Breitling has just unveiled their latest collection of watches in celebration of aviation history. The watches in this Super AVI collection have taken inspiration from legendary planes of the past as well as Breitling’s own 1953 “Co-Pilot” Ref. 765 AVI aviator watch. The planes that have given inspiration to these watches are the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, Vought F4U Corsair, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, and the de Havilland Mosquito.
Breitling has quite a rich history in the aviation department. In the 1930s the Swiss watchmaker’s Huit Aviation department made a name for itself by inventing and manufacturing precision cockpit clocks for the field of aeronautics. Almost 20 years after this was when the first Ref.765 AVI wristwatch was released, and it was an instant hit as a pilot’s watch. The REF. 765 AVI was a source of inspiration for many other aviation timepieces for Breitling, including this latest Super AVI collection.
Breitling CEO, Georges Kern says in regards to the new Super AVI collection that “This collection embodies that sense of nostalgia for the early days of aviation when pilots relied on their watches as onboard tools. But you don’t have to be a pilot or vintage-aircraft buff to appreciate the exceptional craftsmanship and rugged design.”
Drawn from a vintage aviation aesthetic, the new Super AVI collection consists of five timepieces that honour the four legendary aircraft mentioned previously.
Breitling has released the homage to one of the best all-around fighter planes in two versions, stainless steel, and an 18k red gold model. The stainless steel version comes in a 46mm case with a bi-directional ratcheted bezel with a black pointer and numerals. The dial is black with gold-like hour indexes and hands for a crisp contrast effect.
All of the models in the collection feature a tri-chronograph counter layout which includes the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and constant 60-seconds counter at 9 o’clock. The watch is offered with a gold-brown pilot-inspired leather strap.
The movement used inside all of the models in this new Super AVI collection is Breitling’s manufacture Caliber B04 movement. This self-winding movement operates at a frequency of 28, 800 VpH (4hz) and gives out a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
The 18k red gold version of the Super AVI P-51 Mustang has a few design aesthetics that differ from the steel version. Firstly the case and bezel are both made from 18K red gold. The dial is now an anthracite grey with black used for the chronograph counters. The Arabic hour indices are done in white which emits a blue Super-LumiNova effect when lit up compared to the green on the steel version. Lastly, the strap option offered with this watch is a black pilot-inspired leather strap.
The Super AVI Vought F4U Corsair comes in a 46mm stainless steel casing with a matching bezel. The dial is a beautiful blue colour with tone-on-tone chronograph counters. The Arabic hour numerals are done in contrasting white and have also been filled with blue-emitting Super-LumiNova. The 1/4th of a second hand is red-tipped (like in all the other models) and provides the only other touch of colour on this dial.
The strap choice for this model takes the design cues from the characteristic livery of the Vought F4U Corsair aircraft. The strap is black leather with white stitching which complements the overall watch very nicely.
The Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk has an unmistakable identity with the iconic shark-mouth nose art. The plane is donned mostly in green with hints of yellow which is used as the reference for this timepiece.
The watch comes in a 46mm stainless steel case and matching bezel. The dial colour is military green with contrasting white chronograph counters. The Arabic hour indices are in white as well. The indices along with the hour and minute hands have been filled with green-emitting Super-LumiNova. This timepiece has been given a brown leather strap which certainly makes the watch stand out with colour.
The final timepiece in the Super AVI collection is the Mosquito-inspired watch. The Mosquito aeroplane was unique in that it made use of materials such as wood. In a time where most planes were made from aluminium or steel, this made the Mosquito special. Not only that, the Mosquito caused shockwaves in the aeronautical industry when it outperformed its metal contemporaries to become one of the fastest planes built between 1940 and 1950.
The Super AVI Mosquito is our pick of the bunch. It comes in a 46mm stainless steel case with a satin-brushed black ceramic bezel. The dial is black with contrasting white chronograph counters. Hints of red can be found throughout the dial such as on the hour and minute hands as well as the tip of the chronograph seconds hand. The arrow pointer on the bezel is donned in red as well. Like the other timepieces in the Super AVI collection, the Arabic hour numerals are done in contrasting white with it being filled with blue-emitting Super-LumiNova. The strap of choice is brown leather, however, black leather would look equally just as good if not better as it will match the black tones of the dial and bezel quite nicely.