These precision instruments were intended for sports, science and industry. Thanks to its high-quality products and its constant quest for innovation, the brand accompanied the boom of competitive sports and of the automobile – as well as the first feats of the aviation pioneers. In 1915, it heralded the emergence of the wrist chronograph by inventing the first independent chronograph pushpiece. In 1923, it perfected this system by separating the stop/start functions from that of resetting. This patented innovation thereby made it possible to add several successive times without returning the hands to zero – which proved extremely useful both for timing sports competitions and for calculating flight times. In 1934, Breitling set the final touch to the modern face of the chronograph by creating the second independent reset pushpiece – a decisive breakthrough that was soon adopted by the competition. In 1969, the brand took on one of the greatest 20th century watchmaking challenges by presenting the first selfwinding chronograph movement. In 1984, Breitling heralded the rebirth of the mechanical chronograph by launching the famous Chronomat, which has since become its leading model. In 2009, the firm’s engineers once again made their mark on the history of the chronograph by creating Caliber 01 – the finest selfwinding chronograph movement, entirely developed and manufactured in the workshops of Breitling Chronométrie. A leader in the field of mechanical chronographs, the brand has also established itself in the vanguard of electronic watchmaking by developing an entire range of high-tech instruments first and foremost dedicated to aviation.
The Breitling Navitimer was (and still is) a pilot's watch, which makes it a good choice for Derval's character. The Navitimer 806 seen in Thunderball is a mid-1960s model, 4th generation of the 806 with Venus 178 movement and different bezel from the previous generations. The watch in the film has a black dial, steel case, three white subdials (at the left, right and bottom) and a black leather strap with black stitching. The Navitimer 806 was available with 'Twin Jet' emblem (pictured on the left) to indicate that it was sold through the Breitling distribution. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Navitimer was also offered by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, with the AOPA logo on the dial in stead of the twin jet logo. Unfortunately it's impossible to see which logo the movie watch has.
A 1967 Navitimer 806 is very similar to the Navitimer 01, with black dial, white subdials, black leather strap with black stitching.
Caliber: Breitling 01 (Manufacture)
Movement: Selfwinding mechanical
Power reserve: Min. 70 hrs
Chronograph: 1/4th second, 30 minutes, 12 hours
Vibration: 28 800 v.p.h
Jewel: 47 jewels
Calendar: Dial aperture
Case: Steel, 18K red gold
Back: Screwed in
Water resistance: 3 bars
Bezel: Bidirectional, slide rule
Crown: Non screw-locked, two gaskets
Crystal: Cambered sapphire, glareproofed both sides
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Strap: Leather, Navitimer or Air Racer
Interhorn width: 22/20 mm
Thickness: 14.25 mm
Weight (without strap): 81.20 gr.
In the movie Thunderball (1965), two Breitling watches are prominently used. The first Breitling in the film is a Breitling Navitimer, reference 806, which changes hands several times in the film.
The second Breitling watch in Thunderball is given to Bond by Q and works as a geiger counter. This watch is a heavily modified - Breitling Top Time.
The latest Navitimer model still looks similar to the first models.