The Breitling Watch Source Forums

Breitling Watch Information Forums, Navitimer, Chronomat
 
It is currently Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:36 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:10 am 
Offline
Breitling Enthusiast
Breitling Enthusiast

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:23 pm
Posts: 26
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 3 posts
I've long admired the iconic Breitling Navitimer, in almost all of its iterations, but never quite pulled the trigger on one, generally keeping loyal to my preferred brand for sports watches (starts with "R", ends with "x").

But, this is not a story about having finally made the move to a Navitimer. Rather, having researched the Navitimer, its history and its counterparts, I discovered the Sinn 903 ST which, at more than just a glance, could easily be mistaken for the Navitimer. As part of my research I viewed a fantastic video comparing the 903 St with the Navitimer, which, for those interested, can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPfpevnd-MI

I finally came across a 903 ST for sale by a trusted member on a local watch forum, and purchased it, not to replace my Sea-Dweller but to occasionally change things up a little. These 903's rarely come up on the Canadian or U.S. boards. I suspect owners tend to hang on to them. The one I purchased is a current-production, 1.5 year-old Sinn 903 ST, found as a full-kit in virtually LNIB condition, meaning without a blemish. Before pulling the trigger, I looked at and tried on the current-model "Navitimer 41" at a local Breitling boutique. Note: The 41 has a vertical tri-compax subdial configuaration vs the horizontal configuration on the Sinn, although the current 43mm Navitimer (pictured below) shares the same subdial configuration as the Sinn. Here's why I went with the 903 ST.

The workmanship and finishing on the 903 ST appear to be absolutely first-rate. They exude quality. The Sellita SW500 movement whirs along effortlessly, but not entirely silently owing to its Valjoux 7750 lineage affectionately known for its shake-rattle-and-roll rotor action. If you love the Valjoux -- and who doesn't -- you'll do very well with the SW500. It's been around almost 10 years and there's no reason to believe, in the post-ETA-domination era, that the SW500 isn't every bit as accurate, reliable and serviceable as the Val. 7750, especially given Sellita's natural desire, in a competitive watch market, to continue to grow its brand through reputation. It is noteworthy that the same-model Sinn 903 had previously housed the Valjoux 7750 before moving to the Sellita.

Putting aside Breitling's current in-house movement in the 41, comparing the 903 ST to the Navitimer 41 is a bit unfair...to the 903. IMO, and in the opinion of most of the comparison reviews I've seen online by rather well-informed sources (including the one referenced in the link above), the German-engineered and manufactured Sinn, being essentially identical to the Navitimer dimension-wise and strikingly parallel in appearance, is the better featured (screw-down crown, antimagnetic, sapphire exhibition back exposing a highly-decorated movement, internally-rotating logarithmic bezel via 10 o'clock crown, dial-matched date-wheel), the better finished (galvanized dial, beautiful chamfered contours, polished and brushed elements), and the better value (about 60% less costly than the Navi, although YMMV).

Of course, the only opinion that ultimately counts is yours. I ended up going with the 903 ST because it actually felt and looked as good as, perhaps even better than, the Breitling 41, right down to the comparable high-quality OEM leather strap...a small detail which often says a lot about the quality of the watch itself. (The strap seen on the Sinn pictured below is the reptile strap; however, the 903 ST is optionally sold on, IMO a nicer, high-quality black leather, contrasting side-stitched strap that looks very much like the one pictured on the Navi below.)

Although affordability is in the eye of the buyer, if you have the money and you're heart-set on having the winged logo on the dial, no one's going to fault you for going with the venerable Breitling Navi 41 (or slightly larger 43), with its rich history and impressive in-house movement, over the Sinn. Nevertheless, don't shun the Sinn before you actually look at a 903 ST. With Sinn having legally acquired the Navitimer design-rights from Breitling back in the 70's when Breitling was a victim of the quartz revolution and found its knickers in a financial knot (see history note below), it is every bit a "Navitimer" of a different nomenclature. It is not, as the less informed might suggest, an hommage or knock-off Navi.

[For those interested in a bit of horologic history, Breitling went bankrupt in 1979 and was sold off -- including design patents and components -- to several different companies including Sinn, and Ollech & Wajs (the latter having gone on to produce the Navi-resembling "Aviation" model). Apparently, the brand that we know today as "Breitling" is the result of Ernest Schneider, then owner of the Sicura brand, having acquired the Breitling name and having re-branded Sicura under the Breitling name. The accuracy of this information, however, has not been verified, and I have read that despite Sinn's acquisition of rights, there were legal issues that subsequently arose relating to whether Breitling had the rights to sell off in the first place and whether the rights were re-acquired.]


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

_________________
__________________
"Hey sweetie, that a new watch you're wearing?"....
"No hun, got this one A-G-E-S ago."



Watch nut likes this post.
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:39 am 
Offline
Breitling Maniac
Breitling Maniac

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:00 am
Posts: 1218
Likes: 1299 posts
Liked in: 683 posts
Location: Nottinghamshire UK
And 10 bar wr which I find interesting when considering the Navi’s 3.

_________________
Breitling B-1 1999
Breitling Chrono Superocean 2004
Casio G Shock
Citizen Eco Drive AT4000-02E (for gardening)
Seiko 5 SNZG15J1
Hamilton X Wind LE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:40 am 
Offline
Breitling Connoisseur
Breitling Connoisseur

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:06 pm
Posts: 963
Likes: 165 posts
Liked in: 209 posts
Location: London
Some of what you have copied and pasted perpetuates things that are not true. Sinn and O&Y did not acquire design rights or patents. They acquired the left over physical stock of Breitling parts but could not use the brand name, so had dials stamped/ made with their own names.



2 people like this post.
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:06 pm 
Offline
Breitling Enthusiast
Breitling Enthusiast

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:23 pm
Posts: 26
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 3 posts
buddman wrote:
Some of what you have copied and pasted perpetuates things that are not true. Sinn and O&Y did not acquire design rights or patents. They acquired the left over physical stock of Breitling parts but could not use the brand name, so had dials stamped/ made with their own names.


Perhaps you didn't see the part stating: "The accuracy of this information, however, has not been verified, and I have read...".
Moreover, nothing has been copied and pasted, unless drawing from 'research' means copying and pasting.

_________________
__________________
"Hey sweetie, that a new watch you're wearing?"....
"No hun, got this one A-G-E-S ago."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:36 pm 
Offline
Breitling Fanatic
Breitling Fanatic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:37 pm
Posts: 380
Likes: 1495 posts
Liked in: 597 posts
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
I owned Sinn 903 St and it is a beautiful watch. But, the main reason I sold it is the crown at 10 for turning the outer scale on computer. It makes WR 100 but I found it next to unusable.

I found that the best Navi for me is Navitimer heritage at 42 mm that I currently own.

Buddman, I think that O&W purchased parts from Breitling (for their own Aviation watch series) while Sinn purchased the right to manufacture watches designed like Navitimer but no rights to Navitimer name That is why we don't see variations of design in 903 from the first days till now. While first models were identical to Navitimer with manual winding they later introduced the crown at 10 on automatics, but bezel remained the same like it is intended to rotate.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:02 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 13626
Likes: 1156 posts
Liked in: 1264 posts
Location: Vienna, Austria
so much misinformation .....


Breitling never "went bankrupt" btw; it announced in September 1978 it would "voluntarily liquidate" while paying off all external debt (ca. 80% of the corporate debt was owed to Willy Breitling at the time).

neither Sinn nor Ollech & Wajs acquired any "rights"; they just bought some "dead stock" components & copied the Navitimer design as it wasn't protected, only the Navitimer brand was registered (renewed in 1975 w/ a validity until 1995) and could therefore not be used.

The Sinn 903 is a well made homage - but you "buy" the higher WR rating with an utterly useless crown-operated sliderule, it is reduced to mere decoration, as any person who has ever used it to attempt quick calculations with it will confirm - it "can be mistaken for a Navitimer" because it blatantly copied the iconic design.

the Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 you mention has a B13 movement, based on the ETA 7750 btw., not the "in-house" cal. B01 and even that "winged logo" isn't there anymore; you really tried hard not to get things right it seems or attempted to further confuse the "less informed" ;)



6 people like this post.
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:41 am 
Offline
Breitling Connoisseur
Breitling Connoisseur
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:55 pm
Posts: 614
Likes: 8 posts
Liked in: 32 posts
Location: UK
WatchFred wrote:
so much misinformation .....


Breitling never "went bankrupt" btw; it announced in September 1978 it would "voluntarily liquidate" while paying off all external debt (ca. 80% of the corporate debt was owed to Willy Breitling at the time).

neither Sinn nor Ollech & Wajs acquired any "rights"; they just bought some "dead stock" components & copied the Navitimer design as it wasn't protected, only the Navitimer brand was registered (renewed in 1975 w/ a validity until 1995) and could therefore not be used.

The Sinn 903 is a well made homage - but you "buy" the higher WR rating with an utterly useless crown-operated sliderule, it is reduced to mere decoration, as any person who has ever used it to attempt quick calculations with it will confirm - it "can be mistaken for a Navitimer" because it blatantly copied the iconic design.

the Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 you mention has a B13 movement, based on the ETA 7750 btw., not the "in-house" cal. B01 and even that "winged logo" isn't there anymore; you really tried hard not to get things right it seems or attempted to further confuse the "less informed" ;)
thanks watchfred! ;-)

_________________
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
Henry Ford

- -- - -- -

Navitimer World
Avenger Seawolf
SuperOcean
Crosswind Special
Headwind
Avenger Skyland
Montbrillant Datora
Emergency Mission


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:49 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 13626
Likes: 1156 posts
Liked in: 1264 posts
Location: Vienna, Austria
just to make sure I'm not classified one of the "less informed" - information above is based on the sales contract signed by Willy Breitling and Ernest Schneider on April 5, 1979, and a personal conversation with Albert Wajs, owner of O&W, in March 2016.



2 people like this post.
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:00 am 
Offline
Breitling Connoisseur
Breitling Connoisseur
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:55 pm
Posts: 614
Likes: 8 posts
Liked in: 32 posts
Location: UK
WatchFred wrote:
just to make sure I'm not classified one of the "less informed" - information above is based on the sales contract signed by Willy Breitling and Ernest Schneider on April 5, 1979, and a personal conversation with Albert Wajs, owner of O&W, in March 2016.

:cheer:

_________________
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
Henry Ford

- -- - -- -

Navitimer World
Avenger Seawolf
SuperOcean
Crosswind Special
Headwind
Avenger Skyland
Montbrillant Datora
Emergency Mission


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:14 am 
Offline
Breitling Fanatic
Breitling Fanatic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:37 pm
Posts: 380
Likes: 1495 posts
Liked in: 597 posts
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Watchfred, are you implying that Sinn never got a permission from Breitling to manufacture Navitimer look-a-like ?

That it was done on their own ?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:08 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 13626
Likes: 1156 posts
Liked in: 1264 posts
Location: Vienna, Austria
yes, just like O&W


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:37 pm 
Offline
Breitling Fanatic
Breitling Fanatic

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:42 am
Posts: 156
Likes: 100 posts
Liked in: 114 posts
I love these threads, so informative if you pick through the 'myths', smoke, mirrors:)
And Fred, you are a legend, no mistake.;)
P.S. I still have the Breitling patch on my Barbour!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:11 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:24 am
Posts: 2667
Likes: 1 post
Liked in: 61 posts
Location: Dhahran KSA
Sinn make some very high quality watches for the money, only challenged by Oris and GS in that regard IMO. That said, the history behind the Breitling Navitimer and the quality of finishing make it more desirable in the long haul for most, comes down to budget and value of the story I suppose.


zak57 wrote:
And 10 bar wr which I find interesting when considering the Navi’s 3.


Good point, that's one area where the Sinn strickes a considerable blow against the Navi's single weakness. Always was put off by that shortcoming, our world is three quarters water, we depend on it for survival....yet 3 bar. :roll:

_________________
Certified watch nut.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 12:16 pm 
Offline
Breitling Enthusiast
Breitling Enthusiast

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:23 pm
Posts: 26
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 3 posts
WatchFred wrote:
so much misinformation .....


Breitling never "went bankrupt" btw; it announced in September 1978 it would "voluntarily liquidate" while paying off all external debt (ca. 80% of the corporate debt was owed to Willy Breitling at the time).

neither Sinn nor Ollech & Wajs acquired any "rights"; they just bought some "dead stock" components & copied the Navitimer design as it wasn't protected, only the Navitimer brand was registered (renewed in 1975 w/ a validity until 1995) and could therefore not be used.

The Sinn 903 is a well made homage - but you "buy" the higher WR rating with an utterly useless crown-operated sliderule, it is reduced to mere decoration, as any person who has ever used it to attempt quick calculations with it will confirm - it "can be mistaken for a Navitimer" because it blatantly copied the iconic design.

the Navitimer 1 Chronograph 41 you mention has a B13 movement, based on the ETA 7750 btw., not the "in-house" cal. B01 and even that "winged logo" isn't there anymore; you really tried hard not to get things right it seems or attempted to further confuse the "less informed" ;)


Folks, before you rush to embrace the quibbling, contrarian comments of an angry pseudo-authority, perhaps do your own research and arrive at your own conclusions. I stand by all that was stated in the original post, but always welcome 'dignified' replies...you know, the type WatchFred could surely benefit from as a teaching moment.

Incidentally, per one of the Moderators of this forum: "Breitling went bankrupt at the end of 1978, and like other bankruptcies, the assets were sold off to the high bidder. Sinn bought completed / partially completed watches and Ollech & Wajs bought the machinery and unassembled parts. The name was sold to Sicura (headed by Ernst Schneider) and over the years Sicura has morphed into what is Breitling today."



poppydog likes this post.
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:29 pm 
Offline
Breitling Connoisseur
Breitling Connoisseur

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:06 pm
Posts: 963
Likes: 165 posts
Liked in: 209 posts
Location: London
Watchfred has 13464 posts on this forum over many many years. He has helped countless collectors with advice, parts, and personal connections. Well over 1000 people have “liked” his posts here. His photos, along with a few other people, form the backbone of vintage Breitling social media, and he has been interviewed in many publications, in print and on-line. I’m not sure what the official title is, but he currently supports Breitling directly, travelling the world speaking at Company roadshows and collector events. Fred is on the CEOs speed dial. He had access to the company archives. He’s certainly in the top 3 scholarly league for vintage B as far as I’m aware.

You however, not so much.

You show up on a forum that is undoubtedly home to the most knowledgable Breitling people, spout off things that are not true, spit on the Navitimer for good measure, and are somehow offended that people tell you where you are wrong. Definition of pseudo-authority. You’ve made no contribution at all to this forum other than this post and selling something, yet you want to be heard with more authority than Fred? Hmm.

I’m sure you love your Sinn, and I’m sure it’s a well made watch, and there is a Sinn forum someplace that will make you feel loved.


Last edited by buddman on Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.


7 people like this post.
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
 


Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group