A chat with vintage watch expert Fred Mandelbaum on the Swiss replica Breitling Navitimer’s history

The word icon is often thrown about carelessly in the world of design, but sometimes, the designation is more than warranted. A great case in point would be cheap fake Breitling’s Navitimer watches. Instantly recognizable, highly-regarded and with a history spanning all the way back to the 1950s, the Navitimer holds a singular position in the history of watchmaking. As it happens, this year marks the collection’s 70th anniversary. So, to learn more about the Swiss replica Breitling Navitimer’s journey through time as well as its timeless appeal, we chatted with notable watch collector, vintage copy watch expert and self-described Breitling-addict Fred Mandelbaum, popularly known online as @watchfred.

Below are excerpts from our exclusive interview:

Can you tell us about your first encounter with perfect replica Breitling’s Navitimer?
I think the first ones that I saw were the modern incarnations of the Navitimer when Breitling brought them back in the mid-1980s. I can’t really pin it down, I actually started to notice Swiss made fake Breitling around the time they relaunched the Chronomat. So, my first contact was actually not with the vintage pieces, of course, because they were rare and vintage watch collecting hadn’t really started around that time. That was a time when very little was done around vintage replica watches for sale. So, the mid-1980s was the first I remember seeing the Navitimer and being very impressed, although it took until the mid-1990s until I bought my first personal pieces.

What would you say are some of the most important milestones in the luxury replica Breitling Navitimer’s history?
I think that the most important milestone actually dates back to 1940, long before the top copy Breitling Navitimer was born, when Willy Breitling invented the first chronograph with a circular slide rule. It was called the Chronomat, the first slide rule calculator, and the first smart watch, actually.

When commercial flights became much more common in the 1950s, so more and more pilots were being trained. The U.S. distributor of high end replica Breitling already had contacts at the AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and then Willy came up with the idea to develop a specialized variation of the Chronomat for pilots, the AOPA chose that watch as their official chronograph and AAA fake Breitling launched it in 1954.

The first Swiss wristwatch in space was actually a Navitimer Cosmonaute—a variation of the best quality fake Breitling Navitimer. After [Mercury Seven astronaut] Scott Carpenter saw some Australian air force pilots wearing the Navitimer, he felt that it was exactly what the astronauts needed and contacted Breitling replica for sale. So, this became the Swiss wristwatch in space in May 1962.

And another milestone would be the first incorporation of the in-house chronograph caliber in 2011. And of course, yet another milestone occurred when top quality replica Breitling launched the new version of the Navitimer this year.

On a more general note, what do you think is the driving force behind the wholesale fake Breitling Navitimer’s continued popularity until now?
You’d be surprised how many pilots are still proudly wearing copy Breitling Navitimers. Every pilot still needs to learn how to use a circular slide rule. It’s one of the points in training of pilots. Furthermore, in many ways, best 1:1 replica wristwatches are not only about telling time—they tell a story, they are mechanical wonders. And they are as stable as anything can be.

A lot of what I’m doing is in looking at historical photographs, for example. And it’s hard to tell apart most of the watches that people are wearing when you’re looking at pictures from the 1960s and you don’t have great focus on the picture. But if somebody has a Breitling Navitimer replica Paypal on the wrist, you recognize it immediately, because it’s so unique. It’s one of the true, recognizable icons.

Is there anything you can tell us about the super clone Breitling Navitimer’s 70th anniversary pieces? Or perhaps there’s a particular design element across multiple models that you especially like?
Frankly, what I like about it that it’s very respectful of its roots. It will be very traditional, but at the same time new, fresh and modern. And it’s just lovely watch. It’s not a re-edition, but it takes the elements that the top quality fake Breitling Navitimer had during its history and brings it back in a very clean and very elegant new interpretation.

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