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Breitling Unveils their New Additions of their Legendary Classic AVI

The Watches of Switzerland Group 3 minute read
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From brave first take-offs to the birth of commercial air travel, Breitling's history is inseparable from that of flight. In the 1930s, Breitling's Huit Aviation department made its name inventing precision cockpit clocks. Two decades later, it introduced yet another novel flight instrument, this time in the wearable form: the Ref. 765 AVI. That pioneering pilot's watch provided the technical backdrop for today's Classic AVI, a collection inspired by the rugged spirit of famed early aircraft.

The Classic AVI P-51 Mustang honours one of those legends. When the aircraft was built in a mere 120 days, even its developer North American Aviation, didn't anticipate what a powerhouse it had on its hands. The P-51's low-drag wings and engine-cooling system-considered experimental when the single-seat fighter first took off in 1940 gave it unprecedented speed and range. The addition of a Merlin engine, expanded the plane's performance to high altitudes, making it the best all-purpose fighter of its time. As a true pilot's watch designed to withstand the rigours of a vintage cockpit, the Classic AVI P-51 Mustang features large, highly legible Arabic numerals on the dial and bezel.

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The Classic AVI Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair also honours another one of those legends. As a WWII naval aircraft, the Corsair had to make tricky take-offs and landings from carriers and remote landing strips. Speed and lift were of the essence, and the plane came through with flying colours, becoming the first single-engine fighter to crack the 400mph mark, while also providing an exceptional rate of climb. Its "bent-wing" design, oversized propeller and signature blue livery make it an emblem of aviation history.

Conceived as a pursuit aircraft, the Classic AVI Curtiss P-40 Warhawk first flew in 1938 and quickly proved itself as a master of agility. It wasn't just the plane's capacity for pulling jaw-dropping turns that gave it an in-flight edge, its robust structure meant it could tolerate harsh weather conditions and even many mid-air collisions. The Warhawk's defiant shark-mouth nose art sealed its reputation as the rebel of the skies. Featuring large, highly legible Arabic numerals on the dial and bezel, the knurled bezel on the 42mm case provides optimal grip, even in a pilot's gloved hands.

The Classic AVI Mosquito is a pilot's-watch inspired by the legendary Mosquito. In an era when aluminium and steel shortages were common, the engineers behind the de Havilland Mosquito made use of a still plentiful material: wood. The "Wooden Wonder" caused shockwaves when it outperformed its metal contemporaries to become one of the fastest planes built between 1940 and 1950. The knurled bezel provides optimal grip, even in a pilot's gloved hands and its military-leather strap gives a nod to classic flight gear. Pilots and other travellers will appreciate the ability to track a second-time zone using the 24-hour marking on the inner bezel and the white-tipped GMT hand.

The Super AVI Mosquito Night Fighter gets its inspiration from the Night Fighter 2, an all-black two-seater aircraft meant to slip stealthily through the night sky. A pilot's watch designed to withstand the rigors of a vintage cockpit, the Super AVI Mosquito features large, highly legible Arabic numerals on the dial and bezel. The overall black ceramic case contrasts strikingly with the titanium pushers, crown, case back, and buckle. The engine of the Super AVI is the C0SC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber B04 movement, which provides approximately 70-hours of power reserve.

Explore the powers of the Breitling Classic AVI collection here at Goldsmiths.

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