Breitling has been killing it lately by capitalizing on the ongoing heritage reissue trend, releasing stunning modern re-creations of watches from its historical past. After the launch of the Navitimer 1959 Re-Edition, the latest doze of vintage goodness from Breitling comes in the form of the AVI Ref. 765 Re-Edition, a watch that tries to re-create the magic of the AVI Ref.765 from 1953.
The original Ref. 765 AVI “Co-Pilot” dating back to 1953 on the left and the re-edition
One of the key elements that can make or break a reissue is the extent of familiarity it offers to its vintage source, and Breitling seems to have nailed it in this regard. Starting with the case, akin to the original, the case of the AVI Ref. 765 Re-Edition measures 41mm in diameter. Sitting on top is a thin sloped bezel with 12-hour markings that has been secured by three screws precisely in the same position as those on the watch from 1953. Another move to keep the retro vibe intact is the use of an acrylic crystal instead of sapphire. And while a watch like this is all about small anachronistic details, Breitling has added features such as improved water resistance (though only 30 meters) to meet the basic requirements of a wristwatch in modern times.
Like the case, the dial on the dial on the AVI Ref. 765 Re-Edition looks like an almost true copy of the 1953 reference. Characterizing the dial are bold Arabic numerals that have been given a custard colored luminous treatment to evoke a nice vintage vibe. The sub-registers maintain the tri-compax layout with chronograph minutes and hours at 3 and 6, followed by running seconds at 9. On the outer periphery is a printed minute/chronograph seconds track and just like the original time can be read using the blocky syringe style handset. The only small detail that is missing from this new face is the exclusion of the ‘Geneve’ text under the Breitling branding below 12.
Powering this watch is Breitling’s modern in-house caliber B09. This is the same movement that the Navitimer 806 Re-Edition comes equipped with. A hand cranker, the B09 features a column-wheel mechanism, operates at a frequency of 4Hz, is chronometer-certified for supreme accuracy and offers a healthy power reserve of around 70 hours. While it would have been great if was possible to view the movement, Breitling has kept the nostalgic charm intact keeping it hidden behind the closed case back.
To conclude I would like to say that Breitling has hit yet another hike run with the AVI Ref.765 1953 Re-Edition. The watch would be available in 3 different variations. The stainless-steel variant with black dial would be limited to 1953 pieces and would retail for CHF 7,900. The Rose Gold variant would be limited to 253 pieces priced at CHF 21,000. And finally, the Platinum case/ blue dial variant would be limited to just 153 pieces with a retail price of CHF 39,000.