When I think of Breitling, I usually think of the Avenger series or the Superocean, and even though these days the trend has been towards smaller watches, I think this Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 is so iconic and a great watch regardless of the size. Now it’s true that I used to own a Breitling Avenger Seawolf and yes I did end up selling that watch. Why you ask? Because of the size. That’s really a long story for another day, but basically, I had always wanted one and by the time I got one, I really wasn’t into big watches like that anymore. Still, I don’t regret owning it for the time I had it and even though this Avenger chrono is still a large watch, it is not as thick as the Seawolf and there are a few other differences as well, that would make it more daily-able-at least for me.
This watch comes to me from Saltzman’s Watches of Newport, who graciously loaned this watch to me for review. They are of course an Authorized Dealer and if you are interested in this watch or others that they carry, just shoot them a phone call or email, tell them you saw this review and what watch you are interested in. All their info will be in the specifications below.
The Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 has that famous rider tab bezel Breitling is known for, in this case, a beautiful matte blue dial with a white gold wing logo, and overall there is no mistaking this watch for any other. I mentioned in the video how the Avenger lineup doesn’t change that much over time, if you saw one of these models from 10 years ago, while there are some differences, you can easily tell they are the same model. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that is a good thing. Breitling is a brand that is not copied often, unlike Rolex, Bell and Ross, Omega, Audemars Piquet, and many others. Hell Maurice Lacroix, a bigger named brand in their own right kinda ripped off AP with their latest models, but look around at all the different brands, all the different micro brands and you really will not see watches that look like Breitling.
Now people can argue why that is, but one thing is for sure when you wear a Breitling, you aren’t really going to have to worry about people mistaking it for anything else. When I was talking to Saltzman’s and setting up reviewing some watches for them, they gave me a few options for the initial review. I took one look at this blue dial model and knew I wanted to review this one. I hope to review a few different brands that they carry moving forward, but I wanted to start with a brand I love and a model I was somewhat familiar with.
Yes, I have talked about this many times, but before I knew what a watch enthusiast or a WIS was, I was enamored with Breitling from a young age. Whether it was a billboard or a watch magazine, or even just an ad in a non-watch magazine, Breitling always captured my inner watch nerd more than any other brand. I have no issue stating that in the last 30 years my tastes have absolutely changed and big massive watches just are not my thing anymore, but I still love most of what the brand puts out, even though I may not want to wear it myself.
The 45mm case on this Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 is brushed on the top and the sides, very different from my Seawolf which had a lot of high polish going on, and while this is still very thick at almost 17mm in height, it doesn’t wear like a brick on my wrist, it wears flatter and does wrap around my wrist a little better than I thought it would. Of course with it being the Avenger, you have that familiar knurled screw-down crown and being a chronograph, large easy-to-use pushers, that are not just functional, but beautiful as well.
That rider tab bezel is fully polished on the sides, with a combo of brushed and polished on top, and is just always a joy to turn, but yes, this being a stainless steel bezel, and a lot of mirror polishing going, it is going to get scratched. Nothing you can do about it, same with a Doxa as an example. And this is an expensive watch at $5,500, no doubt about it, but watches are meant to be worn, and I have seen versions of this watch really well worn and used, and I still think they look good even with all the scratches, but that’s just me. A massive lume pip sits at the top of the bezel, ready to be seen in the dark.
The blue dial of this Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 is actually pretty clean for what it is, and I love the yellow accents against that muted blue dial. As I stated earlier, that wing logo is actually white gold, not just some chrome-finished steel, and even though it’s not something you can touch or really feel, there is just something about it being made of a precious metal that I appreciate. The indices are applied, big thick rectangles with strips of lume sandwiched between them, and a pretty traditional setup for a 7750 Chronograph (which is what this movement is based on) and the date located at the 3. Nothing revolutionary here of course, but a good-looking dial.
Above the dial though, is the cambered sapphire crystal, and it’s a beautiful crystal and the blue AR coating does look good but my problem with Breitling and a few others are the outer AR coating. Breitling uses both inner and outer AR coatings and they just aren’t as scratch-resistant as the sapphire itself. It can be removed by someone who is qualified (not many are surprisingly) and it can be reapplied by Breitling or a Breitling service center, but it is one thing I wish that Breitling would make optional and not standard.
When it comes to the case back, this may be one of the few times that I wish I could see the movement. While the Breitling 13 is a COSC-certified movement, it probably isn’t overlay decorated, most likely just a custom signed rotor, but this very plain engraved case back is not what I was expecting, especially on a watch that costs almost $6,000. Maybe I am being picky, but I was hoping for at least a stamped wing logo on the back.
The Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 comes on a choice of a few straps. This sample was sent to me on a blue canvas with a yellow leather backing, and it is a very nice strap in my opinion. I love both the way it looks and feels and that yellow leather is just eye-catching. This version of the strap has a tang buckle but you can get a push-button deployant buckle as well as a Breitling bracelet and of course, the price goes up with each upgrade that you do. With a weight of 157 grams, you would think a strap would not balance the watch out at all, but it really does, and I think it felt very comfortable on my 7 1/2 inch wrist. Yes, this is a 55mm lug to lug, and yes it is a heavy piece, but somehow it does work on my wrist, though I still don’t know if I would want to rock this daily, after a few days of wearing it, who knows, maybe I could get used to it again. Unfotunbaly I was not able to wear this piece like I normally would and I did test the lume, but not as I would normally, which would be wearing it in many different dark situations, one of them being to bed. The lume is bright though and it will easily last quite a few hours, about 5 or so, if not more, and this piece just looks really good in the dark.
I am glad I had a chance to review this piece and even though it is not the latest model from Breitling, I still think these are great-looking pieces and can easily understand why someone would want this in their collection. My tastes probably would lean more towards a Superocean these days, I love the look of the new ones and the 42mm model is one I could see me wearing daily, if not even being one that stays on the wrist a lot more than others, but there is something about this big and bold Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45, especially in this blue. There are other colors available and if you want to see more, please check out Saltzman’s, as they carry a lot of Breitling models, amongst other brands, and even if you are not interested in purchasing this piece, give their website a look, it would be appreciated.
As for this model, Breitling will always have a special place in my heart, no matter the model, and even though l love some more than others, the Avenger series is a staple in the Breitling lineup for a reason and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.