When Breitling says instruments for professionals, they mean it. Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling since the summer of 2017 recently launched the new
pilot's watch collection, the Navitimer 8. The '8' in the name of the collection refers to the 'Huit Aviation Department' which was set up in 1938 to produce instruments for the cockpit along with some classic pilot's timepieces for civilian and military use.
“With the Navitimer 8, we are honoring not only our rich heritage but also our pioneering role in building chronographic instruments,” says Kern. “But while the Navitimer 8 pays tribute to our past, it also does something considerably more important. It opens the door to a very exciting future.”
The Navitimer 8 collection includes five models, each distinct in its own way. Each of them express a separate design code with a high recognition value. “With the Navitimer 8, we wanted to create a watch that was in line with our vision for the brand’s future, but which would also pay tribute to the great
Breitling watches of the early to mid-twentieth century. From a design perspective, it occupies a unique position between Huit’s onboard clocks and the Navitimer,” comments Guy Bove, Creative Director for the brand.
The main design elements takes inspiration from the Huit Aviation Department’s onboard clocks – especially in terms of the dials and bezels – as well as Breitling’s iconic pilot’s watch, Reference 768, with the rotating bezel and distinctive triangular pointer. The typography of the luminescent Arabic numerals on the dial is a play on the style which was used on the first pilot's watch models, including the Reference 768.
Each pieces is water-resistant to 100 meters, and are coated with anti-reflective on the sapphire crystals on both sides. The power reserves range from 40 to more than 70 hours, depending on the model variation. The watches come with a bidirectional rotating bezel.
Given below are the highlights from each of the five models:
Navitimer 8 B01
Powered by the in-house Caliber 01, the 43mm self-winding chronograph is the highlight of the collection. The watch is available in stainless steel with a black or blue dial, or in 18k red gold with a bronze dial with a corresponding stainless steel bracelet or an alligator leather strap respectively.
Navitimer 8 Unitime
The Unitime automatic wristwatch offers a world-time indication through the independent hour hand which can be adjusted via the crown. The COSC-certified chronometer comes equipped with the Caliber B35, a self-winding movement delivering a power reserve of more than 70 hours. The 43mm is available in both black and silver dial options on an alligator leather strap.
Navitimer 8 Chronograph
The 43mm chronograph, equipped with the Caliber 13 chronometer movement, offers 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively, along with a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock. It is accurate to a quarter of a second. The watch is available in a variation of stainless steel with a leather strap or a stainless-steel bracelet, or in DLC-coated steel paired with a leather strap.
Navitimer 8 Day & Date
Equipped with the Caliber 45 offering a 40 hour power reserve, the 41mm Day & Date displays the day of the week and the date along with the time. The day of the week is indicated at the 12 o’clock position while the date is ideally placed at 6 o’clock. It comes on a leather strap with two dial options of black and blue.
Navitimer 8 Automatic
A clear descendent of the Breitling watches from the 1930's – 40's, the 41mm Automatic watch is powered by the Caliber 17 offering more than 40 hours of power reserve. The stainless-steel timepiece comes with a rotating bezel encasing either a black or blue dial. The COSC-certified chronometer comes with a choice of a stainless-steel bracelet or a leather strap.