It’s common for a brand to mine its archives for fresh inspiration, and Breitling is the latest one to do just that. Founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling, the storied Swiss watchmaker got its start making chronometers for aviators. Now, the brand is re-issuing the AVI Ref. 765, a classic chronograph that first debuted in 1953. Known as the “Co-Pilot”, the watch quickly became aviators’ preferred timepiece for its rotating bezel, large Arabic numerals and superior legibility. After all, the AVI once stood for “aviation”.
The Re-Edition pays rightful homage to its ancestor, but includes some nifty new details. Plus, the original Ref. 765 is already a collectible, so if you want the re-issue, you’ll have to act fast, because there will only be 1953 pieces available. To start, a mark of exclusivity makes the re-issue even more special: each one will have “ONE OF 1953” engraved.
Two new versions in precious-metals will also be available. The first is an 18 karat red gold with a black dial and a brown leather strap with a run of 253 and “ONE OF 253” engraved on its caseaback. The second is a platinum with a blue dial and a gold leather strap. This version will be available in only 153 pieces with “ONE OF 153” engraved on its caseback.
The watch stays true to its iconic design, save for two new adjustments: water resistance improved to 3 bar and “GENEVE” is no longer etched in the dial. It also features an in-house movement and is COSC-certified. Re-introducing a classic can feel like a flimsy grasp at former glory, but the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition truly feels timeless.