Reference 637 featured a large, left-handed crown that was big enough for a gloved hand to operate – the crown was ideally accessible at the “top” of the case while the timepiece was strapped to the aviator’s leg – and a pusher that activated count-up and count-down functions. Reference 637 was a product of Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department, established in 1938 by company founder Willy Breitling.
The modern Super 8 has a 46-mm case, although the notched unidirectional rotating bezel actually brings the total diameter to 50 mm, in stainless steel or titanium. The screw-locked crown, positioned on the case’s left side as on Reference 637, and the solid, screwed caseback help ensure 30-meter water resistance.
The stainless-steel model has a black dial; the titanium model, a military green dial. Both feature luminescent Arabic numerals and hour and minutes hands. And while the Super 8 is not a chronograph, it does have a prominent red triangular pointer on the inside flange of the rotating bezel, which can be used along with the hands to track elapsed times.
Inside this 14.4-mm timekeeper is Breitling’s automatic, chronometer-certified Caliber B20, which is based on Caliber MT 5612, and packs a 70-hour power reserve. Both models have brown NATO straps. Prices not yet available at time of publishing.