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Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Review

Let’s get a close-up with the Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph and give it an in-depth review to see what exactly makes this watch so special.

Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Review

Breitling is never shy to produce large quantities of interesting watches. Their calibers are also quite remarkable, to say the least. The Breitling caliber 01 is a perfect example of an automatic movement that can be held up against some of the best COSC certified chronometers out there and has an impressive power reserve to boot. So, let’s review this, shall we?

The Breitling Navitimer has been in continuous production for over 50 years and Breitling decided to step it up lately with their new in-house caliber. We’ll be taking a close look at two chronographs known as the Breitling Navitimer 01 (model #’s rb012012/ba49/743p and rb012012/ba49/744p). The only difference between these two watches is that one has a 20mm wide pin buckle and the other has a 20mm deployant buckle (folding clasp).

Let’s see what outstanding features these have in common though, starting with the aesthetics.

Breitling Navitimer 1 43mm B01 Strap

These two watch models use an 18kt red gold case that is 43mm in diameter with a 22mm lug width. The case is water resistant up to 30m/100ft which is not the recommended amount for swimming; not that anyone would want to put a watch like this anywhere near water but worth mentioning.

The black panda dial uses luminous-tipped rose gold-toned indices for hour markers and features three silver sub-registers at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions for the chronograph and small seconds. A date window sits discreetly between the 4 and 5 o’clock position.

Previous models of the Navitimer chronograph had the sub-dials in a different configuration at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions and these previous models used an ETA 7750. So far, the new symmetrical and “Daytona-esque” sub-dial configuration is a hit with many watch enthusiasts.

These previous models had a smaller 41mm case size and can easily be spotted since they didn’t have the winged Breitling logo appliqué in gold at the 12 o’clock position but rather had a ‘B’ at the 3 o’clock. 

Breitling Navitimer 1 43mm B01 Solid Crown and Pushers

Aside from the chronograph hand, all hands on the dial are rose gold toned and the hour and minute hand use a green luminous fill. The dial flange is white and has its numerals printed in black. A red central chronograph hand uses a rose gold cursive ‘B’ and anchor insignia as a counterweight.

The two-directional rotating bezel on this watch is known as the Navigation Computer. It makes use of a Slide-rule complication which, when used in conjunction with the chronograph, can calculate the climbing duration, fuel consumption, gratuities and many aeronautical calculations such as converting miles into nautical miles. The bezel can also be used as a compass by gauging the current location of the sun and to further help you calculate things, the case back features a Celsius to Fahrenheit along with the watch’s serial number.

Breitling Navitimer 1 43mm B01 Slide Rule Bezel

The 43mm Breitling Navitimer 01 chronograph has a case thickness of 14.60mm which is a pretty stately size typical of Breitling watches which are known to be built tough as nails. While this is more of a refined watch from this brand you can be certain that it is as durable as it is easy on the eyes. Fitted with a sturdy black alligator leather strap that uses white stitching and has an 18kt rose gold tang buckle or folding clasp depending on the model.

Powered by an in-house Breitling caliber B01 self-winding movement for a beating heart; Breitling’s first manufacture movement and hopefully the first of many. They chose to engineer the chronograph with a column wheel mechanism which makes for a higher-end chronograph than a cam-actuated chronograph complication.

The 47-jewel Breitling 01 or B01 movement oscillates at 28,800 VpH and boasts an impressive 70-hour power reserve. The Breitling B01 movement is classified as a highly accurate mechanical caliber with a COSC Chronometer designation certifying that it is to have a minimum accuracy of -4/+6 seconds per day. Breitling’s first in-house caliber is also being used in the new Navitimer 8, the larger Navitimer 46mm as well as by Tudor in their Heritage Chronograph.

Breitling Caliber B01 Column-Wheel Chronograph

Luckily, the Navitimer 1 has many models with a transparent sapphire crystal case back which lets you gaze at the mesmerizing mechanical engineering of the Breitling B01 automatic movement in action; something everyone can appreciate.

While the two models being reviewed in this article are practically identical aside from the buckle, the Navitimer 1 43mm collection has within it many different stylistic configurations with combinations of blue dials, silver dials, grey dials, and black dials and comes on either black or brown straps or steel bracelets. There is even a solid 18kt rose gold model on a rose gold bracelet which obviously comes at a price.

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