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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Breitling remains my favourite brand for sports watches, the unique Breitling exuberant style that separates itself from the common or garden sports designs churned out by the industry.

Seeing this watch online never did it for me, but when I tried one on, it looked so beautiful and classy in the flesh. It fitted my requirement for a sexy chrono closeup but subtle at a distance, and crucially easy to wear.

Georges Kern did Breitling a favour when he landed. He slimmed down an over abundance of similar designs, re-focused key models on their roots, the Superocean 42mm a good example which has taken off somewhat since its cobweb clearing redesign, and re-introduced some iconic architecture from the past, notably the Huit Aviation department’s flyboy designs. Sure there were some misteps on the way, for example the cancelling of the wing logo and then its gradual reintroduction into the more sporty pieces, the initial naming of the Aviator series as Navitimer, etc., but apart from these nuances, Breitling has successful reinvigorated itself and maintained its position as one of the top watch brands..
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Personally, I recently decided to remodel my collection around my most liked in each genre, and the Breitling Aviator 8 comes to fill the chronograph slot. I wanted something I could wear on a daily basis if required, very cool and smart but not too flashy, and also thinish and nicely fitting on my 6.75” wrist.
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In some ways the Aviator 8 Chronograph, my example cruising the earlier Navitimer text, exemplifies the goal. Stripped back, dwarf star robustness and a hint of flash. The Aviator has the iconic Navitimer Chronographs on one side and the flashy Chronomats on the other, combining the DNA of both in a more laid back daily wearer.

In this sense it perfectly achieves what it sets out to do. Consider, it’s a chronometer certified chronograph and yet touches 14mm thin, even less if you take out the concave base. In some ways it reminds me of the surprise I had when putting on the Avenger GMT, which is the thinnest GMT I have worn. Its not thin from a three hander perspective, but svelte as a chronograph. The chronograph is a lovely complication, and the Aviator 8 makes it useful by having a twelve hour dial.
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The body is compact, the sapphire crystal is flat, punct, aviator like. With the bracelet it has some reassuring heft, but not too much. The lugs sweep down sharply and are stubby, allowing the bracelet to drop vertically. Result ? a 43mm watch that wears like a 41mm, less then 50mm lug to lug, and perfect on my 6.75” wrist. Looking fine even on Tim’s 16cm/6.3” wrist on WatchBox …
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The bracelet has that unique Breitling stylish slanted design and the sharp locking, but flexible buckle with four micro adjusts, sans diving extension. The screw down crown means that it can stay on throughout a holiday, or leisure activity.

Everything is brushed, except for a hint of gloss via the chamfering on the edge of the body and the side edge of the bezel. Very men-in-black :). Only a glint from a distance, but the slanted bracelet, thin but stiff multi-directional bevelled bezel and inky black face shine out when close. The blue version is a sexy sunburst, the matt green military/jungle undercover and the black is pure class.

The lume is bright and useful, and emphasises the numbers all of which are complete. Personally I don’t like damaged numbers and luckily that is not the Breitling way.
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The brushed look is very purposeful and a key attractor for me to the Chronometer 7750 version. The B01 version is cooler with the display back, but on that model the centre link of the bracelet and the whole bezel are now shiny, moving over to the glam side. Its just a different look. Less Bond, more Le Chiffre.

Talking about the 7750, it’s a very interesting movement, very robust and accurate, particularly here as the chronometer grade.
Mine is +1.4s which is in the top group of watches I have had, only pipped by the Kenissi GMT movements I have in my Tudor GMT and Norqain GMT
(3) Valjoux 7750 - YouTube
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The dial fonts, in line with Breitling’s new uncluttered design goal, combined with the long lumed hands, are razor clear. Laid back minute markings and numbers lie behind the applied hour numbers. Cleverly, the three sub-dials each have slightly different graduations, and each have 0, 3 and 4 numbers respectively, making them easy to see apart. The very useful day date nestles between the dial text on the right, topped by the Breitling logo, balancing in perfectly with the three dials. The bezel has a single marker for a simple timer. This is retained on the latest non-chrono versions but is replaced with twelve numbers on the latest chrono version. Personally I like the minimalist original bezel, but acknowledge the higher utility of the new numbered one. The knurled bezel is actually a key feature of this watch. It is quite beautiful in a rugged way, and makes the look quite unique. The Matt top surface and knurling also make it good at both being resistant to scratches and concealing them.
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This watch won’t appeal to either the bling or the heritage icon seekers, but for those that want an exceptionally designed and finished, reliable and sexy sports or daily wearer, which can hang with a suit, slip under a shirt, splash in the swimming pool or rough it with jeans, this piece ticks all the boxes. It's a statement chronograph that is exceptionally easy to live with. I already feel a permanent part of my collection.
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Nice review and pictures. Like everything but undecided on the bezel.

Enjoy it.
 
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