A Week On The Wrist: A Vintage Breitling 765 AVI Chronograph

It’s difficult to see, however the “Lip” signature underneath Breitling’s own is a key explanation I love this watch.

Let’s beginning with the self-evident: the Breitling reference 765 AVI is certifiably not a little watch. With a breadth of 41mm, its case is extensively bigger than most different watches from the 1960s, even those implied for pilots and drivers. For the good of comparison, the contemporary Rolex Daytona was 36-37mm, while the AVI’s opponent, the Breguet Type 20, remained at 38mm. What’s more, indeed, the shadow of the Type 20 can’t be evaded in this story. The likeness between the Breitling and the Type 20 isn’t a mishap. Breitling was particularly wanting to win the agreement with the French armed force when it originally presented the AVI in 1953, yet the absence of a flyback complication opened the entryways for Auricoste, Breguet, Dodane, and Vixa, who might proceed to supply French warriors with chronographs.

The Breitling 765 AVI didn’t initially come with this arm band, however it is from a similar period as the watch.

The AVI’s less heavenly predetermination didn’t prevent me, in any case. In actuality. There is a beautiful thing about having confidence in the dark horse and acknowledging how incredible it can really be. My Breitling AVI isn’t the main cycle of the line. Similarly as with numerous vintage Breitling chronos, the first setup of the reference 765 AVI accompanied dark sub-registers. It even accompanied a particular element, not seen in numerous different watches: a computerized readout for the slipped by minutes of the chronograph, where you would typically anticipate that the date window should be. Later it embraced a more standard format with two chronograph sub-registers (and one for running seconds), which ultimately were given the brilliant completion found on numerous other Breitling chronographs, from the Navitimer to the Top Time.

Inside the 765 AVI is an altered Venus 178 with a 15-minute counter for the chronograph.

The utilitarian nature of this Breitling leaps out rapidly, and not just from the curiously large case. The clarity of the lustrous dark dial is praiseworthy, and the enormous sub-dial at 3 o’clock obviously shows where the center is intended to be. It’s likewise significant that the chronograph’s 15-minute counter required an adjustment to the standard Venus 178, typically set for 30 minutes. Why experience that mechanical difficulty? This is the place where Breitling’s flying roots are self-evident, as 15 minutes was the specific length of a plane’s pre-flight check needed to approve it for departure. This likewise clarifies the exceptional lume runs inside the sub-register to stamp at regular intervals, making this daily practice as simple as conceivable to time for the pilots and professionals involved.

The 15-minute register is explicitly tuned for a plane’s pre-flight check, needed before takeoff.

This interesting plan was clearly appealing all alone, however my Breitling has a bonus that, as a Frenchman, I was unable to stand up to. Under the Breitling logo, an extra “Lip” mark can be seen over the focal turn for the hands. Those three little letters may be inconspicuous, however they assume a significant part in the watchmaking history of my country. Lip was a notable French assembling that offered incredible watches at sensible costs, from the rich Dauphine to the energetic Nautic-Ski. It was a particularly significant part in France during the center of the twentieth century that Blancpain and Breitling each looked for an association for neighborhood conveyance, prompting these twofold marked dials.

At 41mm in breadth, the Breitling 765 AVI chronograph is a lot bigger than the watches I regularly go for.

This drives us to a truly nerdy question that I don’t have the response for: how could it be feasible for a watch from 1965 to have a dial with an additional mark from an association that wasn’t made authority until 1966 and didn’t go into full impact until 1967 (as per most sources)? There are a couple of potential outcomes. One straightforward clarification is that every one of these years after the fact the genuine beginning date of the association has been confounded and it started a year or two prior, even informally. Another, more probable, clarification is that the Lip-Breitling bargain was pointed toward emptying Breitling’s less mainstream watches in France, so this dial got the Lip stamp after its unique assembling date yet before it was at any point offered to a client. There’s a touch of oppressed sentiment to the possibility that this watch sat undesirable, just to get the denoting that makes it so extraordinary today. 

The 765 AVI probably won’t have been commissioned by the French Air Force, yet it’s as yet a pilot’s chronograph through and through.

In any case, this watch was bought at some point in the last part of the ’60s and stayed in a similar home until I was sufficiently fortunate to unearth it. It was worn less and less as quartz watches acquired force, and was then completely failed to remember in a cabinet for quite a long time. This is a more successive way for watches than you may might suspect, and in some cases a wellspring of delightful new-old-stock diamonds. With this watch, the condition is sufficiently a long way from wonderful to make an astounding every day wear wristwatch. 

I see anything as excessively immaculate scaring – I would prefer not to be the one to put that first scratch on an ideal bezel or the principal ding for a situation that is stayed fresh for a very long time – while pieces worn sparingly that have been appropriately delighted in while holding their unique lines are my top choice. For instance, this AVI actually has an incredible case, with sharp drags and an opposite panda dial with just light blurring to the files. The steel bezel is in accordance with this general condition as well, with some wear to the eight. Indeed, even the seconds hand, with its somewhat lighter lume, shows that this watch did, at one time, see the light of day prior to hitting my wrist.

The 765 AVI wears less than an advanced 41mm watch, however it’s as yet a statement.

The sheer size and rough style of this 765 AVI make it the ideal complement to pants and a t-shirt. I wear mine on either a period-right however not unique arm band, which is however comfortable as it seems to be tense looking, or a more repressed NATO lash, similar to the entertainer Raquel Welch in the film Fathom, an association celebrated by numerous Breitling promotions at that point. Cowhide lashes may get some play when the temperatures are cooler, yet this season I stay with a NATO for an end of the week watch like this.

A vintage Breitling advertisement shows entertainer Raquel Welch wearing a chronograph in the film “Comprehend.” (Source: Timezone)

It’s presumably evident at this point that I’m very captivated by this watch, so I’ll quit waxing lovely in a second. As far as I might be concerned, this Breitling outlines all that I love about vintage watch gathering, mixing provenance, shocking looks, and a couple of freedoms to get geeky about the subtleties. Each time I take a gander at the gleaming dark dial I can’t abstain from intellectually venturing out back to Paris, or envisioning myself steering a plane in the exciting 1960s. Not an awful brief period case, is it?

This Breitling 765 AVI isn’t the primary execution, but instead a later one with an opposite panda dial.


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