Breitling has unveiled five new models this summer for those with an adventurous spirit. The lineup comprises three aviation models and two for lovers of adventure on two-wheeled.
Breitling’s pioneering pilot’s watch just got a lot more accessible with the launch of the new Classic AVI line, which takes the established design codes by the 46 mm Super AVI and presents them in a 42 mm case. The result is a rugged, easy-wearing watch that works for most wrists. Meanwhile, the 46 mm Super AVI assortment gets a bold new addition with the introduction of the black ceramic Mosquito Night Fighter. The third aviation model is the limited re-edition of a 1964 AVI Co-Pilot.
CLASSIC AVI CHRONOGRAPH 42
In 1953, Breitling introduced the Ref. 765 AVI, a pilot’s chronograph with a rotating 12-hour bezel for recording flight times. This easy-to-operate, highly legible watch proved such an indispensable tool for aviators that it was quickly rebranded as the AVI “Co-Pilot.”
In 2021, this pilot’s watch became the inspiration for the Super AVI, a line of 46 mm timepieces that honour four of history’s greatest military aircrafts: the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, the Vought F4U Corsair, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, and the de Havilland Mosquito.
The new Classic AVI line replicates this ethos in a 42 mm case. Explaining the reasoning behind this new line, Breitling CEO Georges Kern said: “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.”
The Classic AVI comes without the GMT complication and the use of Breitling’s Caliber 23 chronograph movement contribute to the reduction in volume. However, the colour schemes dedicated to the four legendary aircraft remain unchanged: a black dial and gold brown leather strap to represent the versatile Mustang, a blue dial with black strap in tribute to the naval Corsair, a khaki dial with brown strap for the camouflaged look of the Warhawk, and a black dial with black ceramic bezel on a brown strap to capture the Mosquito plane.
Colours from the aircraft’s roundels and markings add bright touches to the hands and subdials. The planes’ engraved silhouettes appear on the back of the cases, which come in stainless steel for all models, with an additional 18K red gold version of the Mustang. All can be worn on a choice of top-stitched calfskin leather strap or five-row metal bracelet. The dial features “hidden” GPS coordinates of the Breitling Chronometrie, a nod to the spec stamps that used to appear on vintage cockpit clocks, including the ones made by Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department.
SUPER AVI B04 CHRONOGRAPH GMT 46 MOSQUITO NIGHT FIGHTER
The de Havilland Mosquito, aka the “Wooden Wonder,” distinguished itself by not just making use of wood in its construction but also because it outperformed its metal contemporaries to become one of the fastest planes built between 1940 and 1950. There were many variants of the Mosquito, but this year’s Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter gets its inspiration from the Night Fighter 2, an all-black two-seater aircraft meant to slip stealthily through the night sky.
This watch pays tribute to the plane’s dark livery with a black ceramic case, black military leather strap, and black dial with anthracite subdials. The overall monochrome appearance contrasts strikingly with the titanium pushers, crown, and buckle.
As with all Super AVIs, this watch features large, highly legible Arabic numerals in a 46 mm case. Its knurled bezel and fluted crown provide optimal grip, even while wearing gloves. It tracks a second time zone using the 24-hour scale on the inner bezel and the grey-tipped GMT hand. The engine of the Super AVI is the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber B04 movement, which provides approximately 70 hours of power. The movement is visible through the open titanium caseback, etched with the Night Fighter’s outline.
AVI 765 1964 RE-EDITION
At the 1968 Winter Games, French skier Jean-Claude Killy wore a 765 AVI – a 1964 model with a black bezel and reverse-panda dial – when he won gold in all three alpine skiing events. That watch is the subject of the 164 pieces limited re-edition.
Each watch includes a true-to-the-time hesalite crystal, as well as the baton indexes and lumed pencil hands used on the original. However, it also features modern improvements, like the durable amorphous diamond-like carbon coating that gives the bezel its black finish. To preserve its vintage character, the watch is powered by the Caliber B09, a current Breitling manufacture movement that is manual wind. The re-edition’s caseback bears the engraving “One of 164.”
BREITLING CALIBRE 01
Back in March, Breitling re-released its Top Time Classic Cars series with the Breitling Caliber 01. Now the Top Time Triumph and Deus are getting the Caliber 01 treatment as well.
First introduced in 2009, Caliber 01 is Breitling’s flagship manufacture calibre. It is equipped with a column-wheel system and a vertical clutch that provides precise and smooth operation. It has a power reserve for approximately 70 hours. Its clever modular design allows for easy cleaning and servicing by giving access to specific calibre areas without the need for full disassembly.
Breitling is so confident in the quality of its manufacture calibres that it offers them with a 5-year warranty. It takes 10 months of production and 1,000 tests to earn COSC certification for accuracy. On top of that, Breitling puts its manufacture movements through a gruelling 16-year accelerated ageing equivalency test.
TOP TIME DEUS
Hot on the heels of two sold-out limited editions, Breitling and the Australian custom motorcycle and surf outfitter Deus Ex Machina have joined forces on a third instalment of the Top Time Deus, set to become part of Breitling’s core collection.
The new piece presents a monochromatic departure from its colourful predecessors, with a black dial contrasted by its white triple-register subdials and tachymeter scale. It works on either a black racing-themed calfskin leather strap or a mesh metal bracelet. Touches of red are found on the outer dial and on the centrepiece chrono hand shaped like a lightning bolt. The open sapphire-crystal caseback features a red Deus logo at its centre.
TOP TIME TRIUMPH
Breitling and Triumph kickstarted their collaboration last year with the release of a Breitling Speed Twin Limited Edition bike and a duo of Top Time Triumph watches: one released as 270 numbered limited edition exclusively for Triumph bike owners and the other available to the public.
Both models featured ice-blue dials that were colour matched to a Triumph Thunderbird 6T from 1951, and a rare, blue-dialed Breitling Top Time Ref. 815 from the 1970s. This year’s version of the Top Time Triumph, now part of Breitling’s core collection, retains the aesthetics of its predecessor. The Caliber 01 is visible through a new open-caseback design.
The dial features a twin-register display with speed-measuring tachymeter scale, and the Breitling and Triumph logos at 12 and 6 o’clock. Its ice blue colour pairs with a choice of black racing-themed calfskin leather strap or mesh metal bracelet.
The watch features a few throwbacks to vintage Breitlings, including a retro logo, mushroom chronograph pushers and a “Zorro” dial design. The bowtie motif introduced on Top Time in the 1960s has been subtly integrated using a metal brushing technique only visible under certain light. Commenting on future developments regarding the Caliber 01, Kern said: “The integration of the Breitling Caliber 01 into the Top Time range shows the emphasis we’re putting on our in-house craftsmanship and expertise. So stay tuned for future developments from the Breitling Chronometrie. Because this is just the beginning.”