Breitling Relaunches Aviators Favourite Watch From The 1950s

Breitling has looked to its past for its latest watch release, by choosing to modernise the 765 AVI (aviation) Co-Pilot. Announced by Breitling CEO Georges Kern on his Instagram page, the new model, appropriately called the 765 AVI 1953 Re-Edition, pays faithful homage to the original, released 67 years ago.

Breitling launched the original 765 AVI Co-Pilot in 1953 in response to the changing trends in the watch industry post-WWII. Those trends included legibility, waterproofness and reliability. One of the standout features of Breitling’s watch was the 15-minute interval counter at three o’clock, which replaced the conventional day/date window. This, in particular, was a favourite of pilot’s at the time, as it was easier to read than a regular subdial.

Arriving in three different colours: steel, rose gold and platinum, the Re-Edition model looks virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor. As with the original model, this modern update features a 41mm case with a domed Hesalite crystal, along with the same Arabic numerals. You also get the same 15-minute counter at three o’clock and a 12-hour counter at six. Breitling has even gone to great lengths to mimic the colour of the luminescent coating found on the original model.

Powering the watch is a hand-wound in-house produced B09 calibre movement, which is based on the B01 and has been designed specifically for vintage-inspired models and has a 70-hour power reserve.

Breitling has come clean in revealing the only factors that aren’t the same as the original Co-Pilot: it’s now water resistance up to 30 metres, and the dial no longer shows the word Geneve. We think we can forgive the company for making the omission.

Kern has revealed the steel model with black dial – limited to 1953 models – will be available first in March for SFR 7,900/A$11,100, the rosé gold model, also with black dial – limited to 253 models –, will arrive in May for SFR 21,100/ A$29,500, while the platinum model with blue dial – limited to 153 models – will round out the new collection in June for SFR 39,000/ $54,990.