Breitling Aviator watches

Reviewing the Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph Mosquito

In an ongoing wave of vintage, the Aviator 8 reinterprets Breitling’s early pilot’s watches, rather than simply copying them. In this in-depth review of our October 2020 issue, we look at how the latest Aviator 8 model, the B01 Mosquito Chronograph, remains unchanged in modern everyday life. (Original photo by Olaf Köster).  
The phrase “back in the cockpit” heralds the start of Georges Kern’s tenure as Breitling CEO in 2017. his goal is to revisit and reinvent the first steps Breitling has taken in the field of aviation. Breitling had been producing cockpit instruments for aircraft as early as the 1930s, well before the first Navitimer with the famous flight slide rule was launched in 1952, so it was surprising that the new collection was called Navitimer (now “8”) and omitted the flight slide rule specific to that model. Instead, the Navitimer 8 is supposed to tell the story of that part of Breitling’s pilot’s watch history that existed before the Navitimer.
That’s why the Navitimer 8 features some elements from replica watches produced by Breitling replica in the 1930s and 1940s, such as the rotating bezel. the limited edition was released in the summer of 2018, later renamed the Navitimer Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph, which features markers and even numbers in addition to the existing directional triangle.
Although the in-house caliber B01 does not offer an 8-day power reserve, it does extend it by almost 3 days (70 hours) and is the most advanced available. This chronograph movement with column wheel control and the vertical clutch was launched in 2009 to mark the company’s 125th anniversary. Its basic version powers the Chronograph Mosquito, but a closer look reveals some subtle differences. For example, the eccentric screws for fine adjustment are in different places and there are some finishing flaws on the lever for the stopwatch function, which are unfortunately visible through the sapphire case back.
But none of this seems to detract from Breitling’s excellent chronograph function. the B01 caliber runs at a very balanced rate in various situations: on the chronograph, on the wrist, or when starting the chronograph. In this respect, the B01 movement is very reliable.
The bright yellow color at the bottom of the leather strap emphasizes the vintage look. Under the sapphire case back, the B01 movement is clearly visible.
It is housed in a 43 mm stainless steel case like the Navitimer, now with shorter, more curved lugs and polished edges that give the watch a more powerful and sporty look, especially when viewed from the side. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Breitling often completed its fake watches with these same facets.
Also inspired by history are the “mushroom-shaped” chronograph pushers, which are, like the fluted crown, another feature of the Navitimer. The column-wheel control gives the chronograph pushers a firm but very smooth point of force. The screw-in crown is difficult to release and hold in place but is easy to pull out to a different operating position.

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