6 reasons why a pilot’s watch is the right watch for you

By Montredo in Lifestyle
June 13, 2019
6 reasons why a pilot’s watch is the right watch for you


Perfect readability from any angle and a grippy crown: Zenith Pilot Type 20.

Timepieces that are fashioned after aviation instruments and gauges date back to the early and mid-20th century. Manufacturers like Hanhart, LACO, IWC, and Tutima presented the market with instrumental timepieces with elements from a pilot’s instrument panel. Pilots and navigators wore aviation watches not just as timepieces but also to complement and verify onboard instruments in the determination of flight time and position. To this day pilot watches represent these panel gauges.

For optimal readability in all lighting conditions, the early models had oversized fluorescent indexes. They were equipped and designed so that they could be operated even with gloves. Some had extra-large housing dimensions with a diameter of 50 mm or more. Today, watches find little use in the navigational tasks of aviation, but watch enthusiasts continue to enjoy a great range of beautiful pilot watches. The prices vary depending on the manufacturer and model. They range from several hundred to several thousand Euros. The selection offers great options for every taste and budget, a sure fit.

1. You love the characteristic design

Most classic Aviator watches are defined by their purpose-driven design language. The dials are intended for a quick reading of the time in almost all walks of life. The IWC pilot’s collection speaks this timeless design language in a highly independent manner. As always, exceptions prove the rule. Some critics consider the dial design of the legendary Breitling Navitimer overloaded. We call it a watch with character.

IWC Mark XVIII: High dial contrast and the characteristic triangle at the 12 o’clock index

2. You need the functionality

The mechanical pilot watch may seem like an anachronism today to many. But, it fulfills its purpose today as ever. If you are an aviator and a watch lover, you must own one of those. Pilot’s watches are offered as three hand watches with chronograph function. Even if you don’t use the timepiece for its original purpose, it’s nice to know that you could, if you wanted to.

3. You’re fascinated by aviation, its history and its heroes

Antoine de Saint Exupéry – author of the book The Little Prince – was one of the most well-known pilots of all time. IWC dedicated the Saint Exupéry to him in 2006 at the 75th anniversary of the publication of his novel Night Flight. The successful Le Petit Prince collection by the famed manufacturer from Schaffhausen also celebrates the writer Saint-Exupéry.

The first aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean nonstop in 1927, the legendary Charles Lindberg, developed the brilliant Hour Angle Watch in cooperation with Longines. The iconic design with its 47 mm diameter is once again part of the Longines collection today.

The recently deceased founder of Sinn-Watches Helmut Sinn was also a well-known pilot. After his career as a military pilot, he served as a flight instructor and probably wore watches from his own collection.

Re-issue of the original from 1931 that was originally developed for Charles Lindberg.

4. You like to showcase sophisticated instrumental watches

A good pilot’s watch is attractive and beautiful to look at. Materials, features, and of course the brand image will vary depending on the price range. The offer ranges from the simple three-pointer observation watch, as the model Leipzig by LACO to masterpieces with various complications such as the Breguet type XXI chronograph. No matter what price range, your choice to select a good pilot’s watch testifies to your good taste and sense of style.

5. You appreciate the casual masculine design on your wrist

Pilot watches tell of an era when only the bravest and daring of men would be able to navigate an airplane. Now, many decades later the only bravery associated with flying lies in trusting the pilot to carry you safely through the lively air traffic. Nonetheless, let that not keep you from outing your inner adventurer with a pilot watch on your wrist. The Breitling pilot watch collection stands above the rest as a strong expression of masculinity. The best-known models are the Navitimer, Avenger, and Chronomat. All of them are distinguished by the famous bold Breitling design that characterizes the brand.

Refrain from drawing the conclusion that with all this talk about masculinity there can’t be pilot watches for ladies. Smaller 36mm diameter models cater to women with delicate wrists (and men who prefer smaller dials). Manufacturers as Stowa or IWC present a wide variety of choices.

A pioneer in pilot watches: Oris has been producing aviation watches since 1910.

6. You are looking for a watch that suits every occasion and activity

Both diver watches and pilot watches are offered in new models that perfectly suit the modern lifestyle in all its facets. Even the classic aviator timepieces compliment almost every occasion and outfit. The option to switch from steel bracelet to leather strap , creates even more versatility and endless style options.