The news took the watch world by surprise: Georges Kern was quitting as Richemont’s head of watchmaking with immediate effect to take over as captain of Breitling.
A man with his ear to the market, in particular social media that dictate certain of today’s trends, he brought onboard a collector and vintage watch specialist whose name is more than familiar among hashtag users: Fred Mandelbaum (better known by his Instagram handle @watchfred). He would be Georges Kern’s “consultant”, tasked with helping Breitling develop a new watch for this new clientele. And it’s in the jet stream of his expert opinion that the Navitimer 8 saw daylight.
The biggest and most obvious change is the watch’s almost minimalist design, starting with the clean dial that’s tailored for utmost legibility. The logo has lost its wings, driving home the message that the emphasis is on functionality. The last element to go no-frills is the bezel, whose sole function is to track elapsed time.
The movement bringing this watch to life is the in-house B01, a chronograph calibre that incorporates a superb column wheel and delivers a 70-hour power reserve. As movements go, it’s virtually a legend in itself (read more here).
And so Breitling takes flight with a new pilot in command; one who intends to stack the odds in his favour and breathe new life into this historic brand that we’ll definitely be hearing a lot more of.
[Note: Breitling recently became a partner-brand to the FHH. More details here)