Breitling has renewed their partnership with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), which in 2022 will celebrate 70 years since it created the first Navitimer for the organization.
As part of the announcement, Breitling is also going to cover the costs for a young person in the United States to complete a full pilot’s training course through the newly created Breitling Aviation Scholarship. The deadline to apply is February 11, 2022.
“The relationship between Breitling and the AOPA started nearly 70 years ago when Willy Breitling developed a new chronograph concept for the association’s members. At the time, the AOPA was (and remains) the largest pilots’ club in the world, counting nearly every US aviator among its ranks,” according to Breitling.
In 1952, Willy Breitling developed a wristwatch that allowed pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) selected his design as its official timepiece. This led to the Navitimer, which was “completely designed and engineered to AOPA specifications” originally featured only the AOPA logo at 12 o’clock, unlike later models which would include both AOPA and Breitling logos, such as the faithful re-edition that Breitling released in 2019: the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition.
The so-called “wrist instrument” enabled pilots to calculate average speed, distance traveled, fuel consumption, and rate of climb. This innovation was made possible by Breitling’s patented circular slide rule onto the rotating bezel. “Navitimer” was derived from a combination of navigation and timer, and when it officially launched to AOPA members in 1954, according to Breitling, the watch was an instant success.
In spite of newer aviation instruments and technologies, the Navitimer continues to be an icon for collectors and aviators alike. And in 2022, Breitling will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Navitimer — so there’s more Navitimer news coming soon.
Photo by Breitling.