Bell & Ross BR 01-92 Heritage

The Bell & Ross pilot’s watch, with square case and four bezel screws, a layout inspired by cockpit instruments, has become a modern classic, occasionally copied (here is an example). In the BR0192-HERITAGE version, the dial layout is more reminiscent of an altimeter than a traditional pilot’s watch, with four large numerals in a distinctive…

Oris Big Crown PA Charles de Gaulle Oris Limited Edition

Oris Big Crown PA Charles de Gaulle

Oris is famous for its pilot’s watches, and one of its classic models is the Big Crown, first introduced in 1938. This is now made in a number of versions, with several special editions. The new PA Charles de Gaulle Oris Limited Edition is dedicated to the French aircraft carrier named Charles de Gaulle, and…

Stowa Flieger 40 Baumunster B Limited edition

Stowa Flieger Klassik 40 Automatic Baumuster B Limited

Stowa have been making pilot’s watches since 1937, and they are based in Engelsbrand, near Pforzheim in Germany, where they also have a museum of their watches running back to 1927. The Stowa Flieger Klassik 40 Automatic Baumuster B Limited is part of celebrations of its 90th anniversary, and it is a limited edition of…

Nav B-Uhr 47 Vintage TITAN A-Muster

Nav B-Uhr 47 Vintage TITAN A-Muster

German brand Steinhart make an extensive range of pilot’s watches inspired by the World War II B-Uhr patterns. The Nav B-Uhr 47 Vintage TITAN A-Muster is distinctive for its large size, 47 mm in diameter and 14.2 mm thick, its solid caseback, conical crown, and caseback engraving that is similar to the information generally engraved…

Archimede Pilot 250

Archimede Pilot 250

The Archimede Pilot 250 is a 50-piece limited edition built to celebrate 250 years of watchmaking in Pforzheim: in 1787, the Markgraf Karl Friedrich of Baden gave watchmaker Jean François Autran permission to set up a watch factory in an orphanage in the town. The Pilot 250 has a 42 mm case in brushed stainless…

Breitling Navitimer 01

Breitling Navitimer 01

The Breitling Navitimer 01 is an absolute classic in the field of aviation watches. It was introduced in 1952, and since then it witnessed the arrival of civil jet planes, the quartz revolution, and the return of mechanical watches as luxury products. It also illustrates the progressive increase in watch size, starting at 40 mm,…

Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary

Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary

The Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary celebrates 90 years from Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis aircraft. He left Roosevelt Field, an airport near New York, at 7:52 on 20 May 1927, and reached La Bourget airport near Paris 33 and a half hours later. It was the first…

Early pilot’s watches

Many watch brands include one or more models based on the earliest style of pilot’s and military watches, with large, chunky numerals in Art Deco style reflecting the years (1905-1920) in which they first appeared. Other characteristic features may include a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and a large case size, because in those…

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante steel

Top 10 aviation watches

This selection comprises watches inspired by aviation, but without the Type A and Type B B-Uhr watches that are so numerous that they have categories for themselves, and likewise the early pilot’s watch genre that is also well-populated. This top ten list is in ascending price order. 1. Torsten Nagengast Timeline i16 Aviator Basic pilot’s…

Bremont Airco pilot’s watch

Bremont Airco pilot’s watches

The Royal Air Force celebrates its centenary on 1 April 2018, and Bremont have anticipated this occasion with the two Airco pilot’s watches. Bremont Airco Mach 1/BK Bremont has its own distinctive style and the Airco Mach 1/BK, which is closest to the classic Type A pilot’s watch, has several features that give it its…

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 40 mm

Zenith is one of the few brands making watches in the early pilot’s style to have a genuine historic prototype on which to base its new models. The original timepiece made for Louis Blériot in 1909 set the scene for pilot’s watches, with its cathedral hands, large, chunky numerals, and a crown large enough to…

Archimede Pilot HW 42 pilot's watch

Archimede Pilot HW 42 in slim case

Archimede have introduced a new, slim pilot’s watch. The Pilot HW 42 has a hand-wound movement (Sellita SW 215), whose thickness of 3.35 mm enables a case size of just 8.6 mm. This compares to the 9.9 mm of the brand’s automatic Pilot’s 42. Display caseback The watch has a sapphire crystal caseback that reveals…

Oris Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition

Oris Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition

The earliest pilot’s watches were often pocket watches adapted for a strap by welding wire loop lugs to the case. Oris recently discovered a watch of this type dating back to the 1910s, and for 2017 it is presenting a new edition of this piece from a century ago. Early design style, modern materials While…

Terra Cielo Mare Avio Tipo F pilot’s watch

Terra Cielo Mare is a family-run Italian company, and not surprisingly their pilot’s watches are inspired by episodes from the history of Italian aviation. The new Avio Tipo F has a design that recalls the early aviator models with stylized numerals and hands with faceted areas of SuperLuminova. The dial is a dark blue instead…

Laco Pilot Watch Type B Replica

Top 10 Type B pilot’s watches 2017

B-Uhr pilot’s watches are all based on a specification by the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium), the Ministry of Aviation in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. For its aircraft navigators, it specified watches whose characteristics were: 55mm diameter, very large for good legibility; movement with a Breguet-type balance spring; chronometer-tested movement; protection against magnetic fields provided by…

Matwatches AG5 2 Aviation

Matwatches is a French brand specializing in military watches. The name comes from “Mer-Air-Terre.” The MAT AG5 2 Aviation combines features of diving watches, with water resistance of 300 metres and a unidirectional rotating bezel, and pilot’s watches, with black dial, and hands, numerals and hour indices coated with SuperLuminova for good visibility at low…

IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII

Top 10 Type A pilot’s watches 2017

The Type A is the most familiar pilot’s watch type of all, based on one of the Luftwaffe B-Uhr specifications, with Arabic numerals, black dial, and indications coated with SuperLuminova. Its simplicity makes it easily recognizable. Most of the high-end watch brands avoid making these pilot’s watches because their iconic design makes it impossible to…

Montblanc 1858 Automatic

Montblanc 1858 Automatic

1858, because in 2007, the Richemont Group purchased Minerva and assigned it to Montblanc. Minerva is a historical brand founded in 1858, and it developed a reputation for fine movements and in particular for chronographs. The 1858 collection was presented in October 2015 with two timepieces with a distinctly early pilot’s watch appearance, based on…