A Week On The Wrist: The Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph

The original Breitling Navitimer is probably the most specific, in terms of purpose and function, of all pilot’s watches, but the term covers what’s actually a fairly diverse range of timepieces. 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. Some of the most distinctive watches ever made were pilot’s watches, including the Longines-Weems Second-Setting watch, and the Longines Hour-Angle. Like its brother-in-arms, the diver’s watch, the days of a pilot’s watch as an essential piece of gear in the cockpit are past; navigation today is a matter of GPS satellites and radar. But like diver’s watches, pilot’s watches still appeal, because the virtues of the world to which they are connected – bravery, the manifestation of hard-won skills, coolness under pressure – remain universally compelling. Behind every pilot’s watch is a dream of being, as they say, “a natural-born stick-and-rudder man.”

Which brings us to the Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph. 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 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.

For the full review, go to: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/breitling-navitimer-8-b01-chrongraph-review

Comments

Don Darinos says:

Cant agree with others in the comment section. I like this new design way more than the “normal” navitimer. Besides, you could still buy the “normal” one, so why complain about the navitimer 8?

Ben Sona says:

Hodinkee has gone so geeky it’s trying to change things up with videos like Time and Tide to communicate adventure. Doesn’t work. I was bored from the beginning. Hodinkee will never be James Bond cool.

LinkeHarryB says:

I think it looks really nice. The Navitimer name doesn’t really matter to me, it’s just looks like a good watch and of course the looks are a matter of taste. Breitling build quality is always impeccable and the B01 movement hasn’t ever let me down. It’s robust and resistant to “mistakes” that would break other chronograph of date complication watches. I do believe the B01 movement was actually released in 2009, not 2013, as I own a Transocean Chronograph from 2009 which uses this movement.

Timpu Andreas says:

Not too bad for a Kickstarter watch

xBanana8 says:

I don’t agree with the popular opinion on this one. I think this actually a COOL watch. It’s just the 8k. For that price you need to be getting a whole lot more than just cool. Just my opinion

David Cote says:

Why in the world would they put Navitimer on that dial ! Should’ve called it a new model with its own name! RIP Breitling

Tim says:

What a ridiculous premise on which to base a watch review.

Brian B says:

Breitling has just become an abomination of a brand. Wouldn’t consider them if they were a third their price.

Bluju says:

1000000$ Question: What’s up with that bezel?

mena seven says:

Beautiful Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph and nice airplane

Harry Brown says:

might as well buy a nomos

James M says:

Doesn’t feel like an 8k watch to me.

Dutch Edelweiss says:

People who like the old school design of the navitimer should check out the Sinn 903. Sinn secured the rights to produce the watches with the Navitimer design from Breitling. But were not allowed to use the name ‘Navitimer’…

WATCH DOCTOR says:

Speedmaster,Daytona,Master Chronograph, El primero,Tudor chronograph,Heuer monaco….Any other chronographs I missed that you would take before this watch?

Ben Wilde says:

This watch isn’t for me but I loved the offer – “Tony, do you wanna try this watch on?” Classy touch to get a candid reaction…

Philip van der Kooy says:

RIP Breitling

Ong jit tuck says:

It’s not a pilots watch. It’s a luxury watch made to look like a pilot watch. However I love the watch design.

Tao Hsieh says:

Navitimer 46 blacksteel

Jsuarez6 says:

It does look very nice. Nice blue dial with while subdials. I like the layout of the numbers and markers around the dial. Easy to read the time, and very well proportioned dial. But this just doesn’t feel like a Navitimer. Maybe they should have gone with a different name for this model. Like others have said in the comments, might as well get a Zenith El Primero or an IWC instead of this Breitling.

IDGuy says:

Pretentiousness (ie. flying in a private jet) doesn’t win anybody over. 1:21 there’s your answer about it’s usefulness as an aviation instrument. Oh, and 3:40 is total BS. Your audience would prefer it if you could actually be critical with the watches you review, or is this what journalism has become?

Buwsur says:

100% of Shitter watches can pass this “flight test.”

D K says:

Look at was has become of breitling….
Does Hodinkee ever has any constructive criticism when it comes to watches ?

Xubair Hanif says:

Lol you don’t have to take it to flight to exaggerate how cool it is. 10$ Casio watch will work in a cockpit I guarantee you.. worst hodinkee episode ever

Paul SW says:

Sad to see them move away from the original

Bo Ko says:

I, too, would agree that this newer version of the navitimer is far less desirable than the previous versions. Th production quality of the episode is top notch as usual, though.

Dawn Keebolz says:

smells like a Breitling paid ad, it’s a SHITTER but not one word criticism in the entire vid, thumbs DOWN

Cam M. says:

Jack thinks that watch is dogshit

Jay Remi says:

At least A Blog to Watch is transparent when it’s a paid advertisement.

deviceology says:

Blue is better, this looks pretty crap tbh

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