ReviewBreitling Ensures Its Flight Into The Future As It Soars High With The Navitimer 8
The Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 is a nod to early aviation timekeepers with substance. Armed with an in-house manufactured movement, it exudes the true Breitling DNA and is a large step towards the brand’s future
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Aviation watches represent mankind’s power of invention and passion, and one of the brands to foray that idea into the watch world is none other than the ‘official supplier to the world of aviation by chance’, Breitling. With their phenomenal success in the domain of aviation watchmaking, the brand has carved a niche for itself and is much ahead of the pack for ‘on-board chronographs intended for aircraft cockpits’. Gaining immense popularity during World War II, Breitling’s accomplishments and know-how of chronograph watch construction set them apart.
A chronograph in a watch is a complication—or a feature beyond standard timekeeping—that performs stopwatch functions. Chronographs in analogue watches usually have a central seconds counting hand, along with sub-dials for the 30-minute and 12-hour counters.
The Genesis Of The Navitimer 8
The Navitimer 8 collection concisely presents all that Breitling stands for, aesthetically and functionally. The contemporary watch has distinct design codes with historical elements as cues. The moniker ‘8’ is a reference to the collection’s inspiration—the Huit Aviation Department, which was established by Willy Breitling during WWII to make onboard chronographs, offering an eight-day power reserve. The Navitimer 8 is the new guy in town, with similarities to the Navitimer 1—the iconic model with a slide rule—but with added functionality and a cleaner display.
A New Leadership, A New Style
Breitling entered into 2018 with a whole new drive, invigorated by the force behind the brand’s new leadership under CEO, Georges Kern, who was formerly with the Richemont Group, where he served as the CEO of IWC. The first glimpse of the change is the Breitling Navitimer 8, wherein the new Breitling logo marks its presence with a stylised ‘B’, sans the trademark wings. This speaks to the fact that even as Breitling will always be synonymous with aviation, that alone will not be the brand’s identity.
“The Navitimer 8 really is more like a prequel to the Navitimer 1, with strong references to the designs of the aviation watches from 1930 to 1970,” informs Guy Bove, the new creative director of Breitling. As soon as the launch of the Navitimer 8 B01 was announced, brand loyalists rejoiced, as the watch had all the genes of early aviation watches, minus the slide rule. Several watch connoisseurs were earlier reluctant towards the Navitimer as the slide rule seemed primitive and Breitling’s decision to do away with the vestigial feature came as a welcome change.
What’s On Board?
The chronograph is impactful with a 43mm stainless steel case along with a sporty appeal in the well-polished, shorter lugs and the coin-edged bezel that offers a great grip. The watch has the popular ‘inverse panda’ dial design and mushroom pushers that are in stark contrast to the black dial. The chronograph counters in white feature an old-school railroad design and an angular date window between four and five o’clock. The dynamic look is enhanced courtesy the faceted hands with an ample amount of SuperLuminova.
From the font, right down to the absolute minutest details, the watch is strongly reminiscent of the on-board clocks manufactured by Breitling back in the day. The Navitimer 8 is powered by the in-house Breitling calibre B01. The modern B01 movement provides a mighty power reserve of 70 hours and is chronometer-certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). The well-defined movement is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, water resistant to 100m—greater than the depth of water resistance that other Breitling watches offer—and is fitted with an elegant alligator leather strap.
While the new Navitimer 8 draws inspiration from the past while reflecting contemporary design, there’s a lot more to look forward to from the brand. The Navitimer 8 is a part of an evolution that will reinforce the brand’s strengths and true identity.
You can explore the entire Breitling collection at Ethos Watch Boutiques
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