Breitling has released a new variant of its Navitimer B03 Rattrapante in 18k red gold with a redesigned dial and, for the first time, in a non-limited edition form.
At Baselworld 2017, Breitling impressed fans of the iconic Navitimer with the Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45. This offered an extension of their iconic, but often overlooked Navitimer which was looking to enter a more luxurious market. With this watch, Breitling provided us with a large, 45 by 15.73mm case to house a similarly portly movement: their in-house B03.
The Rattrapante In-House Cal. B01
The 9.18mm thick B03 is an evolution of the B01 and offers all the specifications now expected of a premium mechanical chronograph movement whilst retaining practicality through automatic winding. This movement offers the user both column wheel and vertical clutch for the smoothest of chronograph operation and, as the standout feature, rattrapante seconds. Also known as ‘split seconds’, this function starts two superimposed second hands when the chronograph is engaged. However, if the pusher within the crown is depressed, one hand will stop to allow reading before another press sends it shooting back to the other hand. The result is both functional for timing several events at once, but also demonstrates remarkable watchmaking.
A New Breitling Navitimer
It is no secret that Breitling’s marketing strategy has had its work cut out to bring this historic brand back to glory after a period of stagnation. However, Breitling and even more so the Breitling Navitimer represent an imitable presence in the minds of consumers. Consequentially, Breitling has now chosen to release the gold variant of the Navitimer B03 Rattrapante in a non-limited version. Since 2017, we have seen steel versions, but the limited edition original had yet to be replaced.
The key aesthetic points of the first Breitling Navitimer B03 Rattrapante have been conserved on this watch, yet details have been cherry-picked from the collection. Where the limited edition red gold model featured a more subdued dial and silver subdials, this piece is less traditional. The dial finished in sunburst anthracite which has a warm, brown undertone. To add to this, the subdials are black and the use of yellow on the rattrapante hand has been replaced with white. As whole, this edition seems more unified and considered. I’m sure that many will be glad that the anchor and ‘B’ symbols have continued to feature of the second counterweights, thus forming the logo when at rest. By contrast, the replacement of the winged Breitling logo with a more simple ‘B’ may be a contentious point.
For a price of £22,640 in 18k red gold, this is no tool watch and resides clearly in the luxury market. The incentive to release such a watch is clear considering the market desire for luxury chronographs at the moment and Breitling’s need to capitalise on its position. Even so, this appears as a competitive option when compared to the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial 44.25mm in gold at £19,260 and the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in Everose gold at £23,800.
Availability: £22,640 on leather strap
- Dimensions: 45mm x 15.73mm
- Material: 18k Red Gold
- Crystal: Double Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire Crystal
- Dial: Sunburst brown or anthracite base / Black sunken subdials / Applied red gold markers & indices / Polished & luminous red gold hands with red & white on the seconds / Date at 4:30 / Rotating slide-rule bezel in silver
- Water Resistance: 3 ATM / 30m
- Movement: Breitling Manufacture Calibre B03: 30.40mm x 9.18mm / Automatic and manual winding / Time, date, chronograph, rattrapante function / 70-hour power reserve / 4Hz, 28,800 vph, 8 ticks-per-second / Chronograph with column wheel & vertical clutch / Chronograph operated with pushers and rattrapante function operated via pusher in the crown