Share this content on Facebook!
04 Sep 2014
Omega introduced the Speedmaster 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 replica Breitling Cockpit (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 chronographs. 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.

This was actually a very clever branding move by Breitling Discount Replica Hublot Big Bang Watches For You. The changes did not stop there. The material of the bezel changed from steel to anodized aluminium, while two distinct and different types of bezels were simultaneously introduced: a full black one and a half black/silver one. The first one is the Division 12, as Breitling referred to it in its catalogues; and the second was the Double Scale (12+60) bezel, which combined two scales for 60 minutes and 12 hours. Around the same time, Breitling presented another new chronograph, using the same recipe, which was intended for timing regatta races (recommend read: IN DEPTH: The Omega Seamaster Yachting – A luxurious & Rare Regatta Chronograph from the 1970’s). The Yachting CP had its own two major distinctions: it had a 15 minute Yachting countdown sub-dial and a specially painted aluminium dial that was highly legible and usable for those kinds of races.

These watches continued to be sold -and compete with- the offerings from Omega, Zenith, Heuer and Rolex up until 1967 when yet again the Yachting CP evolves. This time the ref. 765 Yachting CP received a newly designed handset which made the whole aesthetically a more colourful departure from the austere and traditional form that had thus far characterised this specific family of watches. Two years later, in 1969, Breitling decided to stop using a separate name for these models and from then on, only the reference number identified the various watches. The Co-Pilot name was no more. At this point it is deemed important to understand that all these variants right from the start had the Venus cal. 178, a hall of fame caliber in its own right.

However here we must make a small detour by referring to two events that influenced the industry and the family of watches we examine here. The swiss industry had experienced a massive decline in the sales of its chronograph watches in the late 1950’s due to the ever increasing popularity of the automatic and waterproof watches offered. A reaction was needed.

Firstly, as Joel Pynson writes in his article about the Nivada Chronograph: “In 1960 the Swiss Federation Horlogère created a working group “Chronographs and Stop-watches”, chaired by Willy Breitling, and launched in 1962 a vast promotion campaign of the chronograph in the majority of the European countries, relayed by the manufacturers who launched new models at this time. The result was with the height of the hopes: the Swiss export of chronographs in Europe passed from 52, 000 units in 1964 to more than 173, 000 in 1969. It is at this time that the principal actors in the field of the chronograph inaugurate the marketing principles of the modern watch: a name, a strong design and a whole range of versions to allure a young public avid of innovations. ”


There isn't any comment in this page yet!

Do you want to be the first commenter?

New Comment

Full Name:
E-Mail Address:
Your website (if exists):
Your Comment:
Security code: