Breitling - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: 1964
    Reference No: 765 AVI
    Case No: 989'717
    Model Name: AVI
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 178, 17 jewels, stamped "WOG"
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel mesh bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Breitling Extract from the Archives confirming manufacture in May 1964.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1953, the Breitling Watch Company launched the first reference 765 AVI (AVI representing Aviation): a large pilot chronograph with a 12H rotating steel bezel. The first model displayed a digital 15 minutes counter at 3 o’clock and was referred to as the 765 Digital. This counter design was later replaced by a larger 15 minutes register with oversized luminous markers placed at 3 minute increments.

    As always, a watch benefits from celebrity association, and the 765 AVI boasts not just one, but two strong celebrity endorsements: Jean-Claude Killy, the famous Swiss alpine ski racer, and Raquel Welch, the prominent mid-century actress and sex symbol who wore a 765 AVI in the James Bond spoof movie, Fathom (1967). Though it was another manufacturer that endorsed Killy and led to his name being attached to a specific reference, it is the Breitling 765 that was photographed on Killy’s wrist after he won all three gold medals in alpine skiing at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.

    The present 765 AVI in overall very appealing condition shares the same movement as the more well-known Navitimer, the Venus 178.

    The steel mesh bracelet (not Breitling) adds a supplementary charisma to an already very attractive watch.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1884

    The firm started by Leon Breitling in 1884 is best known for its technical aviation and oceanic watches. Today, all models are outfitted with certified chronometer movements, used for accurate timing. Early aviation pioneers in specialized chronograph timepieces, Breitling introduced the circular slide rule to watches in the 1940s for use by pilots. The firm’s most iconic chronograph, the Navitimer, was introduced in 1954 and continues to be manufactured today. Another key model is the Duograph, a split-seconds chronograph that was Breitling's most prestigious wristwatch during the 1940s through '60s. Their watches are built on their reputation for precision and sturdiness.

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Ref. 765 AVI
A very attractive, rare and large stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial, oversized 15-minutes register and bracelet

42mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for CHF18,900

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021