Breitling from the past is very different from the Breitling that we know of today and none exemplifies this idea better than the Co-Pilot chronographs. Slowly but surely, collectors are realising just how much quality came out of Breitling’s factory in St. Imier, and just like how 2016 propelled the Heuer Autavias and Omega Speedmasters, 2017 looks to be Breitling’s turn.
In the 1960’s, with all of the Swiss players releasing chronographs dedicated to sport, aviation and racing such as the Heuer Autavia, Rolex Daytona and Omega Speedmaster- Breitling’s response was the Co-Pilot. Born out of a trend for utilitarian sporty chronographs of the 60’s, this was the birth of the big and aggressive Breitling we know of that has trickled down to today.
The Breitling Co-Pilot has all the tenets of what a vintage chronograph collector looks for. Reverse panda dial with luminous index markers and hands aged to a creamy patina, clean anodised aluminium hour bezel and a high-quality column wheel Venus 178 beating away.
This particular example, is a later Ref. 7650, produced in 1969. Upsized from the previous Ref. 765 to a huge 42.5mm, it has a great wrist presence even by today’s standards. The result is a highly attractive and legible dial that provides great modern wearability.
A perfect watch for casual wear- rugged and masculine, wearing a Breitling has never been this cool. It certainly beats what’s on offer today.