Back in the 1950’s, along side the iconic “Navitimer” model, Breitling had another prominent aviation-themed timepiece in their catalogue known as the original “Co-Pilot Ref. 765 AVI”. Now 67 years later, almost seven decades past, this forgotten gem has been reborn under the Georges Kern leadership, in a faithfully near identical reproduction.
The 41mm case can be had in three variants: stainless-steel, 18k red gold or platinum; all with a solid case back. Each model has been engraved with its respective limited edition run on their flip-side.
Mounted to the case is a bezel inscribed with a 12-hour scale and secured by three screws that are placed in precisely the same position as those on the watch from 1953, for a faithful reproduction.
It comes equipped with two push-pieces that activate the chronograph functions, plus a setting-crown in-between them that’s been engraved with the BReitling “B” logo.
Two of the only main concessions to modernity that distinguish this new timepiece from its famous ancestor: the water-resistance has been improved up to 30 meters (98 feet) and observant aficionados will notice that “GENEVE” does not appear on the dial anymore. All topped by a highly-domed Hesalite crystal, just like the original 1950’s model.
Time is exhibited on either a: black (steel and red gold versions) or blue (platinum version) with the same Arabic numerals found on the original, followed by a ring of white printed minutes/seconds markings and two-digit numerals ,for every five-minute increment.
It includes three sub-dial counters: a tone-on-tone small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 15-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour indicator at the 6 o’clock position. The central syringe-style hands, Arabic numerals and 15-minute counters markings have all been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility.
This hand-applied Super-LumiNova color was carefully chosen to recall the original luminescent material giving the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition an additional touch of vintage allure.
Breitling AVI Ref.765 1953 Re-Edition
The “Breitling AVI Ref.765 1953 Re-Edition” (References below) is powered by the in-house hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber B09 with 47 jewels and 28,800 Vph. It is based on the renowned Breitling caliber 01 and developed specifically for historical re-editions. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 70 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watches are vintage-inspired leather straps with exposed contrasting stitchings, secured to the wrist by a pin buckle (matching the case material of each version).
These watches are currently accepting pre-orders and expected to be delivered in April 2020. For more up to date information visit the official Breitling website here or click the direct model links below.