Breitling's New Special Edition Watch Is an Elegant Salute to Aviation History

Celebrate the golden era of air travel with these striking timepieces.
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Pan Am: Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43.

Pan Am: Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43.

With its Navitimer 1 collection, Breitling is going back in time. The high end watchmaker is rolling out a series of watches that look back to the favorite timepieces of pilots in the 1950s and 60s, but with a twist. The Navitimer 1 Airline Editions also—as the name indicates—celebrate historic airlines. The newest is the Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition.

Pan Am: Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43.

Pan Am: Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43.

Pan American World Airways ceased operation in 1991 but at one time it was one of the biggest names in the business. Breitling has more:

The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition is distinguished by one of the most recognizable logos in the history of aviation printed on its transparent sapphire caseback. For decades, Pan American World Airways was a dominant force in commercial aviation and its name is still closely linked with the excitement of air travel... 

Along with its indelible logo, the Pan Am's blue and red accents perfectly reflect its namesake's historic role in both transportation and in American pop culture. 

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Of course Breitling is based in Switzerland so naturally they launched this series with a tribute to their one-time home airline, Swissair. This edition features the same functionality and immaculate Breitling design but with a different color scheme.

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The Swissair comes with a black leather strap and just as with the Pan Am edition it reflects the airline's color scheme with red accents and the distinctive Swissair logo on the back.

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Technical specs for these editions include a 70 hour power reserve, self-winding mechanical movement, and a steel case with a sapphire crystal. 

The Pan Am and the Swissair are listed as "call to buy" on Breitling's website, but other Navitimers with similar specs are priced between $21,500 and nearly $25,000. For the devoted collector, classic Breitling precision matched with historical resonance is worth it.