Breitling’s Latest Releases
Swinging for the fences with some mid-century classics
WRITTEN BY JUSTIN MASTINE-FROST
April 29, 2020
The last couple of years of Breitling releases have been impressive to say the least, and so far this year, the brand has been coming on even stronger than ever. Fully embracing the path of vintage reissues, three distinct new references have landed this year that have blown collectors and enthusiasts away. While most are sticking very true-to-original in design, one particular reference has a distinct and playful twist to it that no one in the industry could have expected. On one hand, the piece won’t have mass-market appeal, but Breitling knew this going in, and has limited the capsule model to only 250 pieces.
AVI REF. 765 1953 RE-EDITION
Breitling has spent a lot of time on Navitimer reissues over the years, but looking back at their archives, the AVI Ref. 765 also hit the market in the same time period. It’s not a piece that grew to the same level of fame, however as you can see from its crisp tool-focused aesthetics, it has all of the charm that collectors love from a vintage chronograph. Its 41mm stainless steel case is fitted with a steel 12-hour bezel, capable of longer timing periods or being used to indicate a second time zone. Hand-applied light sand colored Super-LumiNova is used for its indices and hands, to further hammer home the vintage look. Its aesthetics may be vintage, however its inner workings are anything but—the piece is fitted with Breitling’s B09 in-house manufacture hand-winding chronograph caliber. This unit is COSC certified for accuracy, and has a power reserve of 70 hours. Priced at $8,600, the piece is limited to 1953 pieces worldwide.
Top Time Limited Edition
Next on the list came the Top Time ‘Zorro Dial”—a crisp reissue of a collection from the brand that was always meant to be the “everyman’s watch,” so to speak. With this in mind, Breitling opted for a Swiss supplied caliber rather than one of their in-house references, and in doing so kept the price of the Top Time down to a very smart $4,990. Rather than rebuilding a very specific Top Time reference, this model is more of an amalgamation of different Top Time references from the ‘60s. The 2000-piece release also uses a 41mm diameter case, crafted in polished stainless steel. Sticking with daily-wear durability rather than period-correct design elements, this model is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal.
Superocean Heritage ‘57 Limited Edition
You’re either going to love it or hate it, but there’s no denying that this rainbow diver is an eye-catcher. The latest in this trilogy of vintage-themed releases, the Superocean Heritage ‘57 takes all of the case, bezel, and dial design cues from the brand’s late fifties diver, and builds it up to modern specification. The slender 42mm case features a broad concave bezel, and uniquely shaped indices and hands that immediately stand out when compared to a more classic Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster. It’s also available in more conventional colorways (black, blue, and two-tone steel and red gold), but this Rainbow dial blindsided the horological scene in the best way, reminding people that not all vintage style watches have to be serious nods to history. Being limited to 250 pieces, there’s no doubt these watches will find new homes in a hurry.
Between the solid value proposition and vintage charm, we remain impressed with everything that Breitling is bringing to the table in 2020. As we get into the thick of 2020’s new watch releases, it will be interesting to see which brands, if any, choose to follow suit, as luxury watch consumers continue to demand greater quality and value from their timepieces.