8,5 / 10
Rare example with error on the serial number engraving
The present model, reference 806, is an all-black Navitimer produced in 1960.
With its serial number 825.xxx, it is part of the famous batch with an error on the engraving of the number. Indeed, the first Navitimers, starting in 83x.xxx, have more ancestral features (Valjoux 72, bezel with smaller beads, etc), than these models in 825.xxx, which share common characteristics with later models in 9xx.xxx.
It is now recognized that this batch should have a 9 instead of an 8 as the first digit.
Its bezel has large beads (93) and the dial bears the AOPA wings logo and lacks the Breitling name, meaning that it was sold exclusively to AOPA members.
#825.xxx is in good condition, only the border of the caseback is slightly damaged.
About the model
In 1952, Breitling designed for the influential US AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) a revolutionary watch combining a chronograph and an E6B type flight computer that would allow its members to perform all kinds of calculations necessary in flight: average speed, fuel consumption, distance, conversion kilometers in miles. These challenging features were made possible by a logarithmic slide rule integrated into a rotating bezel. The Navitimer was born, with the first examples produced in 1954.
The very first Navitimers were fitted with a Valjoux 72 calibre, quickly replaced by the Venus 178 (reference 806). The dials were completely black and there were several variations of the inscriptions, some without the name BREITLING, but all had the applied gilt AOPA wings. In 1963, readability was improved with contrasting silver counters and the replacement of Arabic numerals by indexes (only the 12 was retained). The beaded bezel was replaced about a year later with a milled edge bezel.
Early 1965, Breitling introduced its “Twin Jet” logo. At the end of the 1960s, the diameter of the counters was increased and this version was nicknamed “Big Eyes”.