Tag: breitling navitimer 8 chronograph
After several weeks of teasers posted on its official social media channels, Breitling has at last launched the new Breitling Navitimer 8 collection with a variety of models. Today’s Navitimer 8 collection is a nod to that extensive heritage as well as all that the Navitimer is loved for like its reliable movements and masculine case – while the busy dials appear to have taken a lesser role in this new, vintage-inspired spin on the Navitimer. A clear message from new Breitling head Georges Kern is the decision to forego Breitling’s winged-B logo for the older simple B logo. This new collection is made up of five watches: the Navitimer 8 B01; the Navitimer 8 Unitime; Navitimer 8 Chronograph; Navitimer 8 Day & Date; and the Navitimer 8 Automatic. Worthy of note and bordering on sacrilege here is the fact that three out of the five Navitimer 8 watches are not chronographs leading to the question: should this just have been a new collection altogether?
The Navitimer 8 is named after Breitling’s “Huit Aviation” department that Breitling had set up in 1938 specifically to design and produce cockpit instruments and “wrist chronographs” for military use. These included a range of cockpit instruments with 8 days of power reserve, as well as a number of chronograph wristwatches with different scales and levels of complexity to cater to WWII pilots.
We’ve seen many new Navitimer models over the years, and some have stepped away from the original quite spectacularly. The original Breitling Navitimer was launched in the early 1950s specifically with pilots in mind. With it’s prominent “Slide Rule Bezel,” Breitling improved on the Chronomat model with a feature deemed as a “navigation computer” that allowed pilots to track speed, fuel consumption, conversions, and climb rate. It can (and realistically should) be argued that the 1950s original had a seriously busy dial. The new Navitimer 8 collection heavily channels the original concept while also presenting a refreshing modern look. If there is one thing to be said about the Navitimer 8, it’s that it improves on all things legibility and may prove a great first real addition to the Breitling catalog under its new CEO, Georges Kern.
Let’s start going through the collection, starting with the Navitimer 8 B01, which obviously features the in-house Breitling caliber B01 movement that boasts a 70-hour power reserve. Sized at a reasonable 43mm wide and 13.97mm thick, the Navitimer 8 B01 strips away the arguably vestigial Slide Rule Bezel while offering a 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter, and a date window. The Slide Rule Bezel has likely been the most prohibitive factor keeping many, many people (including myself) from considering adding a Navitimer to their collection while the aggressively macho styling of the Chronomat and Avenger kept as many people away on their own.
So, this Georges Kern special is bound to please a lot of vintage design lovers who have been scared off by contemporary Breitlings. My initial take? It’s cool looking, if a bit safe by design. A lot is going to hinge on the execution and how the watch feels in the metal. High-quality finishing on the case, hands, dial, and bracelet could make this a come-from-behind challenge to pieces from brands like IWC (I wonder why). One thing I have to say is that the varying orientation of the date window, hour numerals, and minute numerals all in the same area give me a feeling of knocked over building blocks. I’m just having a hard time unseeing that.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 is going to be available in both steel and gold. There are going to be two steel models, with a blue or black dial available on a bracelet or leather strap. The red gold model will have a bronze dial and will only be available in a brown alligator leather strap. Oh, and all the models will have an exhibition caseback but no images of those yet, sadly.
Next up is the other chronograph in this collection of five new Navitimers, the Navitimer 8 Chronograph. Marketed as the more price-conscious (Breitling’s words, not mine) chronograph, this model uses the less “illustrious” (again, their words not mine) Breitling Caliber 01 movement, which unfortunately for those of us plagued with minds that demand design symmetry has sub-dials at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. The caliber 01 operates at 28,800bph and has a 42 hour power reserve, which is passable if the value is there.
Measuring the same 43mm wide as the Navitimer 8 B01, the case is a little thicker at 14.17mm wide and water resistance is the same at 100m. You’re not going to get the bells and whistles like an exhibition caseback here, either, as we are told to expect a solid screw-down caseback. In addition to the chronograph sub-dials, there is a day of the week aperture and date aperture at 3 o’clock.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph is also going to be available in stainless steel or a black DLC case on bracelet with either a blue dial or black dial.
This is the most simple of the new Navitimer 8 models, the 3-hand and date Automatic version. Inspired by on-board clocks used by pilots, this simple and clean model wisely measures 41mm wide and retains the bi-directional rotating bezel, which has a pointer that can be set to measure time. Using the caliber 17 movement, the Navitimer 8 Automatic operates at 28,800bph with a 40-hour power reserve.
As I mentioned, the case is 41mm wide and 10.74mm thick with 100m of water resistance. Again, the caseback is solid, which is completely fine as this movement is not the best looking (though tried and reliable). As with the other Breitling Navitimer 8 watches, it’s available in a steel or black DLC case with a blue or black dial on either a steel bracelet or leather strap. Overall, the package could come off a little bland to those like myself but the right price combined with the Breitling heritage sans-Air Force Travolta attitude could be a winning value proposition.
Designed with travelers in mind, the Navitimer 8 Unitime immediately recalls a pared-down version of the far overpriced $11,200 Transocean Unitime. Here, the world time indication is used by moving the hour hand forward or backwards via a crown which also adjusts the date window as well as the time. By positioning the city which corresponds to the timezone selected at 12 o’clock, the counterclockwise rotating 24-hour ring allows you to tell the time in each of 24 time zones based on local time. We’ll share this system in action once we get our hands on these watches.
This Navitimer 8 Unitime (named so to stand for “Universal Time” mind you) measures 43mm wide and 14.38mm thick and features an exhibition caseback. The watch uses the Caliber B35 movement which has a 70-hour power reserve. The Unitime comes in either a black or silver dial, but I have to say that the legibility on the silver-dialed model seems very lacking so unless something drastically changes when we get this watch hands-on, I imagine suggesting to go for the black dial.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Day & Date is the one that least elicits any emotion from me, with a day window at 12 o’clock and date window at 6 o’clock. Measuring 41mm wide and 11.10mm thick, this Navitimer 8 solves the problem that I’m sure must exist for someone out there of a day window being too small. Using the caliber 45 movement, it operates at 28,800bph and has a 40 hour power reserve. The bi-directional rotating bezel has a pointer that can be used to set reminders, as with every Navitimer 8. The caseback is a screwed down steel piece and the watch has 100m of water resistance.
Keeping with the color schemes in this collection, the steel watch will be available with a blue or black dial on either a bracelet or leather strap.
Pilot’s watches are as popular as they are, not because there are a tremendous number of pilots in the general population, but simply because there are a lot of us in love with the idea of flying. And not flying in the way most of us fly nowadays. I’ve probably logged more miles in the air than Charles Lindbergh, but it’s been a completely passive experience. Air travel today is deliberately engineered either to make you wish you were almost anywhere else (in economy) or to distract you as much as possible (in business class) from the reality of being shot through the air in an aluminum tube, miles above the Earth, with several hundred strangers who are hoping as hard as you are that the crew up front knows what they’re doing, and that the aircraft can be relied on to not shed a wing in mid-flight. (I have an especially vivid memory of a flight to Las Vegas a few years ago and a patch of very nasty clear air turbulence over the Rocky Mountains; the plane shook as if Thor were applying his hammer to the fuselage and an elderly woman in the row ahead of me finally said, plaintively, “I hope this plane is made good!”)
No, the kind of flying we’d like to do is the kind where we’re in the driver’s seat – where instead of being passengers, we’re in control, with just our skill, steady nerves, and knowledge to guarantee that we make it intact from point A to point B. White silk scarves, goggles, flight jackets, the sound of a propeller driven by a supercharged aircraft engine shredding the air, and yes, the nerves-of-steel atmosphere of aerial combat, are all part of the appeal. Of course, none of those things are features, nowadays, of modern civil aviation (well, the propellers are still around, but if you’re taking your Beechcraft Bonanza out to the Vineyard for the weekend, nobody’s going to try and shoot you down on the way) but that’s the world evoked by mechanical pilot’s watches. The environment in which mechanical pilot’s watches evolved was one in which utility trumped every other consideration, and it’s precisely that singular focus that allows pilot’s watches to transcend their utilitarian origins and evoke, powerfully, a bygone world.
The original Breitling Navitimer is probably the most specific, in terms of purpose and function, of all pilot’s watches, but the term covers what’s actually a fairly diverse range of timepieces. The chronograph is strongly identified with aviation (to a significant extent, this is thanks to Breitling), but pilot’s watches can certainly be highly accurate time-only watches intended to aid in navigation (often with shielding against magnetic fields) and the category can include GMT and two-time-zone watches as well. Some of the most distinctive watches ever made were pilot’s watches, including the Longines-Weems Second-Setting watch and the Longines Hour-Angle. Like its brother-in-arms, the diver’s watch, the days of a pilot’s watch as an essential piece of gear in the cockpit are past; navigation today is a matter of GPS satellites and radar. But like diver’s watches, pilot’s watches still appeal, because the virtues of the world to which they are connected – bravery, the manifestation of hard-won skills, coolness under pressure – remain universally compelling. Behind every pilot’s watch is a dream of being, as they say, “a natural-born stick-and-rudder man.”
As any student of aviation watches knows, Breitling probably has more street cred as an aviation supplier than any other single watch manufacturer. The company started making cockpit instruments in its “Huit Aviation” department in the 1930s – its first aviation chronograph was made in 1936 (a black-dial model with radium hands and numerals). The first Chronomat, with a slide-rule bezel for general calculations, was produced in 1940 and of course, in 1952, the most famous of Breitling’s pilot watches was introduced: the Navitimer, with a bezel that’s essentially a miniaturized version of the E6B circular slide-rule flight computer (nicknamed the “whiz wheel” or “prayer wheel” by pilots) the first version of which was introduced all the way back in 1933.
The interesting thing about the E6B is that unlike a pilot’s watch, it’s still an important part of modern civil aviation – albeit more often in digital form than not, but many flight schools still train student pilots on the E6B, many aviators still like having one in the cockpit (there isn’t an experienced pilot alive who doesn’t appreciate the value of backups to essential systems) and the FAA still encourages people taking knowledge tests for their pilot’s license to bring one along.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph is a very significant departure from what many of us had come to think of as the classic look of a Navitimer – that watch is rather more busy than not, and the flight-computer bezel, while instantly recognizable, is even more of an anachronism than the mechanical flight computer on which it’s based. I imagine there must be people out there who know how to use one but I’m not one of them – I have a Navitimer on my wrist as I write; I’ve had a couple of other flight computer bezel watches over the last couple of decades (from Seiko and Citizen) and I must have taught myself how to use the bezel on all of them at least half a dozen times but absent the incentive of sharpening real world flying skills, it never sticks. However, I still like that it exists and that at least in theory, it could be used for aerial navigation if need be; this despite the fact that as the years have accumulated, I’ve gone from finding the bezel, in use, merely hard to read, to finding it almost impossible to make out without a magnifying glass and very good light. The thought of having to use one in a poorly lit cockpit, with the primary navigation systems out, and with turbulence knocking my presumably small plane around the sky, is enough to make my blood run cold.
It initially bothered a lot of people that Breitling’s new CEO, Georges Kern, introduced a family of watches with the Navitimer moniker but without the flight bezel – and I was one of them. It doesn’t bother me now though. For one thing, if you want a wrist-mounted whiz-wheel wristwatch, Breitling still has them (I count a dozen different versions in the current catalog. And for another thing, after spending some time in the cockpit of one of the most modern small private jets, I’m beginning to think that the emphasis the new Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph places on instant legibility over the inclusion of a functionality that, in a modern aircraft, is a backup of a backup of a backup, makes a lot of sense.
Before we talk about what the Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 is like in the cockpit, let’s talk about what it’s like wearing it where most people who own one are going to wear it: on the ground.
The Navitimer 8 Automatic 41 makes a style statement. It is clearly a direct descendent of Breitling’s legendary watches from the 1930s and 1940s. Inside the steel case with its rotating bezel and pointer is the Breitling Caliber 17. With a bidirectional rotor winder, it delivers more than 40 hours of power reserve. 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
The Breitling Navitimer 8 is a new interpretation of an iconic pilot’s watch. Lacking a slide rule bezel, this line is focused on what’s essential: tracking the time. Top models feature in-house calibers with chronograph or world time functions. The Navitimer 8 is named after Breitling’s “Huit Aviation” department that Breitling had set up in 1938 specifically to design and produce cockpit instruments and “wrist chronographs”
The Navitimer 8 is named after Breitling’s “Huit Aviation” department that Breitling had set up in 1938 specifically to design and produce cockpit instruments and “wrist chronographs” for military use.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 is going to be available in both steel and gold. There are going to be two steel models, with a blue or black dial available on a bracelet or leather strap. The red gold model will have a bronze dial and will only be available in a brown alligator leather strap.
The caseback is a screwed down steel piece and the watch has 100m of water resistance. Keeping with the color schemes in this collection, the steel watch will be available with a blue or black dial on either a bracelet or leather strap. The entire Breitling Navitimer 8 collection will be available Summer 2018.
Inspired by on-board clocks used by pilots, this simple and clean model wisely measures 41mm wide and retains the bi-directional rotating bezel, which has a pointer that can be set to measure time. Using the caliber 17 movement, the Navitimer 8 Automatic operates at 28,800bph with a 40-hour power reserve.
Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph. Next up is the other chronograph in this collection of five new Navitimers, the Navitimer 8 Chronograph.Marketed as the more price-conscious (Breitling’s words, not mine) chronograph, this model uses the less “illustrious” (again, their words not mine) Breitling Caliber 01 movement, which unfortunately for those of us plagued with minds that demand design …
The Breitling Navitimer Aviator 8 SWISS Limited Edition Watches – Building on an Aviation Heritage Among Willy Breitling’s many celebrated achievements was the establishment of the Huit Aviation Department in 1938. He was aware of the strict requirements for military and civil aviation, and the department’s name – the French word for
The Navitimer 8 Automatic 41mm makes a style statement. It is clearly a direct descendent of Breitling’s legendary watches from the 1930s and 1940s. Inside the steel case with its rotating bezel and pointer is the Breitling Caliber 17. With a bidirectional rotor winder, it delivers more than 40 hours of power reserve. The eye-catching dial is available in black or blue.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 is a possible answer to this issue. Smaller, or at least more comfortable on the wrist, less hardcore-aviation-oriented, slightly more modern and more subtle, it is designed (but not only) to gain market share in Asia. In addition to that, the number 8 isn’t completely innocent (8 is a lucky number in China). …
The Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph has a very different profile from most modern Breitling watches. Our first glimpse into the “new” Breitling is the Navitimer 8 collection, launched with much fanfare a few weeks ago, as part of a worldwide road show.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 was initially released in five different models with five different movements. One thing that was immediately striking was that only two of the five were chronographs. Of these, the flagship model boasts Breitling’s acclaimed in-house automatic, the B01, a gorgeous column-wheel vertical clutch with 70 hours of power.
8 Breitling Navitimer Alternatives (Homage & Affordable Watch Options) If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details. The Navitimer Collection by luxury watchmaker Breitling is amongst the most sought after timepieces worldwide. The iconic circular slide rule design made it the go-to watch for pilots …
There are five impressive new models just released, the first new Breitling models to be released since Georges Kern left Richemont and became the CEO of Breitling. Navitimer 8 B01. First up is the Navitimer 8 B01, powered by the in-house Caliber 01, this watch boasts an impressive 70-hour power reserve.
Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic Day & A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or different type of bracelet, together with metal bands, leather-based straps, or some other form of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for an individual …
That’s why the Navitimer 8 features a number of elements from Breitling watches produced in the 1930s and ‘40s, like a rotating bezel. The limited edition issued in the summer of 2018, since renamed the Navitimer Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph, was equipped with markers and even-numbered numerals in addition to the existing orientation triangle.