After the recently launched ‘Premier’, Georges Kern continues to hold on to the rich heritage of BREITLING strongly. So strong, that now a 60-year-old watch was re-editioned almost unchanged. You don’t get to see that very often in the watch industry, in which brands indeed regularly introduce new interpretations of older models, but rarely present an almost (optical) identical re-edition.
The Navitimer was the bestselling piece in the 1950s and 1960s at BREITLING – reference 806 from 1959 was an especially popular model out of the many executions that were presented between 1952 and today. It had a full black dial with tone-on-tone subdials and a BREITLING inscription in capital letters. The models for the European market had an unsigned winged logo without the anchor.
The 60th anniversary offers an ideal opportunity to bring the bestseller of the past to a new success with the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition piece. The design elements are so detailed that they hardly differ from the original. The 40,9 mm stainless steel case was specifically developed for this re-edition. The rotating bezel is made of 94 beads, just like the 1959 model. The number of beads around the bezel was not always constant over the production period of the ref. 806, and varied between 125 and 93 pieces.
Although BREITLING announced a straight course in terms of logo design, many fans of the brand will be pleased about the return of the vintage-wings. Also, the acrylic glass of the new Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is truly vintage considering, that you mainly get sapphire glass these days looking at this price range. The case-back is snapped shut and engraved with the individual numbering. The luminous material of the Super-LumiNova-coating was attached by hand and the colour adjusted accordingly. We love the execution of the masculine black vintage leather strap, it perfectly echoes the nostalgia of the 60 years old pilot watch and literally begs for being worn.
The true modifications, however, remain concealed. Firstly, the water resistance has been increased to 3 bars (30 meters), and secondly, the re-edition runs with the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Calibre B09 that still wants to be manually wound. The calibre B09 has a sophisticated columns-wheel mechanism with a vertical clutch that leads to a much more comfortable operating of the watch. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition is limited to 1959 pieces that will be available from April / Mai 2019. If you go away empty-handed, the brand has already announced more re-editions to come. Price: 7.700 Euro.