Breitling loves vintage aviation, so much so that they’ve been making a concerted effort to illustrate that, much as we love the iconic aircraft, 1940s flight wasn’t all about the Spitfire. First there was the Curtiss Warhawk, commemorated in a cool trio of military khaki piece; now it’s the turn of the Mosquito.
The de Havilland Mosquito was a 1940s fighter that had one slight drawback: it was made almost entirely from wood. Not exactly something to put your faith in at that time – though I’m sure some aircraft obsessives out there would disagree. Either way, it was charming to a fault and works as the inspiration for the new Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito Chronograph.
As with all these watches, the new Aviator 8 is inspired partly by the instrument panels of these quirky little fighters, but also by the Breitlings of the 1960s – specifically the famous Co-Pilot. The new piece directly takes the vintage classic’s reverse panda (white on black) dial layout, complete with red highlights and its elongated chronograph pushers. It just doesn’t have the 15-minute chronograph.
That last is because like the other models in the collection, the Mosquito is equipped with the Breitling B01 chronograph movement and restructuring a new movement like that is a bit much. Another major point of difference, a more obvious one at that, is the case.
The 43mm stainless steel case is covered in ADLC, a slightly darker take on standard DLC. It’s not a vintage look at all – quite the reverse – but it’s a nice callback to the night fighter version of the de Havilland Mosquito.
The result is a watch whose dial is heavily vintage inspired but whose execution is decidedly contemporary. It’s a great balance and, even though there’s only one watch here as opposed to the Warhawk’s 3, this is arguably a cooler throwback to 1940s aviation.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter x 13.9mm thickness, stainless steel, satin-brushed ADLC-coated stainless steel bidirectional bezel with red pointer, numerals, and indices
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: In-house Caliber B01, COSC-certified, self-winding mechanical
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Strap: Brown vintage leather strap with a steel pin or folding buckle
More details at breitling.com