A well-preserved and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and oversized 15-minute register

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  • Manufacturer: Breitling
    Year: 1967
    Reference No: 765 CP
    Case No: 1’140’820
    Model Name: Co-Pilot
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Venus 178, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 41mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by spare, period-correct bezel.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Established in 1884, Breitling is best known for their aviation-related timepieces such as the iconic Navitimer. But the manufacturer was an early pioneer in the development of wristwatch chronographs, with their innovative tool watches supplying armed forces worldwide, as well as timepieces for racing, diving, and leisure activities. The Breitling 765 Co-Pilot was created, as its name suggests, for airplane pilots, who benefited from an oversized 15-minute counter at 3 o’clock and twelve hour rotating bezel. The Co-Pilot replaced an earlier reference 765 "Digital" that featured a digital minutes counter at 3 o’clock and incorporated an oversized minute counter fitted with large luminous indicators at each three minute increment. Legibility in low light conditions and accuracy were paramount in the creation of this Co-Pilot, and it was eventually even adopted for military use.

    As always, a watch benefits from celebrity association, and the 765 Co-Pilot 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 Co-Pilot with steel bezel 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 Co-Pilot 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 Co-Pilot shares the same movement as the more well-known Navitimer, the Venus 178, and can be considered one of the best preserved Co-Pilots to come to market in recent memory. The stainless steel case is completely unpolished, and the bezel is in extremely crisp and unblemished condition.

  • Maker Bio

    Breitling

    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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Breitling

Ref. 765 CP
A well-preserved and very rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black dial and oversized 15-minute register

1967
41mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement signed.

Estimate
$8,000 - 12,000 
CHF8,000-12,000
€6,900-10,400
HK$62,700-94,100

sold for $21,250

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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New York Auction 5 December 2018