Do not underestimate the love great watchmakers have for classic World War II fighter planes. There's a good reason: Those warplanes may be primitive by today's standards, but they were astonishingly well-built objects of old-timey tech that still maintained a striking aesthetic appeal.
Breitling seems to come from that place with their new watch line, the Breitling Aviator 8 Curtiss Warhawk—honoring (naturally) the great American aircraft manufacturer Curtiss Wright and its historic plane, the P-40 Warhawk.
In a press release Breitling CEO Georges Kern explained how the watchmaker's connection to the Curtiss is deeper than just honoring history.
"Curtiss Wright produced the P-40 Warhawk at the same time Breitling and its Huit Aviation Department were making on-board instruments for planes used by the RAF and other air forces," Kern said, "With this partnership and these great new watches, we are reaffirming the importance of Breitling’s aviation heritage to the brand."
The Breitling Aviator 8 Curtiss Warhawk comes in three flavors. There's the Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43, with a fatigue green dial and matte finish. Silver 12-hour and 30-minute subdials in silver distinguish the face of the 43mm chronometer. It has Breitling's distinctive mechanical movement and carries a potent 70-hour power reserve.
The next flavor is the Aviator 8 Chronograph 43 Curtiss Warhawk. The familiar military green is complemented by a green dial and subtle subdials. The hour and minute hands are a low-key black and nickel-plated and along with the numerals coated in glowing Super-LumiNova®, which makes them easy to read in pretty much any lighting situation.
The third choice is the Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 Curtiss Warhawk. This is the choice for the minimalist watch lover. It bears the green dial and matte finish and comes with a matching strap. It's also coated for readability and has a 41mm case with a 40-hour power reserve.
We still don't know the pricing or availability for these models but for the discerning and historically-minded collector let's hope it's soon. Just keep an eye on Breitling.com.