Breitling Revives the Original Navitimer with the Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

Article By: Logan Hannen

FROM THE PRESS | MAR 21, 2019

Breitling has reintroduced the original Navitimer design with the Reference 806 1959 Re-Edition.

While Breitling has reintroduced a couple of models or designs in the last couple of years (see: the Super 8 and Navitimer 8), the brand has avoided thus far reviving the classic design of the original Navitimers from 1959. At least, they had avoided it until now.

A limited edition, the new Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is the result of a two year project within Breitling, starting shortly after the arrival of new CEO Georges Kern. This extensive project involved some intense levels of research and development (which will be addressed in the breakdown of the piece), along with a lot of careful planning from a marketing level. In many ways, this Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is both a culmination of everything Breitling has done since Kern’s arrival, and also a sign of where things may be headed.

The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition
Source: SJX Watches

Starting with the case, the Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition comes in a 40.9mm diameter, 13.43mm thick stainless steel case, with proportions near identical to those found on the original. The outer portion of the slide rule bezel even contains exactly the same number of “beads” as the original 1959 model did (94, in case you were wondering).

This attention to detail also worked its way into the design and execution of the dial. The watch features no date window, as was absent on the piece that inspired it. The lume on the dial was even hand applied, in keeping with some of the original manufacturing techniques. Indeed, this even extends to the crystal, which here is acrylic rather than sapphire (also in keeping with the original).

The Original 1959 Ref. 806 Alongside the Re-Edition
Source: Fratello Watches

When placed side-by-side, there is no significant difference between the original from 1959 and this new re-edition. This is very much intentional; however, there is one major difference between the two that needs highlighting – the movement. The original ref. 806 was powered by the manual winding Venus 178. This new watch features the final component of the brand’s research and development project: a manual winding version of the Breitling B01 movement.

This new movement, called the caliber B09, is a manually wound version of the automatic B01, Breitling’s first in-house chronograph caliber. The B09 is a COSC Certified Swiss Chronometer, featuring a 70 hour power reserve. According to the brand, the movement will be featured in “many of the other hand-wound historical re-editions to come.

The Damage:
The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is limited to 1,959 pieces, and will be priced at $8,600.

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