Flying with Time
Four New Pilot Watches from Breitling
WRITTEN BY Barbara Palumbo
IMAGERY COURTESY OF Breitling
NOVEMBER 27, 2021
Georges Kern doesn’t do anything half-ass.
In the four years he’s held the position of CEO for Breitling – one of the last few independent watch brands to have a household name in existence – Kern has shaken things up, ridding the brand of its previous reputation of being a watch brand for the “bro” community and in turn, making sure Breitling watches are inclusive to all those who are able to dish out the Benjamins to get one. And Kern is no silent CEO; not in the least. He is front and center at every major summit the brand puts forth – whether virtual or in-person – and he makes sure everyone who is invited to attend has an experience they will talk about, write about, and post on social media about. Kern is Breitling’s biggest fan, and with the recent release of the new Super AVI Pilot Watch collection, he took several of us along for the ride with him.
Breitling introduced four new design models at their recent summit in Dallas, Texas which was held in a vintage airplane hangar in the shadow of a B-29 Superfortress bomber by the name of “FiFi” (because what else would it be called?).
The watches were unveiled in a way only Breitling could pull off: with the hangar opening slowly to high-energy music, unveiling the four war planes (engines fired/propellers turning/smoke machines blasting) to which each of the new Breitling “Super AVI” editions pay homage.
All four designs in the new Super AVI collection are not for the weak at heart, nor or they for the tiny in wrist. The timepieces – each 46mm in diameter – have moxy; they are as much statement pieces as they are machines that tell time, all while looking pretty damned good on the right sized wrist. If you are an actual pilot, the watches in the Super AVI collection have exactly the complications you need for flight: chronograph, GMT, date, and large crown size. If you’re not a pilot, that is cool, too, because as Georges Kern stated during a round table session at the summit, “You don’t have to be a pilot to wear this. This is just a cool watch. It looks cool. At the end of the day, we want to make watches that are mechanical, sure, but we want them to just be cool, too.”
The four new editions are as follows: The P-51 Mustang, released in both a stainless-steel case with a black dial and gold-brown leather strap, and an 18k red gold version with an anthracite dial and a black leather strap (the latter being exclusive only to Breitling boutiques on Breitling.com), the Vought F4U Corsair tribute complete with a blue dial, tone-on-tone chronograph counters, and a black leather strap with light stitching, the Curtiss Warhawk which is equipped with a military-green dial, white contrasting chronograph counters, and red accents, and lastly, the de Havilland Mosquito featuring a combination of polished and satin-brushed black ceramic bezel and a black dial with white contrasting chronograph counters and red and orange elements.
All four models contain the Breitling manufacture caliber B04 automatic bi-directional winding movement which will give with wearer about 70-hours in power reserve (because even pilots need time to lay around in bed for a few days). The watches are water resistant to 100 meters, contain a cambered sapphire crystal which is glare proof on both sides, as well as a sapphire crystal case back (etched with the war plane each version represents), and a bi-directional ratcheted bezel with black pointer and numerals.
All four models contain the Breitling manufacture caliber B04 automatic bi-directional winding movement which will give with wearer about 70-hours in power reserve (because even pilots need time to lay around in bed for a few days). The watches are water resistant to 100 meters, contain a cambered sapphire crystal which is glare proof on both sides, as well as a sapphire crystal case back (etched with the war plane each version represents), and a bi-directional ratcheted bezel with black pointer and numerals. But the best part about these new releases from Breitling was easily summed up by their CEO himself, “When we introduce a new watch at a summit like this, we do not do it unless the watch is available in store, in our retail partner shops or in our boutiques the same day. This watch was introduced today, and it can be purchased today.”
The Breitling Super AVI Mustang, Corsair, and Warhawk are currently available for $10,100 and the Mosquito lists for $10,250.