Superior UK Breitling DC-3 World Tour Navitimer Special Edition Fake Watches For Breitling’s DC-3 Aircraft

The Douglas DC-3 is one of those aircraft that has a firmly established larger-than-life persona. Like the Supermarine Spitfire or the B-17 Flying Fortress, it has a reputation for coming through, again and again, where other planes might not. The DC-3 was originally designed for commercial aviation and when it was first introduced in 1936, it was revolutionary: a relatively long-range aircraft capable of eight hours’ flight time (without reserve tanks) that made the first true transcontinental service possible. For the first time, flying across the USA became a practical reality; it took only fifteen hours, with refueling stops and the DC-3 could even fly to Europe, stopping in Greenland and Iceland for gas. Today, Breitling is operating a DC-3 that left the Douglas Aircraft factory in 1940, and it’s not just going cross-country, it’s going around the world – with five hundred Navitimers hidden somewhere on board. At the completion of the journey this fall, it will become the oldest aircraft to ever have flown around the world.

The DC-3 (“DC” stands for Douglas Commercial) was originally developed as a long haul “sleeper” aircraft, with 14 beds, as the Douglas DST, and the 21-seat version was designated DC-3. The basic design was so robust and reliable that it lent itself to many variations as well. In the USA, 607 were made but if you include the military version – the C-47 Skytrain – and versions produced in Russia and Japan under license, over 16,000 were produced in total.

Breitling’s Douglas DC-3 wing to wing with the Breitling Lockheed Constellation; image courtesy Breitling.

The DC-3 and its variants attracted a truly remarkable variety of nicknames over the years; pilots and crews called it Dumbo, Old Fatso, Charlie 47, and more (a lot more) but the most popular nickname was “Gooney Bird.” This may not sound like a compliment but it is, albeit a backhanded one. “Gooney Bird,” is a nickname for the albatross, which in airman’s lore is a bird so goofy looking, it looks like it shouldn’t be able to fly. Fly it does though – beautifully – because supposedly, it’s too dumb to know that it can’t. Likewise, the DC-3 was, like the B-17 Flying Fortress, able to tolerate an incredible amount of abuse and keep flying, presumably because like the albatross, it was too dumb to know it shouldn’t. There are numerous anecdotes illustrating this aspect of the aircraft, including one that tells of a C-47 which had a mid-air collision with a Japanese fighter aircraft during the war which removed a large chunk of the tail of the C-47. The fighter crashed but the C-47 managed to get back to base with most of its rudder gone, and was officially credited with an air-to-air kill.

After the war, the market was flooded with war-surplus C-47s and DC-3s, and they were rapidly taken into civilian service. Capable of operating off short runways, easy to service, reliable and economical to operate, they proved incredibly durable and enduring, and there are to this day, DC-3s still operating as commercial aircraft despite their advancing age (though numbers are dwindling, with about 150 in the world still airworthy). They can operate on unpaved runways and their toughness is enshrined in such sayings as “the only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3,” and the affectionate description of the plane as “a collection of parts flying in loose formation.”

The Breitling DC-3 on the tarmac at Teterboro Airport, New Jersey.

She flew after the war for a variety of regional airlines, being kept in good repair along the way; operators included PBA (Provincetown Boston Airlines) and then Eastern Express. In 1992, she was acquired by a private collector for restoration and today, she has been certified in Switzerland for commercial passenger flight, with upgrades to her instruments including modern radios and GPS navigation systems which allow her to be flown under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).

Looking over Captain Francisco Agullo’s shoulder, in flight aboard the Breitling DC-3.

However, her airframe and other components are all original, including her two Pratt & Whitney R1830-92 engines. The Pratt & Whitney “Twin Wasp” R1830 radial engine is a tale in itself; it was used for, among others, the B-24 Liberator, and it may be the most produced aircraft piston engine in aviation history.

Around The World

Unlike most modern passenger airliners, the DC-3 is tail down when parked (such an aircraft is sometimes called a “taildragger” by pilots) and during the takeoff roll the tail comes up and the nose goes down before the aircraft becomes airborne.

The ’round the world tour of this DC-3 began last March as, obviously, a public relations exercise but the flight has not been without some risks, some of which recall the adventurous image that commercial aviation very much had in the late 1930s when the first DC-3s rolled off the assembly line. Even something as simple as fuel turns out to be problematic. The DC-3 is a piston-engined aircraft and therefore can’t use jet fuel, which nowadays is the most easily found type of aviation fuel; instead it uses Avgas. Jet fuel is kerosene based, while Avgas is a gasoline, and the two are not interchangeable.

Avgas is relatively easy to procure in Europe or the USA but it’s much more difficult to find in the developing world, and on one occasion this nearly left the Breitling DC-3 stranded. At one airport in Asia the crew phoned ahead to the next airport to confirm their fuel, which had been shipped ahead of them, was waiting for them and the airport replied that it was not; it had been sold weeks before to someone willing to pay a high price for it. The decision was made by the pilot and crew to load the plane with enough fuel to reach the next airport after the one where their fuel had been stolen, but this meant making sure they had enough of a tailwind to push them there without exhausting their fuel reserves..

This was not the only part of the trip where fuel reserves were an issue. The range of the DC-3 on a single load of fuel is not sufficient for crossing large stretches of ocean; this was a major challenge on the longest leg of the trip, which was a flight from Obihirio, Japan, to Shemya Island. Shemya is part of the Aleutians and is home to Eareckson Air Station which has had a US military presence on it more or less since 1943, and while it is currently the home of a radar designed to provide SALT II arms treaty verification, it’s also a diversion airfield for aircraft in distress in over the Pacific. What it’s not, is a regular use civil aviation runway, but it was the nearest airfield possible for the Breitling DC-3 to reach from Japan and approval had to be obtained from the Pentagon for a scheduled flight. The only problem is, it’s a ten hour flight, which meant enough fuel had to be crammed into the aircraft to get it to Shemya with a reasonable reserve.

The cabin of the Breitling DC-3 has had some of the seating removed to accomodate a backup fuel supply if necessary.

If you look carefully at the above photo of the interior of the DC-3 you will notice that there is a rather large space amidships where there are no seats. During long-haul legs of the ’round the world trip this space is occupied by giant fuel bladders, turning the plane into a flying gas can (in the photo below, the front seats have been removed as well).

The flight from Obihirio to Eareckson Air Station didn’t quite push the DC-3 and her crew to the edge of survival, but it wasn’t a walk in the park either. The flight was ten hours, and because air temperature at altitude over the North Pacific even during late spring is cold enough to cause icing problems, the DC-3 had to stay low; the maximum altitude possible for that leg of the circumnavigation was only around 1000 feet, with much of the last part of the flight at only 500 feet. Moreover, by the time the aircraft reached Eareckson, there was a major storm front moving in so the crew had no time to rest – in four hours, the DC-3 was refueled and airborne again, headed for Cold Bay Island, further west along the Aleutians. This was another eight hour leg, and by the time the crew landed in Cold Bay, they had gone without sleep for over 30 hours.

Over Phuket, Thailand (photo: Breitling).

It’s pretty incredible performance for a 77 year old aircraft; obviously, however, Douglas built their DC-3s to last. They were an engineering marvel in their day, with over half a mile of control cables (the control surfaces are mechanically linked to the stick and rudder pedals) and an astonishing 500,000 rivets per airplane. DC-3s and C-47s have in the line of duty shown a remarkable ability to get airborne even when grossly overloaded; in one case, a C-47 tasked with bringing home Lt. Colonel Jimmy Dolittle after the famous Dolittle air raid, managed to get into the air with Dolittle and 74 passengers on board (and bear in mind, the first DC-3s were designed for 21 passengers).

You can’t help but think about the fact that all those rivets were put in place in 1940 (I imagine the pilots must think about it from time to time; or maybe they’re really good at not thinking about it at all).

One other interesting detail: we mentioned that the Breitling DC-3 is carrying 500 Navitimers somewhere on board. These Swiss movements Breitling Navitimer replica watches are a limited edition, which will feature an engraving of the aircraft as well as a commemorative message.

The Breitling DC-3 World Tour Navitimer Special Edition is a Navitimer 01 with commemorative engraving.

They’ll be available through Breitling boutiques and retailers, but as they’re flying around the world with the DC-3 they will not be available until the end of the global circumnavigation, which will conclude this September at the Breitling Sion Airshow. Getting the reliable Breitling fake watches online around the world unscathed was apparently a bit of a trick. The problem in taking them along for the ride was that 500 Navitimer 01 watches is a total of $3.98 million (full retail) worth of watches and this makes for a fairly tempting target for theft.

Navitimer 01 on the wrist of Captain Francisco Agullo, pilot of the Breitling DC-3.

As a way of discouraging attempts along the way (especially in parts of the world where airport security may be along the sketchy-to-nonexistent spectrum) the watches are hidden somewhere on board the aircraft in a location difficult enough to get to that, in the words of pilot Francisco Agullo, “even if you knew where they were it would still take over two hours to get at them.” The fact that the watches are never actually taken off the aircraft at any point, not only ensures they don’t suddenly become compact financial instruments as well as watches; it also obviates any necessity to involve every traveling watch lover’s favorite bureaucrat, the customs officer.

The DC-3 is one of those airplanes that as a young aviation buff, I admit I somewhat overlooked; high performance fighters were my thing and anything from a World War I era Spad VII to the great monoplane fighters of World War II, to early jet age warriors of the sky like the F-86 Sabrejet and the Mig-15, all the way up to the monster that is the SR-71/A-12, were easy to fall in love with. The DC-3, however, is no second fiddle. Simple, versatile, easy to repair, and above all, dependable to a fault, the DC-3 has a lot of the virtues that mechanical watch lovers see in mechanical timepieces, including longevity, repairability, and the devotion to making machines that can take a licking and keep on ticking (to borrow a phrase) that certainly, modern aviation seems to struggle to embody.

A reader asked us during the last Friday Live episode, why “they don’t make ’em like they used to.” Better technology overtakes any machine, sooner or later. But every once in a while, a machine comes along that’s such an optimum solution that while it may be easy to imagine a more modern one, it’s hard to imagine a truly better one. The DC-3, and a good mechanical watch, have a lot in common in this respect and both, if taken care of properly and treated respectfully, are capable of serving their intended purposes for what by all appearances is a very, very long time.

Breitling will be donating 2CHF per nautical mile flown to UNICEF programs. Follow the Breitling DC-3 and its 500 Navitimer “passengers” as they head back across the Atlantic, right here. The hot-selling fake Breitling Navitimer 01 Limited Editions will be available at the conclusion of the World Tour this fall; price will be $8,750 on a strap.

Taking A Look At The Popular UK Breitling Navitimer 01 46MM Replica Watches

It is a special man who finds a perfect wrist companion in the two-tone steel and gold version of the larger 46mm-wide version of the classic Breitling Navitimer watch. Of course, this is the “Navitimer 01” model that contains Breitling’s first in-house movement – the Breitling Caliber 01. Breitling Navitimer fans are a unique breed of aviation lovers who actually do fly or highly aspire to. In dive watch terms, the fake Breitling Navitimer might be something like an replica Omega Seamaster Ploprof. Sort of a big-sized, nerdy dive watch with a cult following and special function or case beyond that of most other watches of its genre. Sure, there have been plenty of Navitimer homages over the years, but Breitling was the first to put a rotating slide-rule bezel in a wrist watch.

Our Max wrote a review of this generation Breitling Navitimer 01 watch here. I’ll let you explore that article for more practical information on wearing and owning the black dial fake Breitling Navitimer 01 – which is clearly one of Breitling’s most iconic models ever. I have personally always liked the Breitling Navitimer but not yet found the model for me. I am also keenly aware that I will likely never actually use the rotating slide-rule bezel. It isn’t that I don’t want to, but rather that my math skills are never going to be up to snuff. More so, I am deeply enough of the digital calculator generation to never have any type of nostalgic feelings toward older “non-electronic” calculators.

Nevertheless, the brown leather strap fake  Breitling Navitimer is a classic, isn’t it? It has managed to also be one of those hyper-masculine watches that still feels conservative and looks good on the wrists of many different kinds of men. For that, within the aviation watch realm, it will continue to be one of “the” icon watches. Part of being included in that designation is being niche, I feel. As iconic as it is, I still think the Patek Philippe Nautilus is niche in its appeal. It just isn’t for everyone and neither is the Breitling Navitimer.

In two-tone steel with an 18k gold bezel, the Breitling Navitimer 01 takes on a special personality. This piece is on the rich, padded brown alligator strap, but Breitling also offers it on steel or, hopefully, two-tone steel and 18k gold bracelet in the future. That latter option has been around for previous versions of two-tone Navitimers. On the two-tone bracelet, you get the most “lifestyle” look given the sheen of all that polished metal and glint of gold. The black dial is given gold hour markers and hands too, which helps complete the look. Still, there isn’t a huge amount of gold on the watch which prevents the price from soaring to near all-gold-case levels. They do produce solid gold versions of this replica Breitling Navitimer 01 46mm.

At 46mm wide, this version of the Breitling Navitimer isn’t the largest. I have also covered the 48mm-wide Breitling Navitimer GMT also with an in-house made Breitling movement. Even if this Breitling Navitimer 01 46mm isn’t the largest Navitimer model around, it still wears admirably, and has a case that is a solid 14.5mm thick.

I do want to mention that, in my opinion, if you like the look of a slightly too-large (dare I say “oversize”) watch on your wrist, then the Breitling Navitimer is one of those watches that you can get away with wearing even if it is on the larger size. Something about pilot watches also seems to dictate that they always seem to look best when very large in size.

The Breitling caliber 01 is a pretty solid movement, and the good news is that you can see it through the sapphire crystal caseback window. As many of you know, it isn’t at all common for Breitling to have watches with exhibition casebacks. Usually, you get a really nicely made, albeit solid metal, caseback on red second hand fake Breitling watches. Operating at 4Hz (28,800 bph), the 01 has a power reserve maximum of 70 hours and offers the time with date and 12-hour chronograph. It is definitely an industrialized movement, but it nevertheless has a hearty richness to it just like the polish Breitling does on most of their mirrored cases.

UK Delicate Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante Replica Watches With A Lot Of Surprise

selworld 2017 sees the introduction of a new member of the famed fake Breitling Navitimer collection with a new movement and the addition of a split-second chronograph (rattrapante) complication. Containing the new in-house-made Caliber B03 automatic split-second chronograph movement, the replica chocolate dial Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante adds an uncommon complication to the Breitling Navitimer, and a complication that I don’t think I’ve previously seen from the brand.

Split-second chronographs are coveted not so much for their functionality (although I do admit they are fun to play with) but rather because they are tricky to assemble. It was actually not until Richard Habring developed a special “low-cost” split-second chronograph module for the 7750 for IWC (where he worked at the time) that I believe the rattrapante mechanism was available for the (comparable) masses. Fake Breitling’s B03 more than likely takes a different approach to assembling a split-second chronograph system, but is certainly more accessible in price than, say… one from Patek Philippe.

Breitling replica watches further explains that the rattrapante mechanism module is produced using an efficient 28 parts and is designed to be totally removed – and if needed, replaced – to facilitate easy servicing. Further, Breiting claims that while the B03’s split-second chronograph has been specially designed to use parts which are simpler to produce than more historic rattrapante models, this also provides the mechanism with more precise and reliable use. I say this because many split-second chronographs, given the delicate nature of their construction, are not celebrated for their precision or reliability. Note the fun design element where the wonderful fake Breitling anchor B logo is split, so that half of it is on the main chronograph seconds hand, and the other is on the rattrapante hand.

Rattrapante chronographs are a bit difficult to explain without demonstrating them. The idea is that a main chronograph is supplemented with an additional chronograph seconds hand (which hides under the main chronograph seconds hand when not in use). A pusher in the crown (in this case) is used to activate this additional chronograph seconds hand, which can be used to independently measure a one-minute interval while the main 12-hour chronograph is in operation. Prior to digital devices these were clearly a bit more useful, but in today’s “technique-eager” luxury watch world, lots of people swoon over mechanical technology such as this.

The Breitling Caliber B03 automatic chronograph movement is COSC Chronometer-certified and operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of 70 hours. The movement features the time, date, and 12-hour chronograph with split-second “rattrapante” functionality. Otherwise, this is very much your traditional Navitimer dial, only in brown. The design comes complete with a slew of markers and indicators, including the famed rotating slide-rule bezel for making various mathematical calculations only people in extreme emergencies (or with extreme analog calculator fetishes) will rely upon.

To launch the caliber B03, charming Breitling replica watches chose the 45mm-wide Navitimer watch with the brown dial in two case materials: steel, and 18ct red gold as a limited edition. The brown dials (Breitling actually calls them “Panamanian Bronze”) are matched to padded brown crocodile straps. Though Breitling will also offer the Navitimer Rattrapante on a leather or rubber strap.