With the latest special edition release, the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito supports the brand’s lineup while taking a look backwards.

The way of the (watch) world today appears to require a steady stream of new releases.  With near-instantaneous supplies of information, social media posts, and endless collaborations among brands and “influencers”, it appears to be that the best way to succeed is to join in the torrid pace.  Gone are the days of the annual watch shows and then waiting another 12 months for the following stream of products.  It’s pretty clever because the once (albeit now and again still) antiquated watch industry held consistent with this annual pace of introduction up until only a couple short years ago.  But when you have an aggressive CEO such as Georges Kern, I assume it’s not an unexpected that Breitling has, as well, entered the fray with a seemingly endless progression of new products and variations on the theme.  I should say, the greater part of them have been very effective in my eyes and that goes for today’s most current debut, the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito.

To give a touch of background, the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito takes its name from a De Havilland plane of the same name assembled roughly somewhere in the range of 1940 and 1950.  The may not enroll as a remarkable household name as, say, the Spitfire, yet historians actually credit the versatile De Havilland as the plane that won World War 2 for Britain and more than 7,500 were built.  Largely made of wood, the Mosquito was a lightweight fighter that could also carry a heavy bomb load of up to 1,800 kg.  Due to its feathery mass, it was also faster than the Spitfire with a maximum velocity of more than 660 kph, which was a helpful trait indeed.  Within the press info, Breitling calls out various design features that are meant to bring out the soul of the nearly 80-year old plane such as the sub dials bearing a similarity to the RAF’s roundel.  That’s all great, however I’d really rather view at this watch as a dazzling design that happens to pay accolade for a highly fruitful and important piece of aviation history.

In what I’d say was a relatively bound to happen, the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito contains styling prompts that references one of my favorite watches, the 765 Co Pilot.  When released in the mid 1960’s the 765 Co Pilot was the culmination of a line of watches that initially debuted in the 1950’s as a large pilot’s watch with an external rotating bezel and three sub dials.  When I say large, these larger 765’s came in north of 40mm in diameter and kept the millimeter counter going with their overhanging bezels, large crowns and pushers.

I’ve probably said it previously, yet I think that all of these 765 pilots are amongst the greatest chronographs in existence.  They featured brilliantly straightforward design and brought in some neat modifications to their Venus 178 developments such as minute recorders that would move at regular intervals and, in an early structure, a “digital” minutes counter in lieu of a dial.  And while today’s new Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito doesn’t introduce itself as an exact duplicate, I’m pretty pleased with the result.

At 43mm in diameter, the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito utilizes the familiar Aviator 8 case and that actually doesn’t stray excessively far from the size or shape of the models from the 60’s.  With a chamfered look and a drag to haul of 50.8mm, it’s not small, but rather these even wear alright to accommodate my small wrist due to downward sloping lugs.  Breitling also brings in ADLC, a darker treatment for the bezel that’s more in keeping with the historical black shading used on many of the old 765’s.  The dial is also familiar to the Aviator 8 however brings in a considerable amount of reddish orange that ups the contrast level.  I’m sure the temptation was there to leave things with black and white in order to emulate those older 765’s much more intently, yet I am glad the brand resisted the obvious.

In fact, the dial of the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito – with its two reddish sub dial hands and one in black reminds me of 70’s chronographs such as the Top Time 814 that we reviewed previously.  Breitling’s back catalog streams quite well from the more toned down 60’s into the brighter 70’s, so I don’t mind the blend.  Traditionalists will bemoan the inclusion of a date window, however I missed it the first occasion when I saw the watch, so I’d call it a more than fair compromise.

As expected, the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito contains the in-house chronometer-rated B01 chronograph that runs at 28,800 bph and has 70 hours of force reserve.  It’s on display via the caseback and is pleasantly finished.   Breitling presents the Mosquito on an earthy colored 23mm strap with side stitching.  It tapers down to 20mm at your choice of pin clasp (7,100 Euros) or folding clasp (7,330 Euros).

The Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito is a great addition to the Aviator 8 choice of watches.  I’d surmise that it will appeal a touch more to the authority set and those who appreciate Breitling’s vintage pieces, however I think the tones and overall design are attractive enough to bring in newcomers.  It’s not inexpensive, but rather it’s in line with the remainder of the assortment and with in-house automatic chronographs from other brands.  These watches are available presently, so head to your local Breitling AD or shop to have a look.

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