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andreww

Andreww's Guide to Breitling Navitimers

61 posts in this topic

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Having been around the boards for several years now, I’d like to think that I have learned a little bit about all things watch related. However, the watch that got me hooked on this crazy hobby, and the one that remains closest to my heart is, and will always been the Breitling Navitimer. I often receive PMs from new members asking countless questions about the pros and cons of the various available models. So, I thought it was time to put together a detailed guide on all current and past Navitimer models.

Forget about perfection

Common Flaws

As of writing this guide, there is no perfect Navitimer replica. Some are better than others, but all of them share at least some imperfections. Although each model has its strong points and weaknesses, some flaws are common to all Navitimer reps. Most notably of these common flaws is the slide rule insert. You will notice that the numbers on the rep insert do not come close enough to the crystal. This is the first thing that I look for when trying to determine if a Navitimer is genuine.

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On the most recent batch of Navi reps the insert markings do not align properly with the dial markings. This is a problem with the insert as the previous generation’s insert aligns perfectly with the newer rep dials or genuine dials. Also, the genuine insert has a silvery tint to it while the rep inserts are whiter in appearance. Another flaw with all the Navitimer reps is the obvious lack of AR coating. The previous versions did have a light coating on the inside of the crystal, but nowhere near the deep blue tint of the genuine. A genuine Navitimer crystal will be invisible from almost any angle.

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All of the current lineup of Navitimer reps are cursed with and incorrect date font. Although Breitling bases all modern Navitimers on the Valjoux 7750 or 7753, they use their own datewheels, so not even the Swiss 7750 datewheel is correct.

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Bracelets

The Navitimer bracelet is actually quite good. Although the markings, like most reps, are not as deep and defined as the genuine. One obvious clue to a rep bracelet is that the screw heads for the removable links are on different sides on either side of the bracelet. The gen bracelet has all screw heads on the same side. The other obvious tell is that the end link at the buckle is one piece on the rep while the gen is made of individual pieces.

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The stamping on the buckle extension is also very light with the word “Breitling” being noticeably smaller.

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Now that we are aware of the common flaws of all Navitimer models, lets look at each model for their unique flaws.

Navitimer 50th Anniversary Edition

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This is one of the more rare reps out there. It is by far the least accurate Navitimer rep available, so there are not a lot of examples of it in our community. This one features a manual wind Seagull movement, which leads to its poor subdial spacing, incorrect subdial function as well as improperly aligned crown and pushers.

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Also, the see through caseback on this one is pure fantasy as the gen has a solid back. Also, the case on this model is polished while the genuine is brushed. A newer 7750 based version of the 50th Anniversary Navitimer has been recently released on King’s site. Again, this version is incorrectly polished. Also, the subdial spacing and function as well as the pusher/crown alignment is inaccurate because of the incorrect movement. This one also uses the wrong caseback (from the tricompax A23322 model).

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The most obvious flaw on the 1st generation is its lack of a date window at the 4:00 position. The new model does have a date window, but the date wheel is the wrong color for some inexplicable reason. Date font, window size and position are all well off the mark. Also, the word “Date” should be on the outside of the window, not on the inside. This model only comes with a white dial, but the subdials on this one should be black, not white, according to all my references.

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The slide rule doesn’t align, and the numbers are too small. The red “60” on the insert is also printed too high. The incorrect caseback is from the Modern Navitimer 23322.

Quick summary

• Polished case incorrectly finished

• Incorrect subdial spacing and function

• Incorrect crown/pusher alignment

• Wrong caseback

• No AR

• No date window (Seagull version)

• Wrong date font, window size, position (7750 version)

Bottom line

This one is verging on fantasy isn’t it?.

The Navitimer Serie Speciale (Fighters Edition)

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Although a member favorite, the Serie Speciale is IMO not the most accurate of all the available Navitimer reps. The most obvious “tell” on this one is that the rep case and bracelet are polished, while the genuine comes with a very cool looking brushed finish. The crystal on the rep is another obvious giveaway, as it uses the same slightly domed crystal as all other Navitimer reps. The genuine model uses a domed crystal, similar in shape to that of the speedmaster, with a very heavy lip.

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The current model is the second generation of the Serie Speciale rep. The only difference between the two is the dial and the use of the 28k 7750 movement in the newer version. The dial on the original version apparently featured odd looking stickers on the subdials.

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Although the subdial stickers disappeared on the 2nd gen Fighters the “pie pan” effect and subdial look is not as accurate on this model. The sharp lip on the edge of the subdials is not accurate and the piepan effect is not as pronounced as on the gen.

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The caseback has all the correct markinks, but it is spoiled by the misspelling of the name “Messerschmitt”. Also, the overall shape of the caseback is off as the genuine has a more conical shape to it.

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The Navitimer rep manufacturer seems to have used one case for all models. The Serie Speciale case and bezel are different however. The gen bezel seems to be deeper with a more pronounced shape to the ground out half circles.

(The following images feature Importr’s modded (Brushed) rep, as well as his genuine Fighters Edition)

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The shape of the case where the lugs meet the bezel also differs to accommodate the deeper bezel.

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Quick summary

• Polished case incorrectly finished

• Incorrect bezel shape

• Incorrect case shape

• Wrong crystal shape

• Misspelling on caseback

• Incorrectly recessed subdials

• No AR

• Inaccurate slide rule (2nd Gen)

• Wrong date font

Bottom line

This one is not the most accurate, but with some modding can be a very nice piece.

Two Tone Old Navitimer II

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For those that are looking for a more accurate version of a 6-9-12 Navitimer, I suggest you look at the Two Tone Navitimer II. Some dealers mistakingly advertise this watch as a “Serie Speciale”, when in fact this is a replica of a Navitimer II that was produced by Breitling prior to 2003, when the 7750 (6-9-12) was replaced by the tricompax 7753. The case and bezel on this one is very accurate. The dial markings are somewhat accurate, but the inner set of numbers on the slide rule are too small making them a little hard to read.

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The slide rule markings on the black dialed version are mistakenly printed in white, not in gold as they should be.

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The subdials should not be recessed. Recessed subdials seem to be a feature of the more modern Navitimers. Also, the piepan effect is not as pronounced on the rep.

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From what I can tell, the subdial hands on this model are incorrectly colored. They should have black hands, not silver, although this could have been a variation that Breitling incorporated at some point The caseback is incorrect. The shape of the genuine is more conical , and the rep is marked incorrectly as it is actually the caseback from the 23322 tricompax Navitimer. The proper model for this model is 13322.

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Quick summary

• Wrong caseback

• Incorrectly recessed subdials

• Wrongly colored hands

• No AR

• Inaccurate slide rule

• Wrong date font

Bottom line

Why don’t they make this one in SS? This model would be great for adding a genuine dial and ETA movement. Some inaccuracies, but there are so many variations of this model, only a Breitling WIS would be able to spot them.

Tricompax Modern Navitimer

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In 2003 Breitling returned the Navitimer to its original tricompax (3-6-9) layout. The genuine is powered by a Valjoux 7753, while the rep uses a reconfigured Asian 7750. Because of this, the datewheel is lowered to make room for the extra gears needed to move the 30 minute totalizer to the 3:00 position. This is commonly referred to as a “recessed datewheel”. This is probably the biggest glaring flaw on this watch, as the datewheel sits well below the dial, creating shadows and a noticeable gap. The date font is not only wrong on this model (as discussed in “common flaws”), but the single digits on this model (1-9) should be rotated 90º toward the center of the dial.

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The current Modern Navitimer rep is the second version of this model. The first generation used a 21k Asian 7750, had an accurate slide rule ring, and a slightly better piepan shape on the subdials, but lacked the recessed subdial lip.

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The 1st generation Navi also had an incorrect matte finish to the dial. The newer version has the correct lip around the subdials, correct glossy finish on the dial, and a slightly bigger and better defined date window.

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The caseback on this model is correctly marked, but the shape is incorrect. The genuine caseback has a conical shape to it, rising up to the wings medallion in the center.

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Quick summary

• Recessed date window (too small)

• Wrong date font

* Incorrectly positioned single digit dates

• Incorrectly shaped caseback

• No AR

• Inaccurate slide rule (2nd Gen only)

Bottom line

Some people despise the recessed datewheel, but in my opinion it is the most accurate of the current batch of Navi reps. After all, the factory created the case set based on this model, then used it for all the other models.

Slide rule usage guide

Anton has posted an in depth instruction manual for slide rule usage on the Navitimer. You can view that post here...

Anton's Guide

3 people like this

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Teriffic guide Andrew. Thanks for the contribution :thumbsupsmileyanim:

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Great writeup Andrew !

Appreciated indeed .

Laz

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Well done Andreww, thanks for this.

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one word- excellent :)

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I have very much been looking forward to this, as like you, the Breitling Navitimer was what started it off for me. It is a great watch. This write up is the most comprehensive review of any watch I have read, very very useful! Thank you for your effort, it will be greatly appreciated by the whole community as well as me!

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WOW!

What a thoroughgoing Guide, this must've taken you hours of work. Really appreciated!

Thanks for putting this up!

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Very detailed and informative. Thanks.

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A man after my own heart!! ;)

I thought I knew a lot about Navi's, but jeeeez, I learnt a few things today!!

Andreww, you did a fantastic job - especially the attention to the really fine details, which I don't

believe I've seen in a guide before?!

Superb work!!

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I bet this was easier to write than to answer all the different PM's you get... :lol:

thank you for doing this guide! it was a nice read

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WOW Andrew! :)

This review is truly a beautiful piece of work! :)

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One of the best reviews ever!

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Excellent. Thank you very much!

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We don't need no stinkin' sponsored reviews!! Brilliant, Andrew. This is the forum at its best.

Thank you!

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The Master.. what all guides and reviews should be patterned on..

this is more a map and guide than a ."you must get this rep" review.. that's some time and work.. thanks again A..

I concour.. I'd rather have this than a sponsored look anytime

Add on: Andreww ... you just raised the proverbial bar 10 fold;.. :blowup:

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not a huge fan of the navitimer...just wish they were a bit bigger, but this

is a magnificent guide for navi's. the time and effort taken to do this

should truely be applauded!! :clap: great job my friend! excellent job.

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Great work, thanks.

I pinned this... and will link it to the Breitling Guide, naturally.

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Amazing review - this raised the bar for sure!! :1a:

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Thanks everybody for the kind words. I really enjoyed working on this, and now that its done I shall miss it. But, I have decided to make it an ongoing project and will be adding the Navitimer World next followed by the Montbrillant models later.

Glad you all enjoyed it!

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Fantastic review and post.

I have printed this one off, too much reading and information to see on the computer alone...

Thanks for this, excellent work.

RG

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This is awesome. Thanks so much for this.

Similiar to yourself, it's this watch that's got me started on reps. This is my fav watch right now.

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BRAVO!! Fantastic review !!

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I also was drawn into watches by the Navitimer. Although it was my first watch which I was passionate about.... my first rep ended up being a Breitling Bentley which I absolutely could not live without.

I have been looking for a good Navi to complement my Bentley and this write up will be a great tool. I really look forward to your future reviews and comparisons for the Navitimer World and the Montbrillant models.

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Keep up the good work; I am without patience awaiting the next chapters in the Breitling Saga.

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Thanks everybody for the kind words. I really enjoyed working on this, and now that its done I shall miss it. But, I have decided to make it an ongoing project and will be adding the Navitimer World next followed by the Montbrillant models later.

Glad you all enjoyed it!

I'm interested in the Montbrillant. Are you close to being able to post anything just yet?

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