Breitling Launches Four New Classic AVI Chronograph Pilot’s Watches Alongside The 1964 “Co-Pilot” Re-Edition
- Following the revamp of the infamous Navitimer collection in 2022 and the Premier series comes a collection of new Breitling men’s watches for 2023.
- New pilot watches include a series of 42mm Classic AVI Chronograph watches, a gargantuan 46mm Super AVI Chronograph GMT with a nod to the Mosquito Night Fighter aircraft and a new vintage re-edition of the classic AVI-Ref 765 from 1964.
- Masters of the skies, these compact new pilot’s watches pay tribute to four special aircraft of historical importance from the Mosquito to the Curtiss Warhawk.
- Unlike the colossal new 46mm Breitling Super AVI GMT, the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 is fuss-free with a chronograph and time function that is an ode to the AVI ref 765 from the post-war period.
Wow, there is a lot to pack in with Breitling’s latest new watches for 2023. 7 in total with the horological button firmly focused on its aviation heritage, Chrono Hunter unravels the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 for those who want to buy smaller watches. If that doesn’t push your timekeeping buttons, then Breitling has two more new releases to salivate over.
The oversized Super AVI GMT at 46mm is made from black ceramic and finally a vintage re-edition of the legendary 1964 AVI Ref 1964, nicknamed the “Co-Pilot”. This reverse panda dial chrono is composed of amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC) and is powered by the in-house calibre 09. We told you there’s lots to digest. Let’s get straight into it.
Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42
Who says size doesn’t matter? The vast reference 765 AVI “Co-Pilot” from 1953 was unveiled back in 2021 as part of the Super AVI collection with a nod to the original version. Yet, Breitling has slimmed down these new watches from 46mm to 42mm.
Neymar Jr sporting the Rolex Ladies Datejust, Source: Essentially Sports/Getty
Smaller watches are as on trend as Brazilian footballer Neymar sporting a ladies' 28mm Rolex Datejust 279458RBR at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix. That’s right gents…men wearing ladies' watches are so in this year.
Boasting stainless steel cases, there’s a more luxury Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 available in 18k red gold. Taking inspiration from former WWII aircrafts, we have the lowdown on all five watches that are certain to fit snugly into any watch collection.
See below for individual watches while the MSRP for the 18k gold version with strap is priced as £15,900 and 31,000 for the bracelet classic AVI model.
Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Vought F4U Corsair
From humble beginnings in 1938, this particular watch draws inspiration from the Vought F4U Corsair. Designed by Rex Biesel, Vought’s Head Engineer, by 1943 this aircraft was drawn into battle, supporting troops on the ground. Made from stainless steel, the robustness and energetic spirit is reflected in the Classic AVI Chronograph 42.
The oceanic blue dial is a reminder of the seas that these intrepid aircraft had to cross during times that were tougher than the cost of living crisis. Available in a smooth black leather calfskin strap or stainless steel bracelet, pair this with a smart shirt for the office or tuck it under your cuffs for those smarter soirees.
You can buy a Breitling Vought F4U Corsair for the MSRP of £5,200 (bracelet) and £4,950 (strap) at the time of writing.
Reference: A233801A1C1A1/A233801A1C1X1 / Case Measurement: 42mm / Dial Colour: Blue / Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph / Water Resistance: 100m / Movement: Breitling automatic 23 / Power Reserve: 48 hours / Case thickness: 14.7mm
Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito
Nicknamed the “Wooden Wonder”, the Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Mosquito was a remarkable feat of engineering.
In an age where materials such as aluminium and steel were rare, this particular aircraft chose to use wood instead, going on to rival and beat many metal aircraft planes. Considered lightning fast by many during WWII, this fighter aircraft had numerous responsibilities, conducting duties of a light bomber among other responsibilities.
As per the other Classic AVI Chronograph 42 watches in this lineup, hungry horophiles can enjoy a 42mm diameter case, an in-house Breitling calibre 23 movement, 100 metres of water resistance and 2 day power reserve. Ideal for that weekend away with your other half or living it up large sunning yourself on a lounger in Marbella.
So what do we like? For starters, there’s the steel caseback which is beautifully engraved, the polished chronograph pushers, triangular marker located at 12 o’clock and the tapered minutes and hours hands that are tipped with a bright sienna accent. A contender for best new panda dial chronograph, albeit reversed, watch out for the deep olive green dial, three sub-counters and a tapered seconds orange tipped hand.
You can buy a Breitling Mosquito for the RRP of £5,300 for the strap version while the stainless steel bracelet model is £31,000.
Bracelet: brown calfskin leather or stainless steel / Case material: black ceramic / bezel: bidirectional, rotating / Frequency: 28,800Vph (4 Hz) / Reference: Y233801A1B1X1
Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang
With its pioneering engine cooling apparatus, this aviation beauty took less than 4 months to be manufactured. Short of time? Well let’s take a look at the Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang. With first rate rapidity and unparalleled distance, it was originally produced for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and deemed the best piston engine aircraft to emerge during the 1940s.
Stainless steel version, Source: Breitling
Available in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold with a brown calfskin leather strap (steel version) or black leather strap (rose gold model), this watch offers understated vintage vibes to rival any Rolling Stones concert.
This is largely thanks to its warm taupe markings around the dial as well as from the minutes and hours hands. This novelty is also complimented by subtle taupe Arabic numerals and a similarly coloured triangular index marker, located at six o’ clock.
You can buy a Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 P-51 Mustang for £31,000 (solid gold version with gold bracelet or £15,900 for the strap model. The stainless steel version is £5,200 and the brown leather strap version is £4,950
Reference: A233803A1B1X1 (P-51 Mustang, steel), R233801A1B1X1 (P-51 Mustang, 18k red gold) / Crystal: Sapphire / Power Reserve: 48 hours / Limited edition: No
Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Curtiss Warhawk
Identified by its no-nonsense shark fighter head, the final watch from the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 series pays tribute to the king of metal fighter aircrafts, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. This single seat all bearing fighter plane took its inaugural flight back in 1938.
Measuring 42mm as the others in the classic AVI collection, you will find all the usual timekeeping suspects when it comes to this watch including the in-house calibre 23, 100 metres of water resistance for those water-sports enthusiasts, sapphire crystal and a nice etching of the plane on the caseback. The khaki green reverse panda chronograph screams pilot watch and is one of our top pilot watches from the classic AVI line-up.
Pick this beauty up in either a stainless steel bracelet or dark brown calfskin leather strap. The silvery-white subdials, classic Arabic numerals and seconds hands tipped with a reddy orange hue ensures this is the perfect aviation or military watch for any collector or enthusiast.
You can buy a Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Curtiss Warhawk for £5,200 (bracelet) and £4,950 (strap)
Reference: A233801A1C1X1, A233801A1C1A1 / Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Breitling Super AVI Chronograph GMT Mosquito
If you want a stealth fighter of a watch, look no further than the Breitling Super AVI Chronograph GMT Mosquito. A behemoth of a watch at an incredible 46mm, this timepiece is not for the faint of heart…especially on the wrist. Even if you have hammy hands, bingo wings or forearms to match Arnold Schwarzenegger, only time will tell whether this is a horological hit with consumers or collectors for that matter.
Since its inception just two years ago, the Super AVI Chronograph GMT Mosquito has launched a new colourway to its collection. With a timely nod to the original Mosquito, black ceramic is the order of the day, which is very 2023 as seen in the Zenith Defy Skeleton Black Ceramic and the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph End Of Days.
In fact, it’s the first occasion this model has gone the way of black ceramic which is extremely lightweight and currently being used more often in the material design of luxury watches. This offsets the 46mm case size but if you are a small case fan, this one ain't for you.
With a titanium exhibition caseback, it’s not quite fully black ceramic with whistles and bells yet the inner ring and sub counters are a rather fetching dark graphite grey. This makes it as dramatic as the ending of The Usual Suspects (spoiler alert…Keyser Söze was actually Kevin Spacey!)
Beating at 4Hz, it runs the Breitling Calibre B04 automatic movement that can be found in other Breitling Chronograph watches. This can be admired in all its glory via the exhibition window. COSC certified, it has an impressive 70-hour power reserve with first rate accuracy levels meaning you’ll always be on time for that important meeting or flight.
Although pricier than the normal Super AVI Mosquito, like travelling in business class, we think it’s worth the upgrade despite the giant horological footprint on the wrist. Available in a military style black leather calfskin strap with a folding clasp made from titanium, horophiles can buy a Breitling Super AVI Chronograph GMT Mosquito Night Fighter for the RRP of £9.950 - at the time of writing.
Case measurement: 46mm / Case thickness: 15.69mm / Reference: SB04451A1B1X1 / Case material: black ceramic / Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition
The final new timepiece released by Breitling is the AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition. During the 60’s was the exact time when the AVI Ref 765 started to clamour lots of popularity as not just a pilot’s watch.
Oozing ruggedness and together with a chronograph turned this former aviation piece into a sporty chic number with more personality than you can shake a stick at. In 1968, when student uprisings were taking place in universities across Europe, it was also the time for the AVI ref 765 to be catapulted into the timekeeping limelight.
Worn by skier Jean-Claude Killy at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, it wasn’t just his three gold medals that were glistening under the crisp sun. The reverse panda dial is a given but slightly more refined giving it a real luxury feel in line with modern consumer trends.
Firstly, the case is reduced to 41mm while gone are the Arabic numerals. In its place are bar indexes which may turn on or off enthusiasts. There is a minute track and bags of retroism going on across the dial which is due to the hues and beige lume used on this re-edition. The hint of red can still be viewed on the arrow indicator.
On to the movement and this is powered by the Breitling calibre B09. This automatic chronograph movement boasts a 70 hour power reserve, enough for that last minute weekend getaway or sealing that overseas business deal you have put so much time into. Again, this is COSC certified meaning you can benefit from premium accuracy.
Limited to 164 pieces to mark its original inception in 1964, it is slap bang price wise between the Classic AVI and Super AVI Night Fighter. But there’s nothing mid about this luxury watch as it’s a genuine show stopper.
Buy a Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition for the RRP of £7,150 at the time of writing.
Thickness: 14.05mm / Reference: AB09451A1B1X1 / Water Resistance: 30 metres / Frequency: 28,800Vph (4 Hz) / Strap type: Black leather with pin buckle / Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, 1/4th second chronograph hand, 15-minute timer, 12-hour timer
Do Breitling Watches Have Resale Value?
There are a lot of factors which determine the resale value of a Breitling watch, including current market conditions, supply and demand, rarity, exclusivity, paperwork and condition. Generally, Breitling watches do not hold their value well and you should expect the value to diminish by 20%-40% after the initial purchase.
However, there are a few collections, vintage watches and series that enthusiasts and collectors may see investment potential over time. These feature;
- Top Time (with less than 3,000 available, these watches are especially sought after)
- Superocean Heritage
What’s Our View?
Whether you are a strap or bracelet kinda chap, there is a Classic AVI Chronograph watch for every collector and enthusiast from this brand new collection. Aviation geeks will no doubt get their horological kicks from say the Curtiss Warhawk or Mosquito. Meanwhile, the new AVI Ref. 765 1964 Co-Pilot Re-Edition is another hot contender as more and more time peeps veer towards those slimmer watches, leading to greater interest.
We have worked up quite a sweat here at Chrono Hunter HQ. And Boy was there a lot to unfurl! If you want to buy a watch with added vigour, in house calibres and a corker of a chronograph, the Classic AVI series might be one for you. With even greater comfort and an array of sizes to suit all manner of wrists, they have firmly put themselves on the horological map in 2023. So, is it time for another new Breitling launch? Not yet, but stay tuned for the latest natterings.
Looking to buy a Breitling to compliment your office look or complete your wardrobe? Interested in buying or selling your vintage Breitling watches? Contact Chrono Hunter today to obtain the best possible price for your timepiece. Enjoy a multitude of offers from our expansive selection of trusted luxury retailers. Download our dedicated app or simply enter the details of the watch via our simple online form. With peerless service and a knowledge and understanding of Breitling like no other, we are your number one source when you decide to buy a watch or sell a watch.
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