Breitling‘s renowned pilot’s watch has now become more accessible than ever with the introduction of the Classic AVI assortment. The 42 mm Classic AVI Draws inspiration from the original 1953 Ref. 765 AVI Co-Pilot and four iconic aircraft. The 46 mm Super AVI collection receives an exciting new member – the black ceramic Mosquito Night Fighter. The Swiss watchmaker also pleasantly surprised collectors by unveiling an extremely limited re-edition of the AVI Co-Pilot from 1964, bringing back a beloved vintage sports watch.
The Classic AVI, in contrast to the Super AVI, does not feature the GMT complication that adds to the robustness of its counterpart. However, the inclusion of the Breitling Caliber 23 chronograph movement not only reduces the watch’s profile but also enhances its value proposition.
Fans of the range will be pleased to find that the color schemes dedicated to the four legendary aircraft remain unchanged. The Mustang is represented by a black dial and gold brown leather strap, paying tribute to its versatility. The naval Corsair is honored with a blue dial and black strap, while the Warhawk sports a khaki dial and brown strap, capturing its camouflaged aesthetic. The Mosquito plane, known as the “Wooden Wonder,” is embodied by a black dial with a black ceramic bezel on a brown strap. Bright touches inspired by the aircraft’s roundels and markings adorn the hands and subdials. Engraved silhouettes of the planes grace the back of the stainless steel cases, available for all models, with the Mustang also offering an 18K red gold version. These timepieces can be paired with either a top-stitched calfskin leather strap or a five-row metal bracelet.
As a pro tip for Classic AVI enthusiasts, scanning the dial will reveal the “hidden” GPS coordinates of the Breitling Chronometrie. This is a subtle homage to the specification stamps found on vintage cockpit clocks, including those produced by the Huit Aviation Department.
Drawing inspiration from the sleek Night Fighter 2, a stealthy all-black two-seater aircraft, the Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter pays homage to its dark livery with a black ceramic case, black military leather strap, and a black dial featuring anthracite subdials. The watch’s monochrome aesthetic is accentuated by the titanium pushers, crown, and buckle, creating a striking contrast.
True to the Super AVI line, this timepiece boasts a distinctive design characterized by large and highly legible Arabic numerals, housed within a robust 46 mm case. The knurled bezel and fluted crown ensure optimal grip, even when wearing gloves. Pilots and frequent travelers will appreciate the watch’s ability to track a second time zone through the 24-hour scale on the inner bezel and the grey-tipped GMT hand. Powering the Super AVI is the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber B04 movement, offering approximately 70 hours of power reserve. The movement can be admired through the open titanium caseback, elegantly etched with the silhouette of the Night Fighter aircraft.
The original Ref. 765 AVI, known as the Co-Pilot, was initially introduced in 1953 as a reliable timepiece for pilots in demanding cockpit conditions. Its functionality, readability, and user-friendly design made it a trusted instrument for aviation.
During the 1960s, the AVI’s simplified style and larger size made it a popular choice beyond the aviation community. One particular model from 1964, featuring a black bezel and reverse-panda dial, gained popularity among celebrities and sports stars. Notably, French skier Jean-Claude Killy wore it when he achieved a remarkable feat of winning gold in all three alpine skiing events at the 1968 Winter Games. Now, this iconic timepiece has been reissued in an extremely limited edition.
The re-edition faithfully replicates the design of the original watch, with meticulous attention to detail. It includes features such as a period-correct hesalite crystal, baton indexes, and luminescent pencil hands found on the original model. While maintaining its vintage charm, the re-edition also incorporates modern enhancements, such as a durable amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC) coating on the bezel, providing a black finish. Powering the watch is the Caliber B09, a manual wind movement produced by Breitling, which adds a touch of contemporary reliability.
To honor the watch’s original release in 1964, the re-edition is limited to just 164 pieces. The caseback is engraved with the inscription “One of 164,” emphasizing its exclusivity and paying homage to its historical significance.
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