One of the world’s oldest chronographs to be in continuous production has been the “Breitling Navitimer”. This renowned aviation-inspired watch series has issued various models with different sizes, styles and employed materials, since it debuted back in 1952. Now, it’s back once again in a larger and darker form, as the: “Breitling 46mm Navitimer Blacksteel”.


Image courtesy of: Breitling

No doubt a cult model amongst pilots and aviation enthusiasts ever since it was introduced to the horology market. And this timepiece comes with a rubber strap just in time for the summer heat. Probably a good option for those who were seeking out and appreciate a big look on a proven concept.

Video courtesy of: Breitling

The XL 46mm round case is made of satin-brushed stainless steel and coated with black-colored carbon-based treatment. Features a screw-in crown and two pushers to operate the chronograph. Its transparent caseback allows to view the inner workings, with a black oscillating weight and many other pieces that make up one of the world’s finest automatic chronograph movement. All topped by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides.


Image courtesy of: Breitling

This predominantly black dial exhibits hour index markers and hands both with a SuperLuminova coating for an enhanced legibility. One clear difference from previous Navitimer versions is opting for two sub-dials, instead of the traditional three sub-dials. They’ve also not made these sub-dials silver, keeping the “black” motif of this piece by making these counters “tone-on-tone” from two slightly different black tones.


Image courtesy of: Breitling

Breitling excluded the 12-hour counter, but has kept the: 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position and a sub-seconds at the 9 o’clock position. The hands on the sub-dials and the forth hand are in red, as well as specific numerals and marks, which assist in quick legibility. The process to obtain these red accents is done using the par épargne method. At closer inspection one can decipher the dial is a solid piece of sterling silver, coated in black and the elevated marks, lettering are exposed parts of that silver base.


Image courtesy of: Breitling

Although one of the sub-dials has been removed, this “Blacksteel” version still includes the iconic circular slide rule specialized for flight calculation. This ruler circling around the outer rim of the dial near the bezel can assist in calculating: flight time, rate/time of climb/descent, distance, average speeds and fuel consumption.


Image courtesy of: Breitling

Breitling 46mm Navitimer Blacksteel

This “Breitling 46mm Navitimer Blacksteel” (Ref#: MB012822|BE51|252S|M20DSA.2) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 01, with 47 jewels and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 70 hours and water-resistance can reach up to 30m (98 feet). Mounted to this watch is a sturdy black rubber Navitimer strap with an aircraft tire-tread pattern design.


Image courtesy of: Watchbase

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Written by Mauro Az