Why Breitling’s New Watch Is a Sneak Peek at the Brand’s Future

The new collection focuses on vintage aesthetics, downsized cases and simple dial arrangements.

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Breitling just announced its latest: a new collection of timepieces rounding out the brand’s iconic Navitimer lineup. While the new Navitimer 8 collection certainly seems to take some visual cues from the “standard” Navitimer Chronograph, it deviates from the Navitimer’s traditionally complex dial arrangement for a look that’s much cleaner, and reminiscent of simpler watches from the brand’s past.

The biggest addition to this new collection is the Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph, which features a coin-edge bezel, printed Arabic numerals and a reverse-panda-dial color scheme. The watch comes in a 43mm stainless steel case and houses Breitling’s in-house B01 chronograph movement, which features automatic winding, a 70-hour power reserve and COSC-certified accuracy. While 43mm is large, Breitling is launching two more timepieces in smaller sizes and different complications: a time-and-date Navitimer 8 Automatic model and Navitimer 8 Unitime (a world timer), both coming in at a reasonable 41mm in diameter. While prices have yet to be announced for the Automatic and Unitimer, the B01 Chronograph will retail for around $7,615 when it goes on sale later this year.

Of notable importance here, the Navitimer 8 watches are the first from Breitling since it hired its new CEO, Georges Kern (formerly Richemont’s Head of Watchmaking). Given that Kerns was an influential figure at Richemont for years, it’ll be interesting to see how Breitling changes under his leadership. Therefore, the Navitimer 8 collection is our best look yet at how Kerns may be directing the brand, and we certainly hope to see more focus on vintage aesthetics, wearable sizes and simpler dials.

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