Depending on who you speak to, the word “complication” can mean vastly different things. While it generally spells trouble, a complication actually refers to any additional function beyond just the task of timekeeping. This makes things more fun and exciting for the watch aficionado and Breitling’s new Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45 is a prime example.

A complex chronograph

The rattrapante (or split-second) chronograph is the most complicated chronograph variant – bar none. It uses its additional chronograph seconds hand, the rattrapante hand, to simultaneously track a second event. A movement with it is exponentially more complex to design and to assemble, which explains its rarity even today.

Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45
Photo: Breitling

The Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45 exudes class and elegance with its eye-catching 45-millimetre red gold case. The bi-directional slide rule bezel is an iconic feature of the Navitimer, and operates in conjunction with the tachymeter to assist the wearer in timing events as well as performing complex calculations. This function earned the Navitimer recognition as a bona fide flight instrument during the golden age of aviation.

A luxury timepiece with the looks to match

Visually, the “Stratos Grey” dial of Breitling’s latest chronograph contrasts beautifully against the red gold case, hour markers and hands. Three black counters housing the small seconds sub-dial as well as the 30-minute and 12-hour totalisers create a classic two-tone panda-esque effect. Legibility in all light conditions is likewise assured due in part to the Super-Luminova-coated hour markers and hands.

Also of note is the presentation of Breitling’s signature, divided between the chronograph and split-second hands. The stylised “B” is located on the base of the former, while the anchor can be found on the latter.

Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45
Photo: Breitling

The COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Calibre B03 lies at the heart of this watch and offers a longish power reserve of 70 hours. The in-house movement uses a column wheel and vertical clutch for a smoother operation of the chronograph function. The vertical clutch allows the chronograph hand to engage without the tell-tale “jerk” commonly seen in horizontally coupled chronographs. Meanwhile, the column wheel provides a cleaner actuation of the chronograph’s pump pushers. Those interested in observing the inner workings of Calibre B03 can do so via the watch’s transparent sapphire case back.

Wear it whenever

Paired with a black alligator leather strap, the Breitling Navitimer B03 Chronograph Rattrapante 45 has a timeless appeal that makes it suitable for all occasions. Its eye-catching three-register dial certainly serves as a conversation starter, as does the Navitimer’s prominence in aviation history. From whichever vantage you perceive it, there is little argument that this latest iteration of the Navitimer could be Breitling’s finest yet.

written by.

Evigan Xiao

Evigan is an avid fan of bench-made boots, raw selvedge denim, single malt Scotch and fine watches. When he's not busy chuckling over image dumps on Imgur, he can be found lifting heavy objects in the gym or fussing over his two dogs, Velvet and Kenji. He dreams of one day owning a cottage in the English countryside and raising a small army of Canadian geese to terrorise the local populace.

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