8 / 10
“Big Eyes” model
At the end of 1968, the Navitimer models were produced with dials whose counters were larger (about 9 mm in diameter, compared to about 8 mm previously) in order to improve the readability of the counters. To adapt to this enlargement, the hands of the three counters were slightly elongated.
This change gave the Navitimer a more imposing look and this execution was nicknamed “Big Eyes” or “Big Subs”, a term referring to chronographs with large counters (sometimes only one counter is oversized).
There are two other notable differences on this new dial:
- on the slide rule, the 10 and the marker at 36 are red;
- at the base of the dial, a second T is added before SWISS MADE T.
#1.352.xxx was produced in 1970. It is in good condition with normal aging and correct period parts.
About the model
In 1952, the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (abbreviated AOPA) contacted Breitling to develop a chronograph 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 requirements were made possible by a logarithmic slide rule integrated into a rotating bezel. The NAVITIMER was born, with presumably 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 inscriptions, some without the name BREITLING, but all had the applied gold AOPA wings. In 1963, readability was improved with contrasting white/silver subdials and the replacement of Arabic numerals by indexes (only the 12 was kept). The beaded bezel was replaced about a year later with a milled edge bezel. Around 1965, Breitling introduced its Twin-Jet logo.