Stars of Baselworld 2020
Breitling is an easy choice in Baselworld's shortlist of "winning" brands this year. Since George Cohen took the helm, he has been taking the brand in new directions and digging into its rich history -- a move that, frankly, should have been made years ago. We must put it in the "better late than never" category, and after seeing what they have carefully prepared, it is at least worth the wait.
Mind you, this year's offerings aren't 100 percent focused on reissues of vintage replica watches, but between the new Navitimer reissue and the special versions of Warhawk and Airline (which predate Basel but debut in metal), one theme is sure to echo through Breitling's booth.
The Breitling cheap watch was a star of the show, hard to beat. Unlike other Navitimer models that drew inspiration from the past, this is a remake of the 1959 model, with details ranging from case size and finish to custom lume and arched plexiglass crystals. Installed in the interior is manually wound B09 in-house Breitling manufacture caliber which is based on the automatic B01. It is COSC certified and provides about 70 hours of power storage. Consider the resto-mod of the watch world -- where old-school aesthetics meets modern running equipment.
Among the many obscure facts, Breitling used bold and stylish colors in the 1960s and 1970s, which the band seemed happy to gloss over as they focused on more practical and tool-heavy designs. With vintage style in such high demand, Breitling brings back their colorful past in the form of their aviation version Navitimer 1.
In total, there are three 43mm navitimers 1 chronographs, each for different airlines (Pan Am, TWA, and Swissair), with contrasting backgrounds of bright red, black or strong blue dial, depending on the model. The Pan-American blue dial is undoubtedly the most eye-catching pack, but even the cream dial is not particularly subtle.
With green becoming the new blue (and recently red becoming the new green), the series is designed as a homage to the p-40 Warhawk fighter planes. Both new fake watches are based on a simple, three-hand version of the Navitimer 8 series and two chronographs, though for some strange reason, media materials and online details refer to the pieces as Aviator 8. In any case, between the popularity of the dial color itself and the spread of military-themed fashion, these new models are likely to be easy to sell once they hit the retail market.
As with the latest models, you can distinguish between the two chronograph versions (internal and Valjoux-based movement) by the position and color of the sub-dial. The 3-6-9 sub-dial with contrasting colors indicates that the internal B01 movement is hidden below its dial, while the 6-9-12 sub-dial position with the matching color indicates that the internal movement is based on Valjoux. Unlike many of their other replica watches, I actually prefer the more affordable Valjoux chronograph in this particular range, because the dark green look feels more appropriate given the military theme.