We have a new watch to announce from Breitling on this Sunday afternoon. It’s a 43mm chronograph designed with pilots in mind, it’s part of the Navitimer family, and it comes with a chronometer-certified, in-house Breitling 01 movement. The watch’s design channels the aesthetic of vintage Breitling pilot’s pieces with its coin-edge bezel and a reverse panda dial. The name, Breitling 8, comes from the Huit Aviation Department (huit meaning “eight” in French) that Breitling set up in the 1930s to make onboard chronographs for aviators. At the time, the name referred to the lengthy eight days of power reserve with which the instruments came. This watch is automatic, however, so its 70 hours of reserve seems more than enough. Breitling announced the Navitimer 8 Chronograph – the first in a line that will include other executions – this morning on its corporate Instagram as well as the personal Instagram of the brand’s CEO, Georges Kern.
Why This Watch Matters
In one of the biggest and least expected personnel moves the Swiss watchmaking industry has seen of late, Georges Kern exited Richemont in July, where he had been head of digital and watchmaking, to become the CEO of Breitling. This is the first new Breitling watch to be created under his leadership. What we see here is a clear influence of historical Breitling chronographs, including the use of a reverse panda dial. Interestingly, though, the watch is still rather beefy at 43mm in diameter. But as Kern mentions in the Instagram post he used to announce the watch, there are 41mm versions coming with different complications.
This is a great looking chronograph, but as I’ve already mentioned, it’s also a big guy. Kern says there are smaller versions coming, including a 41mm day-date and a Unitime. I think we can expect to see a lot of new and interesting products from Breitling this March at Baselworld, but, given what we know about the typical product-development timelines in high-end watchmaking, any bigger changes to the lineup will likely not be seen for another year or so. It’s good to see Kern’s influence creeping in though for sure.
Model: Navitimer 8 B01
Reference Number: AB011713
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: Reverse panda dial
Indexes: Arabic numerals
Lume: Yes, on numerals and hands
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Black alligator strap
Caliber: In-House Caliber B01
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, three-register chronograph
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Pricing & Availability
Price: CHF 7,100 (approximately $7,615 at time of publishing)
Availability: May/June 2018