[Video] Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph 46 GMT Hands-On Watch Review
For the past few years, there’s been one thing you can bank on: Breitling nailing its new releases. Under George Kern, the brand has gone from strength to strength, leaving a rocky start to the relationship that saw the startling redesign of the “Navitimer” in its rearview mirror. Now, the focus is on the AVI collection, which has, over the past couple of years, defined its own design language with aplomb. Today, we’re taking a look at five of the new Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph 46 GMT watches. But be warned they are not for the faint-hearted.
Using the original 1953 Co-Pilot ref.765 AVI as its base, Breitling has released five chronographs inspired by four iconic fighter planes. There are two dedicated to the P-51 Mustang, a navy blue/gray dial celebrating the Corsair, the battle-ready Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is honored by a military green color, and my favorite, the British icon, the de Havilland Mosquito represented by a black, white, and red model.
De ja vue?
You might get the feeling that you’ve seen these models before. That’s because they bear a striking resemblance to the 41mm ref. 765 1953 re-edition from last year. The major departure from that desperately cool collection, however, is the size. These behemoths come in at 46mm in diameter, which can’t help but recall the brand’s bombastic early aughts era.
Nestled inside these hulking housings and visible through a decorated sapphire case back, we find the COSC-certified B04 caliber. This particular in-house movement boasts a GMT function, which adds some much-needed functionality to that sprawling amount of dial real estate that a 46mm case diameter affords.
Four of the five models feature polished timing bezels, which really hammers home the in-your-face “blinginess” of this capsule collection, but one of them, and probably my favorite, as a result, has a black bezel and bright red hands. These bright red hands in this basic stick style were often used in Breitling watches of yesteryear and are one of my favorite of the brand’s calling cards. Here they make a real impact against a black background, ringed by a white 24-hour scale.
So how do these pieces actually wear? Well, they push my 16.5cm wrist to its limits, but, I have to say, that the watch doesn’t look totally ridiculous in my opinion. Then again, perhaps wrist size is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to pulling off a watch of this size. I think forearm thickness and your overall build are more important.
If you’re a bit of a stockier guy like me, then I think even a small wrist measurement shouldn’t put you off at least trying these pieces on. If you’re tall and slim, however, these watches may weigh down your wrist like an anchor. That’s not the end of the world, though, as Breitling has released plenty of more modestly sized watches in recent years to accommodate all wrist sizes and build types.
The cases are 15.9mm tall, which is not at all crazy for a watch of this diameter. In fact, the watch’s relatively slimness caused my colleagues to comment that these watches wore like pancakes! Now, while I wouldn’t go that far I certainly agree that they are surprisingly comfortable, if not ideally suited to every wrist.
A Beauty and a Beast
One of these models comes in an 18K rose gold case and, given the case dimensions, it is rather heavy. This is my least favorite personally simply because, of all of these massive pieces, this is the only one that feels truly big on my wrist. If, however, you’re tall and solidly built, this should be the model you try on first. It is an absolutely stunning piece and is capable of making the kind of statement I think Breitling expects its audience to want to make.
There you have it — not one, but five new supersized watches from Breitling! Prices range from €9,600 to €9,700 for the stainless steel models, and €22,400 for the 18K gold model. This will be a Boutique/e-commerce exclusive available from February 2022 onwards. For more information, I would advise that you set your eyes upon the Breitling site here.
And as always, I’d love to know what you think of the latest of Breitling’s offerings. Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Learn more about Breitling here.