Breitling 81600 Navitimer - 1986 - Reserved

Overview

Brand: Breitling
Model: Navitimer
Reference: 81600
Year: 1986
Movement Type: Automatic
Movement(Calibre): Lemania 1873
Case material: 18ct Gold / Stainless Steel
Bracelet/Strap: Leather
Dial Colour: Black
Diameter: 41mm
Papers: No
Box: Yes
Accessories: No

Price: £3,450

Breitling 81600 Navitimer

This Breitling Navitimer 81600 is great example of a very rare stainless steel pilot’s watch from the famous brand.

During the ‘Quartz crisis’ of the 1970’s that threatened an ugly end to the world of mechanical watches as we know and love them, the classic Breitling Navitimer was under threat.  In the mid 1980’s when the industry began to realise that there was a place for both quartz AND mechanical watches and things started looking up, Breitling decided to dip their toe in the water again with the 81600.

Breitling didn’t have a chronograph movement of their own at the time so while they developed one, they used the classic Lemania 1873 from the Omega Speedmaster.  Within two years, everything was sorted and the Lemania equipped Navitimer 81600 was discontinued, making a genuinely rare, short run watch.

Despite being 35 years old, this watch is pretty much perfect – the stainless steel case is really sharp and even and if it has been polished, there’s very little evidence of it.  The dial is in superb original condition and the hands have just been replaced with New Old Stock originals  – these are tritium hands from the mid 1980’s that have never been exposed to the light so they still glow!

The ‘known issue’ with these watches that caused the bezel to come off has been robustly corrected with a stronger, adjusted bezel spring.

The strap is a later replacement and the Breitling buckle seems to be original as it is from the correct period.

Recently serviced and just tested by Breitling authorised watchmakers S Michlmayr & Co, this Breitling Navitimer is supplied with a twelve month warranty.

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