Up in the sky: 5 best aviator watches - Urban Watches Store


Aviator’s watches are one of the most popular trends in the industry. We have already written about the history of this segment of watchmaking , inspired by the early stages of aviation development. In those years, a pilot’s wristwatch was a professional tool that played an important role in flight control. Today “aviators” are bright vintage accessories that reflect the love of their owner for romance and travel.

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 80th Anniversary Edition

Mechanical self-winding; power reserve 38 hours; water resistance 50 m; sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Switzerland.

In 1938, Oris launched the legendary Big Crown Pointer Date, which, thanks to its large crown and the original date system with a central hand (rather than in a separate window), quickly and for a long time became popular among aviators and everyone interested. 80 years later, the brand presented an anniversary version of its masterpiece in a bronze case: the metal becomes patina over time, which clearly reflects the passage of time and gives the watch an emphatically vintage look.

Avi-8 Hawker Harrier II

Quartz movement; chronograph; date and day of the week indicator; water resistance 50 m; mineral glass. United Kingdom.

The British brand Avi-8 was founded by watch standards quite recently – in the mid-2000s – and is entirely devoted to the topic of aviation. Even the name is a kind of rebus that reads like aviate (“fly an airplane” or “fly an airplane”). “To emphasize the best in man and in technology, to combine modern and vintage features in a watch that will simultaneously be an everyday accessory and a reliable instrument for measuring time” – this is how the British manufacturer sees its mission. A notable feature of most Avi-8 models is the accented number 0 instead of 12. Every hour is a new beginning!

Aviator Douglas Day-Date

Mechanie self-winding; power reserve 38 hours; date and day of the week indicator; water resistance 100 m; sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Switzerland.

Another brand with the self-explanatory name Aviator has located its development laboratory directly in the control tower of the Swiss regional airfield in the canton of Jura. It is simply impossible to be even closer to aviation! The Douglas Day-Date is named after one of the earliest passenger aircraft that flew during the so-called golden era of aviation. The Art Deco aesthetic, featuring a dial with a large day-of-the-week aperture, takes the wearer of this limited edition watch back to the romance of aeronautics and the discovery made possible by shorter distances.

Citizen AW5000-24E

Quartz movement; date indicator; water resistance 100 m; mineral glass. Japan.

The Citizen AW5000-24E is a prime example of the essential elements an aviation watch should have. Large numbers on the contrasting black background of the dial , as well as a bright triangle at the 12 o’clock position, allowed pilots to read readings instantly. Two time stamp formats – 12- and 24-hour – made it possible to keep track of the passage of time over long flights. The large crown made it possible to change the position of the hands without taking off the flight gloves, and the stainless steel protected the watch from damage in the harsh conditions of early aviation. But the world does not stand still – the mechanism uses the Eco-Drive system, which is charged from a light source (both natural and artificial) and does not require changing batteries.

Luminox -22 Raptor 9240 Series

Quartz movement; chronograph; Big Date indicator; water resistance 200 m; sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Switzerland.

A bright pilot’s watch, already referring to modern technology. The body of the model is made of ultra-light titanium, and the self-powered LLT-backlight system does not need even a minimal light source or pressing buttons. The glow here is the result of a chemical reaction between tritium and a phosphor. But it is worth taking a closer look, and the same DNA of “aviator” watches can be traced behind the high technologies: large Arabic numerals on a contrasting dial, two formats of hour markers (12 and 24 hours), a large screw-down crown, and a graphic tachymetric scale – an instrument that was once used to manually measure speed, and is now an integral part of the retro image of flying models.

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