Breitling Unveils their Latest Vintage Re-Issue, a Tribute to the Classic AVI Ref. 765

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Breitling has announced a limited edition re-issue of one of their most sought after chronographs, the AVI Ref. 765. While the Navitimer gets most of the attention from collectors and the watch press, the AVI 765, known as the “Co-Pilot” in the collecting community, is no slouch. You can think of it as the simple and straightforward flipside to the Navitimer’s famously busy, slide-rule bezel equipped chronograph. This release, like last year’s Navitimer 806 re-edition, is essentially a spot on recreation of the vintage watch, which is sure to please collectors who may have been searching in vain for a perfect AVI 765 for years. Let’s take a closer look.


Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black 
  • Dimensions: 41mm 
  • Crystal: Hesalite     
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull            
  • Movement: Caliber B09
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather
  • Price: $8,600
  • Reference Number: AB0920131B1X1
  • Expected Release: April

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Officially dubbed the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition, this classic pilot’s chrono is available in three limited edition versions. We’ll focus primarily on the steel variant, but precious metal versions will be made in platinum and red gold. All have the same basic layout – this is classic pilot’s watch territory. The AVI 765 is a three register chronograph with running seconds at 9:00, a 15 minute totalizer at 3:00, and an hour totalizer at 6:00 that counts up to 12 elapsed hours. A polished 12 hour bezel, perhaps the defining characteristic of this watch, is fitted to the 41mm case.

Small details that link the vintage AVI 765 to the re-edition abound. Breitling, with this watch and last year’s 806, has displayed a knack for reproducing typefaces from their older watches just about perfectly, and the dimensions and proportions are exact matches. The syringe hands, circular radial pattern in the subdials, and the distinctive lume plots in the 15 minute counter are essentially carbon copies of the 1953 version. This re-edition is also a prime example of how faux-tina, when done correctly, creates a look that makes stark white lume unimaginable. Here, the Super-Luminova material has been hand applied in a tone that is completely convincing.

Credit should also be given to Breitling for their choice of movement in the new AVI 765. Powering the new watch is the Caliber B09, a hand wound COSC-certified movement developed specifically for Breitling’s historical re-editions. We’ve seen many brands use automatic movements in watches inspired by vintage pieces that were notably hand wound, and it’s great that Breitling hasn’t made this type of concession to current consumer trends with such a faithful reissue. There’s something special about a hand wound chronograph, and Breitling certainly gets that.

Vintage (left) and modern, side by side.

The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition in stainless steel is limited to 1,953 examples, and carries a retail price of $8,600. The rose gold version will set you back $22,850, and the platinum is priced at $39,900. Those editions are limited to 253 and 153, respectively. Delivery of the new AVI 765 begins in April. Breitling

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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