First Class: Introducing The Breitling Navitimer American Airlines Limited Edition
Breitling is back with another tribute to the golden age of air travel.
Success breeds success. In 2019, Breitling introduced tributes to legendary airlines Pan Am, Swissair, and Trans World Airlines to its Navitimer collection. They were all smash hits. The designs captured the glamour of the 1960s glory days of air travel when passengers and crew got dressed to the nines before boarding. The watches were an homage to the cutting-edge technology that allowed these planes to transport people all over the world.
Those carriers have all ceased operations (or changed names) and air travel has changed a lot since the 1960s, but Breitling’s latest tribute to flight is no less alluring. The new Breitling Navitimer American Airlines Limited Edition pays respect to the legendary carrier (which is still going strong after 90 plus years), but also the 1960s and 1970s era of aviation when the dream of flight finally became available to the masses.
“I still remember the thrill of my first flight,” recalls Breitling CEO, Georges Kern. “The Navitimer American Airlines brings it all back for me: the clean design, the optimism, the sense of discovery; it’s a watch that encourages us to dream and, like American Airlines itself, to continue to broaden our horizons.”
Available exclusively in the United States, the Navitimer American Airlines Limited Edition celebrates the sartorial styles of the 1960s and 1970s. Not only was it the golden age of air travel, but an exciting time for corporate identity. In 1967, American Airlines unveiled its iconic red, white, and blue logo, designed by the legendary Massimo Vignelli (also the creator of the New York City subway map). With the largest fleet of airplanes in the world, American Airlines is still a symbol of how the spirit of exploration can bring us closer together.
Introduced in 1952, the Navitimer is also one of the most enduring examples of mid-century design. It was the world’s first portable flight computer, equipped with a signature slide rule and rotating bezel, which helped pilots calculate critical measurements like wind impact, speed, and fuel consumption. And, just as jets evolved to carry more people for longer distances, the high-precision Navitimer also continues to deliver on the promise that anything is possible.
Like Breitling’s previous airline-dedicated Navitimers, this watch captures the American Airlines livery, while still being able to play within the airline's signature bold colors and clean lines of the 1960s and 1970s graphics.
Using a 43mm by 14.25mm stainless steel Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 case, the watch incorporates a blue dial; red hour and minute hands; and a transparent sapphire caseback, printed with the American Airlines logo, to invoke the livery. It also features a bi-directional bezel with a circular slide rule; a cambered sapphire crystal (glare-proofed on both sides); a screw-down, sapphire crystal caseback; and a non-screw-locked down crown with two gaskets, which helps provide up to 30 meters of water resistance.
The watch’s engine is Breitling’s in-house Manufacture Calibre 01. This self-winding, COSC-certified chronograph movement has a bi-directional ball-bearing rotor and column wheel clutch, which provides 28,800 vph and a 70-hour power reserve. This timepiece is perfect for long-haul flights. Blue with white contrasting chronograph counters and Super-LumiNova coating on the indices, and hour and minute hands, provide maximum legibility at night; perfect for dark airplane cabins.
One of the most extraordinary things about air travel is landing in a faraway place, not knowing exactly what adventure might be forthcoming. As travel possibilities open again, even business trips don’t seem quite as boring. The Navitimer American Airlines Limited Edition comes with two different strap options – a brown leather band with a tang-type buckle, or a stainless-steel, mesh bracelet with a folding clasp. These ensure that you’ll be prepared for any travel possibility.
The Navitimer American Airlines Limited Edition is limited to 100 pieces: 25 with the stainless steel mesh bracelet (priced at $9,350) and 75 on the leather band (priced at $8,650). Please visit Breitling’s website for more information.
(Images © Breitling)