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Breitling Geneve Navitimer - Reference 806 Chronograph - Caliber Venus 178 Movement - c.1960s

£4,550.00GBP
vws1887

A Fantastic Vintage c.1960s Breitling 806 Navitimer 3 Register Chronograph, with Twin Jet Logo and, Caliber 178 Venus Movement with Pillar Wheel Sub-Seconds, 30 mins and, 12 hrs Sub-Dials.

In 1952, Willy Breitling was approached by the renowned US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and asked to create a new chronograph for its members. He decided to develop an innovative wrist-worn instrument that would enable pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations, including average speed, distance travelled, fuel consumption, rate of climb or descent, and conversion of miles to kilometers or nautical miles.

At that time, calculations required a logarithmic slide rule. Willy Breitling, therefore, adapted the original logarithmic slide rule of the 1940s Chronomat for aviation purposes and integrated it into a rotating bezel, surrounded by small beads to make it easier to manipulate.

The case diameter was fixed at 41 millimeters, which was large for its time – large enough to ensure that all the information provided by the dial would be easy to read. The readability was further enhanced by oversized Arabic numerals filled with radium that efficiently contrasted with the black dial. As for the name, what could be more evocative than Navitimer, a combination of navigation and timer? When the Navitimer was finally introduced to the AOPA, it was an instant success among the association’s members

What’s On Offer 

A fantastic example of the iconic 806 reference on offer here from Breitling. This is the nicer variant in our opinion with the larger sub-registers, sometimes called the 'big eyes'. Although this watch is fairly beefy at 41mm, it wears very comfortably on the wrist. The milled edge of the bezel and robust steel case with chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock make for a stylishly substantial package.

The dished subdials punch out nicely against the black dial and seem to balance out a somewhat complex dial. The lume on the hour markers has deteriorated a little however, the hands are in good shape and the arrowhead seconds hand in blood red adds a stylish pop of colour along with the other subtle red accents on the outer scale. 

An iconic watch with sophisticated features which has aged well and will sit well alongside any modern-day counterpart. A classic model that has stood the test of time and is still in production today!

Additional information

Made from

Case: Stainless Steel

Dial: Black

Crystal: Plexiglass

Bracelet: Chocolate Leather Strap with Contrasting Stitch

Technical specifications

Winding: Manual

Movement Type: Mechanical

Caliber: Venus 178

Jewels: 17

Waterproof: When New

Power reserve: 45hrs

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent

Model Reference: 806

Date of issue: c.1965

Guarantee: 12 Months by VWS

Dimensions

Width (without crown): 41mm

Lug width: 22mm

Lug height: (lug to lug) 48mm

Wrist size: Adjustable