Last night, at the Duggal Greenhouse, located in the Brooklyn Naval Yard, with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, Breitling officially unveiled their new Navitimer 8 watch collection to the US market.
This launch also served as a de facto introduction of longtime IWC CEO, Georges Kern, to Breitling. Kern took over as the head of Breitling in July 2017, and the Navitimer 8, which so far has received mixed reviews from press and consumers alike, largely due to its departure from the design language Breitling has been known for in recent years, is the first totally new product since his arrival in Grenchen, Switzerland (Breitling’s headquarters).
That said, Kern surely knows how to throw a party and make a grand entrance. During the event, which I would estimate had close to 200 guests, Olivia Munn (pictured) and astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, and a number of other VIPs were in attendance.
Also pictured on stage with Kern and Hodinkee’s Editor-in-Chief, Jack Forster (above), is one of the foremost Brielting collectors, known as @watchfred on Instagram, who came on stage to discuss some of the amazing, rare historical Breitling pieces, which I think it is safe to say that purists surely hope to see re-integrated into the collection in the future.
In addition to Kern, longtime head Chopard watch designer, Guy Bove, has joined Breitling. Together, they plan to reinvigorate a brand that has such an incredibly rich history.
And while Kern and Bove suggested the company intends to create contemporary timepieces with design cues from past models, as opposed to more literal re-issues, I personally hope there is at least one collection that really pulls from the past, which sits alongside the typically larger, modern timepieces currently available.