The new Breitling Avenger Bandit, with its gray “stealth” look said to be inspired by naval aviation, is a new chronograph watch that would look right at home on the deck of an aircraft carrier as well as in the cockpit of a fighter jet.
Its aviator-friendly case is suitably large — 45 mm in diameter — but also comfortably lightweight, made from ultra-sturdy titanium, a metal used extensively in aviation. The Cheap Breitling Replica case is entirely satin-brushed rather than polished, to eliminate any glinting light reflections that could jeopardize a mission. The gray-toned dial features applied, military-look stencil hour numerals with luminescent coating and three tone-on-tone subdials, with subtly raised snailed patterns, for chronograph hours and minutes and running seconds. The Cheap Breitling central chronograph hand has a distinctive red tip. The curved sapphire crystal over the dial is treated on both surfaces with an anti-glare treatment for enhanced legibility — and stealth.
The unidirectional, ratcheted rotating bezel, etched with stencil numerals for the minutes, has the four rider tabs that have become a hallmark of Breitling’s pilot watches. The grooved checkerboard motif on the screw-locked crown and chronograph pushers have been designed for non-slip grip and easy operation even for gloved fingers. The solid titanium caseback is engraved with a conversion scale for the major measuring units and a relief Breitling Replica Watches logo in the center.
Behind the caseback, and powering the timekeeping and chronograph functions, is Breitling’s Caliber 13, an automatic, COSC-certified chronometer movement with 25 jewels and a frequency of 28,800 vph. The case, which is water-resistant to 300 meters, is attached to an all-new strap that combines a rubber-tread interior with Cheap Breitling Avenger Replica a highly resistant, military-grade textile exterior and features a titanium folding buckle.
In this watch test feature our writer Jens Koch and photographer Nik Schölzel pit modern versions of two iconic 1970s chronographs — the TAG Heuer Monaco and the Cheap Breitling Replica Chono-Matic — against each other in a challenge of retro sports watches.
The generation that came of age in the 1970s loves to revisit its memories of that time. And because the youths of those days have become the heavy-hitting customers of today, many things that were popular then are experiencing a rebirth. The success of the new muscle cars and the return of the Lava Lamp are proof. In the 1970s, Cheap Breitling — like men’s ties — were large and colorful. Experimentation with shapes and dimensions was the norm, and we see this trend emerging again today. It’s no wonder that we’re seeing models from the “Me Decade” reissued in a more or less revised form. As different as our two test watches appear at the outset, they do have a common origin that begins in 1969. That’s when the first automatic Breitling Replica Watches chronograph movement, called Caliber 11, was introduced, launching a new age. The ébauche manufacturer Büren Watch supplied an automatic movement with a microrotor for which Dubois Dépraz provided a chronograph module. Two watch companies, Breitling and Heuer, provided financing and aided in developing the technology. It was fitting that these firms were the main beneficiaries of Caliber 11. The first watches with this movement — the predecessors of our test Cheap Breitling Replica — appeared that same year.
In other facets of their outward appearance, however, both brands’ watches remained true to their predecessors. TAG Heuer retained its rectangular contours with gently curved flanks. At first glance the Cheap Breitling case appears to be an oval, but it is actually an octagon. Even the sizes of these two watches correspond almost exactly to the original versions that were introduced 39 years ago. This is particularly surprising for Breitling, since even by today’s standards the diameter of 49 millimeters is enormous, exceeding the earlier model by only one millimeter.
Both watches present top-of-the-line finishes on their cases. Breitling’s efforts include the rotating slide rule and rubberized bezel. Surfaces are carefully polished, the caseback is engraved and both sides of the sapphire crystal are nonreflective. The oversized crystal makes the Breitling Replica Watches appear even larger. The Monaco’s curved crystal is made of acrylic, as before, which means it’s quite susceptible to scratching — but a sapphire crystal would have been an extremely expensive addition. TAG Heuer must secure the caseback with screws due to the shape of the case, but the seal would have been tighter if more than four screws had been used. Breitling uses a structurally superior screwed caseback, but specifies the same water-resistance as TAG Heuer, so neither is suitable for swimming.
This won’t be an impartial review of a vintage watch – far from it. I own, and love, this 1960s chronograph from Breitling. I wish to explain here what led me to a watch with a 41mm case, when I usually swear by more modest sizes for my personal watches. Like all good love stories, it wasn’t planned: I found this Cheap Breitling Replica in a small French city, and could not look away.
Let’s start with the obvious: the Cheap Breitling reference 765 AVI is not a small watch. With a diameter of 41mm, its case is considerably larger than most other watches from the 1960s, even those meant for pilots and drivers. For comparison’s sake, the contemporary Rolex Daytona was 36-37mm, while the AVI’s rival, the Breguet Type 20, stood at 38mm. And, yes, the shadow of the Type 20 cannot be avoided in this story. The resemblance between the Breitling and the Type 20 is not an accident.The AVI’s less glorious destiny did not deter me, however. On the contrary. There is something poetic about believing in the underdog and realizing how great it can actually be. My Breitling AVI is not the first iteration of the line. As with many vintage Breitling Replica Watches chronos, the original configuration of the reference 765 AVI came with black sub-registers. It even came with a quirky feature, not seen in many other watches: a digital readout for the elapsed minutes of the chronograph, where you would usually expect the date window to be. Later it adopted a more standard layout with two chronograph sub-registers, which eventually were given the silvery finish found on many other Cheap Breitling Replica chronographs, from the Navitimer to the Top Time.
The utilitarian nature of this Breitling jumps out quickly, and not only from the oversized case. The legibility of the glossy black dial is admirable, and the massive sub-dial at 3 o’clock clearly shows where the focus is meant to be. It’s also worth noting that the chronograph’s 15-minute counter required a modification to the standard Valjoux 178, usually set for 30 minutes. Why go through that mechanical trouble? This is where Cheap Breitling aviation roots are obvious, as 15 minutes was the exact duration of a plane’s pre-flight check required to clear it for takeoff. This also explains the unique lume dashes inside the sub-register to mark every three minutes, making this routine as easy as possible to time for the pilots and technicians involved.
This unique design was obviously attractive on its own, but my Breitling has something extra that, as a Frenchman, I could not resist. Under the Breitling logo, an additional “Lip” signature can be seen above the central pivot for the hands. Those three little letters might be subtle, but they play a major role in the watchmaking history of my homeland. Lip was a well-known French manufacture that offered great watches at reasonable prices, from the elegant Dauphine to the sporty Nautic-Ski. It was such an important player in France during the middle of the 20th century that Blancpain and Breitling Replica Watches each sought a partnership for local distribution, leading to these double-signed dials.
This leads us to a really geeky question that I don’t have the answer for: how is it possible for a watch from 1965 to have a dial with an extra signature from a partnership that wasn’t made official until 1966 and didn’t go into full effect until 1967 (according to most sources)? There are a few possibilities. One simple explanation is that all these years later the actual starting date of the partnership has been confused and it began a year or two earlier, even unofficially. Another, more likely, explanation is that the Lip-Breitling deal was aimed at unloading Breitling’s less popular watches in France, so this dial received the Lip stamp after its original manufacturing date but before it was ever sold to a customer. There’s a bit of downtrodden romance to the idea that this watch sat unwanted, only to receive the marking that makes it so special today.
It’s probably obvious by now that I’m quite infatuated with this watch, so I’ll stop waxing poetic in a moment. To me, this Cheap Breitling Replica illustrates everything that I love about vintage watch collecting, blending provenance, stunning looks, and a few opportunities to get nerdy about the details. Every time I look at the glossy black dial I can’t avoid mentally traveling back to Paris, or imagining myself piloting a plane in the glamorous 1960s.