Breitling Navitimer*** Pre 806 V72*** 1955
BREITLING Navitimer 1st Series Pre-806, Valjoux 72, Small Beaded Bezel, Circa 1955
Serial: 844845
Circa: Early 1955
Reference No.: N/A (pre-806)

CASE: 40mm round, stainless steel, bi-directional rotating ‘Small Beaded’ bezel with slide rule, Glass in acrylic.
Snap back with Breitling logo.

MOVEMENT: Valjoux 72, Hand-hound mechanical column-wheel chronograph, 17 jewels

DIAL: Black dial with Radium hour markers, Gold AOPA logo, running seconds counter at 9 o’clock, silver color slide rule around the outer dial turned by rotating bezel

STRAP: Leather strap

CONDITION REPORT: The watch is in 100% original condition. The Dial has naturally aged and the radium lume is intact and nicely patinated (Geiger & UV ok for Radium). The hands also retain the original radium although the metal portion has oxidised. The small beaded bezel also corresponds to the time period for the serial number.
The crystal has been replaced with a new one, but the original one (radium crackle) has been preserved on the side.
The movement was fully overhauled (after photos) in May 2018.

NOTES: The Breitling Navitimer was released in 1954. The first series did not bear a reference number (later 806), because the company was unsure if it would a commercial success. The first batch was fitted with a Valjoux 72 caliber in 1954 & early 1955 before being replaced with the Venus 178. The case is different on these early examples besides not bearing a reference number as the pushers are further apart from the crown due to the different movement.
The name Navitimer is a combination of navigation and timer since the watch was intended for use by pilots. They used the slide-rule to determine fuel consumption and calculate distances. The original Navitimer collection all had an AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) wings logo on the dial as it is believed that this association of pilots collaborated on the development of this model with pilot’s needs in mind. The Navitimer remains the most iconic Breitling model ever produced.