New Releases Watches

Breitling Introduce Classic AVI Chronograph 42 and Super AVI and Vintage Re-Edition

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42

Breitling have been steadily working their way through their many collections with comprehensive updates and whole suites of new releases. Last year saw expansions to the Navitimer line as well as the SuperOcean whereas this year has seen some limited edition Chronomats and a refreshed Premier collection. Now it’s the long-awaited turn of the AVI collection with the launch of five new Classic AVI Chronograph 42s, a Super AVI Chronograph GMT 46 and an AVI Ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42

The Classic AVI Chronograph 42 is a new addition to the range based on the aesthetic codes of the Super AVI with a reduced size of 42mm. 42mm is a far more common watch size than the gargantuan 46mm Super AVI, making the new watches more accessible for those of us without ham sized forearms. Four of the five references have stainless steel cases while the fifth is more luxurious in 18k red gold.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang

Each of the colourways is dedicated to one of four iconic warplanes. There’s the P-51 Mustang with a black dial and beige markings, the gold edition is also dedicated to the P-51 with a taupe dial. Next is the Vaught F4U Corsair in blue, then then Curtiss Warhawk in olive green with white tricompax chronograph counters and finally the Mosquito in reverse panda with a black ceramic 12-hour bezel.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang 18k Red Gold

In terms of complications, the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 is almost identical to the Super AVI. It has the same 12-hour bezel for flight calculations, and chronograph complication consisting of 1/4th seconds, a 30-minute timer and a 12-hour timer. However, the slimmer profile of the 42 means it lacks the peripheral GMT function and date window of the 46, which in my opinion is no great loss if it saves 4mm in size.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair

Beneath the surface of all five is the Breitling Calibre 23 with 48-hour power reserve and COSC-certification. It also contributes to the reduced size of the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 as it’s smaller than the B04 movement of the Super. It’s protected by a solid caseback bearing an engraving of the associated plane.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Curtiss Warhawk

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Curtiss Warhawk

I’m a fan of the addition of these watches to the range. The absence of a GMT scale makes the display much less cluttered and improves the legibility notably. It leans into its mil-spec style to a greater degree and feels more aligned with the AVI’s origins in the 1930s when it was the go to watch for many aviators, a fact that by the 1950s had earned its most popular version, the Ref. 765, the nickname “Co-Pilot”.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito

As for pricing, the standard versions (steel P-51 Mustang, Vaught F4U Corsair and Curtiss Warhawk) are £5,200 on bracelet and £4,950 on strap. The Mosquito, with its ceramic bezel, is slightly more at £5,300 on bracelet and £5,050 on strap. Lastly the gold edition P-51 is £31,000 on gold bracelet or £15,900 on strap.

Price & Specs

  • Ref: A233803A1B1A1/A233803A1B1X1 (Mustang), A233801A1C1A1/A233801A1C1X1 (Corsair), A233801A1C1A1/A233801A1C1X1 (Warhawk), Y233801A1B1A1/ Y233801A1B1X1 (Mosquito ceramic bezel), R233801A1B1R1/R233801A1B1X1 (Mustang 18k red gold case)|
  • Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 14.7mm thickness, stainless steel or 18k red gold (Mustang 18k red gold) case, black (Mustang/Mosquito), blue (Corsair), military green (Warhawk) dial, ceramic bezel (Mosquito) |
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)|
  • Movement: Breitling calibre 23, automatic,|
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)|
  • Power reserve: 48h|
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph|
  • Strap: Stainless steel or 18k red gold bracelet with butterfly clasp or gold-brown calfskin leather strap with folding buckle|
  • Price/availability: £4,950 (strap) and £5,200 (bracelet), £5,050 (Mosquito on strap), £31,000 (Mosquito on bracelet), £15,900 (18k gold with strap), £31,000 (18k gold with bracelet)

Breitling Super AVI Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Night Fighter

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito Nightfighter

It feels like the Super AVI Chronograph GMT 46 has been around forever but it’s actually only been two years since it made its debut. Now the collection is being expanded with the addition of another colourway, based on the original Mosquito edition. Instead of a reverse panda display and steel tone case, the new piece has gone full stealth.

That means it has a black ceramic case, a first for this model. Ceramic is a super lightweight material, which is particularly relevant for a watch measuring 46mm in diameter as it reduces the weight notably compared to steel – although without handling them side by side it’s impossible to say exactly how much difference it will make. It’s also worth noting that it isn’t a full ceramic case as it features a titanium caseback with exhibition window.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito Nightfighter Caseback

In keeping with the stealth Night Fighter theme, the white subdials and GMT scale of the Mosquito have been replaced with dark grey. They’re not completely black, which I prefer as it maintains the structure of the display and keeps it distinct from the P-51 Mustang edition. This is undoubtedly my favourite of the Super AVI designs, it’s much more dramatic and really feeds into the theme of it being a stealth fighter.

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito Nightfighter

As with the previous Chronograph GMTs, it’s powered by the Breitling Calibre B04 automatic, visible through the exhibition window. It has a great 70-hour power reserve and just like the Calibre 23 has COSC-certification, guaranteeing a high degree of accuracy. It’s one contributing factor to the Mosquito Night Fighter’s price of £9,950, which is higher than even the standard Super AVI Mosquito due to the case upgrade.

Price & Specs

  • Ref: SB04451A1B1X1|
  • Case/dial: 46mm diameter x 15.69mm thickness, black ceramic case, black dial with grey sub dials|
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)|
  • Movement: Breitling calibre B04, automatic,|
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)|
  • Power reserve: 70h|
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph|
  • Strap: Black military calfskin leather with titanium folding clasp|
  • Price/availability: £9,950

Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition

Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1964 Re-edition

Last but by no means least we have the new AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition, a limited edition of 164 pieces. The 1960s marked an important milestone in the AVI Ref. 765’s history as it was the first time that it began to gain popularity outside of the aviation industry. It’s robust design and sporty chronograph complication meant it found a home in the world of sports. The most famous reference was created in 1964, although it was in 1968 that it was worn by Jean-Claude Killy at the Winter Olympics where he won all three alpine skiing gold medals.

It’s that watch that provided the inspiration for this modern re-edition with its black bezel and reverse panda dial. Aesthetically, it reminds me of the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito we talked about earlier in the article, but with a few notable refinements. For one, the re-edition is slightly smaller at a diameter of 41mm.

As for the dial, the re-edition uses bar indexes instead of Arabic numerals, which makes the display much cleaner when combined with the simpler minute track. The colour palette is also more refined with a retro vibe courtesy of vintage inspired beige lume as opposed to the red and white of the Classic. There’s still a flash of red on the AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition but only on the arrow indicator of the bezel. Colour me a fan.

Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1964 Re-edition

Housed inside is the Breitling calibre B09, an automatic chronograph movement with 70-hour power reserve. It features hours, minutes, small seconds, 1/4th second chronograph hand, 15-minute timer and 12-hour timer. It’s a really solid movement with COSC-chronometer certification.

As mentioned, the AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition is limited to 164 pieces, a number taken from the titular year 1964 while keeping it exclusive. It’s priced at £7,150, a mid-point between the Classic AVI and the Super AVI Night Fighter. Of the seven watches here, this is the one highest on my wish list.

Price & Specs

  • Ref: AB09451A1B1X1|
  • Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 14.05mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial with white subdials|
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)|
  • Movement: Breitling calibre B09, manual winding|
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)|
  • Power reserve: 70h|
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph|
  • Strap: Black leather with pin buckle|
  • Price/availability: £7,150

More details at Breitling

Leave a Comment

*

*

About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.