Introducing Breitling Classic AVI collection, now in a 42mm case

Inspired by iconic airplanes, the Classic AVI is cleared for take-off.

We live in exciting times. Since German-Swiss businessman Georges Kern purchased Breitling S.A. in 2017, he has grown the company’s value from CHF 800 million to purportedly CHF 4.5 billion. Founded by Léon Breitling in 1884, Breitling in recent years had relied heavily on professional icons like the Navitimer, SuperOcean and Avenger. Breitling has been thoroughly revamped by Kern, who scoured Breitling’s archives to revive historic collections like the Premier and Top Time. These arrived in vibrant colors that evoke classic cars and planes, replete with vintage-inspired details.

The shift to enticing retro-inspired timepieces is something everyone seems to enjoy. Breitling is more attentive than ever to what the modern luxury consumer wants, and is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the original 1953 Ref. 765 AVI Co-Pilot with the new Classic AVI Chronograph 42 watches, Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Figther, and the 41mm AVI REF. 765 1964 Re-Edition.

In the 1930s, Breitling also had the Huit Aviation Department that made cockpit clocks and wrist chronographs for aeronautical explorers. The fruit of Breitling’s continual invention and advancement was the Ref. 765 AVI Co-Pilot of 1953, a very advanced wrist instrument of its era that had a rotating 12- hour bezel for recording flight times and quickly earned the nickname “Co-Pilot” because of its usefulness.

From left: A 1953 original next to the new Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition
From left: A 1953 original next to the new Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition

In 2023, the achievements of the 1953 Co-Pilot are fêted by new chronograph timepieces that sport colorways and designs themed on four legendary aircraft, smaller versions of the 46mm models which debuted in 2021. The legendary aircraft in question are: the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang (black dial and gold brown strap), the Vought F4U Corsair (blue dial with black strap), the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (khaki dial with brown strap), and the De Havilland Mosquito (black dial with black ceramic bezel on brown strap). The silhouette of each airplane is inscribed onto the case back of each respective watch, and each watch’s leather strap can be swapped out for a five-row metal bracelet.

Four legendary planes
Four legendary planes

Among these airplanes, the De Havilland Mosquito is starkly different as it was made out of wood. During aluminum and steel shortages caused by war and economic depression, engineers chose to build the Mosquito out of wood, which unexpectedly resulted in this lightweight plane achieving astounding air speeds.

As it outperformed many other planes built in the 1940s and ’50s, the Mosquito would be modified into a light bomber, a transport and a photographic reconnaissance plane, including the Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter, which was an all-black two-seater stealth craft. This legend inspired a new release – the Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter, a black ceramic watch that is driven by the automatic Breitling Manufacture Caliber B04 and is accentuated by blue Super-LumiNova details.

Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter
Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter

Breitling has also unveiled a 41mm AVI REF. 765 1964 re-edition, which is powered by a manually wound Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09 with a 70-hour power reserve, and juxtaposes a black dial with white chronograph counters.

AVI REF. 765 1964 Re-edition
AVI REF. 765 1964 Re-edition

Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling says, “People love the sturdy, understated look of the Super AVI, but not everyone has the wrist to pull off the extra-large size that gives it its authentic tool-watch feel. The Classic AVI trades some functions to achieve the pared-down format our customers have been asking for. The Classic and Super models will now live side by side, providing more choice.”

Breitling Classic AVI Collections
Breitling Classic AVI Collections

Tech Specs

Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang

References: A233803A1B1A1; A233803A1B1X1 (steel models); R233801A1B1R1; R233801A1B1X1 (red gold models)
Movement: Self-winding Breitling Caliber 23; approximately 48-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Case: 42mm; steel or 18k red gold; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Black with chronograph counters (tone-on-tone or black contrasting); with green-emitting or blue-emitting Super-LumiNova numerals, indexes and hands
Strap:Gold brown or black pilot-inspired calfskin leather and folding buckle or five-row bracelet (steel or red gold) with butterfly clasp

Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair

References: A233801A1C1A1; A233801A1C1X1
Movement: Self-winding Breitling Caliber 23; approximately 48-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Case: 42mm; steel; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Blue with tone-on-tone chronograph counters; with blue-emitting Super-LumiNova numerals, indexes and hands
Strap: Black pilot-inspired calfskin leather and folding buckle or five-row stainless steel bracelet with butterfly clasp

Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Curtiss Warhawk

References: A233801A1C1A1; A233801A1C1X1
Movement: Self-winding Breitling Caliber 23; approximately 48-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Case: 42mm; steel; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Military green with white contrasting chronograph counters; with green-emitting Super-LumiNova numerals, indexes and hands
Strap: Brown pilot-inspired calfskin leather and folding buckle or five-row stainless steel bracelet with butterfly clasp

Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito

References: Y233801A1B1A1; Y233801A1B1X1
Movement: Self-winding Breitling Caliber 23; approximately 48-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Case: 42mm; steel; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Black with white contrasting chronograph counters; with blue-emitting Super-LumiNova numerals, indexes and hands
Strap: Brown pilot-inspired calfskin leather and folding buckle or five-row stainless steel bracelet with butterfly clasp

Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter

References: SB04451A1B1X1
Movement: Self-winding Breitling Manufacture Caliber B04; approximately 70-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Case: 46mm; black ceramic; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Black with anthracite contrasting chronograph counters; with blue-emitting Super-LumiNova numerals, indexes and hands
Strap: Black military calfskin leather with titanium folding clasp

AVI REF. 765 1964 Re-edition

References: AB09451A1B1X1
Movement: Manual winding Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09; approximately 70-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Case: 41mm; steel; water resistant to 30m
Dial: Black with white contrasting chronograph counters; with Super-LumiNova numerals, hour, and minute hands
Strap: Black vintage-inspired leather with pin buckle

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