The Replica Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic is a new interpretation of an iconic pilot’s watch. Lacking a slide rule bezel, this line is focused on what’s essential: tracking the time. Top models feature in-house calibers with chronograph or world time functions.
Entry level models in this collection include the Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic 41 with a date display and the Navitimer 8 Day & Date with day and date displays. Both models use calibers based on ETA movements. The ‘8’ in the Navitimer 8’s name comes from the Huit Aviation department founded by Willy Breitling in the late 1930s.
The automatic in-house B01 caliber with a chronograph function ticks away inside the top Navitimer 8 models. Frequent travelers will enjoy the Unitimer variants with world time functions. The Navitimer 8 Chronograph represents a more affordable alternative to the watches with in-house movements. It is powered by the Valjoux 7750.
The Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic was introduced in 2018 as part of the then-new Navitimer 8 collection. It features a stainless steel case of 41*10.74mm, which houses the self-winding caliber B17 (ETA 2824).
Yesterday we gave you an early look at the first new Breitling watch created under the leadership of IWC vet Georges Kern, the Navitimer 8 B01 chronograph. Today we’re back at it, with a simpler watch in the same new collection, the Navitimer Automatic. This simple three-hand-and-date watch comes in at a relatively modest 41mm across (positively tiny by recent Breitling standards) and 10.74mm thick. The styling is very much old-school Breitling, with a mid-century pilot’s watch feel, though there is an all-black DLC-coated model that has a slightly more contemporary look than the plain steel versions.
As we said yesterday, Kern taking the reins at Breitling was some of the biggest industry news of 2017 (if not the biggest), and it’s interesting to finally see where he’s taking the brand. The Navitimer 8 collection is our window into what’s been going on these last few months and what we can expect to see over the coming years. The combination of vintage inspiration (this watch is loosely based on a reference 768 aviator’s watch in Breitling’s archive), quality construction and performance (this watch is a COSC-certified chronometer), attention to detail (the bezel has 60 positions, letting you line up the engraved arrow with the minute markers to time an event), and wearability (the dimensions make this a great everyday watch option) portend good things ahead.
Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 Stainless Steel is a brand that vexes many vintage watch enthusiasts. For decades, it was creating some of the coolest and most practical chronographs on the planet. However, despite the modern brand’s manufacturing prowess, the styling veered into the brash and over-the-top these last few years. To see Breitling change its course a bit and tack back toward making watches that fans of bow tie Top-Times and AOPA Navitimers can get behind is refreshing indeed.