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Breitling Navitimer Ref. 816


Vintage Breitling 48mm Navitimer, Black Dial, Stainless Steel Bracelet, Ref. 816

The Navitimer is Brietling’s long standing flagship chronograph that has become an iconic timepiece, both in the watch community as well as in the aviation world. The Navitimer 816 is considered the sibling reference of the Navitimer 1806, which is instead powered by self-winding movement. This 816 reference is powered by the manual winding caliber Venus 178. First introduced in 1968 and produced up to 1978, this early production Navitimer ref. 816 includes the AOPA wings on the dial rather than the more common Twin Jet Breitling logo. The dial features the so-called “Big Eyes” hour and minute counters with vibrant orange hands, as well as a running seconds at 9 o’clock, which is absent in the self-winding reference.

The large 48mm case was revolutionary when it was introduced. Developed together with EPSA Piquerez, the famous casemaker, the large 48mm case introduced a complex bezel mechanism that gave it a higher waterproof rating by including a waterproof aluminum bi-directional rotating bezel. Used together with an internal slide rule, the bezel assisted pilots with ‘dead reckoning’ flight navigation. Attached to this vintage watch is a factory modern mesh stainless steel bracelet with a folding buckle clasp. The Navitimer 816 is an excellent piece of both watchmaking history, as well as a remarkable co-pilot for any aviation enthusiast.

Only 1 left in stock

Categories: , , , SKU: 210000005855

Additional information

Band Material

Stainless Steel

Band Type



Rotating, Bi-directional, Aluminum, Slide Rule

Box and Papers

No Box | No Papers




Venus 178

Case Material

Stainless Steel

Case Size






Crystal Material


Dial Color





43mm +


1-Year Watchworks Guarantee

Item ID0005855
Model #816
Model NameNavitimer
Year Producedca. 1968
Serial Number1XXXXXX


The modern chronograph watch would not function as it does today without Breitling’s influence. Léon Breitling founded the company in 1884 already manufacturing innovative chronographs.  After his death in 1914, his son Gaston took control and produced one of the world’s first wrist chronographs with a separate pusher.  Gaston’s son Willy introduced the two-pusher chronograph and the iconic Chronomat in 1942, which added a slide rule with a chronograph.  In 1952 they produced the Navitimer with a built-in slide rule that became the official pilot’s watch for the AOPA pilot union. Astronaut Scott Carpenter found his Navitimer so useful that he asked Breitling to modify the watch to use a 24-hour dial, which he then wore into space in 1962 aboard a Mercury capsule.  To celebrate his 25th anniversary as head of the company, Willy also introduced the SuperOcean diver’s watch with a water-resistance of 200 meters.  Clearly, any admirer of chronographs should become familiar with Breitling