Soaring to New Heights: The Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Explored

The Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 watch movement

During and just after World War II, the De Havilland Mosquito emerged as a multirole aircraft built in the United Kingdom. Over a decade, from 1940 to 1950, more than 7,700 units of this twin-engine, two-seater plane were constructed. Given the scarcity of aluminum and steel at the time, the designers at the De Havilland Aircraft Company turned to an abundant resource: wood. This aircraft, famously dubbed the “Wooden Wonder,” took the aviation world by storm, outshining its metal counterparts to become one of the era's quickest and most adaptable planes.





The De Havilland Mosquito Airplane


The Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito, the subject of our examination, although not crafted from wood, epitomizes versatility. Drawing inspiration from the De Havilland Mosquito's design, it boasts a range of functionalities along with the distinctive elements characteristic of a Breitling pilot’s watch. The Breitling Huit Aviation Department had already established its reputation in the 1930s by crafting precision cockpit clocks for the nascent field of aviation. Fast forward to 1953, and Breitling unveiled a groundbreaking aviation instrument, now designed for the wrist: the Reference 765 AVI pilot’s watch. This model inspired subsequent designs and rapidly gained fame among pilots as the “Co-Pilot.” In 2020, Breitling introduced the AVI Reference 765 1953 Re-Edition, a meticulously researched and crafted homage to the 1953 pilot’s watch.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito

This particular timepiece lays the groundwork for the new Super AVI within the newly formed Classic AVI collection. The collection has expanded to include the AVI 1953 Edition and Re-Edition, as well as several iterations from the Aviator 8 series, encompassing the Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph, the Aviator 8 Chronograph, and the Aviator 8 Automatic, totaling 20 models presently.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito caseback

The term "Super" in Super AVI refers to its impressive size, starting with a case diameter of 46.31 mm and a height of 16.32 mm. Despite its significant dimensions, the watch suits even slender wrists comfortably, thanks to its downward-curving lugs and a robust, yet flexible leather strap adorned with contrasting stitches that evoke the thrill of aviation. A solid, high-quality folding clasp with lateral push-pieces enhances the sense of security. A distinctively domed sapphire crystal in a "box" shape tops the case, while Breitling's signature polygonal sapphire crystal on the back requires a special tool for access. Encircling this crystal, the stainless-steel bezel reveals several attributes of the automatic Caliber B04 inside: it's a manufacture caliber, evolved from the Caliber B01 launched in 2009, water-resistant up to 100 meters, and certified as a chronometer, underscoring Breitling's commitment to precision. Known for its vertical coupling, column wheel, and a 70-hour power reserve, Caliber B01's quality is undisputed. However, in the Super AVI, maintaining chronometer accuracy becomes challenging as the power reserve depletes, especially when using the chronograph function. Beyond displaying the time, date, and stopwatch, Caliber B04 incorporates an advanced time-zone feature, surpassing the simple display of a second time zone. The GMT function, as hinted at in the model's name, is adjusted by pulling the prominent, easy-to-grip, screw-down crown to its outer position and rotating it. This action moves the 24-hour hand with its large arrowhead along the white 24-hour scale at the dial's edge, setting the local time in a 24-hour format, followed by the minute hand adjustment.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito movement

Now, both hour hands align to display identical times, albeit in different formats. This setup lends itself to versatility; for instance, when transitioning to a new time zone, one can easily adjust the local-time hour hand by manipulating the crown and dial. The minutes and seconds stay consistent. Crossing the International Date Line results in automatic adjustments to the date, with a similar reversal upon return. For those preferring to track an alternate time zone, the 24-hour hand can be set accordingly, thereafter aligning the hour hand to depict the local time. Additionally, the bezel, featuring a dual-direction rotation capability and a 12-hour scale, facilitates setting a third time zone. This requires mindfulness of the day or night status within that third zone, as the bezel's minute markings may not align perfectly with its 12-hour scale. The ceramic bezel boasts a user-friendly design with a secure locking mechanism.

The watch's crown, characterized by its sizeable, textured, double-sealed form, ensures ease of operation, providing a seamless experience in screwing it open and shut, and locking it into specific settings. The vintage-inspired chronograph pushers enhance the functionality with their smooth operation, underscored by the precision of the column-wheel mechanism governing the Caliber B04’s chronograph features.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito

Identifying the elapsed-seconds hand is straightforward, thanks to its distinct color and tip shape, distinguishing it from the 24-hour hand as it circles the dial with the chronograph activated, advancing the red-orange minute hand on a visible counter at the 3 o'clock position each time it completes a cycle. This subdial's striking design, with its red-orange details, pays homage to the De Havilland Mosquito, mirroring the iconic imagery associated with the aircraft. The dial's legibility is enhanced by its matte black surface, augmented by large Arabic numerals and luminous hands and markers, ensuring visibility in low light conditions. The tricompax layout includes a date function neatly integrated within the 12-hour counter at the 6 o'clock position, designed to advance just before midnight without risking damage to the mechanism during manual adjustments.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Mosquito Luminous

This culmination of features solidifies the Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT as a cutting-edge representation of timekeeping, while its nods to the historical Mosquito aircraft honor the legacy of a brand deeply intertwined with the evolution of aviation technology.  To Learn More About Breitling