Breitling - REFRESH:RELOAD Online Auction Hong Kong Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | Phillips

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    • Circa 1960

    • 41mm diameter

    • Case, dial and movement signed

  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: Circa 1960
    Reference No: 765 AVI
    Case No: 922’554
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 178, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Developed in the early 1960’s, the Breitling ref. 765 AVI had one specific goal: to become the official timepiece for the French Naval Airforce, hence inscribed “AVI” on the caseback. At the time, Breitling was just one of the manufacturers developing a timepiece for the feat with strict regulations from the French military determining what the timepiece must feature. With that said, it is perhaps the reason why collectors and enthusiasts of vintage chronographs would associate similarities in appearance with the Breguet Type XX.

    While the ref. 765 witnessed several transformations during its production span, it is believed that the earliest examples featured a very classic dial with only two registers with later examples bearing a dial featuring 3 registers and similarly fitted with a metallic bezel. Being replaced by the ref. 765 CP (co-pilot), the replacement featured a black metallic bezel.

    The present example features a beautiful and original dial with three registers and a metallic bezel. Encased in a large 41mm diameter case, the ref. 765 is one of the most celebrated chronographs manufactured by Breitling and in 2020 Breitling released a modern reedition of the present timepiece. With an impressive presence on the wrist, the present timepiece is a perfect sized in today’s standards and is a fantastic opportunity for collectors to secure an impressive professional tool watch designed for the French Naval Airforce.

  • 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
An attractive and rare stainless steel pilot’s chronograph wristwatch

Circa 1960
41mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$80,000 - 130,000 

Sold for HK$100,000

Contact Specialist

Delissa Handoko

Associate Specialist, Head of Online Sales, Hong Kong, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

+852 2318 2013


Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia

+852 2318 2001


Yoki Chan

Junior Specialist, Jewels, Hong Kong

+852 2318 2036



Online Auction 20 - 28 May 2020