Breitling Aviator 8
Breitling Aviator 8 The watches in the Aviator 8 family are the bold new faces of an iconic collection. They are brilliantly contemporary interpretations of the design DNA and technical features of Breitling
In the continuing retro wave, the Aviator 8 collection reinterprets Breitling’s early pilot watches without simply duplicating them. In this in-depth review from our October 2020 issue, we observe how the newest Aviator 8 model, the B01 Chronograph Mosquito, keeps up in modern everyday life. (Original photos by Olaf Köster.)
The Breitling Aviator 8 Replica Mosquito watch has been designed to tribute the Havilland Mosquito plane, an aircraft made almost entirely out of wood renowned for its speed and manoeuvrability. The plane found success in its many roles as an unarmed light bomber, day fighter, night fighter and photographic reconnaissance aircraft.
In the ongoing retro wave, the Aviator 8 collection reinterprets Breitlings early pilot’s watches without simply duplicating them. In this in-depth recap from our October 2020 issue, we watch the latest Aviator 8 model, the B01 Chronograph Mücke
The combination of vintage inspiration (this watch is loosely based on a reference 768 aviator’s watch in Breitling’s archive), quality construction and performance (this watch is a COSC-certified chronometer), attention to detail (the bezel has 60 positions, letting you line up the engraved arrow with the minute markers to time an event), and wearability (the dimensions make this a great everyday watch option)
Authentic Breitlings can be purchased on the company website and Amazon. There are Breitling watches for men and women, as well as categories based on profession, such as aeronautics, diving, and in-house movement. The current catalog includes all the models mentioned above in addition to new lines, such as the 2019 Aviator 8.
Breitling has gone through more changes in the last couple of years than the weather does during 20 minutes of British summertime. The overhaul has been so radical that I’ve sometimes been afraid to look. After months of therapy, I’m happy to say I’m no longer a heady mixture of furious/incredulous in regard to the Navitimer 8 range being deemed “Navitimers.” What this has enabled me to do is step through the red mist and appreciate the watches for what they are: pretty neat timepieces. The Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic Curtiss 41 Warhawk watch may have a mouthful of a name, but it offers an eyeful of treats to make up for it.
The case of the new Aviator 8 model is lifted straight from the existing Navitimer 8 family but treated with a DLC coating. The images make the DLC coating look a little grayer than it might in real life, but it’s important to remember how starkly the underlying surface finish can affect the appearance of color once the metal has been coated. High-polished surfaces look jet black. Vapor-blasted surfaces look more like a charcoal ceramic. Brushed surfaces, as employed on the Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic Curtiss 41 Warhawk watch, land somewhere in between. It’s a great look when teamed with the military green dial. The result is a rugged tool watch that, with a closed and engraved caseback, looks ready for action.
The case is water resistant to 100m. It features a screw-down crown. The sapphire crystal is treated with a double layer of anti-reflective coating. It’s a pleasingly wearable 41mm in diameter and sports a bi-directional bezel decorated with a red triangle. This feature recalls the classic ref. 768 on which this model is based.
Breitling has been scouring the archives of late. There’s no synthesizing heritage, however hard brands try — but try they do, over and over again. In this instance, some bright spark in the Breitling basement has unearthed the fact that Breitling was producing aircraft instruments for the RAF and other air forces at the same time as legendary aircraft manufacturer Curtiss Wright was producing their most famous plane, the P-40.
The Breitling Caliber 17 powers the Aviator 8 Automatic Curtiss 41 Warhawk. This caliber is COSC-certified, offers a power reserve of 40 hours, and beats at a standard 28,000vph (4Hz). I’m a fan of Breitling’s in-house output. I just wish they had used a display back. Aviation watches needn’t have a closed caseback, and suffice it to say the decoration, however apt, is not particularly exhilarating.