a totally different effect. While the Navitimer 108 is imposing in black, the 109 is friendlier with its blue face, although no less imposing. The buttons also stand out, the flecks of shades of red still outline the information, and the pure metal casings brighten against the blue, but the blue face makes those who wear the Navitimer 109 more approachable than the wearer of the 108.
Design and Form Above All Else
Still, the Navitimer is way out of the price range of the average buyer. And if it is the design you are after, and not the prestige and exclusivity of Breitling and all its watches, an option would be to get the replica Breitling Navitimer instead of buying the real thing in all its splendor. The Breitling Navitimer knockoffs, while frowned upon by those who wear the actual thing, function as a watch, are designed as a watch, and are simply as effective as the Breitling Navitimer, only not with any of the exclusivity the Breitling name carries.