The AVi Co-Pilot models from Breitling has a classic feel, with a 42mm case width, chrono functions, plus the three sub-dial and big number layout that ticks the traditional box. It’s a conventional watch, available with a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet. No messing about, no trick segmented dials, skeletons, open hearts or blending of digital tech with mechanical movements.
All the better for it we say, there is always a place for an aviator watch that never goes out of style, surely? For this year, Breitling has a refreshed the AVI Mosquito model, with a black dial and bezel, which makes the shite hands and markers stick out, cockpit instruments style. We like that the best, it has a certain purity. Although the Corsair AVI with it’s dark grey/blue theme also has its appeal. Great aircraft too by the way, fast and versatile in its weaponry.
In addition the entry level AVI gets a slightly more competitive price point, at £4950. The gold case AVI Mustang at over £15,000 is outrageous frankly, but the stock Corsair, Mustang and Warhawk models are all around the £5200 marker. There is limited edition, just 160 pieces, of the AVI Ref 765, (pic below) but it’s a bit too plain, too laid back we think. Get the cheaper stock Mustang or Mosquito, they have more visual punch.
Here’s some blurb from Breitling;
“The Classic AVI comes without the GMT complication that gives the Super some of its brawn. The introduction of the Breitling Caliber 23 chronograph movement further trims the profile and makes the Classic AVI attractive from a value perspective as well.
What fans of the range will find unchanged are the color schemes dedicated to the four legendary aircraft: a black dial and gold brown leather strap to represent the versatile Mustang, a blue dial with black strap in tribute to the naval Corsair, a khaki dial with brown strap for the camouflaged look of the Warhawk, and a black dial with black ceramic bezel on brown strap to capture the Mosquito plane known as the “Wooden Wonder”. Colors from the aircraft’s roundels and markings add bright touches to the hands and subdials. The planes’ engraved silhouettes appear on the back of the cases, which come in stainless steel for all models, with an additional 18K red gold version of the Mustang. All can be worn on a choice of top-stitched calfskin leather strap or five-row metal bracelet.
As a Classic AVI pro tip, scan the dial to locate the “hidden” GPS coordinates of the Breitling Chronometrie. They’re a nod to the spec stamps that used to appear on vintage cockpit clocks, including the ones made by the Huit Aviation Department.”