Of late, Breitling has been heading in a fresh direction, but a release like this one — the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition (RM36,100) — is a sign that the brand remains firmly committed to its heritage and fans thereof. The 1959 original is one of the classic early Navitimers, with a no-nonsense black dial busy with the line’s signature pilot-friendly features: a three-register chronograph and a circular slide rule. It returns today as a limited run of 1959 individually numbered pieces.
This release is a true re-edition, almost indistinguishable from the original, right down to the 94 beads on the bezel and acrylic crystal. The 41mm steel case even maintains the closed case back, despite the temptation to showcase the new movement. The use of this calibre B09 is one of the few modern updates; this is a chronometer-certified manually wound chronograph movement boasting 70 hours of power reserve. The only other contemporary twists are water resistance being upped to 3 bar, and the use of Super-Luminova for the lume and, even this is coloured to mimic its vintage counterpart.