Breitling's Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph Pays Homage To De Havilland's WWII Fighters
Not so long ago, the nearest Breitling came to celebrating women was its novel use of warplane “nose art” in visual merchandising. All that changed with its sale to venture capital firm CVC in 2017 and the arrival of Georges Kern as CEO, an industry veteran who knows a thing or two about aviation as well as changing mores in the luxury market. It was therefore great to see Spain’s foremost female “top gun” Rocío González Torres lining up with the Swiss Air Force aerobatics team and drone racing champion Luke Bannister in September to announce a raft of new aviation-inspired models.
Breitling’s freshly anointed “aviation pioneers squad” (which also includes US astronaut Scott Kelly) had assembled in Zurich to underline Breitling’s considerable heritage in cockpit timers, one of which partly inspired the stand-out piece: the second in a series of capsule collections designed to underpin Breitling’s aerial credentials.
The Aviator 8 Mosquito follows on from last year’s tribute to another icon of combat aircraft, the Curtiss Warhawk, and features a 43mm stainless-steel case and a dial that echoes both the crystal-clear layout of those early cockpit instruments and the red and orange markings found on the fuselage of the de Havilland Mosquito. More than 7,000 of these lightly armed aircraft were built between 1940 and 1950, seeing service in a variety of guises, from reconnaissance to daylight bombing operations.
Sadly, its timber-framed fuselage ensures only re-creations are fit to fly, meaning this horological tribute is the only airworthy equivalent available.
- The bezel: Bi-directional black satin-brushed DLC-coated stainless steel with high-vis red index.
- The strap: Available in vintage leather with pin or folding buckle.
- The dial: Striking red accents reference the roundels found on the Mosquito’s fuselage.
- The movement: Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01 COSC-certified automatic chronograph with 70-hour power reserve.
Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito, $7710 at breitling.com