Next Generation of Breitling : The Navitimer 8
The Navitimer first become available in 1952 and quickly gained worldwide acclaim as an official pilot’s watch with the Navitimer 806 becoming the official watch of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. The original Navitimer had two logarithmic scales for solving air navigation calculations; such as average speed, distance, fuel consumption, rate of climb/descent, converting miles to kilometres or nautical miles.
The Breitling Navitimer based on the original design has not been discontinued from the collection, but renamed as Navitimer 1.
The Navitimer 8 has now had a major revamp with many of the features from the original watch excluded to make it a more modest watch. The inspiration for the name Navitimer 8 is taken from the aviation board instrument clocks of the 1930’s and 40’s which were called Breitling 8 for their eight- day movements. The slide rule has been removed with the rotating bezel becoming more minimalist, with just a small arrow opposite the minute hand to track elapsed time.The dial has become more refined with no tachymetre , with only the chronograph function remaining as a key feature on the BO1 Models. Also gone is the winged B logo from the seconds hand, however the dial design is still modelled on the board instruments of the planes of the 1930’s, including the triangles and small ticks on the minute track and the five- minute numerals between the hour markers. The most distinguishing feature to recognise the new Navitimer 8 from the others in the Navitimer collection, is the knurled unidirectional bezel.
The Navitimer 8 is available in 3 different case sizes the 41mm, 43mm and 50mm. The BO1 Chronograph, B35 Unitime and Navitimer 8 chronograph are all 43mm, with the Navitimer 8 Automatic and Automatic Day Date in the 41mm , and a recent new introduction of the Navitimer Super 8 B20 and Automatic models in a 50mm.
The 41mm Navitimer 8 models are currently available in either black steel or all stainless steel case, with a Breitling Caliber 17 movement. Its bidirectional rotor winder, delivers more than 40 hours of power reserve. Whilst the new Day and Date model is powered by the Breitling Caliber 45 movement also with a power reserve of 40 hours. The 41mm models are COSC certified and have a solid screwed caseback with either a steel bracelet or a leather strap. The 41mm Navitimer 8 collection is currently available in either a black or blue dial option with Arabic numerals.
The 43mm models are available in either a stainless steel case with blue or black dial or a gold case with bronze dials. All 43mm models have a 3 zone chronograph feature with contrasting coloured dials, and a date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock position.They are available on a different range of straps including a stainless steel bracelet or an alligator strap. The 43mm models are all equipped with the Breitling B01 movement, which has a ratchet wheel chronograph with vertical coupling and a large power reserve of more than 70 hours. The watch has a screw-locked double gasket crown ensuring the watch can be worn at a depth of 100 metres.
The latest addition to the Navitimer 8 family is the much larger 50mm black steel or titanium Super 8 B20 model. Equipped with a COSC certified Breitling 20 movement, this big watch has a power reserve of more than 70 hours. The Super 8 watch design has been inspired by the reference number 637, a stopwatch that World War II bomber pilots wore strapped to their thighs. Whilst the watch has an overall diameter of over 50mm, the actual case of the watch has a width of 46mm, with the addition of the large screw locked crown to the left side of the watch which makes it slightly wider. Currently available in a black or green dial with large luminescent Arabic numerals it makes the dial easy to read in all lights conditions. A distinctive feature of the Navitimer 8 50mm is the red triangular pointer which is fitted to the bezel, which can be rotated making it easy to track elapsed times.
A selection of the new Breitling Navitimer 8 collection are currently available on line and in store.