This week Breitling unveiled their first new collection under CEO Georges Kern (ex IWC), the Navitimer 8, named after Breitling’s “Huit Aviation” department that was established in 1938 to produce cockpit instruments and “wrist chronographs” for military use.
Watch enthusiasts previously deterred by the Navitimer’s busy dial, largely attributed to the iconic Slide Rule Bezel, will be pleased to see far cleaner and legible dials, albeit without the functional bezel that debuted on the first model in 1952. It’s an interesting direction for the heavy aviation focused collection of watches and somewhat surprising they didn’t launch it as an entirely new line. No doubt the minimal looking vintage-inspired designs will divide longstanding fans of the brand.
The new pieces start at 41mm with the three hand automatic and day and date models and then jump to 43mm for the Chronograph, B01 and Unitime with all models featuring a bi-directional rotating bezel and pointer. Both the B01 and the Unitime will feature Breitling’s own in-house movements while the cheaper Chronograph, Day & Date and Automatic models will house ETA based movements.
Launch is due for the middle of the year with pricing yet to be confirmed.