Whatever your feelings are about the size of modern Breitling Navitimer B04 Chronograph GMT (between 43mm and 48mm), Breitling’s icon is without a doubt one of the definitive pilot’s watches. Developed with, and for, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) during the early 1950s, the original reference 806 Navitimer allowed pilots to calculate critical information, such as airspeed, flight time, distance, and fuel consumption, all at a glance. This new limited edition Navitimer continues in that spirit with some modern updates and a new blue dial.
The core of what makes the Breitling Navitimer B04 Chronograph GMT special is the rotating slide rule bezel. This feature was actually introduced in the Breitling Chronomat a full decade before the Navitimer was launched, but it was Breitling’s close ties with the AOPA, made official by the association’s logo right on the Navitimer’s dial, that made it the envy of every squadron. It’s this bezel that allows the above calculations to be made quickly and efficiently right on the wrist.
Now to the watch at hand. The Breitling Navitimer GMT Aurora Blue is based on the company’s latest Navitimer GMT, a 48mm stainless steel model introduced in 2015. It differs from most other modern Navitimers in that it also indicates home time via a red-tipped hand. The GMT complication, first used by Breitling in 1968, was added to the Navitimer line in 2014, but is also currently offered in the Navitimer World, a watch powered by a Valjoux 7750 base movement. The Navitimer GMT on the other hand, is powered by a manufacture movement, Caliber B04, which is a COSC-certified automatic chronograph with a convenient quick-set function for the hour hand. It has a 70-hour power reserve as well.
The Aurora Blue is the most colorful version of the Breitling Navitimer B04 Chronograph GMT yet. Previously this watch was available with a white dial or a black and white panda dial very reminiscent of that old ref. 806. Blue seems to be a common color for Breitling’s limited editions. In 2013, Breitling introduced a very similar blue dial, also with a discreet sunburst finish, in a limited edition Navitimer 1461. That watch came with a blue leather strap, but this time Breitling has gone for a matching rubber strap instead.