Whether you’re an airline pilot or a military jet chief, the brazen and adventurous lifestyle of a navigator encapsulates our fantasies like nothing else. Maybe it’s the idea of flying thousands of feet above sea level or it’s the jet-setting lifestyle. And what better incentive to stream all the mystery and exhilaration of the aircraft-style of living than by wearing one of the world’s finest pilot accessories on your wrist? Their timepieces are also one-of-a-kind to wear.
Albert Santos-Dumont, an aviation innovator, developed the pilot watch in 1904. Nowadays, the world’s best watch brands are vying for our wrists with aeronautically-inspired vintage pieces that not only represent as dependable buddies in the clouds but also look pleasingly leaping back on Earth. Here are some of their examples.
Hamilton Khaki Aviation
Innovative, daring, and precise are exactly what pilots require in a wristwatch. All of those criteria are met by the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind which incorporates the first drift angle calculator to exist in a watch. This also allows pilots to properly calculate how crosswinds will influence their adventure. With a creative appearance and automatic movement that is ideal for urban aircraft, it is an excellent everyday company. This H77736733 model has a 45 mm case and a stealthy presence thanks to the black PVD coating. It costs $2,344.00 according to their website.
Bremont AIRCO MACH 1 White
The AIRCO unit takes its title from the ‘Aircraft Manufacturing Company Limited,’ one of the first British military aerospace companies. The watches are built with Bremont’s technical three-piece ‘Trip-Tick®’ cases, which are manufactured at the business’s UK headquarters. The smaller but wonderfully finished chronometer-rated BE-92AE movement is housed in the generated cases. The AIRCO MACH 1 features a military-inspired white dial accented by a sweeping red second hand and a satin-finished case. It is also available with a vintage brown calf leather strap and has 100m water resistance. Lastly, it costs about $4,713.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph’s main aspects are an organized dial and outstanding legibility even under the most stringent environment. The rigorous 79320-caliber chronograph movement allows for single and aggregate times of up to 12 hours. The subdials at “12” and “6” are used for aggregate timing, while the red seconds hand at “9” implies that the timepiece is operational. In the context of a soft-iron inner case, the movement is optimally protected against the effects of external magnetic fields. The watch comes with a black calfskin strap and is waterproof to 6om. The back of the 43 mm stainless-steel case is engraved with a Junkers JU-52, whose cockpit layout inspired all Pilot’s Watches. Its price is about $6,488.
Breitling Aviator 8 Chronograph 43
The Aviator 8 Chronograph 43 features a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock, as well as 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 6 and 12 o’clock. It is precise to one-quarter of a second. This timepiece is powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 13 chronometer caliber. It is wound automatically using a unilateral ball-bearing rotor and has a runtime of more than 42 hours. The 43 mm case of the A13316101B1X3 has a solid screwed caseback and is obtainable in DLC-coated steel with a leather strap, or steel with a leather strap or steel bracelet. Its price is around $6,488.
Casio EFR-566BL-2AV Edifice
A small percentage of us will ever be able to board a Boeing 787 and fly throughout the Atlantic. Even so, we merely want an aviator’s watch since, first and foremost, they are indisputably exquisite, and second, the best pilot’s watches are a manifestation of significant technical expertise. The Edifice is exactly that: a showcase of high-tech resourcefulness. Casio designed and built it, combining the best of pleasure, tone, and horology skills to produce pilot-worthy timekeeping to your wrist. This EFR-566BL-2AV Edifice features a genuine leather band, 1/10-second stopwatch, date display, and a countdown bezel.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot Big Day Date
This courageous timepiece was created to meet the needs of fighter pilots in Normandy, and it has since birthed an entire collection of sky-bound watches. This Oris Big Crown ProPilot comes in a 44 mm stainless steel case with screwed, see-through mineral glass. It has a blue dial with numerals and hands Superluminova BG W9 Grade A and grey textile strap with stainless steel folding clasp. It is supported by an automatic winding big day date developed by Oris and has a 38 hrs power reserve. Its cost is about $2,017.
Panerai Luminor Base Logo
Any watch collector will recognize Panerai’s legendary Luminor watch, and this is a fresh and stylish take on that 1950s masterpiece. Like any great flight watch, the indices are completed in Super-LumiNova. It also follows the original models’ distinguishable crown-protecting bridge. The PAM01086 comes in a 44 mm AISI 316L polished steel case and black with luminous Arabic hour markers and numerals. The watch in beige stitching scamosciato brown strap costs around $5,000.
Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master
Rolex’s first GMT-Master, introduced in 1955, was specifically created for use by airline drivers on long-haul flights around the world, and it displayed the time in two different time zones at the same time. That being said, Rolex’s aviation watches are now intended for use by anyone who enjoys global air travel, not just pilots. With its stainless steel case and bracelet, this prototype is streamlined and stylish to stare at. The instantly recognizable 24-hour Pepsi bezel divides the day and night into 12-hour segments while the matte black dial is a unique feature.
In A Nutshell
There are a couple of characteristics to look for when purchasing a conventional pilot watch. These include a large dial, luminous indices, prominent hands, bezel markings, a triangle at 12 o’clock, oversized crown, GMT function, circular slide rule, and anti-magnetic seal. Of course, a Chronograph function is required for precise timing as well as determining the amount of fuel burned and other computations.
Pilot watches are made from a variety of materials for their high quality and sturdiness. Two essential materials are commonly found in pilot watches. First is the sapphire crystal must be anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, and shatter-proof. The second material is canvas, which is the best option for the strap as a nod to the original standard-issue pilot watches from World War I. Moreover, stainless steel and leather straps are also available.