The ‘1952’ Navitimer Myth and why it really is the ‘1954’ Navitimer

As we all know the current Breitling company claims that the Navitimer was first released in 1952 , the current Breitling company even released ‘commemorative’ pieces with 1952 as the birth year of the Navitimer.

However after long and thorough investigations done by myself , Kurt B and Watchfred we all have come to the conclusion that the Navitimer was not first released in 1952 but rather in 1954 and late 1954 at that.

Please have a look at this article ‘How to date Navitimers by counting the beads on the bezel‘ and you have a good starting point. More beads means its an older watch and the 1954 Navi’s with Valjoux 72 movements have the most beads , so those are the oldest.

Some Navitimer’s , ref 806 with Venus 178 movement , have turned up over the years with a 1953 serial number. These watches however have less beads on the bezel so they should be later watches. This was later confirmed by Breitling as being ‘watches which have had the serial number misprinted’ . The leading ‘8’ should have been a ‘9’ , which would make them 1960 watches. This is also backed up by the bead count on the bezel. And even though Breitling insist on 1952 as a release date in that letter , they at least admitted to the misprinted serial number . Kurt’s info here


And then there is this final piece of information that Watchfred stumbled upon . The registration and ‘first use’ of the name Navitimer. This trademark was registered by the AOPA (not by Breitling) as the Navitimer was a watch that was commissioned by the AOPA and made by Breitling for the AOPA ! . Only after this watch became a huge success at the AOPA , Breitling started to make these themselves and started to sell them as well in 1956 . The AOPA watches all have the AOPA signed wing , the Breitling watches do not have AOPA in the wing but Breitling signed dials.

please have a look at the below extract from the US trademark office.

Few things to note are :

Wordmark : Navitimer

first use in commerce : 19541227 (so the 27th of december 1954)

Owner : Aircraft owners and pilots association (AOPA)  and not Breitling

now if this does not settle the dispute once and for all , what will ?

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 10.05.55

so Dear Breitling S.A, with all of this irrefutable information , will you now please correct the 1952 and give the Navitimer back its true birthyear ? thank you


below you will find the list with serial numbers I have been able to capture over the years, I am sure there are more watches out there but as always , these are the ones I know of

1954 839192 V72 refless
1954 839232 V72 refless
1954 843829 V72 refless
1954 843880 V72 refless
1954 843929 V72 refless
1954 843960 V72 refless
1955 844190 V72 refless
1955 844216 V72 refless
1955 844477 V72 refless
1955 844751 v72 refless
1955 844809 v72 refless
1955 844822 V72 refless
1955 845022 V72 refless
1955 845053 V72 refless
1955 845055 V72 refless
1955 845156 V72 refless
1955 845181 V72 refless
1955 864173 V72 806
1955 864373 V72 806
1955 864380 V72 806
1955 864405 V72 806
1955 864513 V72 806