Today was press day at Baselworld 2018 and we took the opportunity to sit down with Breitling to see some of their newest releases. There’s been a lot happening with the brand since the arrival of Georges Kern as CEO. Examples of this are the embracing of the brand’s rich history, the deletion of the winged logo and the return of the script “B”and familiar Breitling font. With it, we’ve seen some new models announced such as the Breitling Navitimer 8 chronographs – a 3-hand model, a chronograph with in-house B-01 movement and an ETA 7750-powered version. Today, we’ll take a brief look at just some of the newly announced Breitling Baselworld 2018 pieces.
Within the Breitling Baselworld 2018 novelties, the Navitimer collection receives some serious additions. Just to set the record straight, the Navitimer we all know and love with its slide rule will not be going away. Instead, Breitling is choosing to build upon its most famous model with variants on the theme.
Breitling Navitimer 8 Day-Date
The Navitimer 8 Day-Date was announced earlier, but made its physical debut amongst the Breitling Baselworld 2018 collection. Available in a blue or black dial, the Day-Date features the Breitling cal 45 (ETA 2834-2) automatic and is chronometer certified. At 41mm, the stainless watch can be ordered with either a leather strap or steel bracelet.
Priced at 4,200 and chronometer certified, this is a really nice looking piece – especially with the blue dial.
Breitling Navitimer 8 B35 Automatic Unitime 43
This piece was one of my favorites amongst the Breitling Baselworld 2018 novelties as it contains an in-house caliber with rotating inner bezel to denote a second time zone. At 43mm, the stainless Unitime isn’t inexpensive at 7,900 CHF on bracelet (7,550 on leather strap), but the detail work in the dial is wonderfully executed. There’s nothing blingy about these watches – the Bentley days are in the rearview mirror. Dial-wise, there’s black and silver to choose from.
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43
The classic piece has been updated for the Breitling Baselworld 2018 collection. First, we have the new logo and some new dial options. A reverse panda in steel or solid gold is available. A grey dial with black subregisters is available in steel with a gold bezel and, finally, a blue dial with black subregisters comes in stainless or gold.
If you’re following the trend, Breitling will use subregisters that differ in color from the main color of the dial to distinguish between in-house and externally sourced movements (7750-powered pieces will have dials all of the same color). The piece I photographed was in 43mm and is available for arounf 8,000 CHF. 46mm pieces will receive similar dial treatments. By the way, I chose the blue version to shoot because it was truly a unique combo.
Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38
For me, the Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 was the star amongst the Breitling Baselworld 2018 collection. At 38mm, it fit me perfectly and the depth of the dial combined with a very vintage beaded bezel and flat crystal made it extremely attractive.
I even photographed it next to my old Chronomat for comparison sake and the two were very close in size and thickness. The lugs are slender and well formed and even feature the triangular chamfering we know so well on the vintage pieces. Inside this watch is a chronometer-rated ETA 2824-2 and pricing will start at 4,000 CHF for the all-stainless version and 5,400 for a bi-color variant.
There was a bit of fuss about this piece – is it a man’s or a woman’s watch? For sure, the gold and steel version strikes me as more feminine, but the other pieces could certainly be worn by either sex. This watch was a real winner for me.
For the Breitling Baselworld 2018 collection, the Heritage Superocean, whether in 3-hand or in in-house B01 Chronograph form, receive a new downsized 44mm case size. Don’t worry, my fellow Americans, the 46mm versions will still be available.
I took a look at the black versions, blue versions, and bi-color variants and they actually fit my wrist nicely due to relatively short lugs. I especially liked the panda chronograph and a close-up look at the dial and sub-registers.
The chronographs come in at 7,350 CHF on rubber and the three-hand models at 4,660 CHF on rubber.
There were several changes within the Chronomat line for the Breitling Baselworld 2018 collection. The in-house B01 chronograph movement also found its way into a 44mm Chronomat. In gray or black, this is a beefy watch with 200M of water resistance and comes in at 8,370 CHF. Despite being a bigger piece with some serious heft, the detailing on the dial and the rotating bezel was impressive.
On the 3-hand side, the Breitling Colt Automatic has been refreshed and is in 44mm. It’s available in black, grey, blue and silver dial options. The Colt is chronometer rated and is priced at 3,350 CHF. The grey version jumped out with its sunburst dial.
Breitling noted that it’s pin buckles have all been updated to what you can see above.
And, we were amongst the first to see the case back design for the Navitimer 8 series – classy.
This year marked a real change when meeting with Breitling. Kudos the team for a friendly and open atmosphere – this was lacking in prior years. Also, the collection seems to be off to a great start and while there are large watches within the Breitling Baselworld 2018 offerings, there are some sanely sized pieces too.
I laud the return of the beaded bezel and even picked up that we’ll be seeing more in the future that draw upon the brand’s past.
Head here for a look at all the Breitling Baselworld 2018 novelties.