Breitling Introduces the Classic AVI Chronograph 42 and AVI ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition

A wearable pilot's chronograph.

Having already debuted an oversized take on the ref. 765 AVI “Co-Pilot” of 1953, Breitling now introduces the Classic AVI Chronograph 42, a scaled-down version that pays homage to the vintage original.

Unlike its bigger brother, the 46 mm Super AVI GMT that features a second time zone function, the Classic AVI is a no-frills watch with just the time and chronograph. The Classic AVI makes its debut with a range of regular-production models, each inspired by a historical fighter plane, alongside the limited-edition AVI ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition.

Classic AVI Chronograph 42 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

Initial thoughts

The Super AVI GMT is a vintage-inspired chronograph with an appealing design, but with the drawback of the 46 mm case – huge by even by modern standards. The introduction of a more compact version is welcome, even if this addition further expands Breitling’s extensive (and sometimes confusing) catalogue. 

With its smaller case, the Classic AVI has arguably better proportions than its bigger brother, with dimensions better suited to the vintage-inspired styling. And because it is equipped with a Valjoux movement (otherwise known as the Breitling Caliber 23), the Classic AVI is amongst the most affordable Breitling chronographs, adding to its appeal.

The P-51 Mustang

The P-51 Mustang is the standout among the Classic AVI line-up. It has classic pilot’s chronograph aesthetics with a black dial and faux-patina Arabic numerals that provide a nostalgic feel. 

But enthusiasts will no doubt like AVI ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition best. Slightly smaller at 41 mm in diameter, it is a faithful remake of the vintage original in terms of design, but enhanced with modern materials like an ADLC-coated bezel and the in-house Caliber B09. That makes it pricier but some margin, but it is arguably worth it for the movement.

The AVI ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition

Compact dimensions

The Classic AVI captures the essence of the ref. 765 AVI “Co-Pilot” from 1953 with a design that retains the key elements of the original, like the 12-hour bezel.

All models in the Classic AVI collection share the same design but differ in colour scheme. Each model is inspired by historical fighter aircraft: P-51 Mustang (black), Vought F4U Corsair (blue), Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (khaki), and Mosquito (black with a ceramic bezel). The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and Mosquito models feature a “reverse panda” livery for added contrast.

With the exception of the P-51 Mustang variant that is available in either steel or 18k red gold, the other models are only offered in steel. The case has a diameter of 42 mm and stands 14.7 mm high, making it substantially smaller than the Super AVI GMT by a margin of 4 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm in height.

The Mosquito

The Vought F4U Corsair

Inside the Classic AVI is the Breitling Caliber 23, a COSC-certified Valjoux 7753.

In contrast, the Super AVI GMT is powered by the in-house Caliber B04, explaining both its larger size and higher price.

A “hidden” signature at six showcasing the GPS coordinates of the brand’s headquarters

The remake

Alongside the new Classic AVI, Breitling also rolls out a historical reissue, the ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition that is powered by the in-house Caliber B09.

Available only at boutiques and limited to 164 pieces, the ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition is clearly catered to enthusiasts. It faithfully replicates the details of the vintage original with baton markers and pencil hands. But the execution is clearly 21st century. The bezel is steel with a scratch-resistant ADLC coating, instead of black-coated aluminium as on the original.

The ref. 765 AVI 1964 Re-Edition

Key facts and price

Breitling Classic AVI Chronograph 42
Ref. A233803A1B1X1 (P-51 Mustang, steel)
Ref. A233801A1C1X1 (Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair)
Ref. A233801A1C1X1 (Curtiss P-40 Warhark)
Ref. Y233801A1B1X1 (Mosquito)
Ref. R233801A1B1X1 (P-51 Mustang, 18k red gold)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 14.7 mm
Material: Steel or 18k red gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Breitling Caliber 23
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Calfskin leather strap or matching bracelet

Limited edition: No
Availability: From Breitling’s online store, boutiques and authorised retailers

Steel: US$5,800 (P-51 Mustang, Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair and Curtiss P-40 Warhark), US$5,900 (Mosquito)
Steel with bracelet: US$6,100 (P-51 Mustang, Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair and Curtiss P-40 Warhark), US$6,200 (Mosquito)

18k red gold: US$19,500
18k red gold with bracelet: US$38,200

AVI ref. 765 1964 Re-Edition
Ref. AB0920131B1X1

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 14 mm
Material: Steel 
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

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

Strap: Calfskin leather strap 

Limited edition: 164 pieces
Availability: Only from Breitling’s online store and boutiques 
Price: US$9,050

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