The Navitimer

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The Navitimer

Post by koimaster » August 31st 2021, 8:49am

The late 1970s sounded like an end for Breitling. Willy Breitling had no other choices than to close the company and to sell it. In 1978, Ernest Schneider, avid pilot and holder of Sicura, a manufacture of cheap watches, bought Breitling and moved it to Grenchen, where the new life of the brand began in 1982.

In 1952, Willy Breitling was approached by the renowned US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and asked to create a new chronograph for its members. He decided to develop an innovative wrist-worn instrument that would enable pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations, including average speed, distance traveled, fuel consumption, rate of climb or descent, and conversion of miles to kilometers or nautical miles.

At that time, calculations required a logarithmic slide rule. Willy Breitling therefore adapted theoriginal logarithmic slide rule of the 1940s Chronomat for aviation purposes and integrated it into a rotating bezel, surrounded by small beads to make it easier to manipulate.

The case diameter was fixed at 41 millimeters, which was large for its time – large enough to ensure that all the information provided by the dial would be easy to read. The readability was further enhanced by oversized Arabic numerals filled with radium that efficiently contrasted with the black dial. As for the name, what could be more evocative than Navitimer, a combination of navigation and timer?

When the Navitimer was finally introduced to the AOPA, it was an instant success among the association’s members. ... navitimer/


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