Best Pilot Watches Under $500

Best Pilot Watch Under $500

Pilot watches are in style, and you can often get away with wearing an excellent watch even if you aren’t dressed to match. But if you’re in the market for a good pilot watch, you might also be looking for one under $500 so you can afford it without emptying your wallet.

If that’s the case, we recommend the Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch as the best pilot watch under 500. It’s a quality timepiece that can bring you a lot of value for many years to come. We’ll also show you some alternative picks for watches that are still excellent and beneath $500.

Top Pick: Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch

 

Overall, our favorite pick is the Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch.

This watch is constructed with sapphire glass and Precisionist-class chronograph movement. This makes the watch’s timekeeping abilities three times more accurate than watches with standard quartz chronograph mechanisms. It includes a signature floating secondhand and resists gravitational error. It’s so precise that it’s accurate within 1/1000 of a second.

The watch exudes class and elegance. It’s made with the stainless-steel case and bracelet and the dial is set against the blue and silver dials with multiple layers of black carbon fiber. This keeps the watch face luminous and easy to read while being sophisticated enough for virtually any occasion.

Why We Like It

The watch’s simplicity and style both combine to make this one of the best watches we’ve ever seen. In addition to its excellent aesthetic, it’s extremely functional both in its timekeeping abilities and precision. A tachymeter has been implemented along the outer border of the watch face.

In addition to these excellent qualities, the watch is also water resistant down to 300 meters. Its sapphire glass face is strong enough to resist some punishment without attaining any blemishes; this is a great thing in our eyes since it’s a little pricey even though it’s still beneath $500.

Speaking of water resistance, if you’re looking for outdoor watches, check out our handy guide here.

What Could be Better

There are a couple of downsides. Watch is a little large, as it 45mm in diameter, so those with thinner wrists will likely look a little silly in comparison. In addition, the bracelet doesn’t taper very well so can be uncomfortable if you have sensitive skin beneath your wrist.

Other Picks

We’ve got some runners-up that for best pilot watches that are almost as good as the Bulova.

Citizen Watches Men’s AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch

 

The Citizen Watches Men’s AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch is a much more affordable option that has a military-inspired aesthetic. The watch border is stainless steel with a red contrasting secondhand, but the bracelet is made from rugged green canvas. Both of these styles combine to create a watch aesthetic that is both classy and practical at the same time.

It’s also an accurate timepiece; it uses Japanese quartz movement technology to remain precise throughout the year. Even better, it can recharge the natural sunlight or indoor light, so this extends the amount of time you have to enjoy the watch before you need to replace its battery.

Why We Like It

We really enjoy the overall durability and practicality of this watch, making it a shoe-in for a choice of one of the best pilot watches. Its ability to recharge its battery via sunlight or indoor light is an excellent design choice that can save you money in the long run in addition to its convenience. The hands are particularly luminous and easy to see even in low light conditions.

When it comes to durability, there are a few watches that compare. Its water resistance up to 330 feet or 100 meters, making it suitable for swimming if not diving. The window is made from mineral crystal so it can withstand some punishment before it takes any visible damage.

What Could be Better

The biggest downside is that the red hand, which you might think is for timekeeping, is actually only used for the watch’s stopwatch capability. This is a little misleading. In addition, the date window near the 4 o’clock position is very small and can be hard to see if you use glasses or try to see the date from far away.

If you’re interested in more Citizen-brand watches, check out our guide.

Aviator F-Series Men’s Vintage World War II Pilot Design Watch

 

This watch evokes an old-fashioned style and appears as it came right out of the 1940s and 50s. It uses a contrasting white dial background with black lettering and three subdials marked for 60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 1/10th of a second respectively. Each subdial has different border coloring for easy recognition.

The hands are made to be luminous and easy to see in the dark. They are protected in a waterproof stainless steel case that can easily withstand rain or water down to 100 meters. It uses Japanese Quartz movement to maintain accurate timekeeping.

Why We Like It

We really enjoy the aesthetic on display here. The brown strap evokes a simpler timer but the dial casing is still made with scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass. It combines vintage design with modern safety and efficiency.

We also really like that the subdials are colored slightly differently. It helps to tell them apart, and it makes the entire dial case look a little less crowded since all the icons aren’t the same colors. There’s a lot of information on display with this watch but it never seems to be too much.

What Could be Better

The band isn’t made of genuine leather, which does hurt it somewhat. It keeps the watch affordable, but you can definitely tell the difference when you’re wearing the timepiece. In addition, the minute and hour hands of the clock would be better off black instead of white with black borders, as they are currently.

Still, these nitpicks are minor when considering the overall charm of the watch as a whole.

Seiko Men’s SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch with Brown Leather Band

 

Black isn’t the right color for everybody. If brown is more your style, try the Seiko Men’s SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch with Brown Leather Band. It’s affordable and made with a stainless-steel case that protects two subdials and a date window at the 6 o’clock position. The leather band is comfortable and can be secured with a buckle.

It’s also fairly water resistant down to 100 meters and it uses Japanese quartz movement, so you know you’re getting accurate time consistently, even well into the watch’s lifespan. You can also use the inbuilt chronograph to measure up to 60 minutes of activity.

Why We Like It

This is an extremely attractive watch for its aesthetic alone. The white hands are luminous and easy to pick out as they contrast with the brown dial. We also really like that the strap is made from genuine leather, which makes its affordable price all the more outstanding. It’s hard to come by decent timepieces if you’re on a budget, so we’re glad this option exists.

Because of the leather band, this watch is incredibly comfortable to wear even though it’s a little larger and heavier than some folks might be used to.

What Could be Better

The Crystal dial window is protected by Hardlex material, which isn’t as durable as it sounds. Scratching the face of this watch is a little easier when compared to other contemporary watch faces. This isn’t a huge deal given the low asking price, but it’s still something to consider.

Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Stainless Steel Leather Avion Watch

 

The Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Stainless Steel Leather Avion Watch also combines a black dial, white hands, and a brown wristband for an old-fashioned look. The wristband here is made from calfskin leather, meaning it’s soft and comfortable for a long time before it starts to wear out. The silver watch border is made from stainless steel and combines with a mineral dial window.

This watch also uses Japanese quartz movement. It only loses a couple of seconds of time per day at maximum, so you won’t have to reset your watch very frequently. It can also resist water down to about 100 meters of depth.

Why We Like It

We really enjoy the overall feel and size of this watch. It’s comfortable to wear and the white hands set against the black dial keep all of the necessary time information easy to parse no matter what the light level is.

You also get a chronograph that measures up to 60 minutes, a date window, and a 12/24 hour time dial set on the right-hand side of the center circle. It fits a lot of information onto its dial without being too cluttered or confusing, with the exception of the date window which is easily hidden amongst the other aspects.

What Could be Better

Indeed, the date is easy to lose and that’s a clear con in our eyes. In addition, the watch face can feel pretty heavy due to its overall thickness. While this does help to protect the watch from damage, it can feel a little clunky or awkward, especially since it appears to the modern style with pilot watches that are larger rather than smaller.

Conclusion

Overall, these are the choices of best pilot watches under 500 if you’re looking for a good timepiece that can last you for a while without breaking the bank. Nevertheless, there are high-end options in the market for pilots, which may satisfy the most exquisite tastes;  to have a 30,000-foot overview of some of them, you can read our Best Pilot Watch article.

Rolex Air King Review: A Design Departure or a Fresh Take on a Classic?

One of the most common criticisms about Rolex is that their watches tend to look the same. To some extent, there’s a truth to this sentiment and it applies to both Rolex’s historical timepieces and contemporary models. However, Rolex’s meticulous consistency is what made it one of the largest luxury brands in the world.

Therefore, many people are caught off-guard when they see something as unorthodox as the Rolex Air King.

Today, we’ll take a long hard look at the Rolex Air King. The Air King is widely considered to be the Swiss luxury brand’s entry-level pilot watch but is it worth the entry-level price tag?

Let’s take a look.

Rolex Air King Review: At a Glance

As mentioned, the Air King is the least expensive model in the Rolex line. For this review, we’ll focus on the Rolex Air-King ref. 116900 model. But first, let’s see the key specs and features.

Model:

Rolex Air King

Reference no.

116900

Model case:

Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel

Oyster architecture:

Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Smooth

Winding crown:

Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system

Crystal:

Scratch-resistant sapphire

Crown:

Screw-locked, two gaskets
Water-resistance: Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet

Movement:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, with a magnetic shield to protect the movement

Caliber:

3131, Manufacture Rolex

Precision:

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Functions:

Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Stop-seconds for precise time setting

Oscillator:

Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring

Winding:

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Power reserve:

48 hours

Bracelet:

Oyster, flat three-piece links

Clasp:

Folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link

Dial:

Black, Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence

First Impression

Rolex Air King Review Featured

The Rolex Air King is perhaps the most confusing Rolex I’ve ever owned.

It’s worth noting that the original design of the Air King was very simple and in some ways, a very purist Rolex. I mean it has no date aperture, it comes with a water-resistant case, chronometer, and a screw-down crown. It had the most essential Rolex elements without the distractions.

However in 2016, Rolex released an Air King version (reference 116900) which was a significant departure from the original design.

If you are familiar with the old Air King design, you’ll find the new design to be quite extroverted. The rather unorthodox design is mainly seen on the dial. The new Air King’s dial is uncharacteristically colorful and is somewhat busy when compared to other iconic Rolex models such as the Submariner and Datejust.

I must admit that the 116900’s overall look takes a bit of getting used to. The old Air King’s popularity was mainly attributed to its simplicity and robustness. I have to say that Air King still has those qualities with an extra touch of personality.

However, as with any drastic changes to time-tested Rolex designs, to say that the latest Air King is polarizing to timepiece collectors would be a severe understatement.

The Polarizing Black Dial

It’s hard not to agree that most of the confusion about the Air King lies with its satin black dial. The new Air King retains the black dial but with some strange design elements introduced.

First off, the dial features applied, Arabic numeral markers with the familiar Rolex Explorer layout. The Arabic 3, 6 and 9’clock markers are fitted in polished white gold, and the 12 o’clock marker is an inverted triangle which is also fashioned in white gold. The rest of the dial’s layout takes a strange turn as the rest of the hour markers go from ‘5’ to ’55’, only interrupted by the Explorer layout.

While this is a layout that divided many fans, I personally like this design as it reminds me of a cockpit indicator. Some people may not like the layout but it certainly looks like a pilot watch for the most part. With that said, legibility is excellent with its bold and unapologetic dial. The addition of the Chromalight lume makes readability a non-issue even in dark environments.

Another noteworthy departure is that the Rolex name is printed in green font and the familiar Crown logo is printed in yellow. Above the 6 o’clock sits the stylized Air King text with the Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified text below. I have to admit that I was taken aback by the logo designs but they certainly grew on me.

Like it or not, this enigma of a dial is what gave the Air King its distinct identity.

The Milgauss Case

If you think the shape of the Air King’s case is familiar, it’s probably because it reminds you of the Rolex Milgauss case. Well, the Rolex Air King 116900 uses the same Milgauss case which means that the watch is protected from magnetic fields.

Both the case and the bracelet is made from the signature 904L grade stainless steel and boasts a stunning satin finish. However, it’s worth noting that the Milgauss’ bracelet features a PCL (polished center link) bracelet while the Air King is all satin.

The Air King case has a thickness of about 13mm which is roughly the same thickness as the Omega Speedmaster. While it might be a bit too thick for some people, the Air-King never felt bulky or unwieldy. It’s safe to assume that the thickness is due to the anti-magnetic shielding.

As you might expect from a Rolex timepiece, the Oyster bracelet and folding Oyster clasp provide the much-needed ease of use. The bracelet is noiselessly smooth and operates reliably. I have no issue with comfort as well and it’s like wearing silk instead of steel. It’s a fairly hefty watch but Rolex did a good job with weight distribution. The signature Easylink adjustable extension links go a long way to ensure an excellent fit.

It never felt that the Air King is weighing me down.

The Air-King Movement

Rolex Air King Review 3131 Movement

This isn’t a Rolex Air King Review without talking about the movement. With that said, the Air-King is powered by the self-winding mechanical movement, the Caliber 3131. Again, this is the same exact movement used not just for the Rolex Milgauss but for the Rolex Explorer as well.

The movement operates at a frequency of 28.800 vph with a 48-hour power reserve. As mentioned, the movement is protected from electromagnetic fields. The inclusion of the blue paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring adds further magnetic protection and toughness to the watch. This pretty much ensures that the watch will be precise and reliable even when you’re on a flight.

Like with most Rolex models, the Air-King promises -2/+2 sec/day precision. The Caliber 3131 movement may not have the same fanfare as with the new Chronergy escapement, it’s a solid movement that offers good precision and some nice features.

Pricing

As I have mentioned earlier, the Rolex Air King is the brand’s less expensive model. It just edges out the updated 39mm Explorer in terms of affordability.

So is the Air King worth the entry-level asking price?

In my opinion, the Air King is as close as you can get to a proper Rolex sports watch. If you are looking for a darn good pilot watch with the signature Rolex polish, then this watch is more than worthy of its price tag. Would I go as far as recommending this for would-be first-time Rolex owners?

Well, that’s a bit of a tricky question.

While the old Air-King is considered a classic, the Air King 116900 looks nothing like the original design. For all extents and purposes, the Air-King is a handsome watch. However, it doesn’t really scream Rolex. I imagine that most people who are looking to own their first Rolex is aiming to buy into its heritage.

With its enigmatic design, the Air-King looks nothing like your classic Rolex. However, it does have the iconic Rolex polish and reliability.

In its current price point, the Air King is not worth the entry-level price if you’re looking to own a traditionally designed Rolex. On the other hand, those who are looking for a Rolex watch with plenty of personality, I highly recommend this watch – it’s practically a steal.

Should You Get the Rolex Air King?

We conclude this Rolex Air King review with our verdict.

To be quite honest, the Rolex Air-King Reference 116900 didn’t really make me excited at first. However, the more I look into it, the more endearing it gets. It’s a watch that’s all about risk-taking and needs to catch your attention. While we celebrate Rolex for the brand’s reliability and consistency, the Air King reminds us that it can still venture far from its comfort zone.

The Air King is also a fairly versatile piece that can cater to a wide range of needs. I have worn this watch from sportier activities to dressier events. It looks great, wears comfortably, and offers excellent reliability. Legibility is also on-point and remains true to the spirit of the best pilot watches.

The Air King is clearly targeted towards younger users who are turned off by the classicism of the Oyster or the omnipresence of the Submariner.

Many collectors have turned up their noses with the idiosyncrasies of the Air-King but I think its polarizing aspects are its greatest strength. This is a Rolex that dares to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Is the Air King too much of a departure from a classic? Or is it a fresh take on a classic? Regardless of what we think, you really can’t fault the Air King for being dull and boring.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Review

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Review

Breitling is a brand known for some of the best pilot watches in the industry.

However, the Grenchen-based Swiss luxury watchmaker has made a splash with their own line of dive timepieces. Breitling’s dive watch lineup is called Superocean which is basically a collection of professional-grade divers’ timepieces which was first introduced in 1957.

Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the Breitling Superocean 44 Special which is touted to have extreme water resistance and more.

Is this Swiss luxury dive watch worth looking into? Let’s find out.

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Review: At a Glance

The Superocean 44 Special is the second Breitling model that features a ceramic bezel. Before we proceed with the Breitling Superocean 44 Special review, let’s first check out the watch’s key specs and features:

Model:

Breitling Superocean 44 Special

Movement:

Breitling 17 Caliber, Self-winding mechanical, 25 jewels

Crystal:

Cambered sapphire, glareproofed both sides

Vibration:

28,800 v.p.h

Calendar:

Dial aperture

Case material

Steel/ceramic, black steel/ceramic

Bezel:

Unidirectional, ratcheted

Crown:

Screw-locked, two gaskets
Case diameter: 44 mm

Thickness:

14.20 mm

Weight (without strap):

116.10 g

Dials:

Volcano black, Mariner blue

Water resistance:

1,000 m (3,300 ft)

Power reserve:

38 hours

Lug:

22/20 mm

Bracelet material:

Rubber, steel

First Impression

The Breitling Superocean 44 Special collection is available in two different models, the “Mariner” blue and “Volcano” black ceramic bezel. I’ve had the pleasure of using both and I really can’t decide which colorway is my favorite.

Breitling refers to the Superocean 44 Special as its new “ocean pilot.” I assume this is because the brand is looking to combine the durability of a dive watch with the legibility of an aviation timepiece.

I’ve been comparing the 44 Special with the Superocean and Superocean II series and there are some clear differences. Breitling did a great job marrying their classic aviation aesthetic with traditional diving watch elements. If you are familiar with Breitling’s Avenger series, you’ll that it shares the same design DNA as Superocean 44 Special.

Like its namesake, the watch is housed on a 44mm steel case with a beautiful satin finish top and polished sides and crown. The case is secured with a twin-gasket screw-locked crown which provides the watch with incredible water resistance (more on that later).

At 44mm, this is certainly not a small watch. In fact, it’s a fairly bulky sports watch but far from being too heavy. It has a great weighty feel to it which is expected from such a heavy-duty watch.

The ceramic bezel completes the overall look of the timepiece as a sporty dive watch.

Let’s Talk About That Bezel

Breitling Superocean 44 Special Bezel

I can’t write this Breitling Superocean 44 Special review without highlighting its bezel.

As mentioned, the watch features a ceramic bezel which is crafted from a single block. In comparison, other manufacturers use a ceramic insert within the bezel. I find it interesting that Breitling used a single block ceramic construction which is certainly a nod to the company’s luxury brand origins.

For the uninitiated, ceramic is a good component for bezels since it’s more resistant to scratches. However, ceramic is also quite brittle which means that I won’t be wearing the watch when out camping or playing sports.

Aesthetically, the ceramic bezel gives off a rich, glossy sheen that’s more evident whenever light strikes the bezel. The polished ceramic bezel harmonizes with the rest of the dial due to its high-contrast theme.

The unidirectional bezel is designed to be easy to grip and operate which is handy for divers who are wearing gloves. However, the bezel can be a bit stiff to turn. The ratcheting action feels great and tactile which can’t be said with most dive watches I’ve worn as of late.

The Dial, is It a Hit or Miss?

Perhaps the most controversial design element of the Breitling Superocean 44 Special is the dial. When it was released, the Superocean Special received mixed reactions from enthusiasts. Many people online were not thrilled with Breitling’s decision to marry the pilot and dive genres.

However, nothing has drawn more flak than the dial. As you can see, the Arabic numerals on the 24-hour ring (at 3 o’clock) are obscured by the date window. To be quite honest, this particular design “flaw” was not obvious to me until it was pointed out by people online.

Personally, this didn’t bother me a bit. I think this type of imperfection adds a great deal of personality to the watch. Needless to say, I love it since it gives me the impression that actual humans made this watch and not just a machine.

Looking past the so-called gaffe, the dial looks beautiful with its bold and large luminescent hour markers. It’s topped off with a triangle marker at 12 o’clock. Legibility is not an issue here and it’s further enhanced by the extra-large hour and minute hands. I’m not a diver myself but anyone who’s underwater will have no trouble reading the watch at a glance.

The beautiful dial is protected by a curved sapphire crystal with an anti-glare treatment.

Water Resistance and Timekeeping

Breitling included enough bells and whistles to make the Superocean 44 Special an authentic professional diving watch. With a water resistance of a depth of 1,000 m (3,300 ft), it’s certainly one of the most hardworking dive watches I’ve used. In terms of waterproof level, there’s a lot to love here even if you’re a professional diver.

B17 Movement

The Superocean 44 is powered by the automatic Breitling Caliber 17 – it’s one of the few calibers that still utilizes a base with outsourced movement. With that said, it’s really hard to go wrong with the tested and proven ETA 2824-2.

As you might expect from a luxury Swiss watch, the caliber is COSC-certified as a chronometer. The power reserve is at 38 hours, a high frequency of 28,800 vph, and 25 jewels. Precision and reliability are on-point.

Wearing the Superocean 44

Overall, I’ve had a delightful time wearing the Superocean 44.

While it’s a 44mm model, for some reason the watch didn’t wear too large. The dark color theme has played a hand in minimizing the overall volume of the watch, visually speaking. The addition of the bright markers really helps in pulling away your eyes from the size of the watch.

As expected, the Superocean 44 nailed the legibility aspect and it can compete with some of the best pilot watches when it comes to ease of reading.

Breitling Ocean Racer Strap

The Volcano version comes with Breitling’s Ocean Racer or Diver Pro strap. On the other hand, the Mariner model comes with the traditional rugged steel bracelet. Mine came with the Ocean Racer strap and to be honest, it might be one of the most favorite strap designs ever.

Basically, the Ocean Racer is like the lovechild of classic rubber dive strap and a racing-inspired strap. The addition of holes is a nice touch as it adds ruggedness to the overall look. However, I must say that the Superocean 44 looks more like a military watch that’s more at home in an aircraft carrier than in thousands of feet under the sea.

Pricing

The Ocean Racer II strap and Driver Pro III models are offered in the same price. The Steel Mariner Blue model is more expensive by about $500. The most expensive variation is the Black steel – Volcano Black which features the Diver Pro III strap with a pushbutton folding clasp.

Although the Superocean 44 is a new addition to the Superocean line, it’s very much similar with the previous models from this selection. For instance, the Superocean 44 looks to be just the updated of the previous Superocean II 44 model.

For a luxury dive watch, I think that it’s a bit too expensive. However, it’s a fairly versatile high-end sports watch and a great utility for diving. It’s also in the same price range as the previous models, so the pricing was rather expected.

So is it a good upgrade if you already have the previous Superocean models? In my opinion, there’s not much going on to warrant an upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, the Superocean 44 Special hits all the right notes for a good dive watch. However, it didn’t really do anything special to vault itself higher than the previous models.

Should You Get the Breitling Superocean 44 Special?

The Breitling Superocean 44 Special is a dive watch that I had the pleasure of wearing. It sneakily found itself in my daily sports watch rotation. Breitling succeeded in making a timepiece that combines their signature aviation DNA with dive watch design elements.

The result is a gorgeous dive watch that’s altogether modern and masculine. Legibility is also off the charts, thanks to some thoughtful design decisions by the manufacturer.

However, this won’t be a Breitling Superocean 44 Special review without its problems. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the watch is the price. I know that it’s a Swiss watch and it’s a luxury brand but I think that the price is a little bit inflated.

There’s also the issue with the dial’s design flaw.

For the obsessive-compulsive collector, the clipped Arabic numerals is a deal breaker. The use of the single block ceramic is an interesting choice but it’s also a point of contention for the enthusiasts. Personally, I love the use of ceramic in this watch but I’m bummed that I can’t wear it for rougher activities. This is a watch that you can’t afford to drop or knock.

If you’re in the market for a fairly distinguished dive watch or you’re a big fan of the Superocean series, the Breitling Superocean 44 Special is worth the look.

Glycine Watches Review

Glycine Watches Review

We’ve spent countless hours researching the various watches available from the Glycine brand and reviewed each collection carefully. For our verdict, we’ve concluded with our Glycine watches review that they are definitely worth the investment for those who mainly rely on their watches as they travel. One of our top picks is the KMU GL0133 as part of the KMU48 collection.

Glycine watches are crafted to be sturdy, accurate and easy to read at just a glance. These incorporated elements make it ideal for those who travel for a living. Whether you’re a businessman, pilot, or in the military, you’ll enjoy the ease and style of the Glycine watches.

However, the brand itself isn’t cheap, which means you should be receiving a sturdy watch. Most of their collections range from mid-tier pricing all the way to luxury. Although, it depends on which collection you’re looking at. For example, the Airman and Combat are high end and features multiple clocks, measurements, and more. On the other hand, the  KMU 48 and Incursore are more affordable and features a simplistic but sturdy design.

Overall, the Glycine brand has our approval as they have created a number of watches that has satisfied pilots since 1914. As for which watch we’d recommend is the KMU GL0131.

A Glimpse into the History of Glycine Watches

Glycine was founded by Eugene Meylan in Bienne, Switzerland in 1914. Eugene was an outstanding craftsman who specialized in watch engineering and wanted to change the game with his new designs. He believed in striving for perfection and set out to craft watches that were more accurate and technologically advanced for the era.

Over 100 years later, the brand continued to thrive through Eugene’s base designs. Their goal was to craft distinctive watches that had a classic design that is unique to the time. Each watch is meant to be timeless but also hold true to the modern era without latching onto mainstream ideas.

Today, the brand continues to incorporate Swiss aspects and are crafted for pilots, travelers, and pioneers in aviation. Besides these, travelers alike flock to the Glycine brand because they craft accurate and reliable watches designed to be read at just a glance. This makes them one of the top picks for military personnel and travelers.

KMU GL0131

The KMU GL0131 is renowned for its big size and large watch face, perfect for those who want to tell time at just a quick glance. It’s a remake of the classic Glycine collection that came out in 1999. However, this version is adapted with enhanced engineering and refined style – perfect for military personnel.

All watches in this collection feature precise automatic movements which help keep accurate time while traveling. Plus, the extra large casing is made from durable materials such as high-grade stainless steel and a non-scratch surface. Lastly, it uses a PVD coating, making it both stylish, sleek, and durable.

Elegant & Modern Design

Do you want a watch that feels more sleek and modern? Well, the KMU 48 collection features watches that have an updated look compared to others. The surrounding metal is painted with a matte black PVD coating to help give it a more sophisticated look. Plus, the PVD prevents the paint from flaking off or scratching over time.

On top of that, this version comes with a light brown leather strap that’s waterproof and durable. There’s a belt buckle is adjustable to your wrist size. Luckily, if you don’t enjoy the light brown color, you can swap the band out for another or purchase a matte black leather strap from them.

 Luminous Watchface

The colors on the watch face are each painted on, using bright orange and white. Why is this useful? If you’re traveling, you may not have the best lighting conditions to read your watch. Using this type of paint enables the person to be able to read the watch in dim lit conditions. Plus, each number is big and noticeable, making it easier to read at just a glance.

Durable Structure

The casing features high-grade stainless steel which is approximately 48 mm in diameter. For extra protection, there’s a waterproof coating which can protect up to 10 atm, enabling it to last through a bit of rain or a quick dunk.

From there, the back is secured through multiple screws and includes durable mineral glass. The glass that’s on top of the watch face is crafted from flat sapphire and includes three different anti-reflection layers. Overall, this provides enhanced sturdiness and durability – perfect for those on the go.

What do we think?

So, what’s our Glycine watches review verdict for the KMU 48? We’d say that this watch tends to provide excellent visibility and protection – which is good for travel. Although, it does lack on other features a mid-tier priced watch may have such as digital screens or additional timezones.

If you’re looking for a classic watch that’s easy to read and features a simplistic yet rustic design, and then it’s well worth it. However, if you’re expecting more features, then you may be disappointed. The battery only lasts around 38 hours, and the watch face only counts hours, minutes, seconds, and the date.

Incursore GL0044

The Incursore GL0044 is another oversized watch that’s designed to be simplistic and sturdy. It’s a newer collection that’s been crafted for the modern era. We’d say that it’s the perfect fit for military personnel or civilian use due to its durable and simplistic design.

Giant Crowns & Dials

Visibility is a growing issue with newer watch faces, as the dials tend to over-congest the screen.  If you look closely, the face includes giant numbering and big dials to help make telling the time easier. It’s great for those in need of a watch for glancing at the time throughout their day. This includes the three different dials which are different lengths and widths.

Military & Civil Use

Design wise, and the Incursore is one of the best for rustic and classic looks. Because it was initially designed for military personnel, it features a simplistic design. The lack of extra coloring and details make it blend well with most attire.  If you’re looking for an all-around daily watch, then you’ll be satisfied with the design of this one.

Sturdy Exterior

The Incursore’s outer casing is made from high-grade stainless steel, which adds to its durability. Besides this, it includes see-through mineral glass that is crack and scratch resistant. Lastly, the flat sapphire glass has three different layers of anti-reflective coating which make it easier to read throughout the day.

What do we think?

For our Glycine watches review, we believe that the Incursore is only worth the price if you’re expecting a durable and simplistic readable watch. Other than that, it doesn’t include any other elements and lacks extra features. It’s a good everyday watch to blend with uniforms or other casual attire. The time is accurate, which is good for those traveling, but besides that, it doesn’t have much going for it.

Airman 42 GL0069

The Airman 42 Collection is another fan favorite, but it includes high-tier watches. It’s known as being the ultimate travel watch because of its precision and unique ability to have multiple timezones displayed on the watch. These qualities combined with its stunning craftsmanship and smaller details make it one of the best in their line – but also the highest priced.

Multiple Functions

If you’re looking for a watch where you can pull it out and have all the information literally on your wrist, then you can’t go wrong with the Airman. It lists hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT, and even a third-time zone. Essentially, you’ll have every bit of information needed with just one glance.

Stunning Watch Face

As for the watch face, you’ll see that there’s a domed sapphire crystal which features three layers of anti-reflective coating. This includes on the underside as well. Besides this, there’s a polished yellow-green Super-LumiNova that helps you see in dark lighting. As a nice bonus, each number is hand painted onto the watch face, which makes it a bit unique compared to other models.

Durable Exterior

The last feature we have to discuss is the exterior. It is similarly designed as the previously reviewed watches and includes high-grade stainless steel. The Airman 42 includes a black PVD coating, satin polishing, and smoked glass. Other than that, it comes with a durable black pilot strap.

What do we think?

So, for our Glycine watches review, we believe the Airman 42 is one of the more expensive watches in their collection. Besides the fact that it comes with useful information, we’d have to say the drawback comes with the fact that you’re not getting better quality materials.

The watch uses similar materials in their low and mid-tier collections, which ultimately is not worth the extra money. Other brands tend to give you more information as well. So, is it really worth the investment? Luckily, their Airman Collection features a wide range of watches at different price points.

Would We Recommend Glycine Watches?

Overall we’ve concluded for our Glycine watches review that if you’re looking for a classic design and reliable reading on time, then you’ll be happy with their brand. Their low and mid-tier collections feature numerous choices – all in different styles. It’s honestly hard to go wrong with choosing a watch from their selection.

However, their high-tier luxury watches just don’t make the cut. They don’t really include much information, even if you get ones that list more than the date and time. Pair this with the fact that the watch face tends to get congested, which makes it harder to read.

As for our conclusion, it’s really up to you whether you find this brand worth it or not. Their watches are okay, but other brands like Bulova and U Boat tend to create better modern watches. If you’re looking for casual, rustic, day to day watches that will withstand everyday use – then they’ll work. But if you’re looking for a luxury or high-end watch we’d say look elsewhere.

Fortis Watch Review: Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph

Fortis Pilot Classic Chronograph

When it comes to Swiss watches, Fortis is a brand that’s not likely on everyone’s radar. Founded in 1912, Fortis is a Swiss watch manufacturer that’s been around for a while but it’s a brand that’s nowhere as popular as Rolex and Omega.

However, that doesn’t mean that Fortis watches don’t deserve the attention. Fortis earlier collections have really made a mark in the market, most notably the Fortis Cosmonaut and B42 lines.

For today’s Fortis watch review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph. Does this Fortis watch have done enough to separate itself from the competition? Let’s find out.

Fortis Watch Review: Aviatis at a Glance

The best pilot watch is about having bold, easy-to-read displays and high-quality construction. From the looks of it, Fortis is on the right track with the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph.

Before we get into the meat of this Fortis watch review, let’s first check out the key specs and features of the Aviatis Pilot Classic.

Model:

Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph

Movement:

Swiss automatic movement ETA 2892 with Dubois Depraz 2020 module, 47 jewels

Glass material:

Sapphire Crystal

Case material

Stainless steel bicolor brushed and polished with mineral glass caseback

Case diameter:

41 mm

Water resistance:

5 ATM/BAR

Dial:

White numerals and indices coated with Superluminova, green afterglow

Hands:

Hour and minute hand coated with Superluminova, green afterglow, Blue small second hand

Power reserve:

42 hours

Function:

Chronograph, hour, minute, small second, 12-h and 30-min-counter

Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph Review

First Impression

Fortis Pilot Classic Chronograph

The Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph is part of the Pilot Classic collection of 40mm and 41mm models. If you have been keeping tabs with Fortis, you’ll be quite familiar with the Pilot Classic Date. Just last year, Fortis released the Cockpit Classic Second which features a design based on the earlier models of Fortis.

Anyway, the Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph has a design that simple but effective, just the way I like it when it comes to pilot watches. It comes with a thin case that gives off an impression of elegance. The watch really you that feeling that it’s small in looks but big in stature.

At first glance, the dial looks a bit quite busy but with further inspection, I realize that it offers a thoughtful design. Like the best pilot watches in the market, the dial features large luminous numbers that are easy to read.

The 41mm case with a 13.59mm thickness is just right and comes with both polished and brushed sections. While this may scream uncomfortable to many people, the watch actually sits comfortably on the wrist. However, the watch may feel too big for a user with a smaller wrist.

The overall design of the Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph is unmistakably vintage which I am very fond of.

Screw-Back Design

Fortis Watch Review Back

I am always thrilled to see the screw-back of watches as it does a good job of telling a story. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Aviatis Pilot Classic’s screw-back.

Most notably, the display back is not pressed in or screwed in. Instead, it’s just one solid steel and held together with 8 screws that are attached to the back of the watch. If you are expecting to learn much information about the watch, you’ll probably end up disappointed.

At the back, there’s really not much going on back there. You’ll find the usual information like the reference, model name, serial numbers, and water resistance. It does have a see-through window that allows you to check out the ETA/Dubois-Depraz chronograph movement. For what it’s worth, I must say that the movement is well-designed.

The crown and pushers are very well-polished and certainly completes the look of the back. The rotor displays the Fortis name and logo in blue.

Overall, nothing too flashy back here but it gets the job done.

Dial Hands

Fortis Pilot Classic Chronograph Face

Considering that the Aviatis Classic is a chronograph, it’s fair to expect that the dial will be quite busy. However, Fortis did a good job when it comes to the placement of the dial elements.

The standout elements are definitely the large luminous numerals and the vintage-style Flieger hands. All the numerals are visible except for the 12, 3, 6, and 9. Instead, the 4 numerals are replaced with Flieger triangles, the largest of which on the 12 o’clock. Not sure if I’m a fan of this design decision but it does allow Fortis to include the subdials without cramping the space.

Another thing that you’ll notice is that the seconds dial has blue hands which is an inspired design choice. The rest of the hands of the chronograph are all in white. At the 12 o’clock portion, you’ll see the “Fortis Chronograph Automatic” underneath the largest Flieger triangle.

The overall design of the dial is quite similar to the case. It features a compelling balance of the vintage and modern. I was looking for some sort of depth within the dial but unfortunately, I failed. Perhaps the addition of stepped or recessed sub dials would have done the trick. As it is, it looks a bit too flat for my taste.

Timekeeping Features and Movement

I’ve been doing my homework about this Fortis watch review and found out that their chronographs usually utilize the iconic ETA-7750 caliber which made me initially excited.

Unfortunately, it’s not applicable with the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph. Instead, Fortis used the Swiss automatic movement ETA 2892 with Dubois Depraz 2020 module. For the uninitiated, this movement features the ETA base 2892 which is a time only caliber.

The Swiss made, automatic chronograph movement is listed as a 47 jewel and it’s mainly due to the movement of the module. The movement comes with hacking seconds and a respectable 43 hours of power reserve.

Fortis’ decision to place the module on top of the caliber makes for a rather dense movement. This explains why the thickness of the case is almost 14mm which might be too thick for some people.

Nevertheless, I’ve experienced little to no problems while wearing the Aviatis Classic. Operating the pushers is a breeze although the bottom pusher seems to be tougher.

Straps

Fortis Pilot Classic Chronograph Strap

One of the best things about the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph is that it comes in three different types of straps. The watch can be worn with a black leather strap for dressier functions, and a NATO or performance leather for more rugged purposes.

The black leather strap is about what you can expect from a standard leather strap. It’s a soft and plain leather strap with a good amount of padding. In terms of comfort, there’s nothing to complain about the black leather strap as I’ve experienced no significant comfort issues.

Between the three straps, by far my favorite is the black performance leather strap. It feels more like a synthetic material than leather. However, we’re happy to report that it’s indeed leather and it’s actually made by Hirsch, a world-renowned Austrian strap maker.

The strap has matching white stitching that gives it a high-quality look. The performance strap is also water resistant and I can see myself wearing it for outdoor activities. The NATO strap looks like your standard NATO but I’ve not worn it yet.

All the three straps are fitted with a brushed steel pin buckle. When it comes to straps and such, I’m a firm advocate of less is more which is what exactly Fortis has done here.

Comfort and Fit

Fortis Watch Review On Wrist

The Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph sits comfortably on my wrist. Despite the size and thickness of the case, the watch surprisingly doesn’t feel that weighty. Using both the black and performance leather straps, it never felt that the watch has weighed me down.

There are times that I would feel the crown but it’s never a big deal at all. Despite the fairly sizable pushers, they’re never in the way at all. The thickness does make the watch more prone to kicks and bangs.

Fortis did a tremendous job of making a large-dialed watch for legibility while keeping the dimensions to acceptably comfortable dimensions.

Pricing

As far as luxury Swiss watches go, Fortis is a brand that offers quality timepieces for a lesser price. With the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph, Fortis is offering a lot of watch for your money.

If you are looking to have your mind blown away with top-of-the-line craftsmanship and sophisticated timekeeping features, this watch is not for you. However, for a price that won’t break the bank, the Aviatis Pilot Classic is a solid option in terms of construction, reliability, and features.

It’s a very basic watch that meets the primary requirements for a good aviation timepiece.

Should You Get the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph?

This wraps up our Fortis watch review. So, should you buy the Fortis Aviatis Pilot Classic Chronograph? If you are looking for a good quality aviation Swiss watch with no frills, it’s hard not to recommend the Aviatis Classic. After all, it’s a well-balanced package offered at a competitive price.

With a number of strap options, it’s a fairly versatile watch that can be worn on many occasions. The black leather strap can be worn with a suit while the NATO or performance straps can be used for sportier activities. Despite its versatility, it never loses its identity as a pilot watch.

This is a good watch the gets you sold to the Fortis brand.

Best IWC Watch: Top Picks from the Dark Horse of Swiss Watches

Best IWC Watch

If you have been keeping up with your high-end luxury watches, it’s likely that you have come across the International Watch Company or IWC. If not, then you don’t have to feel bad because the brand is indeed not as mega-popular as let’s say, Rolex or Omega.

However, if you consider yourself to be a collector or simply a fan of well-made watches, the best time to pay attention to IWC is now.

The IWC is widely considered to be the dark horse of Swiss watches. With the company’s bold approach and emphasis on the engineering aspect rather than the artisanal, it has positioned itself to be one of the top contenders.

Today, we have made a list of the best IWC watch that’s currently available. Whether you’re looking for a top-quality Swiss watch or simply curious about the brand, it’s hard to go wrong with these IWC watches.

Best IWC Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714 Stainless steel, 42 millimeters case size, Railway track style chapter ring, Large pocket watch movements ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince Stainless steel case, Brown calfskin leather strap, Fixed stainless steel bezel, Midnight blue dial, Luminous silver-tone hands, Arabic numeral hour markers ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
IWC Ingenieur Automatic Self-winding, Stainless steel case, 42 hours Power Reserve, Diameter 40.0 mm, Screw in crown, Water resistance 12 bar, Silver-plated dial with luminescence, Sapphire glass, convex, antireflective coating on both sides ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph Black ceramic case, Black fabric bracelet, Black dial with luminous hands, 68-hour power reserve, Water resistance 6 bar, Automatic, self-winding ★ ★ ★ ★
IWC Portofino Automatic Stainless steel case, Water resistance 3 bar, 42 hours Power Reserve, Automatic, self-winding, Black alligator leather strap, 163 Components ★ ★ ★ ★
IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 Titanium case, Screw in crown, Water resistance 200 bar, Black dial with luminescence, 42 hours Power Reserve, Black rubber strap with IWC-patented quick-change system ★ ★ ★ ★

Best IWC Watch

1. IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph is one of the most popular, if not the most popular watch from IWC. It’s well-considered to be a classic and it remains practically unaltered since its introduction more than 20 years ago. Over the years, the watch has acquired cult status and for good reason.

A Modern Icon

The Portugieser Chronograph is a timepiece that needs to be worn to be appreciated. At the surface, it’s easy to think that it looks plain, simple, and not very original. However, once you see the watch in person, you’ll appreciate the rigidity and discretion of the design.

The base concept of the Portugieser is to have a pocket watch movement fitted into a rather large case. You’ll notice that the bezel is quite slim which in turn makes the dial window massive. I must say that IWC did a good job of providing the comfort of a small watch with the feeling of having a large one on your wrist.

The 3714 version of the Portugieser pays tribute to the previous generation models with leaf-shaped hands and Arabic numerals. Despite the addition of the two subdials, I have to say that the overall look of the dial is well done. On the wrist, the Portugieser looks stunning.

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714 is a watch that deserves a slot in anyone’s collection.

2. IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince

The IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince is an honorary tribute to France’s literary extraordinaire and the country’s pioneer aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As you might have guessed, this blue dialed chronograph is inspired by Antoine’s most famous book, the Little Price

A Pilot Watch Worthy of Its Namesake

Blue dials can be a hit or miss for me but the IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince is clearly a massive hit for me. One of the main reasons why this model works so well is the excellent combination of size, style, and beautiful execution.

Say what you want about IWC but the company arguably provides the best-in-class set of dial textures and materials. As a result, many of their watches have some of the best-looking faces in the market. Try comparing IWC pilot watches with the competition and you’ll see that IWC watches have their own brand of style.

The Le Petit Prince Chronograph is no exception.

On the wrist, the Le Petit Prince demonstrates a good deal of versatility. The watch looks great whether you’re using it for purely casual or formal attire. It has a bit of a daring aesthetic but if you’re up for it, this blue-dialed wonder might just be up your alley.

The IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince is an aviation-inspired timepiece that collectors don’t want to miss.

3. IWC Ingenieur Automatic

The IWC Ingenieur Automatic is a watch for people who prefer a no-nonsense approach to their watches. The Ingenieur is another iconic IWC model that features traditional design cues. That’s one way of saying that it’s an absolute classic.

Classic Ingenious Design

The Ingenieur is available in many different models but for some reason, I am drawn to the Ingenieur Automatic.

At 40 mm x 10 mm, the Automatic model sits rather nicely on the wrist. When compared to the other Ingenieur models, the Automatic will look slightly smaller. However, the Automatic excels when it comes to offering excellent fit and comfort.

In terms of aesthetics, the Ingenieur Automatic pays homage to the family’s traditional design cues. The famous Gérald Genta designed the bores in the bezel which makes the Ingenieur instantly recognizable. Interestingly enough, the bores provide the watch with that unmistakable tough look. To further bolster the watch’s toughness, a sapphire crystal and screw-in crown have been added.

The watch features an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve and neat hacking seconds. There’s an inner case that protects the movement from magnetism. There’s not much here in terms of timekeeping but everything is decidedly well-done.

The IWC Ingenieur Automatic is one of the best entry-level models from IWC. However, in the case of IWC, entry-level is by no means low-end.

4. IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph

In a previous article, we have highlighted the IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph as one of the best pilot watches available. I am a big fan of black dials, so I was instantly attracted to the Top Gun. Plus, Top Gun is a cult-classic movie that I severely enjoyed and this watch succeeds as a tribute.

Maverick Will Be Proud

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Top Gun Automatic is its high-contrast color design. The black dial and white hands provide a great contrast which makes the watch very readable under any circumstances. True to its namesake, the watch looks like a counter in a jet fighter plane’s cockpit. It looks nice and expensive on the wrist.

Another aspect that stands out is the case which is made of ceramic that’s beautifully designed and finished. The case is also finished in black for that complete fighter jet look. Black cases are not doing it for me but for some reason, the Top Gun pulls it off rather well.

The watch comes in a soft black strap that doesn’t just feel high-quality but comfortable as well. There are also variations of the Top Gun that offered in stainless steel bracelets. However, a tool watch such as the Top Gun Automatic feels just right with a soft bracelet.

From the legibility to the finish of the parts, the IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun is impressive.

5. IWC Portofino Automatic

The Portofino collection is another long-standing offering from IWC which was first introduced in the early 1980s. Up to this day, the ref. 5251 remains as one of the most collectible timepieces from IWC. In 2011, the Portofino line got a refresh including the base model, the IWC Portofino Automatic.

Classic But Versatile

Much like the Portugieser Chronograph, the idea behind the IWC Portofino Automatic is to hide the complex internal workings of a pocket watch behind a simple face. Wearing the Portofino is like having a miniature pocket watch on your wrist.

Clean, no fuss execution is the name of the game when it comes to the Portofino. The elements of the dial – hands, markers, and date display – are masterfully executed. The hands have this rounded elegance that complements the curve of the case.

There’s really no advanced functions or design elements here but that’s where the Portofino shines. It’s just an honest and simple wristwatch. Due to the simplicity, the watch fills all sorts of wardrobe voids, whether it’s a formal event or a casual Friday.

The IWC Portofino Automatic embodies understated luxury.

6. IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000

IWC is widely known for its pilot watches which is why many people tend to forget that they make serious dive watches as well. The IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is a dive watch that’s worth looking into if you’re in the market for a tool watch that doesn’t mess around.

A Tank of a Dive Watch

IWC wants you to have no doubt when it comes to the Aquatimer Automatic 2000. It’s a rather sizable watch at 46mm x 20.5mm and it’s equipped with the SafeDive bezel system. Basically, it’s a system that provides protection against water, dust, and other elements.

The caseback shape allows the watch to comfortably low on the wrist. Because of this, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 feels secure and doesn’t flop around when worn. The titanium case does a good job of protecting the watch but kept the weight to a minimum.

The Aquatimer is available in many different color versions, and some are Chronographs. Hands down, it’s a terrific dive watch.

Closing Thoughts

That concludes our list of the best IWC watch that you can get your hands on. If you are looking to give IWC a well-deserved try, it’s hard to go wrong with the watches in this round-up.

Best Pilot Watch: Superior Watches for Your Aviation Needs

Best Pilot Watch

More than a century ago, Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont, known for his significant contribution to aircraft design, worked with Louis Cartier to design a watch specifically for aviation purposes.

The watch features an easy-to-read design with large dial, bold numbers, and a clean design. This marks the debut of the very first pilot watch.

Ever since, pilot watches have evolved and are known for their refined, sleek, and stylish aesthetic. However, the best pilot watch won’t just complete the snazziest of outfits, it’s still tough and feature-rich, making it practical for aviation.

If you are looking to add an aviation watch to your daily accessories or formal wear, be sure to check out our list of the best pilot watch.

Best Pilot Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Breitling Chronospace Evo Night Mission

Scratch resistant sapphire crystal glareproofed, Matte black titanium case, Unidirectional rotating bezel, superquartz chronometer movement, Black Diver Pro III rubber strap, Fast Time Zone Adjustment System

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

AVI-8 AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane

Stainless Steel With Tachymeter Bezel, Japanese quartz movement, Water resistant to 50m, 42mm Case Diameter

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Citizen JY0010-50E Eco-Drive Skyhawk A-T

Titanium band, 99-minute countdown timer, Rotating slide-rule bezel, Perpetual calendar, Mineral dial window, Atomic Timekeeping

★ ★ ★ ★

Hamilton ‘Khaki Aviation’ Swiss Automatic

Luminous hands, 42 mm stainless steel case, Anti-reflective sapphire dial window, Swiss automatic movement, Water resistant to 100 m

★ ★ ★ ★

Garmin D2 Pilot Watch

Direct-to and Nearest buttons, Altimeter with adjustable baro setting and compass, Displays multiple time zones, Inflight task reminders, High-sensitivity WAAS GPS receiver

★ ★ ★ ★

IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph

Black ceramic case, Black fabric bracelet, Black dial with luminous hands, 68-hour power reserve

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Pilot Watch

1. Breitling Chronospace Evo Night Mission

Breitling has a strong and proud history of aviation. The Breitling Chronospace Evo Night Mission is another fine addition to Breitling’s brilliant aviation line. If you want the best pilot watch and budget is not an issue, this is THE watch for you.

Truly Masculine and Eye-Catching

One of the best details that I love about the Evo Night Mission is the superb combination of black and blue on the dial. This gives the watch a striking masculine look that’s perfect even for the dressiest of outfits. It truly looks the part as an instrument for professionals.

In terms of toughness, the watch features a sapphire crystal glass, a screw-locked crown, and a unidirectional bezel. The watch’s size is just right with the comfortable 43mm and it’s complemented with SuperQuartz movement that features a split-seconds function and an extra central hand for measuring intermediate times.

Another noteworthy timekeeping feature of the Evo Night Mission is the fast time zone adjustment system which ensures reliable precision of both the minutes and seconds display. Like all of Breitling’s movements, the movement is certified by the Swiss testing agency COSC.

Expect nothing less than stellar performance from this high-end pilot watch.

2. AVI-8 AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane

AVI-8 is a brand that has always piqued my interest. With the AVI-8 AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane, I sure have a positive first impression of the brand. The AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane is a solid watch for those who are in the market for a budget aviation timepiece.

Excellent Pilot Watch at an Inexpensive Price Point

The AVI-8 AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane is a terrific aviation watch for those who are in a budget. The watch boasts a bold, clean design, good durability, and at a price that won’t break the bank.

The watch’s design breaks away from the usual aviation watch but instead goes for all-out on the fighter plane aesthetic. Looking at the watch feels like you’re inside a fighter plane’s cockpit. While the face looks quite busy, the design is actually well thought out.

The strap looks and feels great. I’ve opted for the black/brown strap and it feels soft and comfortable to wear. However, the strap is a bit on the thicker side which might be a problem for folks who prefer a thinner and more discrete strap.

The watch features a Japanese quartz chronograph movement. It was not specified which specific movement is used but I did some digging around and found that it might be a Miyota or TMI.

The build quality is better than what you can expect from a budget model. Overall, the AVI-8 AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane is a hit.

3. Citizen JY0010-50E Eco-Drive Skyhawk A-T

We’ve mentioned that the best pilot watch features a bold but simple design. The Citizen JY0010-50E Eco-Drive Skyhawk A-T watch goes against the grain by offering an intricate design and perfect accuracy.

Feature-Rich and Superior Accuracy

The Eco-Drive technology is definitely one of the main draws of the JY0010-50E Eco-Drive Skyhawk A-T. This solar charging technology is a patented feature by Citizen and it has only improved over time. You can pretty much forget about replacing the batteries.

The watch also features atomic timekeeping which means that you only need to configure the watch once and never have to worry about accuracy. The HF Radio time sync seems to be working as advertised. However, it can be a little tricky when you want to sync the watch from a room. TIP: the watch syncs better at night, so leave it by the window and the watch should be synced in the morning.

The watch comes in a titanium case which provides the much-needed toughness. The materials used really does give the impression that you are handling a high-quality product. However, I wished they used sapphire instead of mineral crystal for face protection. I imagine this was done to keep the price down. The overcrowded dial might also not be for everyone.

All in all, the Citizen JY0010 Skyhawk is a great tool for aviators and comes at a great price.

4. Hamilton ‘Khaki Aviation’ Swiss Automatic

Hamilton is known for its designs that are safe and borderline classic. With that said, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Swiss Automatic is a good example of Hamilton’s design philosophy, and it’s the best pilot watch that you can get.

Classic, Yet Not Dated

The Khaki Aviation is a sleek aviation-style watch that boasts a classic design but it’s somehow nowhere near dated. The watch features a gorgeous face with impressive attention to detail. The numerals are bold and crisply printed. The oversized lumed dials and indices really do wrap up the bold look of the watch.

It’s just a clean and uncomplicated design that pops.

The case is entirely brushed which can throw some people off. Many watch manufacturers polish some areas of the watch to give it more depth and contrast. With that said, the brushing quality is good along with the signed crown.

Even at 42mm, the watch wears large. One of my main complaints about the watch is the bracelet which can get a little unwieldy. The clasp has three micro adjustments and the bracelet itself has half-links. You can easily get a comfortable fit using the watch’s adjustment system but the bracelet tends to rattle with lateral movements.

Overall, this is a very attractive Swiss watch with a classic aviation style.

5. Garmin D2 Pilot Watch

Garmin does more than just car GPS devices and outdoor watches. The Garmin D2 Pilot Watch makes perfect sense for the functionally-minded aviator.

High in the Sky Features

The Garmin D2 is the best pilot watch to consider if you’re looking for smart features. Garmin is known for their feature-rich devices and the Garmin D2 Pilot Watch is no exception.

For starters, it comes with the adjustable altimeter and barometer. As you might expect, the watch also features a compass, making the D2 a legitimate ABC watch. On top of that, the D2 is equipped with a high-sensitivity WAAS GPS receiver. Seriously, it’s one of the better GPS watches I’ve used.

The D2 also can connect to a worldwide airport database, time zones, and Zulu references. The altitude and flight plans work as advertised and both very accurate as well.

Other bells and whistles include the ability to set inflight task reminders with vibrating alerts and profiles for many different activities. That’s right, the D2 works as an activity tracker as well. It doesn’t hurt that it looks great as well.

For the money, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an aviation GPS watch with as many features as the D2.

6. IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph

Last but not least, we wrap up this list of the best pilot watch with a premium pick. The IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph will have the hearts of watch connoisseurs racing.

Top Gun Inspired

As you might have guessed, the IWC Pilot’s Top Gun Automatic Chronograph is inspired by the movie Top Gun. It’s easy to see with the watch’s stealthy, dark aesthetic that resembles a fighter jet.

However, it’s more than just a homage to the cult-classic aviation movie.

IWC is known for its premium quality timepieces, and this watch is no exception. If you are familiar with IWC’s pilot watches, you’ll see some similarities with the Top Gun. In general, I’m not big into black cases but I’d be happy to make an exception for this model, especially when it comes in a ceramic case. Ceramic cases have a certain allure to them that just can’t be matched with any other coating.

Looking at the dial, the watch features a straightforward aesthetic which is how many people like it. It’s just simple, clean, and very legible. However, no one can argue that this elegant beast is a thing of beauty.

It’s a premium masterpiece that warrants the price.

Conquer the Air

That wraps up our list of the best pilot watch that you can buy. Hopefully, this guide has helped you buy the right timepiece for your aviation needs.