I was talking to a huge watch collector yesterday who told me he just had the opportunity to pick up a Breitling Aviastar. The level of excitement that he was speaking to me with was like that of a kid stepping foot into a candy store for the very first time. It was awesome.
The Aviastar was first launched as a prototype at the BaselWorld Fair in 1995. The model had yet to be named at the time, and was publicized a year later in the 1996 Breitling catalog. In 1997, the watch entered the market, yet its dial was significantly different from that of the prototype advertised in 1996. Ironically, the prototype of the model was still mistakenly being advertised for the authentic version of the Aviastar even after the 1997 version was released.
The model had a retail price of $2,325 on a leather strap at the time; it was also available on a pilot bracelet for a short while. By 1998, the watch was available with a blue or Havana brown dial in addition to the original black. Unfortunately, 1998 was the last year the watch appeared in the official Breitling catalog. By the early 2000s, the watch was only available on the secondary market.
Apparently many Breitling enthusiasts really like the piece and would love for a new version of the watch to launched. The late-90s version of the timepiece housed the Breitling caliber 13 movement, which was extremely accurate. The 16.4mm thick chronograph had a bi-directional bezel, a quick-set date and a domed mineral glass crystal.
I am a huge fan of the black dial version of the watch. I think it would be a great success if Breitling decided to launch the watch again in a slightly re-designed and updated form. I know many people would not want to miss out on one this time around, myself included.