With all the focus on film stars, surfers, motorcycles and dozens of new store openings, it feels like a while since Breitling remembered its core audience of pilot watch enthusiasts.
That box was ticked today at a Breitling Summit in Houston, TX, where CEO Georges Kern unveiled the Super AVI collection of chronograph GMTs inspired by the original 1953 “Co-Pilot” Ref. 765 AVI aviator’s watch and four aircraft: the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, the Vought F4U Corsair, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, and the de Havilland Mosquito.
“This collection embodies that sense of nostalgia for the early days of aviation when pilots relied on their watches as onboard tools,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
“But you don’t have to be a pilot or vintage-aircraft buff to appreciate the exceptional craftsmanship and rugged design.”
Breitling has been connected to the aviation world since the 1930s, when its Huit Aviation department made cockpit clocks for the fledgling industry.
That relationship with pilots and their flying machines evolved into wristwatches in the 1950s with the Ref. 765 AVI pilot’s watch, known as the Co-Pilot, an early success.
Fans of the brand’s aviation history encouraged the launch of a Co-Pilot reissue in 2020, and the collection is being expanded today with four new models, each linked to a classic aircraft.
The Super AVI P-51 Mustang pays homage to the best all-around fighter plane of its era in two distinct versions: a stainless-steel case with a black dial and gold-brown leather strap, and an 18ct red gold version with an anthracite dial and a black leather strap.
The rose gold piece is exclusive to Breitling boutiques and Breitling.com.
The Super AVI Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair has a blue dial, tone-on-tone chronograph counters, and a black leather strap that take their design cues from the characteristic livery of the record-breaking naval aircraft.
The Super AVI Curtiss Warhawk comes with a military-green dial, white contrasting chronograph counters, and red accents designed to evoke memories of the plane’s famous shark-mouth nose art.
The Super AVI Mosquito comes in a combination of polished and satin-brushed black ceramic bezel and a black dial with white contrasting chronograph counters. Its red and orange elements recall the roundels and markings found on the plane, dubbed the “Wooden Wonder”.
All of the chronograph GMTs come in 46mm cases on leather straps with crystal case backs exposing the Breitling Manufacture B04 automatic movement.
They are all in steel except for the Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 P-51 Mustang, which has an 18ct rose gold case.