In recent years, there has been a trend in watch design towards smaller case sizes, even in sports watches, with the latest example being the Breitling Replica Classic AVI collection. First introduced in 2021 in 46mm cases, the historically inspired collection of pilot’s watches, a tribute to the ref. 765 AVI Co-Pilot born in 1953 as well as four legendary airplanes, is now being extended with four 42mm executions. In addition, Breitling announced a new variant of the Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter.
Classic AVI 42mm
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the ref. 765 AVI Co-Pilot that first took to the skies in 1953, Breitling releases new editions of the Classic AVI in 42mm stainless steel cases. Like the 46mm diameter versions launched two years ago, they pay homage to four aircrafts, the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, Vought F4U Corsair, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and de Havilland Mosquito.
A black dial and golden brown leather strap represent the versatile Mustang, which is also available in pink gold. A blue dial combined with a black strap is a tribute to the Corsair naval aircraft. A khaki dial along with a brown strap signifies the camouflage look of the Warhawk. A black dial with black ceramic bezel on a brown strap recalls in color the Mosquito aircraft known as the “Wooden Wonder.” The hues of the airplanes’ official insignia and markings add bright accents to the hands and subdials of the luminescent dials.
At the heart of this pilot’s squad ticks Breitling’s self-winding caliber 23, based on ETA/Valjoux 7753. It works behind a closed case back which is engraved with the silhouettes of their respective planes.
Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter
At a time when aluminum and steel were often hard to come by, the engineers of the de Havilland Mosquito used a material that was in no short supply: wood. Known as the “Wooden Wonder,” the aircraft stirred things up when it surpassed its metal peers in performance, becoming one of the fastest planes built between 1940 and 1950.
There were numerous versions of the Mosquito, including a light bomber and transportation plane. The Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter was inspired by the Night Fighter 2, a two-seat black aircraft designed for night flying. With its black ceramic case, black military leather strap, and black dial with anthracite subdials, the Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter chronograph pays homage to the aircraft’s dark livery.
As with every Super AVI, the striking design includes large Arabic numerals. This is combined with a black ceramic case with a diameter of 46mm and a pressure resistance of 10 bar. A second time zone can be selected thanks to the 24-hour scale on the inner bezel and the GMT hand with gray tip. The Super AVI is driven by a COSC-certified Breitling manufacture caliber B04, which offers a power reserve of 70 hours. The movement is visible through the open titanium case back, which features the silhouette of the Night Fighter.