At Baselworld 2018 Breitling dropped a bomb shell of a timepiece that despite the raucous went a bit unnoticed. We’re refereeing to the new “Breitling Navitimer Super 8” that was inspired by a WWII stopwatch.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on what direction the new CEO at Breitling, Georges Kern has been taking the company down. The first major move came in the form of a re-conceptualized “Navitimer 8” collection consisting of five distinct models with various color-scheme options, you can take a look at here.
An aesthetic choice that clearly signals consumers can expect novel offerings from Breitling. But, not all the long-time aficionados of the brand seemed to be pleased with the “dressier” adopted style. But, for those in fear this new “Navitimer 8 Super 8”, just like the before Baselworld 2018 launched “Chronomat B01 Chronograph 44” we reviewed here. Are clear indicators that although the new CEO may be exploring new routes, we can still expect to see robust timepieces coming down the pipeline.
Inspiration for the “Navitimer 8 Super 8” came from the historical design cues of Breitling’s reference 637 stopwatch. This timepiece was produced in the 1930’s and 1940’s and were used by bomber pilots and their crew. They would strap these stopwatches to their thighs during missions in World War II, since placing them there ensured an optimal readability. This Breitling stopwatch featured a large, left-handed crown that was big enough for a gloved hand to operate, while the timepiece was strapped to the aviator’s leg. Its crown was placed on the top of the case for better access and had a pusher that activated the crucial count-up and count-down functions used to execute the wartime missions.
Just like the vintage models that inspired the “Navitimer 8” collection, this reference model 637 was also a product of Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department, which was established in 1938 by the company founder’s grandson Willy Breitling.
The aim of the department consisted in developing watches that adhered to the strict guidelines that were required for instruments used in military and civilian aircraft’s. The term “Huit” which is French for the number eight, was picked to highlight the 8-day power reserve that the on-board clock and dashboard instruments were capable of at the time; hence the “8” in this 2018 Navitimer collection.
The 46mm case is available in either steel or titanium with a screwed-in case back. But, mounted to the case is a bi-directional rotating bezel that extends the overall size of this watch to 50mm. It comes equipped with aforementioned prominent screw-locked crown that’s been positioned on the left-side of the case, in order to offer an exceptional comfort to wearers in spite of its impressive dimensions.
Topped by a cambered sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides that assists with water-resistance on this watch reaching up to 30 meters (98 feet).
Time is exhibited on either a green or black dial with white Arabic numerals, followed by a railroad motif ring of minute index markers with Arabic numerals for every 5-minute increment. Breitling has ingeniously placed a practical red triangular pointer that can be adjusted by rotating the bezel, making it easier to track elapsed times.
The central hour and minutes hands, along with the large Arabic numerals have all undergone a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. Although both versions will find their audience, we personally were very pleased with the sunburst look of the green dial on the titanium casing.
Breitling Navitimer 8 Super 8 B20 Automatic 50
This “Breitling Navitimer 8 Super 8 B20 Automatic 50” (References below) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber B20 with 28 jewels and 28,800 Vph. It’s based on the Tudor caliber MT5612. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 70 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watch is either a brown leather strap or a NATO strap, both secured to the wrist by a pin buckle. The release date for these watches has not yet been defined, but for more information visit the official Breitling website here.
Green dial titanium case – (Ref#: EB204010/L535/491X)
Black dial steel case – (Ref#: AB204010/BG92/491X)
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