Vinyl flooring, vertical blinds and carpeted, pastel bathrooms. The malaise of 1980s design leaves many of us cringing when we look back on it. The relics from that era reflect the transition period between the careless fun of the 1970s and the neon of the '90s.
But surely, it wasn't all bad. After all, we had the BMW E30 to drive, Michael Jackson on the radio, and MacGyver on TV. And if you had tuned into MacGyver in the fall of 1989, you likely would have spied a distinct inverse panda chronograph — you guessed it, the Breitling Callisto.
Despite it's distinctly '80s design, it makes sense that our favorite non-traditional problem solver would be sporting it: with a sleek 35mm steel case, a uni-direction click bezel and a manually-winding Lemania chronograph movement, this little ticker packs a wallop.
Sure, it's got those onion pushers and crown, and the bezel is adorned with gold accents, but somehow, it sorta works. Inside the workhorse Lemania Caliber 1873 movement — essentially a Calibre .321 — a stalwart chronograph complication.
Coming on the original 'bullet' bracelet signed by Breitling, this sporty '80s relic is too damn cool to ignore.
Breitling was founded in 1892, and while still around today, the company is no longer in the hands of the Breitling family. The late 1970s was a turbulent time for the Swiss watch industry, and many storied houses were swept away by the Quartz Crisis. By 1978, Breitling was in trouble due to the illness of its leader, Willy Breitling, and the steep decline in sales that had cut through the entire industry. Unable to keep operations going, the Breitling company was liquidated, and parts, toolings and naming rights were sold off. One of the best aviation watch companies was no more, but they left behind a large range of incredible watches.
Breitling has been surprisingly slow to catch fire with vintage collectors, especially since the history of the brand and their ties to aviation are unimpeachable. Sure, many of their watches have polarizing designs and complicated dial aesthetics (hell, we don't know how to use the slide rule feature on the Navitimer 806 any better than you do), but their cleaner designs embody the best of 1960s and 1970s chronograph design and shouldn’t be overlooked.
If we had our druthers, Breitling would be one of the top dogs in the world of vintage watches, and we’re confident that in time, they will be.
You can stop autoplay, increase/decrease aniamtion speed and number of grid to show and products from store admin.