So let’s first talk about the way the unidirectional rotating bezel of the Superocean Heritage II differs from that of the first version. In doing the movie part of this review to its Superocean Heritage 46, I mentioned that the most “age showing” part of this watch concerning its product lifespan was the anodized aluminum / or coated steel (I’m not sure the specific metal used) bezel insert. Ceramic bezels are a lot more favored and valued nowadays simply because they have colors which will last forever, and because they are extremely scratch resistant. With the Superocean Heritage II Breitling properly upgraded the bezel out of a metal version to a ceramic one – and it comes in black, brown, and blue.The ceramic bezel does not look precisely the same, and the metal one, with its very simple markers was a bit more elegant looking. The Superocean Heritage II’s ceramic bezel is very similar, but has a little more of a matte finish (to be expected) and now a Super-LumiNova luminant-filled pip at 12 o’clock on the rotating bezel. This ups the practical cred of this Superocean Heritage II, but it will take a bit away from the quasi-minimalist yet masculine design that made the first Superocean Heritage so lovely and charming.In pictures the lume pip on the bezel is hardly noticeable, and in individual it is a little more obvious. I wouldn’t say that this attribute is not welcome as it does add functionality, but the lume does take away somewhat in the original appeal of this layout – which never apologized for making some aesthetic choices in lieu of functional considerations. What I actually would have liked for Breitling to do is introduce a bezel that looked precisely the same as the first, in ceramic, with every one of those markers on the bezel painted in white luminant. Thus, the whole bezel could have been lumed, but minus visually altering the character of the overall watch.
Days before Baselworld 2018, Breitling holds no punches with a slew of new surprise releases, giving enthusiasts some much needed breathing room after the release of the Navitimer 8 Collection with the Navitimer 1 Collection this morning. The 43mm and 46mm models were still a bit larger and more contemporary than I think a lot of enthusiasts might have expected. Fret not though, Breitling releases 4 more models to the Navitimer 1 Collection that channel some vintage aesthetics, and measure in at a more conservative size (especially for Breitling). The Breitling Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 is not only smaller, and dare I say realistically sized, it comes in a little bit cheaper than its larger B01 counterpart.
Model: Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41
Dimensions: 41mm x 14.4mm
Case Material: Steel or two-tone Steel and Red Gold
Movement: Breitling B13 Caliber (Modified Valjoux 7750)
Power Reserve: 42 Hours
Strap/Bracelet: Steel Bracelet, and Black and Brown Leather
Price & Availability: $6,040 in steel, and $7,710 in two-tone Red Gold
I’m going to come straight out with it – the Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 does a fantastic job of channeling the Navitimers of an older era and fit cleanly and fantastically into the new collection. Where its older brother gives the Navitimer a bit more modern appeal, this watch taps into a vintage vein that I feel will resonate with a more hardcore set of Nav-Heads.
The single toned dial with just the texture to separate the sub-dials takes me back to the earliest releases of the Navitimer (especially the r.806) with the size to match. I’m a little disappointed in the 6/9/12 register layout instead of the traditional 3/6/9 of its great grandfather, but I can’t fault Breitling Watches 1884 Price Replica too much, as I suppose the watches need to have their own DNA – you know, with the re-work of the collection and all. I feel these do a fine job of keeping a more vintage inspiration than say, the later released Navitimer II or 60th Anniversary models – with the added benefit of not coming with a steeper price tag.
I think these will definitely appeal to fans of the Navitimer that don’t want to strap a shiny UFO on their wrists. The exclusion of the coveted B01 movement may deter prospective buyers who want an exclusively “Breitling” watch, but the lower cost due to that exclusion and smaller size may make the Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 all that more appealing to new fans of the brand without a spare three grand in their pocket and the wrist of a cave troll.
Price for the steel models roll in at $6,040, and the two tone steel and Red Gold model at $7,710. Both styles are available with a steel bracelet, but will have a $650 premium. breitling.com