Pilot’s watches are as popular because they are, not since there are a significant quantity of pilots within the general population, but merely because there are plenty people deeply in love with the thought of flying. And never flying in the manner the majority of us fly nowadays. The initial Breitling Navitimer is most likely probably the most specific, when it comes to purpose and performance, of pilot’s watches, however the term covers what’s really a reasonably diverse selection of timepieces. The time is right for all of us to take particular notice in the collection’s flagship, the Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph replica watch, and then try to provide you with a clearer look at what’s going on in the brand.
The Navitimer Old And New
The chronograph is strongly identified with aviation (to a significant extent, this is thanks to Breitling), but pilot’s watches can certainly be highly accurate time-only watches intended to aid in navigation (often with shielding against magnetic fields) and the category can include GMT and two-time-zone watches as well.
As any student of aviation watches knows, Breitling probably has more street cred as an aviation supplier than any other single watch manufacturer. The company started making cockpit instruments in its “Huit Aviation” department in the 1930s – its first aviation chronograph was made in 1936 (a black-dial model with radium hands and numerals). The first Chronomat, with a slide-rule bezel for general calculations, was produced in 1940 and of course, in 1952, the most famous of Breitling’s pilot watches replica was introduced: the Navitimer, with a bezel that’s essentially a miniaturized version of the E6B circular slide-rule flight computer (nicknamed the “whiz wheel” or “prayer wheel” by pilots) the first version of which was introduced all the way back in 1933.
The interesting thing about the E6B is that unlike a pilot’s watch, it’s still an important part of modern civil aviation – albeit more often in digital form than not, but many flight schools still train student pilots on the E6B, many aviators still like having one in the cockpit (there isn’t an experienced pilot alive who doesn’t appreciate the value of backups to essential systems) and the FAA still encourages people taking knowledge tests for their pilot’s license to bring one along.
The Pilot’s Watch For Non-Pilots
In some respects, this watch is straight from the decades-old Breitling playbook we’ve all come to know and love – or not love, as the case may be. It’s a large, and on the bracelet it came with on loan from Breitling, rather heavy watch: 43mm x 13.97mm, which although definitely on the wide side, is actually smaller than the current-issue whiz-wheel equipped Navitimer 1 B01, which sits at 46mm in diameter. The absence of the flight computer bezel makes the watch seem to wear about as big, though; however, without the visual clutter created by the flight computer scales, the Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 replica is a far more legible watch, with excellent and pretty instantaneous readability day or night.
It does take a little getting used to, although not as much as you’d think – we’ve had a darned hot summer here in New York and I’ve been wearing a lot of dive watches (both on and off duty) and so switching over to a larger, stainless steel chronograph has been a lot less of a transition than it might be in fall or winter, when a smaller watch on a strap is more likely to be on your wrist (and mine). The bracelet is very well made, but for me it feels like rather a lot of metal – were I a gent of more imposing stature, this would of course be less the case – and were I to wear the Navitimer 8 B01 on a longer term basis, at some point I’d probably switch the bracelet out for a strap (Breitling makes a very nice alligator strap and of course there are a plethora of other third-party options).
The movement is something Breitling’s had around for some time now but the company’s proud of it, and with reason: the chronograph caliber Breitling 01 was first introduced at Baselworld 2009, and since then, this modern, vertical clutch, column-wheel-controlled, in-house movement has earned a reputation as a solid, reliable piece of work as you could want in a 21st century tool watch. It’s even in use, slightly modified, by Tudor, in the Black Bay Chronograph. I’ve always found operation of the chronograph pushers in this movement to be a little on the stiff side, and in another context I’d be more inclined to take exception, but the unambiguous let-off for start, stop, and reset has the advantage of giving very clear tactile feedback as to whether or not the operation desired is underway.
This edition, which is supposed to be the flagship as well as the most “luxurious” variant, features several polished accents on the case – pushers and crown, bezel, sides of the lugs. This gives a more “upmarket” feel to the watch, without making it too flashy. This B01 version is available in several variants – on a steel bracelet, on leather, with a blue or black dial, or in gold with a bronze dial. An interesting point concerns the water-resistance. While older Breitling watches replica are known for their poor resistance to external elements, the watches are water-resistant to 100 metres making it a pilot’s watch that can also be used to jump in the pool.
The dial is a “reversed panda” style – which will be a distinctive feature of all chronographs with in-house movements, while the Valjoux-based watches will have a monochromatic dial. Just like the case, a utilitarian choice has been made. No more B on the counterweight of the second’s hand, no applied indexes, simple yet legible numerals, clear railroad tracks. The hands, with their faceted profile and polished surface, give a more dynamic look.
It’s not, despite Breitling’s somewhat deserved reputation in recent years for making rather flashy watches, a flashy watch – on the wrist it’s actually a pretty sober presence, which I think would make it, over a period of months or years, a pretty regular part of mine or anyone’s rotation. As a very solid entry in the under-$10k in-house automatic chronograph realm, it ought to be an interesting choice for anyone who wants a vintage-inspired watch that doesn’t overstate its connection to the past, has a technically up-to-date mechanism, and still feels strongly connected to the original environment that gave rise to the genre of which the Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 43 mm watch fake is a part. No, it doesn’t feel like a whiz-wheel Navitimer, but it certainly feels like a pilot’s chronograph (the size is actually a part of the reason why) and it very much feels, to this non-pilot pilot’s watch enthusiast, like a pilot’s watch and not, so to speak, an illustration of a pilot’s watch.
Is The Navitimer 8 A Navitimer?
An example of the first Navitimer – circa. 1952 – which represents for many the one-and-only style that defines Breitling’s Navitimer collection replica.
This is the question we’ve seen most on social media and forums: Is the new Navitimer 8 really a Navitimer? In a way, it is quite a legitimate question, but here again, a bit more background is required to answer this question. For most, the Navitimer is this – a pilot chronograph with sliding rule and notched bezel, a watch created in 1952, on the base of the 1940s Chronomat. It is an iconic watch, no debate. It is actually so iconic that most people think that this model, this style is the only Navitimer that ever existed.
As you can see, there have been watches with the name “Navitimer” printed on the dial with totally different styles. Agreed, this was certainly not a common thing and the Navitimer collection was first and foremost a pilot’s watch collection – and the new Navitimer 8 is first and foremost a pilot’s watch. Yet, if you look in older catalogues, not all Navitimer watches featured a sliding rule either. Most were definitely pilot-oriented, yet the 1970s and the 1980s brought some more original watches. For instance, look at these two watches below – both are quartz/digital, both feature intriguing shapes, one even comes without the sliding rule.
The Navitimer, as a collection, will indeed include the Navitimer 1 replica – the historical model with a sliding rule – and the Navitimer 8 replica, a different, slightly simpler and more utilitarian take on the concept. Looking closely at the new Navitimer 8 replica, there are still a few details that consolidate the link between this new watch and the “historical” Navitimer. For instance, the lugs (that you can clearly see above) adopt the same overall shape as the existing model, yet they are slightly more compact. We leave you to decide whether or not this “Navitimer 8” sobriquet is relevant, but now you have the tools to make up your mind.
Exactly what do we conclude in regards to the Breitling Navitimer 8 replica? The bottom line is, it is a well-thought, well-produced and well-priced pilot’s watch. It absolutely was additionally a significant surprise for your brand’s aficionados, just like a rather dramatic change of strategy, additionally to as being a brand-new design. Certainly, this is not a wristwatch created for extended-time, hardcore collectors. It is a watch that’s meant for everyone particularly, a wristwatch created to thrill a larger audience. More information, please visit our latest replica Breitling watches listing, we are selling almost all model AAA grade 1 :1 cloned Breitling watches.