Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilot?s Watches
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  1. #1
    Watchuseek Editor
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    For many of us, navigating the rush hour traffic after a long day in the office is perhaps as close as we’re ever likely to get to being an actual pilot. And whilst the commute home may sometimes leave you feeling like you’ve just taken part in a daring Top Gun mission over enemy airspace, the fact that your favourite pilot’s watch tells you that you’ve arrived home just in time for dinner has at least made things a little more bearable.

    Today, the pilot’s watch is arguably as popular as it ever has been, with just about every brand seemingly offering some kind of aviation inspired timepiece. Whilst a professional pilot might opt (and have the budget for) something from the top of the range such as a Breitling Chronomat, IWC Big Pilot or Rolex GMT-Master, for the rest of us who only ever get as far as economy class, spending a sizeable chunk of our hard earned cash on a watch can be hard to justify.

    Fortunately, all is not lost and there still plenty of options out there for guys looking for a solid pilot’s watch that won’t leave a supersonic hole in your bank balance.

    Here is a round up of some impressive pilot’s and aviation inspired watches that will be accessible to the majority of the watch buying pubic.

    Steinhart Aviation Vintage

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    Steinhart’s new Aviation Vintage model includes a re-designed 44mm diameter stainless steel case, complete with a matte black DLC coating, which is reminiscent of the onboard instruments found on the aircraft of yesteryear. The dial offers great readability with the hour and minute hands treated with a Superluminova coating. The watch also includes a domed sapphire crystal with an antireflective coating on both sides.

    The Aviation Vintage is powered by an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, which includes 25 jewels. The vintage strap then helps to further complement the overall look of the watch. Available from September 2013, approx $572. Visit the Steinhart website for more information.

    Stowa Flieger Ikarus

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    German watch brand Stowa produced some of the original pilot watches used during WWII, replicating much of the classic styling and design into many of its watches today, with the Flieger Ikarus being one such example. With the addition of a date window at 6 o’clock and a gray matte finishing to the surface of the watch, the Ikarus is clean, clear and would look good in a variety of settings.

    Driven by the same ETA 2824-2 movement as the Steinhart Aviation Vintage, above, the Flieger Ikarus measures 40mm in diameter and includes a sapphire crystal on the front and back. All hands and numerals include a Superluminova C3 coating. The watch is available on either a leather strap or metal bracelet and is water resistant to 5ATM. From approx $770. Visit the Stowa website for more information.

    Laco Birmingham Automatic

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    After originally producing watches for the German Luftwaffe, today, Laco still produce a number of pilot’s watches in the same style. The brand uses a variety of movements and designs that would appeal to all budgets and tastes.

    The Laco Birmingham Automatic is a case in point, with its 36mm diameter stainless steel case, complete with sapphire crystal and Superluminova C3 coating, all of which is available for around the $460 mark.

    Trintec ZULU-05 Chronograph

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    Canadian watch brand Trintec offer the ZULU-05, an aviation inspired quartz chronograph. In what could be a nice entry level timepiece for a budding young watch collector, the watch measures 42mm in diameter and is 15mm thick. The 316L stainless steel case has a durable black PVD coating with screw down crown.

    Water resistant to 10ATM, the ZULU-05 includes a date and day of the week display at 4 and 6 o’clock respectively, as well as a split time, seconds indicator and 60 minute totalizer. The watch is presented on a silicone rubber strap and also features a scratch resistant mineral crystal. From $350. Find out more on the Trintec website.

    Orient Automatic Aviator FEM7A002R

    Japanese watch makers Orient are well known for producing high quality and affordable timepieces. Featuring a Japanese 21 jewel automaticself winding movement, the watch also includes luminescent dial and hands, a screw down crown and hardened mineral crystal.

    Water resistant to 100m the watch comes on a stainless steel bracelet with push button deployant closure. From approx $200. Visit the Orient website.
    Last edited by Ernie Romers; August 12th, 2013 at 20:02.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    The hands do not make a watch. That Orient has hands of a pilot watch but that's about it. The rest is a diver style but with only WR100. Is just a sport watch with lume, screwed crown and rotating bezel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    I recently discovered this baby and especially for the discounted price I see everywhere it is a great buy:

    boeing767 likes this.

  4. #4
    Member boeing767's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    Thanks for the Trintec link! Never heard of this brand but what a gorgeous watches they have!
    Anyone at this forum who owns one?
    Current collection

    -Steinhart Ocean Military Vintage
    -Steinhart Aviation GMT
    -Citizen Skyhawk Titanium 3th generation
    -Citizen Nighthawk BJ7010-59E
    -Citizen Navihawk Titanium
    -Junkers Horizon 6742-4
    -LACO B-Uhr
    -Tissot PRC200 Chronograph Stainless Steel Blue Dial
    -Aviator AVW5839G5
    -Parnis Hommage Watch
    -TW Steel TW52
    -TW Steel white Techline


    -Helgray Silverstone - The 60's Racing Chronograph Watch

    Next watches I want to buy:

    -A rose dress watch
    -Alpina pilot starttimer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    I found this micro watch brand who is also at a fair price, Gavox, For the moment they collection the Curtiss P-40 is around $225.
    What I like also is that they models are limited to max 250 units. I heard of this brand from Belgium news as the owner lives there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    Great suggestions thank you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    Having been in Marine Corps Aviation, I can tell you that no combat pilot in his right mind would wear a Rolex or Breitling knowing the stuff we get into. If you look at the wrist of a seasoned pilot, 9 times out of 10 you will see a GShock, Expedition, or a NATO style watch. For high end watches, look at the boot pilots, they will most likely be wearing an Omega that their daddy bought them when they graduated flight school. Military Aviation horology is not as mystical as people generally think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    I'm glad to see the Gavox Curtiss P-40 mentioned here! I purchased one of these and think it is a fantastic piece. After I got it I posted some of my initial thoughts and a video of it here: My first watch arrived: Gavox P-40. Thoughts, pictures and video inside...

    Since then I've only grown more fond of the watch and think it is a great value. It looks great, is very durable, the band is very comfortable, and I think it has a unique distinctive look to it. I'm already saving up for another and am looking forward to owning another Gavox. I'd also say that the proprietor of Gavox is a very fine gentleman and has been a joy to converse with. He's a very helpful gentleman. I sincerely hope that he is having great success with his line of watches. It couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.

    I'd certainly recommend giving them a look if you're interested in pilot watches. I'm not sure how many folks here own one, but I'd be happy to offer any insight or answer any questions on them that I can.

    Last edited by jrm27; August 13th, 2013 at 23:20.

  9. #9
    Member RLROCK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    New Jersey

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    I just received my Gerlach today and love it!
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    Rolex Datejust II TT (116333), Rolex Submariner (116610LV), Rolex GMTIIc (116710LN), Rolex Explorer II (16570), Omega Speedmaster Pro (3573.50), Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 (PAM00392), Breitling Avenger II GMT, Cartier Roadmaster (2 tone), Gerlach RWD-6, Steinhart Military Auto Black, Swiss Army Officer's Auto, Seiko 5 SNZH63 Black "The Piston"

  10. #10
    Member drjmills's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Cambridge, UK

    Re: Watches From The Flight Deck: Affordable Pilotís Watches

    I'm a PPL student and have come to love the functional design of Techne watches. However, I always wear my X-33 when flying as it's the most "pilot functional" watch I've come across - but I wouldn't call it affordable!
    "Logic merely enables one to be wrong with authority"

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