Every pilot’s favourite watchmaker is gaining serious elevation this year with the launch of a new chronograph for high fliers
Elevate your watch to high-flier status with the pilot’s choice of luxury chronograph
The stopwatch, or chronograph, is a wristwatch’s most popular function – after telling the time, of course. But what on earth are they used for? Well, not as much as they are in the air. In the earlyto-mid-20th century, pilots depended on chronographs to help them calculate their fuel reserves. The manufacturer that most aviators placed their faith in was Breitling – specifically, the brand’s Huit Aviation division.
“Since 1884, Breitling has pioneered chronograph development,” says Mark Toulson, head of buying at Watches of Switzerland. “But, in the 1930s, it added a second button to reset the timer, providing the blueprint for how the watch looks today. Given this pedigree, it makes sense for the brand to continue setting the standard.”
Which is precisely what it has done. Under the direction of new CEO Georges Kern, Breitling has launched the Navitimer 8 B01, a beautiful, beefy chronograph with an aesthetic reminiscent of the Huit team’s glory days. What is going on beneath the dial, however, is anything but retrospective. “The B01’s in-house movement is a solid piece of modern engineering,” says James Buttery, editor of QP Magazine. “Its column wheel design makes the pushers smoother to operate than standard movements.” As you’d expect from a watchmaker of Breitling’s calibre, the Navitimer is a certified chronometer, which means it loses no more than four seconds a day – exceptional by mechanical standards. In addition, the self-winding movement stores 70 hours of power, so it will still be ticking on Monday after a weekend sat on your dresser.
Whether you’re flying high or keeping your feet on the ground, this is the wingman you’ll want by your side.
NAVITIMER 8 B01 CHRONOGRAPH 43 £ 6,200 BREITLING