In the first part of our analysis of the Breitling 765 Avi
28 August, 2014 at 7:45 am in Business
we stopped with the introduction of the panda dial variant in 1963. In the 1960’s, Breitling, a company almost exclusively dedicated to chronographs offered the iconic replica Breitling Cockpit and the Avi’s as two excellently designed chronographs that were used both in civilian and military applications. These two chronographs were doing extremely well, but the market started to change. In this second part we will examine the transitional period of this family of chronographs from Breitling.
Omega introduced the replica Breitling in 1957, mainly targeting auto-racing enthusiasts; this changed when in 1965 Ed White, as an astronaut of Gemini IV, wore a Speedmaster in the first American EVA (Extra-vehicular activity). From that point on, the legend of the Speedy being an aviation/space watch was born. Rolex, a company mainly dedicated to sporty 3 hand watches (with an oyster case), decided to market the Daytona as well, with the first variation hitting the shops in 1964 (ref. 6238).
Zenith also produced excellent chronos with fantastic calibres (146D, 146H), but it was Heuer who decided to introduce two new chronos that truly altered the market for sport/aviation/motorsport breitling navitimer replica. In 1962 we saw the introduction of the first Heuer Autavia and in 1963 of the first generation Carrera. Breitling had to reply to this attack by the other big swiss players, and decided to change the Avi series radically. In this second article we will examine how they did it and have a look at the various references up to first part of 1969.
The first AVI was a large chronograph (41mm bezel diameter, 22 lug size) with a rotating 12h steel bezel. In 1965 the company decided to update it while at the same time keeping its fundamentals (case, dial, hands) the same. Firstly the designation AVI was deleted from the catalogues and official literature of the era, replaced by the acronym CP, which stands for Co-Pilot.