Breitling has breathed new life into a classic design with its AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition – a recreation of its original Ref. 765 AVI chronograph that is sure to please fans of the brand
- The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition (£6,590) is available in a limited-edition series of 1953 pieces.
- It’s a carefully crafted re-edition of Breitling’s classic Ref. 765 AVI pilot’s watch, which became known as the ‘Co-Pilot’ on its release in 1953.
- The COSC-certified chronometer has an approximate power reserve of 70 hours and is water-resistant to 30m.
- The 41mm stainless-steel model is presented on a black leather strap with a pin buckle.
Faithful recreation: returning to a vintage design
Staying true to the original Ref. 765 AVI chronograph, otherwise known as the ‘Co-Pilot’, the new AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition features the same 41mm case, rotating bezel and oversized Arabic numerals as the 1953 release. Naturally, it boasts the same superior legibility and rugged construction too. The brand’s second historical re-edition, it pays tribute to the original by being produced in a limited edition of 1953 pieces, each one with ‘One of 1953’ engraved on its case back.
The stainless-steel case is an identical reproduction, and such is the attention to detail that the three screws that secure the bezel are placed in precisely the same positions as those on the 1953 edition. The watch’s all-black dial is protected by the signature domed Hesalite crystal – again, designed to match the shape of the original – and is presented on a vintage-inspired black leather strap. The dial also features the same three subdials as the original model – small seconds, 15-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters.
The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition benefits from superlative legibility and rugged construction, making it as functional as it is handsome
Shining example: Breitling’s use of luminosity
As with many pilot’s watches, Breitling has utilised Super-LumiNova® on the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition to ensure the dial’s legibility regardless of the lighting conditions. The colour of the hand-applied Super-LumiNova® deployed in the re-edition recalls the luminescent material used on the original. It’s also been applied to the three-minute indexes on the 15-minute counter – a crucial complication back in the 1950s, as pilots had to complete their final aircraft checks within a 15-minute time limit. In yet another visual throwback to the original design, the needle-thin points of the syringe-shaped hour and minute hands and arrowhead chronograph hand allow the time to be displayed to the wearer with instant precision.
Movement to match: powering the AVI Ref. 765
The AVI Ref. 765 Re-Edition is powered by the in-house Breitling Manufacture Calibre B09, a manually wound COSC-certified movement based on the renowned Breitling Calibre 01 and specifically created for historical re-editions (such as the brand’s Navitimer 1959 Re-Edition). The water resistance has been improved from the original 1953 version, now standing at 30m, and the watch has an approximate 70-hour power reserve. This movement is a perfect choice for an updated version of Breitling’s famous design: while you don’t have to be an aviator to make the most of this timepiece, the reliability of a COSC-certified chronograph is essential for pilots who use it as an aviation tool.
The 1953 Ref. 765 AVI took its inspiration from aircraft dashboard clocks, and the Re-edition model is sure to be just as popular with pilots and fans of aviation as the original
High achiever: flying with Breitling
Breitling has long been a byword for accuracy and reliability throughout the world of aviation. Two generations on from founder Leon Breitling’s devotion to progressing the chronograph, Leon’s grandson Willy advanced his father Gaston’s chronograph design by adding a second button below the crown to independently reset the chronograph – an innovation soon adopted by many other brands. Breitling produced its first aviator chronograph in 1936, and the company’s watches became hugely popular among pilots, due to how easy they made it to record time and distance.
Under Willy’s leadership, the brand established the famed Huit Aviation Department in 1938, and expanded into creating chronograph instruments for airplane dashboards. It is from these onboard clocks that the original 1953 Ref. 765 AVI took its inspiration. The Huit Aviation Department also became an official supplier to the RAF just prior to the Second World War – and that relationship has continued to this day, most recently with a release commemorating the RAF Red Arrows. With a history as rich as this, it’s understandable why Breitling became synonymous with the pilot’s watch.
You can listen to our podcast with Breitling CEO Georges Kern here.
- Case: 41mm stainless steel
- Movement: Breitling B09 hand-wound calibre
- Power reserve: Approximately 70 hours
- Bracelet / strap: Black leather
- Features: Limited to 1953 pieces; Super-LumiNova®
- hands, hour markers and indexes; 1/5th second
- chronograph; small seconds subdial; 15-minute and
- 12-hour counters
- Water resistance: 30m
- Price: £6,590