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As you may recall the former leader of IWC, Georges Kern left the company to take over the helm at Breitling. It’s not an unprecedented move to see shifting CEO’s, but it always manages to pique curiosity. Now we finally get to take a look at his first production, introducing the “Navitimer 8” collection.

Navitimer 8 B01with black dial and black alligator strap. (PPR/Breitling)

Image courtesy of: Breitling

He’s been at the Breitling headquarters for a little over half a year by now. But, only now is the charismatic Georges Kern, with the guidance of newly appointed creative director Guy Bove, unveiled their first major collection. At first glance these various Navitimer watches combine a vintage aviator look, reminiscent of Breitling’s aviator model reference 768.

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Breitling’s aviator model reference 768 * Image courtesy of: Breitling

While construction wise they been given a bezel with 60 positions, some smaller case dimension options and been made all as COSC-certified chronometers. For a brand that engaged in more flamboyant and over-detailed models during its recent past, it is quite refreshing to see Georges Kern bring vintage Breitling aesthetics back, with enough modernity to make them look fresh. Let’s briefly run by the various options.

On-board chronographs and instruments for pilots, Breitling catalog, 1941. (PPR/Breitling)

On-board chronographs and instruments for pilots, Breitling catalog, 1941. (PPR/Breitling)

First up we got the “Breitling B01” with a 43mm case available in either: stainless-steel or 18k rose gold with a solid case back. Mounted to the case is a knurled bi-directional bezel with the aforementioned 60 positions, which are present on all these differing models. Just as all these timepieces are also topped by a sapphire crystal that assists with their water-resistant reaching up to 100 meters (330 feet).

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Time is exhibited on either a: black or blue dial with Arabic numerals, followed by a ring with smaller minute index markers and Arabic numerals for every five-minute increment. There are three silver colored sub-dials: a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position; a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock position and a sub-seconds at the 9 o’clock position.

Navitimer 8 B01 with blue dial and black alligator leather strap. (PPR/Breitling)

The central sword-style hands and the Arabic numerals have all undergone a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. There is also a date aperture between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. Except for the 18 rose gold edition which is only available in a brown colored dial.

Navitimer 8 B01 in 18 k red gold with bronze dial and brown alligator leather strap. (PPR/Breitling)

Breitling Navitimer B01

This “Breitling Navitimer B01” (Ref#: N/A) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber B01 with 47 jewels and 28,800 Vph. Equipped with a column wheel, a vertical clutch and auto-centering reset hammers. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 70 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to these watches is an IWC stainless-steel bracelet, secured to the wrist by a stainless-steel folding clasp; or a black leather strap Except for the 18k rose gold edition which comes with a brown leather strap, secured by a 18k rose gold folding clasp.

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Next up is the “Breitling Navitimer 8 Unitime” which is a world timer watch, packing extra complications. Its 43mm case is made of stainless-steel with a solid case back. Mounted to the case is a knurled stainless-steel bi-directional bezel. Also comes equipped with a patented independently adjustable hour hand; plus a 24-hour city ring integrated in to the movement by using a clever differential system.

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Time is exhibited on a black or silver dial with Arabic numerals and a rail-road motif minute index ring, followed by a 24-hour disc for the second time-zone and a final ring that has the name of worldwide major cities, which link to the extra time-zones. There is also a date aperture at the 6 o’clock position.

Navitimer 8 Unitime with silver dial and stainless steel bracelet. (PPR/Breitling)

IWC Navitimer 8 Unitime

This “IWC Navitimer 8 Unitime” (Ref#: N/A) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber B35 with 41 jewels and 28,800 Vph. The first Breitling in-house movement made without a chronograph. Power reserve on this watch can last up 70 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the case is a stainless-steel bracelet; or a black alligator strap.

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Next for those in need of a more sporty option there is the “Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph”. It’s also the “value proposition” option, as the model with more bang for its buck. Since besides the chronograph functions, this timepiece also includes a day-date, making it a great option for daily use. The 43mm case is made of either: stainless-steel or DLC-coated stainless-steel. Equipped with two push-pieces for the chronograph functions and a bi-directional bezel matching each versions casing.

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Time is exhibited on either a: black or blue dial with Arabic numerals, followed by a rail-road motif minute index ring that features Arabic numerals for every five-minute increment. There are three sub-dials: a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock position; a sub-seconds at the 9 o’clock position; and a 30-minute counter at the 12 o’clock position. Also includes the aforementioned day and date aperture windows at the 3 o’clock position.

Navitimer 8 Chronograph with blue dial and black leather strap. (PPR/Breitling)

Image courtesy of: Breitling

Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph

This “Breitling Navitimer 8 Chronograph” (Ref#: N/A) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber B13 with 25 jewels and 28,800 Vph. A non-in-house movement originally based on the ETA 7750 mechanical movement. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 42 hours, when fully wound.

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The fourth offering on these new releases is the “Breitling Navitimer 8 Day & Date”. Crafted into a 41mm case made of stainless-steel with a solid case back. While mounted to the case is the same knurled stainless-steel bidirectional bezel found throughout this newly released collection.

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Time is exhibited on either a: black or blue dial with Arabic numerals, followed by a rail-road motif minute index ring that feature Arabic numerals for every five-minute increment. Afterwards the date is spelled out on a large aperture window, underneath the 12 o’clock position; while the day is shown with a small window at the 6 o’clock position.

Navitimer 8 Day & Date with black dial and stainless steel bracelet. (PPR/Breitling)

Image courtesy of: Breitling

Breitling Navitimer 8 Day & Date

This “Breitling Navitimer 8 Day & Date” (Ref#: N/A) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber B45 with 25 jewels and 28,800 Vph. Based on the original ETA 2834-2 mechanical movement. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 38 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the watches is either a stainless-steel bracelet; or a black leather strap with exposed white stitching.

1941 advertisement for the Huit Aviation Department. (PPR/Breitling)

1941 advertisement for the Huit Aviation Department. (PPR/Breitling)

Finally we have the simplest offering in this new batch, the “Breitling 8 Automatic”. Also in the smaller 41mm casing available in either: stainless-steel or black-steel with solid case backs. With not much else to mention, besides the basic elements present on the previous models, which consist of the knurled stainless-steel bidirectional bezel and being water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet).

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Time is exhibited on either a: blue or black dial with Arabic numerals, followed by a rail-road motif minute index ring that feature Arabic numerals for every five-minute increment. Keeping most of the dial quite clean and simple, but still included a date aperture at the 6 o’clock position.

Navitimer 8 Automatic with black dial and black leather strap. (PPR/Breitling)

Image courtesy of: Breitling

Breitling 8 Automatic

This “Breitling 8 Automatic” (Ref#: N/A) is powered by e self-winding mechanical movement, caliber B17 with 25 jewels and 28,800 Vph. Based on the original ETA 2824-2 movement. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 42 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the watches is also either: a stainless-steel bracelet; or a black leather strap with exposed white stitching. For more up to date information on all these release visit the official Breitling website here.

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Breitling, Navitimer, 8, B01, Unitime, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az