Nostalgia has a powerful effect on the way we look at the past – it distorts and idealizes what we choose to remember.
Embracing this gives us some latitude in how we analyze modern replica watches that are inspired by historic designs. When it comes to appreciating the original historic references, we’re not always celebrating the specifics of a design, but rather the era of the watch. Take the Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona, for instance.
The dial legibility is terrible and the build quality of the vintage models compared to the modern models is decent at best. And yet, it’s probably the most-referenced vintage watch since its record-breaking sale. The King of Cool made the watch. Oftentimes we buy into the story and not the watch. And that’s not a bad thing, as many times the stories around watches are far more interesting than the luxury copy Breitling watches themselves.
This phenomenon gives manufacturers a lot of room when it comes to re-interpreting past designs with new watches. And it’s easy to give them a pass on a questionable design if we’re buying into the narrative, the nostalgia.
That’s what makes the new black dial copy Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-edition an interesting release. Even without the ’50s backstory, it’s a damn good watch. It doesn’t use history as a crutch to push the watch and it doesn’t use modernity as an excuse to cut corners when re-interpreting the design. This watch is, in theory, as close to the original 1953 model as Breitling could get while still producing a commercially viable reference.