This Muscular Watch Is Inspired By A WWII Stopwatch That Pilots Strapped On Their Thighs

IMAGE Breitling

To understand the Navitimer Super 8, we have to go back to its origins, the Reference 637. The stopwatch was the timekeeper of choice of bomber pilots in the 1930s and 1940s (or World War II), and was notably strapped to aviators' thighs for ease of use and readability. 

There were two key things in the 637: the crown was larger than usual and located on the left side of the case. The very specific design allowed a pilot's or crewman's hand, whether gloved or naked, to manipulate the watch with ease.

More specifically, the made-for-flying design allowed aviators to activate the count-up and count-down functions via the pusher with precision.


Now, we have to go back even further. It was Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department that developed the 637 stopwatch. (Fun fact: The department was established by Willy Breitling in 1938 and it's name was the French word for eight, a number that signifies the eight days of power reserve offered by onboard clocks and instruments.)

Breitling understood that aviators worked in demanding environments that required instruments that were not only highly legible, but also capable of outstanding performance.

The Huit created a battery of challenging tests that proved that its instruments were more than a match for the shocks, vibrations, extreme temperatures, and magnetism that aviators were likely to encounter in the cockpit, and the result were the 637 and other easy-to-use watches with lightweight cases. 

Decades later, the high-flying stopwatch inspires the modern and muscular Navitimer Super 8 wristwatch. The 637's DNA is reflected in the statement-making timepiece with a 46-millimeter case in titanium (military green dial) or stainless steel (black dial) paired with a brown NATO leather strap.

Both have large, luminescent Arabic numerals and hour and minute hands, making the watch easy to read in all lighting conditions.

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An ingenious and practical triangular pointer is adjusted by rotating the bezel, making it easy to track elapsed times, as well. And thanks to the prominent screw-locked crown positioned on the left side of the case, the watch also offers exceptional comfort to wearers in spite of its impressive dimensions. 

The Navitimer Super 8 is powered by the Manufacture Caliber B20, an automatic movement that delivers an impressive power reserve of over 70 hours. The watch is also water-resistant to 30 meters and, like every Breitling timepiece, it is a COSC-certified chronometer. 


Greenbelt, Makati and Podium, Mandaluyong

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