Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante steel

Top 10 aviation watches

This selection of watches comprises 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…

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 pilot’s watches 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 be used with flying…

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 pilot’s watch appearance, based on Minerva’s…

Archimede Pilot 42 HandWound Bronze

Archimede Pilot 42 HandWound Bronze

Bronze is the material of the moment. The Pilot 42 HandWound Bronze by Archimede has a case made by Ickler, a specialist company in Pforzheim. The bronze has a brushed finish, and the case has a screw-down steel caseback with mineral crystal providing a view of the movement. It is water-resistant to 5 bar (50…

Stowa Flieger DIN Professional

Stowa Flieger DIN Professional

Stowa was one of the companies that made pilot’s watches for the Luftwaffe in the 1930s and ’40s, and so the brand feels a commitment and responsibility to this heritage. They make some watches that mirror the characteristics of Type A and Type B Flieger watches fairly closely, at least in terms of dial design.…

Sinn 857 UTC VFR

The 857 UTC VFR by Sinn is a pilot’s watch, certified by the newly-instituted German standard DIN 8330, specially devised for watches used in aviation, where they may be subjected to magnetic fields, positive and negative variations in pressure and temperature, and G-forces. In addition to these qualities, this watch has a dial of superb…

Sinn 103 Ti UTC IFR

Sinn 103 Ti UTC IFR

The 103 Ti UTC IFR is a pilot’s chronograph by Sinn, complying to the new German standard DIN 8330 for pilot’s watches. It’s a fine combination of features, with time functions given optimum legibility by means of a simple layout and a judicious use of SuperLuminova. The chronograph can likewise be used in low light…

Sinn pilot’s chronograph 103-Ti IFR

Sinn pilot’s chronograph 103-Ti IFR

The 103-Ti IFR is a chronograph by Sinn that meets the specifications of German pilot’s watch standard DIN 8330, a new standard for pilot’s watches that came into operation in March 2016. DIN 8330 is based on the previous TESTAF technical standard developed by Sinn, and its formulation was devised by a team comprising Sinn,…

Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 IW324003

Three of IWC’s pilot’s watches are grounded

The 2016 pilot’s watches by IWC Schaffhausen included some small 36 mm pieces that seemed to reflect an interest in the genre on the part of women. Three of the 3240 references, IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36, have been withdrawn from the catalogue: IW324003, the watch with blue dial markings and blue alligator strap that…

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King

A new pilot’s watch from Rolex! The Rolex Air-King has some of the characteristics of classic pilot’s watches, such as the black dial, the generous SuperLuminova on hands and numerals, high resistance to magnetic fields, and the white triangle at 12 o’clock. But, as it’s a Rolex, it also differs significantly from the usual pilot’s…

Fortis Flieger Professional Chronograph reference 705.21.11

Like the Fortis Flieger Professional reference 704.21.11, this piece is a new model in the extensive Fortis range of pilot’s watches, with a 43mm case and sapphire caseback. The dial is laid out with simplicity and logic, with chronograph seconds hand and the subdial hands for minutes and hours in orange. The case has a…

Fortis Flieger Professional reference 704.21.11

Fortis Flieger Professional reference 704.21.11

Fortis has a long history of professional flying watches. The Flieger Professional has a 41mm case with areas of polished and satin-finish steel, a crown with a new logo, anti-reflective watchglass and sapphire caseback. The dial has a degree of three-dimensionality, with a slightly depressed ring with the seconds scale. Numerals, hour markers and hands…