Breitling has introduced an updated Breitling Avenger Automatic 42 collection of pilot-inspired watches. Dating to the early 2000s, the Avenger collection has been scaled down and simplifed to make for a sleek update. The collection includes the Automatic 42, GMT 44, and the B01 Chronograph 44 – the chronograph uses Breitling’s manufacture caliber 01.
While the new collection maintains the aviation inspiration and rugged profile of the Avenger, the updates align the Avenger with other updates we’ve seen across Breitling’s catalog.
Younger than many of Breitling’s other collections, the Breitling Avenger Automatic 42 is a bit of a modern mash-up of everything that makes Breitling Breitling. The adjectives practically write themselves: big, bold, rugged, aviation-inspired, tool.
The tweaks to the case, dial, and profile of the Avenger make it a bit more streamlined and contemporary. Gone are the big winged Breitling logo, and Arabic numerals, replaced with the simple stencil “B” and baton markers. The stainless steel case of the GMT and chronograph models measure 44mm, while the three-hander automatic measures 42mm. All are a downsize compared to the previous collection. Additionally, the case offers more detail and finishing, with bevels on the lugs and polished details on the tabs of the rotating bezel.
The Breitling Avenger Automatic 42 collection has aviation inspiration all over it, and with that the chronograph remains the most important model of the collection. The updated Breilting Avenger B01 Chronograph 44 measures 44mm by 15.2mm (53mm lug-to-lug), using the manufacturer’s caliber B01, a COSC-certified, column wheel, vertical clutch movement with 70-hour power reserve. The manufacture movement represents a technical leap forward for the Avenger chronograph. It’s still a big watch that won’t be for everyone, but that’s what we expect – even ask – of Breitling. And with downsized offerings in other corners of the catalog, this keeps the Avenger true to its original purpose. The Avenger Chronograph 44 is offered with a steel bracelet or military leather strap and four dial colors: blue, green, black, or sand. On a strap, MSRP starts at $8,000. The Avenger GMT 44 measures 44mm by 12mm (53 lug-to-lug) and has an independently adjustable 24-hour hand thanks to the ETA base Breitling caliber 32, COSC-certified and with 42 hours of power reserve (a “caller GMT” in Stacey speak, as it’s the 24-hour hand, not the hour hand, that’s adjustable). The Avenger GMT has a bi-directional rotating bezel with the quickly indentifiable “Rider tabs” at the cardinal directions that are something of a Breitling signature. It’s offered with a black or blue dial, on a strap or bracelet, with prices starting at $5,250 on strap.
Breitling’s history in timekeepers optimized for aviation dates back to the 1930s, when Willy Breitling Avenger Automatic 42 formed the HUIT Aviation Department, dedicated to creating precision aircraft instruments and pilots’ chronographs. Fast forward a few decades and the brand launched its Avenger collection in 2001 alongside its iconic Navitimer and Chronomat. The Avenger collection is distinguished by its military look and feel. Now, we get three fresh new takes on the collection—one is even equipped with Breitling’s own B01 movement.