Breitling, the watch company that has invested the most into watches for aviation, relaunches the Avenger collection in an upgraded edition. Their pilot watches have been a staple throughout the company's history, and I've been to Zurich to see as well as feel their latest releases, including 14 new pilot models.
The brand started focusing on the aerospace industry as early as the 1930s by mounting a Breitling dial on the dashboard of their aircrafts. This was later a big source of inspiration when designing the Aviator 8 wristwatch, which was a huge success. Later, in the 1950s, they released the Navitimer, which became the ultimate watch for pilots and is still important for Breitling today.
The Avenger series made its debut in the Breitling range in 2001 and now it's time for a new generation. The designers have succeeded in renewing the watch in a fantastic way, while retaining the Avengers' gorgeous heritage, meaning you can instantly see that it’s a Breitling.
“This is a gorgeous collection for those looking for a sturdy, robust watch with a nice pilot attitude”
Like many other brands, they have collaborations with celebrities who align with their philosophy. For this launch, Breitling wants to clearly communicate that they are not stuck in the past, but are conforming to the trends. That's why they’ve partnered with Luke Bannister who represents a whole new sport in the air. XBlades Racing, where you are flying a drone via VR glasses, is a sport that has grown extremely fast lately and at only 19 years old, Luke is already successful and has managed to become the world champion. Alongside Luke Bannister, they also collaborate with American astronaut Scott Kelly and Spanish Air Force Pilot Rocío González Torres.
The new Avengers collection consists of models with cases in sizes 48, 45 and 43 mm made of either steel or black titanium. Eight of them are chronographs, and for those who travel frequently there are also models with GMT, where an additional red hand shows the second time zone.
A sweet new feature is that all leather bracelets are lined with yellow leather, which is the signature of the new watches. The top model is a commemorative watch for the Swiss Air Force Team which is turning 55 this year and is limited to 550 copies. During the presentation in Zurich held by Breitling's CEO George Kern, the team was on-site talking about being pilots, obviously wearing the new Avenger Swiss Air Force Team watch.
This is a gorgeous collection for those looking for a sturdy, robust watch with a nice pilot attitude. They are all automatic and the majority have blue or black dials with either steel or black titanium cases. For those who want to stand out, there is also a yellow dial and if you want something extra special, you can set your sights on the limited edition. You have to act fast though, since there are only 550 copies.
I have to say that the watch that spoke to me the most and that stands out in color is the Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission. It has an army green dial and bracelet and is overall just a perfect watch. The case is made in black titanium, making the watch versatile and no more viable at a party than on an adventure. In the world of watches, green has been a particularly strong trend, and this one is exceptionally gorgeous. Especially if you are a big fan of aviation or maybe even a pilot yourself.
The surface of the case is ridged and the finish of the crown and chronograph buttons makes it easy to interact with the watch even while wearing gloves.