Breitling Introduces the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition

Perfect remake part two.

Almost exactly a year after Breitling announced the Navitimer Ref. 806 remake – a spot-on remake of the first Navitimer and a smash hit – the watchmaker has applied the same formula for the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition, a limited edition of 1,953 watches in steel.

Introduced in 1953 and produced in several variants until 1965 when it was rebranded the Co-Pilot, the AVI ref. 765 was typical of mid 20th century pilot’s chronographs, with large Arabic numerals, syringe hands, and a steel rotating bezel. In fact, it is reminiscent of the Type 20 chronographs supplied by Breguet, Auricoste and other firms to the French navy and air force during the same period.

Remade exactly

And the AVI ref. 765 was oversized for the era, with a case measuring 41.1 mm. According to Breitling, the AVI Re-Edition replicates the original to the smallest detail, down to the tenth of a millimetre of case diameter. The steel bezel is even secured by three screws in exactly the same spots as on the original.

Only two external elements on the remake have been changed: one is the removal of “Geneve” from the dial, a necessity given Breitling’s location; and the other is the increased water resistance of 30 m.

That being said, modern production techniques and materials mean that rather than being perfectly identical, the replica is probably better in fit and finish than the original. The lacquer-filled engraving on the bezel, for instance, is more precisely done on the modern version.

The vintage AVI (left), and the Re-Edition

And the movement hidden under the solid, snap-on back is the Caliber B09, the hand-wound version of Breitling’s in-house chronograph movement. A solidly constructed movement, the B09 is equipped with a vertical clutch and column wheel, as well as a 70-hour power reserve.

And the luxe editions

In addition to the run of steel watches, the AVI Re-Edition will also be offered in either 18k red gold with a black dial, and in platinum with a dark blue dial, each limited to 253 and 153 watches respectively. The specs for both are the same as for the steel version.

The red gold (left), and platinum


Key facts and price

Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition
Ref. AB0920131B1X1 (steel)
Ref. RB0920131B1X1 (red gold)
Ref. LB0920131C1X1 (platinum)

Diameter: 41.1 mm
Height: 13.95 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 30m

Movement: Caliber B09
Functions: Time and chronograph
Winding: Hand-wound
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Calfskin with pin buckle

Limited edition: 1953 pieces in steel; 253 in red gold; 153 in platinum
Availability: From March for steel; May for rose gold; and June for platinum
Price: CHF7,900 (steel); CHF21,000 (rose gold); and CHF39,000 (platinum)

For more, visit Breitling.com.


 

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Breguet Introduces the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 Blue Enamel

Old school style.

Slim, elegantly and typically Breguet in style – the gently off-centre dial echoes asymmetric pocket watches – the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 was originally launched with a guilloche dial, before being given a white, fired enamel dial. And last year Breguet debuted a striking variant with a fully skeletonised movement decorated in a surprisingly elaborate manner.

For 2020 Breguet has returned to its traditional look, albeit with a twist: the dial has been transformed into deep blue enamel for a boutique-only edition.

Similar to the makeover applied to the time-and-date Classique 5177, the blue dial is grand feu enamel – vitreous enamel set by firing it in an oven at temperatures over 800°C.

The dial starts as a disc of solid gold, which is then painted with a mixture of enamel powder, water and oil.  It’s then baked in an oven, and the process repeated several times until the deep blue colour is achieved. The surface is then ground down by hand to give it a mirrored finish, before undergoing a final trip to the oven.

The star and lozenge minute track is inspired by the same on vintage pocket watches

Then the markings on the dial – including the symbols of the minute track and Breguet numerals – are printed in powdered silver, which gives them a granular, metallic sheen. And faintly etched by laser just above the tourbillon is the Breguet “secret” signature, a feature devised in the 19th century to distinguish genuine Breguet pocket watches from counterfeits.

Part of the gold dial base is visible as the metal border for the tourbillon aperture, with the “secret” signature visible just above

Extra plat

The rest of the watch is identical to the standard model. The case is platinum and 41 mm in diameter, but just 7.45 mm high, making it one of the thinnest tourbillon wristwatches on the market.

Credit for the svelte case goes to the cal. 581, a sophisticated movement just 3 mm high. Amongst the features that contribute to its thinness are the floating barrel anchored only on the dial side, as well as peripheral winding mechanism that has the narrow rotor sitting around the perimeter of the movement.

The bridges and barrel cover of the cal. 581 are hand engraved with a geometric motif

The cal. 581 with the peripheral rotor removed

And the cal. 581 has a longish, 80-hour power reserve, despite the relatively large tourbillon carriage and 4 Hz balance wheel, thanks to the silicon escape wheel and pallet lever horns that operate with negligible friction. Another crucial factor is the “high energy” barrel, which is essentially a mainspring that is longer but thinner than usual, allowing more of it to be coiled into a single barrel.


Key facts and price

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 with blue enamel dial
Ref. 5367PT/2Y/9WU

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 7.45 mm
Material: Platinum
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 581
Functions: Hours and minutes; tourbillon regulator
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Alligator with folding buckle

Availability: Only in boutiques
Price: US$161,800 (or 232,500 Singapore dollars)

For more, visit Breguet.com


 

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IWC Introduces the Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph “Laureus Sport for Good”

Big, blue, and one button.

An annual edition now in its 14th year, the “Laureus Sport for Good” helps support the foundation of the same name, which promotes sport amongst disadvantaged and disabled children around the world. In a departure from the norm of using a current model as the base, the 2020 edition is a brand-new reference that’s not yet in the catalogue (though it probably will be by Watches & Wonders 2020), the Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph “Laureus Sport for Good”.

The Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph is an unusual watch: a manual-wind, single-button chronograph with a long power reserve of 192 hours, or eight days. It’s powered by the cal. 59360, which has a notably thin chronograph mechanism built over the cal. 59000 eight-day movement.

The movement, however, not actually new. It was last used in 2015 inside the Portofino monopusher chronograph, but subsequently absent until now. (Reputedly the movement had kinks that required fixing, particularly in terms of timekeeping while running the chronograph.)

The cal. 59360 with its thin chronograph mechanism; note the wide and flat column wheel

The movement is wide and relatively flat, resulting in a large watch that’s 46 mm wide and just shy of 14 mm high. Given the traditional Portugieser design of a wide dial and narrow bezel, the size of the watch is particularly pronounced.

As is traditional with the Laureus edition, the dial is a deep, metallic blue with ample space for the two chronograph registers as well as the power reserve display at nine.

A single button in the large crown controls the start, stop and reset of the chronograph

The other traditional Laureus feature is the case back engraving that reproduces a drawing selected from submissions to an annual contest organised by IWC. This year’s place of honour goes to Yi Xin, a 15-year old from China whose artwork represents friendship.

Because of the movement inside, the Portugieser monopusher chronograph is pricier than the Laureus editions of recent years, with a retail price of about US$17,000.


Key facts and price

IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”
Ref. IW515301

Case diameter: 46 mm
Case height: 13.9 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 59360
Features: Time, date, chronograph, and power reserve display
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Hand-wound
Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)

Strap: Crocodile

Limited edition: 500 pieces
Availability: Starting July 2020 at IWC boutiques
Price: 17,000 Swiss francs (23,900 Singapore dollars)

For more, visit IWC.com.


Correction February 18, 2020: The watch will be available from July 2020 onwards, and not April as stated in a prior version of the article.

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