The clocks developed by the Huit Aviation Department were also distinguished by their lightweight cases and their ease of installation and the Department was also responsible for the development of Breitling’s wrist chronographs for aviation use. With WWII fast approaching, the Huit Aviation Department received a large order for onboard chronographs from the Royal Air Force for its fighter planes. The new Breitling Navitimer 8 Collection is inspired by these onboard clocks and dashboard instruments.
Dials, indexes and bi-directional coin-edge bezels found in the Navitimer 8 Collection are inspired by these “Breitling Huit Aviation” clocks, as well as Breitling’s pilot’s watch, Reference 768. Arabic numerals, luminescent and painted on dark dials for a large contrast, deeply notched bezels, large luminous hands… All of that is in the vein of these antique onboard instruments. Yet, the Breitling Navitimer 8 is a modern collection, which takes inspiration and doesn’t only copy these old models.
5 watches are introduced in the Breitling Navitimer 8 Collection, one automatic (time-and-date), one Day-Date, one Unitime (world-time), one automatic chronograph (Valjoux-based) and one with in-house chronograph calibre B01, the flagship of this new line-up.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 B01
First and mainly is the Breitling Navitimer 8 B01, the flagship model which has been introduced on Breitling’s and Kern’s Instagram accounts slightly before the official launch. This watch is the essence of the collection and provides a complete overview of the new direction wanted here. The 43mm Navitimer 8 B01 is a true tool-ish pilot’s watch, with its strong steel case, brushed, with bi-directional coin-edge bezel, a reversed-panda dial (white counters on black dial), its mushroom chronograph pushers, its highly contrasted dial… Well, in short, it is what you could expect from an aviation watch.
This Navitimer 8 B01 is equipped with the brand’s in-house chronograph, a nice and modern automatic movement, with integrated architecture, column-wheel, vertical clutch and 70h power reserve. It is, of course, chronometer-certified by COSC. Showed first on a leather strap with black dial, the collection also comprises versions on metallic bracelet (with central polished link) as well as a blue dial version and a red gold model with bronze dial. Prices for this model will start at CHF 7,100 (steel on leather), and the watch will be guaranteed for 5 years (as the rest of the collection).
Quick facts: 43mm x 13.97mm case – steel or red gold – black or blue dial (steel), bronze dial (gold) – 100m water resistant – Calibre B01, in-house, automatic – Chronograph with date – 70h power reserve – COSC-certified – leather strap or steel bracelet – See-thought caseback – as of CHF 7,100, available in May/June 2018
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic
The second model in the Breitling Navitimer 8 collection and the simplest of them all is a time-and-date automatic version. Smaller, at 41mm and mainly rather slim at 10.7mm, it keeps all the attributes of the collection, meaning large Arabic numerals, baton hands and coin-edge bezel. The bezel is still bi-directional with a triangular marker, in order to time events. Here again, several options will be available – blue or black dial, steel bracelet (fully brushed) or leather strap. An additional black DLC-coated stainless steel version is also included, named the “Black Steel”.
Inside the case is an automatic movement, Calibre 17 – an out-sourced movement based on an ETA or Sellita architecture (25.6mm and 40h power reserve). Yet, this movement is COSC-certified.
Quick facts: 41mm x 10.74mm case – steel or DLC-coated steel – black or blue dial – 100m water resistant – Calibre 17, automatic – time and date – 40h power reserve – COSC-certified – leather strap or steel bracelet – Solid caseback
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph
The Breitling Navitimer 8 collection comprises a second chronograph offer, yet intended to be more accessible than the B01 version, as equipped with a movement based on the automatic Valjoux 7750 architecture (here named calibre 13). The Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph can be easily identified by its 6-9-12 layout and its monochromatic dials (no reversed-panda style here). For the rest, it is still based on the larger case, at 43mm in diameter.
The movement is, as all models in the collection, COSC-certified, and the Navitimer 8 Chronograph features the bi-directional coin-edge bezel and is 100m water resistant. It will be available in various styles, including black or blue dials, leather strap or steel bracelet, and finally a “Black Steel” version with DLC-coated case.
Quick facts: 43mm x 14.17mm case – steel or DLC-coated steel – black or blue dial – 100m water resistant – Calibre 13, automatic – chronograph with date – 42h power reserve – COSC-certified – leather strap or steel bracelet – Solid caseback
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Day-Date
The model that was certainly the least expected in this Breitling Navitimer 8 Collection features a Day-Date display. Based on the same architecture as the Automatic model, it adds a semi-circular window at 12 for the indication of the day and a window at 6 for the indication of the date. The watch keeps quite a balanced display though and has the same visual and technical attributes as the rest of the collection: 100m water resistance, bi-directional bezel, large Arabic numerals and luminous hands.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Day-Date will be available in 4 versions, all in steel, with a choice of black or blue dial, as well as a leather strap or a steel bracelet. The movement, calibre 45, is based on an ETA architecture and is COSC-certified.
Quick facts: 41mm x 11.19mm case – stainless steel – black or blue dial – 100m water resistant – Calibre 45, automatic – time and day-date – 40h power reserve – COSC-certified – leather strap or steel bracelet – Solid caseback
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Unitime
Last but not least is the Breitling Navitimer 8 Unitime, the world-time edition of this collection. This model differs from the rest of the collection on several points. First, it is the only one to be available with a silver dial (but no blue dial). Then, it shows an interesting complication, and this display is based on an in-house movement, the calibre B35. While we could have expected a movement based on Tudor’s architecture (remember the Tudor / Breitling Mechanical Alliance), the Unitime is based on another movement, which was Breitling’s first in-house development without a chronograph. It features two-barrels for a 70-hour power reserve and a dual-acting ball-bearing rotor.
The dial displays the 24 main time-zones and the hour hand can be moved forward or backward step by step via the crown when travelling across time zone borders. The window date at 6 follows automatically, while the minute hand remains in place. The Breitling Navitimer 8 Unitime remains in the same vein as the rest of the collection, with a 43mm diameter, steel cases, leather strap or steel bracelet options, COSC-certification and 100m water resistance.
Quick facts: 43mm x 14.38mm case – stainless steel – black or silver dial – 100m water resistant – Calibre B35, in-house, automatic – time, date and world-time – 70h power reserve – COSC-certified – leather strap or steel bracelet – sapphire caseback
Prices of all models will be added soon. More details on www.breitling.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.