Curtiss Wright was a famous American manufacturer of aircraft and the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, produced between 1938 and 1944, was its most historically significant plane, piloted by the so-called Flying Tigers — a group of American volunteers in the Chinese Air Force — during World War II. Breitling, perhaps the watch brand most closely tied to aviation history, now pays tribute to this classic warplane and its place in both Chinese and American history with three new timepieces: the Aviator 8 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk collection, all sporting a distinctly military look.
The simplest of the pieces, the Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 Curtiss Warhawk, uses military green for its dial and strap and DLC-coated stainless steel for its 41-mm case. Its hour and minute hands and Arabic hour numerals are coated with Super-LumiNova, and a date aperture appears at 6 o’clock. A small red pointer marks 12 o’clock on the bidirectional rotating bezel, echoing the numeral “60” on the minute track and the red tip of the central seconds hand. Powering the watch is the self-winding Breitling 17 caliber, based on the ETA 2824-2, with a 40-hour power reserve and a COSC chronometer certification. This movement is guarded behind a screwed steel caseback engraved with the Curtiss logo and the famous “shark’s mouth”-painted P-40 Warhawk plane.
One of two chronograph models in the family, The Aviator 8 Chronograph 43 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, is equipped with the ETA 7750-based Breitling Caliber 13, a self-winding, COSC-certified movement possessing a 42-hour power reserve and tallying chronograph readouts of 30 minutes and 12 hours, respectively, on the tone-on-tone military green subdials at 12 and 6 o’clock. The running seconds are displayed another subdial at 9 o’clock and a day and a double-window day-date display occupies the position at 3 o’clock. Super-LumiNova enhances the legibility of the nickel-plated hands and Arabic hour numerals. The watch’s 100-meter water resistance is ensured by the screw-locked crown between the chrono pushers and the solid, screwed caseback with its Curtiss engraving, matching that of the Automatic. The 43-mm-diameter steel-cased watch comes on a “sand-colored” military strap.
Also in a 43-mm stainless steel case with a notched, bidirectional rotating bezel, the Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk contains an in-house movement, the Breitling Caliber B01. This COSC-certified, self-winding movement is distinguished by its column-wheel-driven integrated chronograph function, with vertical coupling, and its impressive 70-hour power reserve. the dial layout differs from that of the other chronograph not only in its arrangement of subdials (30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, with a date window slotted in at 4:30) but also in their color, here in contrasting silvery white rather than tone-on-tone military green. The B01 Chronograph is the only one of the Curtiss p-40 Warhawk editions to include a transparent sapphire window in the caseback, albeit one that also features a printed image of the warplane with its “Flying Tigers” shark imagery and the historical Curtiss logo. Prices and retail availability for the watches had yet to be set at press time.