February 16, 2018
Breitling, famous for its chronographs and its strong link to aviation, has just launched a new pilot’s watch collection: the Navitimer 8. The 8 in its name is a nod to the Huit Aviation Department, which was set up in 1938 to produce cockpit instruments as well as classic pilot’s watches for civilian and military use. At the time, Willy Breitling chose the name “Huit,” the French word for “eight,” as a reference to the eight-day power reserve offered by its storied cockpit instruments.Georges Kern, Breitling’s CEO since the summer of 2017, is particularly excited about the new product line. “With the Navitimer 8,” he says, “we are honoring not only our rich heritage but also our pioneering role in building chronographic instruments. 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 – Bridging the Past and the Future.
The Navitimer 8 family introduces five distinct models that are worthy heirs to watchmaking’s richest aviation tradition, drawing heavily on Breitling’s design DNA and the technical features of the first board clocks and pilot’s wristwatches as well as on the Huit Aviation Department’s commitment to quality. It is also worth noting that Huit Aviation had distinguished itself by putting its products through a series of rigorous challenges. It subjected each instrument to extreme temperatures and vibrations before checking its timekeeping precision with oscilloscopes. The Department’s commitment to quality was rewarded as it immediately attracted the attention of military aviators and, ahead of World War II, received a large order for chronographs from the Royal Air Force.
Continuing a Great Tradition.
Each of the five new models in the collection expresses a design code – conceived down to the minutest detail with a high recognition value. Guy Bove, Creative Director at Breitling who fully immersed himself in the design of the board clocks and wristwatches created by the Huit Aviation Department, described the inspiration behind the Navitimer 8’s exterior design cues as follows: “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.”
Resurrecting Design Values.
The new watches resurrect some of the design values of 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 that made it a favorite among pilots. Just as important were the luminous hands against black dials, a combination that offered easy readability in any lighting conditions, and which also contributed to Breitling’s aviation heritage. The Navitimer 8 watches recall the uncompromising flair of that earlier era. It starts with the eye-catching case: with the typical notches on the bezel, its contrasting satin and polished surfaces and its artfully shaped lugs, it offers – from the very first glance – a compelling blend of sportiness and elegance. For the typography of the large luminescent Arabic numerals on the dial of each new Navitimer 8 model, Guy Bove took inspiration from the style used on the first pilot’s watch models including the Reference 768. The small triangles and the long minute markers in the so-called railway minute tracks also recall those from some of Breitling’s great early wristwatch models, as do the luminescent skeletonized hour and minute hands, the latter’s length being matched precisely to the dial’s indexing. The beveled hands add a degree of sophistication and shine to the dial. Each Navitimer 8 watch is water-resistant to 10 bar (100 meters). Their dials are all visible through sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The chronographs in the family offer power reserves ranging from 40 to more than 70 hours, depending on the model and movement.
A Bidirectional Rotating Bezel.
The rotating bezel, which features a handy glass rim with a practical pointer, was an indispensable element of the early aviator wristwatches, both with and without chronograph. A similar bidirectional rotating bezel also distinguishes the new wristwatches. The wearer can easily measure short time intervals by positioning the pointer at the appropriate distance before or after the hands. The glass rim has a total of 60 small recessed grips: one for every minute. The light reflected by the slanted bezel gives the watch a sporty appearance and emphasizes the subtle design. As a classic pilot’s watch and navigational instrument, the Navitimer 8 is a proud member of Breitling’s most famous family of wristwatches. For these models, the brand focused on optimal readability and functionality, taking inspiration from the onboard clocks and some of its great chronographs from the 1930s and 1940s.
Navitimer 8 B01
The Navitimer 8 B01 is powered by the in-house Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. The self-winding, 43-millimeter watch has a ratchet-wheel chronograph with vertical coupling and a power reserve of more than 70 hours. The display features 30-minute and 12-hour counters and a date window. The highlight of this new range, the Navitimer 8 B01, is available in stainless steel with a black or blue dial, or in 18 k red gold with a bronze dial, each with the distinctive design elements of contrasting subdials. It is presented on a stainless steel bracelet or an alligator leather strap with a pin buckle. The COSC-certified chronometer has a transparent sapphire case back.
Navitimer 8 Unitime
The Navitimer 8 Unitime was designed with international travelers in mind. The automatic wristwatch offers world-time indication through an ingenious independent hour hand that can be adjusted with the crown. At the heart of the COSC-certified chronometer is the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B35, a self-winding movement, which, with its bidirectional ball-bearing rotor and two spring barrels, delivers a power reserve of more than 70 hours. The stunning dial is available in black or silver. The Navitimer 8 Unitime has a transparent sapphire case back. The 43-millimeter stainless-steel case with a rotating bezel comes with an alligator leather strap with a pin buckle.
Navitimer 8 Chronograph
The Navitimer 8 Chronograph 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 COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 13 chronometer movement is at the heart of this watch. It is wound automatically with the use of a unilateral ball-bearing rotor, delivering an autonomous running time of more than 42 hours. The 43-millimeter case is available in stainless steel with a leather strap or a stainless-steel bracelet, or in DLC-coated steel paired with a leather strap with a pin buckle. The Navitimer 8 Chronograph has a solid, screwed case back.
Navitimer 8 Day & Date
The Navitimer 8 Day & Date prominently 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. The automatic wristwatch is powered by the Breitling Caliber 45, whose bidirectional rotor winding offers over 40 hours of power reserve.Thedial,inblackorblue,isrevealed througha double anti-reflective sapphire glass. The 41-millimeter stainless-steel case has a solid screwed back. It comes with a leather strap with a pin buckle.
Navitimer 8 Automatic
The Navitimer 8 Automatic makes a style statement. It is clearly a direct descendent of Breitling’s legendary watches from the 1930s and 1940s. Inside the stainless-steel case with its rotating bezel and pointer is the Breitling Caliber 17, which, with its bidirectional rotor winder, delivers more than 40 hours of power reserve. The eye-catching dial is available in black or blue. The 41-millimeter COSC-certified chronometer has a solid screwed case back and is offered with a choice of a stainless-steel bracelet or a leather strap with a pin buckle.
NAVITIMER 8 B01
As the highlight of our new watch line, the Navitimer 8 B01 is presented in stainless steel as well as in 18 k red gold, each with the exclusive Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. With those two versions, the manufactory meets all the demands of discerning watch bearers. The first completely self-developed and -manufactured chronograph movement made its debut at Breitling just in time for the company’s 125th anniversary in 2009. Its tension spring supports a ball-bearing rotor highly efficiently in both directions of rotation. When the tension spring is fully wound, more than 70 hours of power reserve are available. This guarantees that the new Navitimer 8 B01 accurately displays hours, minutes, seconds, and date, even after a weekend tucked away in the vault. As befits a sophisticated mechanism of this kind, a classic control wheel operates the three chronograph functions start, stop, and reset. At the push of a button, an energy- saving friction coupling connects the stopwatch mechanism smoothly to the wheel mechanism. Other pioneering features include a patented self- centering system with an innovative heart-shaped lever to reset the chronograph to zero. The deliberate restriction to just 346 components ensures longevity and high serviceability. All components are finely finished and assembled according to Breitling’s strict specifications. Balance and balance spring oscillate at four hertz.
This means that time intervals can be precisely timed to within one fourth of a second. Before the ticking microcosm finds its resting place in one of the eye-catching new cases with bidirectional pointer bezel, it has to prove itself for 15 days in the official Swiss chronometer test. After successfully returning from the rigorous testing laboratories of the COSC, the watchmakers assemble the exquisitely designed dial with the hands, whose length and shape are exactly aligned with the dial. On the wrist, the precise manufacture caliber can be identified by the arrangement of the permanent second, the positioning of the 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers, as well as the clearly readable window date positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock. The distinctive design element are the three contrasting subdials that add to the unmistakable statement of top-class chronograph performance with the Navitimer 8 B01. The three circular counters are distinctly offset in color.
There is a choice between a black or blue dial in the steel models. A bronze-colored version harmonizes perfectly with the precious red gold case. Double anti-reflective sapphire glass gently curves over the front in each version. On the back, the exclusive inner workings are displayed through a transparent sapphire case back. The steel Navitimer 8 B01 features either a leather strap with a pin buckle or a stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp to give a secure and comfortable grip on the wrist. The solid gold version is only available with an alligator leather strap and pin buckle. Regardless of the case material, the Navitimer 8 B01 is water-resistant up to ten bar and is sure to catch the eye.