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View Full Version : Review of BREITLING Navitimer 7750 (old rep version) OUTDATED MODEL!



By-Tor
07-16-2007, 02:52 AM
http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/1637/airfighter545ce.jpg

When I first came to watch forums... and later on TRC/RWG I never cared about Breitling that much. The watches had strange, busy dials and very "different" appearance. Windrider Chronomat Blue /TwoTone was the only Breitling I considered even remotely attractive.

But as time went by those Breitlings were slowly growing on me. Strange how that happens. Navitimer catched my attention, and not only because it's visually one of the most accurate chronograph reps out there (correct subdial spacing), but also because it's such a classic model. I see Navitimer as some kind of watch equivalent to Lamborghini Countach. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but I guess we can all agree that Breitling is not a "beautiful" chronograph watch (in traditional sense) like Daytona or Speedmaster Broad Arrow, but it has very unique and characteristic appearance.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b391/bytor2112/Breitling%20Navitimer/sideview.jpg

Navitimer is kinda "bread and butter" model for Breitling, because it was the model that originally placed Breitling "on the world map". The first model was introduced in 1954 and it has been through numerous incarnations, but the general, overall appearance has remained the same during the whole 50+ years in production.

Because of the age of this model (and due its popularity) Navitimer will be instantly recognized as a Breitling, at least among people who are even remotely familiar with wristwatches. The recognition factor probably won't be the same with models like Aeromarine or Steelfish titanium. I really like the Steelfish, but personally I'm not a huge fan of the rather dull and gray appearance of titanium. So it had to be a Navitimer, Chrono Avenger or Chronomat. I also found myself quite attracted to the Bullhead version that Neil briefly had available.

I was planning to buy a Breitling for months but shyed away from the Asian 7750 automatic. But when a good deal came by I couldn't resist the temptation any longer. I just HAD to get a Breitling! I purchased my Navitimer from a fellow forum member. The watch is already 12 months old and it works, is in pristine condition - and keeps great time. The price was excellent as well.




Then some history about this watch... This is a replica of the older Navitimer, "SERIE SPECIALE" model, which (according to my sources) was in production in the 80'S. I find it rather strange that the rep factories replicated this model and not the mid-90'S "Fighter Special Edition", or the standard early 2000'S model which is very similar in appearance (save the differencies we'll tackle later in this review).

BORROWED information from a resource site:
================================
Breitling created the Breitling Fighters team, an initiative bringing together second generation WW II era fighter planes. The Fighters Team includes a Supermarine Spitfire, Messerschmitt Bf109, North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, Yakolev Yak 3, Chance Vought F4U Corsair and a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk. The Breitling Fighters Chronograph is the official watch of this flight team. Whilst the watch is equipped with the latest developments in mechanical watch making, it fully reflects the spirit prevailing half a century ago, the time when Breitling developed the first slide rule chronographs. The Navitimer for the first time, a watch featured a "navigation computer" capable of executing every calculation a flight plan requires. These include: multiplication, division, calculating ground speed, calculating miles per hour, calculating miles per minute, calculating fuel consumption, calculating rate of climb or descent, calculating the distance of climb or descent and nautical and statute mile conversion. This is a true professional instrument watch that has been adapted to today's even more strenuous requirements.


Here's a large scan of the caseback which shows the engraved fighter planes. According to another user the engraving "Messerschmitt" has been misspelled (I think I just misspelled it again). Personally, I couldn't be bothered. These kind of things belong to the "anal retentive" department. I don't think I'll run into many Breitling fanatics who keep a loupe in the back pocket and demand to inspect the caseback of my watch.

http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/8301/caseback4sq.jpg

For people who are interested in Navitimer generally THIS (http://anonym.to/?http://www.lesmala.net/jean-michel/navitimer/index2.htm) site is an excellent resource. There's lots of information about different Navitimer models that have been produced during the decades.

For people who are interested in the "slide rule" and other numerous features on the Navitimer, I constructed this help image from previously posted resources. The dial and bezel feature information is now in more compact form.

http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/5649/help15yi.jpg

I tried to make a lot of research of this particular model, that's part of the fun in rep collecting for me. I found out that this particular watch (SERIE SPECIALE) should _always_ come with brushed case & bracelet (instead of the highly polished band & case). But during the same research I found out that there are probably 2 billion different variations of the Navitimer. I was actually overwhelmed, even Omega Speedmaster doesn't have so many different incarnations. You have to be a real Breitling fanatic to know all the models. My head is still spinning.

On the other hand, that makes "calling out" your rep very difficult, if not impossible for most.

There's also a version which has printing "EDITION SPECIAL" over the 6'o'clock subdial, Swiss Army Special Edition, and a mid-90's "Special Fighter Edition" which comes with the same subregister / date setting, but that watch has Arabic numerals on the dial, 5-link polished bracelet and different markings on the subregisters.

Actually, when compared to the original "Serie Speciale" model the rep isn't terribly accurate. There are numerous differencies on the dial and bezel. Here you can see the original "brushed" model.

http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/1108/256bildgr10740679948oz.jpg

In this following comparison picture you can see a standard Navitimer (early 2000's model) which is very identical with the replica but again it doesn't have the SERIE SPECIALE written over the subdial - and the caseback most likely won't have those engraved fighter planes. I suspect even the rep factory couldn't keep up with these variations when they produced the watch, because the "Fighter Special Edition" (with the differencies I previously mentioned) was produced at the same time.

You can spot the differencies yourself. Date font, more "silvery" subdials on the rep, a bit different lume on hour markers, bezel numbers are closer to the bezel edge on the genuine, etc.

http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/4241/comparison5ag.jpg

Navitimer is very exceptional replica because it has the correct subdial spacing, a thing you rarely see in reps. The rep Navitimer basically uses a copy of the genuine movement... thus the correct placement of the subregisters. I don't know for sure, but I suspect a genuine dial would fit the rep after some tweaking. I'll leave the tech talk to the hardcores, I'm happy with my watch the way it is.

The diameter of this watch is a standard sports watch caliber: around 40mm. But it's very thick watch and I believe it would look a bit funny on a smaller wrist.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b391/bytor2112/Breitling%20Navitimer/wrist.jpg

The only thing that I've never been quite fond of is the highly polished Breitling bracelet, and I've never been a strap guy, either. Maybe one of these days I'll transform this watch into brushed version.

Here you can see the fliplock clasp. The clasp itself is polished as well, and the bracelet scratches very easily from this area.

http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/8002/img08394bo.jpg

We all know how the unserviced Asian 7750 movement is a ticking time bomb, but since my watch has been functioning well for the fellow member the last 12 months... at least it's something. This combination of subregisters shouldn't be too problematic as it doesn't require any modifications to the original movement (unlike Daytonas with 6'o'clock running seconds). If the movement starts giving me problems I can always service it - or buy a genuine Swiss Valjoux 7750... and send it to my friends for a replacement job.

Well, it wouldn't be a typical unserviced old Asian 7750 if it didn't have at least SOME problems: The chronograph works but the stopwatch has an occasional reset problem. No big deal for me, I rarely use the stopwatch in any of my chronograph watches. If you're going to get a 7750-powered watch I recommend that you read Ziggy's excellent breakdowns and reviews of the Asian 7750 movement... so you have an idea what you're getting into. He has covered the issue very throughly. You can read Ziggy's articles

HERE (http://anonym.to/?http://www.replicacollector.com/members/index.php?showtopic=14040),
HERE (http://anonym.to/?http://www.replicacollector.com/members/index.php?showtopic=14225) and HERE. (http://anonym.to/?http://www.replicacollector.com/members/index.php?showtopic=14253)

Movement. Excellent picture by Rschultes.

http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/1568/uu51zi.jpg

Summary:

I only buy larger sports watches (because of my physical size) but I'm always trying to look for some variation. Breitling Navitimer is an excellent, classic addition into my compact watch collection... and despite its small flaws it's a solid, substantial, heavy and good replica watch. And owning at least one Breitling is a "must" for all hardcore rep collectors. According to some, the newer rep version of the Navitimer is even more accurate... the one that has datewheel at 5'o'clock... but that watch has a nasty datewheel alignment issue. Either way, you can't go wrong with Navitimer. I already fell in love with mine.


http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b391/bytor2112/Breitling%20Navitimer/wallpaper1.jpg