In 1953, Breitling launched its Ref. 765 AVI, a pilot’s watch known as the “Co-Pilot”. It had a particularly bold look with a rotating bezel and oversized Arabic numerals, and its impressive legibility made it a favorite among aviators. The Manufacture is honoring this classic chronograph’s legacy with the new AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition.
The new timepiece is a carefully researched and crafted re-edition of the legendary Co-Pilot and is based on one of the early iterations from that year. The Co-Pilot was a 1950s interpretation of the onboard clocks designed and produced by Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department in the 1930s and 1940s, which have already provided inspiration for the watches in the Aviator 8 collection.
The new watch coexists comfortably with another Breitling icon – the Navitimer, with its famous circular slide rule, which established its sterling reputation for flight calculations, while the Co-Pilot, with its superior legibility and rugged construction, was particularly valued as a reliable companion equal to the challenges of aerial activity in the most extreme of circumstances.
This is the brand’s second historical re-edition, the first being the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition – one of the most popular releases of 2019 – and is set to follow in its footsteps. Georges Kern, says: “It was always clear to us that longtime Breitling fans would embrace these watches. But it’s also exciting to see how strongly they appeal to people who are new to our brand – they can take one look at a Re-Edition and see how much living history, innovation, and cool luxury we can pack into a single watch.”
The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is being produced in a limited series of 1953 pieces, each of which will be numbered “ONE OF 1953”. The watch is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, a manually wound mechanical chronograph movement based on the brand’s celebrated in-house Manufacture Caliber 01. The B09 was designed with the Re-Edition models in mind, and, like all Breitling movements, it is a COSC-certified chronometer.
Breitling’s Re-Edition watches are created with painstaking attention to detail. Every effort is made to ensure that each one is a faithful reproduction of the original. These watches feature the same Arabic numerals as the 1953 Co-Pilot as well as hand-applied Super-LumiNova®, the colour of which has been carefully chosen to recall the luminescent material on the original. The 41.1-millimeter stainless-steel case is also identical, and the bezel is secured by three screws that are placed in precisely the same positions as those on the watch from 1953. The watch features thin syringe hands, which exactly match those on the earliest examples, and a domed hesalite crystal that has been fashioned in precisely the same shape as the original.
There are only two concessions that distinguish this new timepiece from its famous ancestor – the water resistance has been improved to 3 bar (30 meters/100 feet) compared to the original version, and keen-eyed observers will also see that “GENEVE” no longer appears on the dial.
The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is presented on a black vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin buckle and comes with a five-year warranty. There is no question that Breitling aficionados will be drawn to this latest Re-Edition and the chance to wear a piece of history on their wrists.
Breitling will also be releasing the AVI 1953 Edition in two striking precious-metal versions. The first crafted in 18k red gold with a black dial and a brown vintage-inspired leather strap with a limited-edition run of 253 pieces, and “ONE OF 253” engraving; the second produced in platinum featuring a blue dial and a gold vintage-inspired leather strap. This extraordinary version will be available in a limited edition of only 153 pieces, a fact that will be verified by “ONE OF 153” engraved on the back of the platinum case.