8,2 / 10
Extremely rare LIP dial
The present model, reference 806, is a black-silver Navitimer, aka “reverse panda” with the Twin Jet dial. It is considered as the Mk 4 execution of the Navitimer. It is fitted with a rare “transitional” square notched bezel which was introduced in 1964, It was quickly replaced by another version with serrated pointed notches during the same year.
Its main feature is a double signature on the dial with the addition of LIP under the logo. LIP was a French watch company that collaborated with Breitling in the 1960s to distribute their models in France.
#994.xxx was produced in 1964.
Please note that the circular slide rule may be a more recent version. The only difference with the original one is the presence of red markings.
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.