Back in February this year, Breitling released the stunning re-edition to one of the much-loved aviation models from the past. The reference 765 AVI chronograph, born in 1953, was a popular piece among enthusiasts and is as much of a collectable now as it was back then. In 2020, Breitling decided to bring back the 765 AVI chronograph with almost the same design as the original, only this time with their modern in-house movement.
Dubbed the AVI ref. 765 1953 Re-edition, this new model brings the same stylish flair as the original, but now is offered in stainless steel, 18k rose gold or 950 platinum.
We at Watchadvice got our hands on the stainless steel model (reference AB0920131B1X1), as we think the black dial with steel casing is the most versatile out of the three. Before we dive into this latest re-edition, it’s good to look at the original piece’s history, to do the new one justice.
Although the Breitling AVI Ref. 765 was created in 1953, the creation of the Ref. 765 AVI started back in 1930. In 1930, Breitling released two pilot watches named the Premier ref. 765 and Ref. 734. These Ref. timepieces were more compact in design, with the tri counter layout cutting into the hour indexes. The 1930’s models were still elegant in design and would pave the future for the iconic Ref 765 Avi that would be born some 23 years later.
The second world war had quite an impact on timepieces throughout the world, with many new watches coming into the market having design changes to be more useable for daily wear. This includes Breitling’s Ref 765 AVI.
From the 1930’s model, Breitling gave quite an upgrade to the Ref 765 AVI to make it more legible and refined in design. The “post-war” 1953 ref. 765 AVI featured a 41mm bezel with 22mm lug width. The steel bezel was bi-directional featuring a 12-hour pilots scale. The dial was matte black and had large Arabic hour indexes with luminous material. Breitling decided to remove the “3 and 9” hour indexes from the 1953 edition to make the dial less cluttered and easier on the eye.
There were two sets of Ref. 765 AVI’s released in 1953; a model with a bi-compax (2 sub counters at 6 and 9 o’clock) and a tri-compax layout (3-6-9 sub counter layout). The tri-compax layout was typical of pilots watches during the 1950’s/1960’s. A 15-minute counter was wildly popular on pilot watches and crucial for the pilots as they had a 15-minute time limit to complete their final aircraft checks.
On the Breitling Ref. 765 AVI, the 15-minute counter has been designed with “propellor” type blades, which are used at every 3-minute interval. The hand for this counter also has a propellor design. All these details come together to make the original Breitling Ref. 765 AVI a well-refined timepiece not only for pilots but for aviation enthusiasts and watch fanatics in general.
The new Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition aesthetically and design-wise, looks like a one-to-one copy of the original timepiece. As mentioned previously, the new re-edition model comes with three different case materials. On the stainless steel model, the polished case measures at 40mm, with the bezel extending out slightly to 41.1mm, which is identical to the bezel measurements of the original timepiece.
The case is water-resistant to 30m (3 bar). The bezel is kept as bi-directional with the 12-hour scale being retained from the original. The lug width of 22mm from the original model has been kept the same as well.
The dial has been faithfully replicated to be as close as possible to the original 1953 timepiece. The Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition features gold Arabic numerals for the hour indexes which have been filled with superluminova. The hour, minute and chronograph seconds hand have the same propellor blade design, which really gives this watch the refined, sharp look.
The tri-compax counters used is the 60-minute counter at 9 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and of course the 15-minute counter at 3 o’clock position. The main notable difference between the original and the new re-edition is that in the new model, Breitling has removed the Geneve wording underneath their logo at the 12 o’clock position.
The movement inside the Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is the brand’s own in-house calibre B09 movement. This calibre B09 movement is manually wound and is based on Breitling’s B01 in-house movement.
The calibre B09 movement was specifically created to fit historical re-editions made by Breitling. This movement has also been fitted to the brands recent Navitimer 1959 Re-edition. Beating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28, 800 vph), the calibre B09 movement puts out a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
The Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition comes with a closed case back, which features the engraved Breitling logo and brand name, along with the words “765” and “AVI”. As a reference to the original model and the year it was created, Breitling will only release 1953 models of the Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition. As a way of showing this, on the case back, the brand has engraved “ONE of 1953”.
How does it wear?
The Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition wears quite well on a 6.5inch wrist. As the case is only 41mm and with a thickness of 11mm it certainly isn’t a piece that will be too big on most wrists to begin with.
On the wrist, the dial is easily legible thanks to the large Arabic numerals, and the fact that Breitling have somewhat blended the three chronograph sub dials into the dial make it appear less cluttered and clean.
This timepiece although sporty, can still be paired with a nice formal jacket, after all this is designed for pilots! The watch can be nicely suited with casual and outdoor wear too…
A vintage inspired black satin strap with contrasting stitching comes standard on the Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition, which matches nicely with the black dial to provide that extra contrasting effect.
Breitling has certainly done well to bring back to life an old classic. The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is faithfully re-created to the original design and specs, which modernising it with one of the brand’s latest movements. Limited to 1953 pieces, the Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is sure to be a hit among Breitling enthusiasts and watch fanatics that want to own a part of the brand’s rich aviation history.
Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition Specification:
Model Reference: AB0920131B1X1
Case Diameter: 41mm
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds and Chronograph
Movement: Breitling B09
Power Reserve: Min. 70 hours
Water Resistance: 3 Bar
Australian Retail Pricing: $11,100.00
Availability: Available now, limited to 1953 pieces worldwide
Local Authorised Dealers :
- Brisbane – Hardy Brothers and The Hour Glass
- Melbourne – Monards ( Collins Street and Crown Casino) ,Gregory Jewellers , The Hour Glass and Watches of Switzerland
- Sydney – Breitling Boutique, Gregory Jewellers, Swiss Concept, The Hour Glass and Watches of Switzerland
- Perth – Watches of Switzerland