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Co-Pilot Turns 70 and Breitling is Celebrating With 3 New Models Based On The Vintage Reference 765 AVI
- 29th May 2023
Breitling's iconic pilot's watch is closer than ever thanks to the brand's new Classic AVI collection. The 42 mm Classic AVI was designed with input from the original AVI Co-Pilot from 1953 (Ref. 765) and four other classic planes.
The Mosquito Night Fighter, in stunning black ceramic, is the newest addition to the 46 mm Super AVI family. To the delight of vintage sports watch aficionados, the Swiss watchmaker also unveiled a limited edition re-release of the AVI Co-Pilot from 1964.
Unlike its more powerful sibling, the Super AVI, the Classic AVI does not have a GMT complication. The watch may be thin thanks to the use of the Breitling Calibre 23 chronograph mechanism, which also improves the watch's overall value.
The four iconic planes' original paint jobs have been preserved, much to the delight of the line's devoted fans. In homage to the adaptability of the Mustang, this watch has a black face and a gold brown leather band. The dial of the naval Corsair is blue and the strap is black, while the dial of the Warhawk is khaki and the strap is brown to represent its camouflaged appearance.
The "Wooden Wonder," or Mosquito aircraft, is represented by a brown strap with a black ceramic bezel. The roundels and insignia of the aircraft serve as inspiration for the bright accents on the hands and subdials. The stainless steel casings of all models include engraved aircraft silhouettes; the 18K red gold case of the Mustang is an additional option. Top-stitched calfskin leather straps or five-row metal bracelets are available for these clocks.
Experts at Classic AVI say that if you scan the dial of your Breitling Chronometrie, you'll find the watch's "hidden" GPS coordinates. This is a nod to the Huit Aviation Department's old cockpit clocks, which had similar specification marks.
The Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter is a nod to the stealthy all-black Night Fighter 2 two-seater aircraft, and has a black ceramic case, black military leather strap, and black dial with anthracite subdials. The watch's titanium pushers, crown, and clasp stand out against the all-black design.
In 1953, the first Ref. 765 AVI, also known as the Co-Pilot, was released as a dependable watch for pilots to use in the harsh environments of the aircraft. Because of its reliability, accuracy, and ease of use, it quickly became a standard aviation instrument.
The AVI enjoyed widespread popularity in the 1960s because to its wide availability and user-friendly design. Famous people and athletes alike favoured a 1964 model with a reverse-panda dial and black bezel. Jean-Claude Killy, a French skier, wore it when he made history at the 1968 Winter Olympics by winning gold in all three alpine skiing events. This legendary wristwatch is back, and it only comes in a handful of limited editions.
The reissue is an exact copy of the original watch in every way possible. The hesalite crystal, baton indexes, and luminous pencil hands are all present and accurate from the original design. The reissue is a throwback to the original, but it has been updated with contemporary touches like a black amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC) coating on the bezel. Breitling's Calibre B09 manual wind movement powers the timepiece, giving it an air of modern dependability.
The new run of the watch is strictly restricted to 164 pieces in homage to the first 1964 release. There is a numbered engraving on the caseback that reads "One of 164," highlighting its rarity and paying attention to its historical importance.