Andrew Casino, Author at Exquisite Timepieces - Page 2 of 3


Author: Andrew Casino

bulova vs movado watches

Bulova and Movado. Two big names in the watch industry. Two watch manufacturers with American-based roots. In the years since their founding, both have become established and respected brands with historic achievements and celebrated models spanning their respective histories. 

In recent decades, the two have come to occupy similar price points and could even be said to compete directly with one another. Certainly, for a prospective customer looking for a watch in the few hundred to under two thousand dollar price range, both Bulova and Movado provide a wide range of choices to pick from. 

In this article, we’ll review the histories of both, draw comparisons between the brands, and ultimately pit specific models against each other to help readers decide which is the right choice for them. Let’s jump in.

About Bulova Watches 

Bulova was founded in 1875 by Joseph Bulova, a visionary immigrant from Bohemia who first established a small jewelry shop in New York City. Driven by an unyielding passion for horology, Bulova set out to create timepieces of exceptional quality. Initially, the brand specialized in crafting precision timepieces and quickly gained a reputation as the market took notice. 

In 1919, Bulova introduced the first-ever complete line of men’s and women’s wristwatches, revolutionizing how people kept time as pocket watches remained the general mode of timekeeping for the average person. 

They continued to push boundaries and launched the world’s first clock radio in 1928, followed by the groundbreaking Accutron, the world’s first electronic watch, in 1960.

During this time, Bulova established itself as a pioneer in accurate timekeeping. Their Accutron watches, powered by a tiny tuning fork, offered unparalleled precision and reliability compared to traditional mechanical counterparts. 

So impressive was their technology that NASA chose Bulova as the official timepiece for their Apollo lunar missions, eventually leading to a total of 46 missions together. Bulova’s Accutron timing instruments were vital in coordinating the intricate maneuvers required during these historic space expeditions.

Bulova has always been at the forefront of style and innovation. In the 1960s, they introduced the Caravelle line, offering fashionable yet affordable watches to a broader audience. The brand continued to innovate with the Accuquartz, the first affordable quartz watch for the mass market, in the 1970s. 

In more recent years, Bulova embraced cutting-edge technology with the Precisionist collection, boasting an unprecedented level of accuracy (timing to 1/1000th of a second), and the Curv line, featuring the world’s first curved case and chronograph movement.

Bulova’s commitment to excellence and innovation has earned the brand a loyal following over the years. Their watches continue to be cherished for their exceptional craftsmanship, timeless designs, and superior accuracy. 

Today, Bulova offers a diverse range of timepieces catering to various tastes and preferences. From classic dress watches to sporty chronographs, their collections showcase a fusion of heritage and contemporary aesthetics. At the end of 2007, the company was sold to the Japanese multinational conglomerate Citizen Watch Co.

About Movado Watches 

The year was 1881 when a visionary young entrepreneur, Achille Ditesheim, founded a small watchmaking workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It was here that the seeds of Movado were sown. 

In 1905, Ditesheim officially registered the brand as “Movado,” which means “always in motion” in Esperanto, a language symbolic of universal communication, in tune with his passion for precision and innovation in watchmaking.

Over the years, Movado would produce a few iconic designs which would help characterize the brand’s design language into the modern era. Among the most defining features of Movado watches at this time is their iconic Museum dial. 

Designed in 1947 by American artist Nathan George Horwitt in the school of Bauhaus style, the Museum dial revolutionized watch design with its minimalistic and distinctive appearance. Horwitt’s vision was to create a dial that captured the essence of time by removing all hour markers except for a single dot at 12 o’clock, symbolizing the sun at its zenith.

This groundbreaking design has since become a trademark of Movado and an epitome of modern elegance in the industry. Movado’s commitment to innovation continued to propel the brand forward. In 1959, they introduced the “Kingmatic” watch, among the first self-winding timepieces with a full rotor system.

This breakthrough solidified Movado’s reputation as a trailblazer in watchmaking technology. The brand’s dedication to design and innovation did not go unnoticed, and the brand received numerous accolades and prestigious awards. In 1960, the Museum dial was recognized by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, joining the museum’s permanent collection as a timeless example of industrial design.

This recognition further solidified Movado’s place in the pantheon of artistic timekeeping. Along these lines, the brand has also collaborated with renowned designers and artists to create limited edition collections that embody the fusion of art and horology.

One notable collaboration was with the legendary industrial designer Yves Béhar. Together, they created the Movado Edge collection in 2015, featuring strikingly modern watches that pushed the boundaries of design.

As Movado embarks on its next chapter, the brand continues to create watches that blend timeless design with cutting-edge technology. From the classic Museum dial to innovative complications and Swiss-made precision, Movado watches remain synonymous with refinement and understated style.

Today, the Movado Group’s list of brands includes Movado, EBEL, and MVMT (purchased in 2018), as well as licensed brands ranging from Coach, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Hugo Boss. 

Bulova vs Movado Watches: The Battle of The American Watch Brands

Now that we have brief histories of both companies under our belt, let’s get into the nitty gritty and explore a few areas of comparison between the two. As with any comparison (or all-out battle in our case), both brands have their particular strengths and weaknesses that may appeal to or act as detractors for different individual tastes.

Brand Recognition

Despite both companies being founded over a century ago and with all that heritage and historic recognition through the years, arguably, the more recognized brand in a modern-day context would be Movado. 

Movado’s recognition overall breaks down to two factors: consistent design language and marketing. With the development of the Museum dial in 1947 and its subsequent entry into the Museum of Modern Art, Movado has become somewhat of a household name for those seeking elegant, timeless design. 

Indeed, this level of simplicity in design is echoed across its model lines, from the traditional eponymous Museum Classic collection all the way to its hyper-modern BOLD lines. This makes Movado watches very distinct and easy to recognize. (much in the same way a Rolex watch could be easily spotted for its oyster case and bracelet). 

In marketing, Movado doesn’t rely solely on authorized dealers to sell its product (ex: Kay Jewelers, department stores, etc.). The brand has Movado Company Stores across the United States to help sell products with knowledgeable employees and a full in-house customer experience. 

Unfortunately, Bulova has become less of a known quantity since the mid-century due to its lack of marketing and focused product lineup until recently. As of late, Bulova is making strides with updated Accutron models and revived heritage models. 

We’re seeing the brand participate in more watch enthusiast-based events such as Windup Watch Fair, increasing visibility for a far more niche group of customers. It’ll be interesting to see where this takes the brand, but as it stands, Movado wins recognition for the general public.

Model Variety

While Movado’s focused design language has helped define the brand and produced recognition in the public at large, it can also be a detriment when looking for a diverse variety of design choices to fit your personal tastes. 

In this arena, Bulova takes the cake with their vast array of watches like the heritage-based MIL SHIPS, Lunar Pilot, and Devil Diver archive series entries, to ultra-modern integrated bracelet designs like the Series X or the classic dress watch Frank Sinatra collection (celebrating the brand’s ties to the famous entertainer). 

A buyer is likely to find a watch that suits their tastes within the Bulova range, whereas, if the minimalist design isn’t to your taste, you’d be hard set to find such variety within Movado’s collections. 

Build Quality & Durability

In the realm of build quality and durability, it’s safe to say both Bulova and Movado will provide similar levels of daily dependability and similar levels of case construction and finishing within their respective watches. 

While this will depend on the particular model and activity of use, generally a dress watch from either brand will provide at least 30 meters of water resistance. In contrast, the sportier options will provide around 100 meters and more of water resistance (ex: dive watches). 

Being on the dressier side, a larger amount of Movado watches may include ion-plated gold and diamonds as materials and finishing; however, both brands will generally use stainless steel on a wide range of their watches. 


Similar to build quality and durability, both brands are on equal footing when it comes to their use of both quartz and automatic movements (automatic movements occupying the higher price points for Movado particularly) in their portfolio of watches. 

That said, we must acknowledge the 2020 relaunch of the Accutron brand (under Bulova), which re-envisions the Accutron line of watches at luxury priced levels. It also utilizes a proprietary electrostatic movement, the likes of which made Bulova so groundbreaking in the 1960s and 70s in the original Accutron (particularly in the Accutron DNA model). 

Price & Availability

Finally, when it comes to price and availability, we have…yet another tie. Both brands have watches occupying the two hundred dollars to four thousand dollars price range. 

Both brands’ timepieces equally have a retail presence in brick-and-mortar shops and authorized dealerships (department stores, large jewelry chains, etc.), as well as having a wide selection on the internet through various channels (brand websites, Amazon, etc.). 

While Movado does provide its own company stores in major markets, Bulova’s brand participation in niche watch enthusiast events as well as dedication to brand history in recent years, prove that accessibility to new audiences is a new focus and that the brand is seeking patronage by listening to what their most loyal fans want. 

Bulova vs Movado Watches: Top Models Comparison: 

In this section, we’ll pit specific watch models from each brand against each other, as well as the ideal buyer for each. Each will represent comparable allegories that a prospective buyer may consider when looking to fulfill a specific style or watch type. We’ll also include some hard data (including measurements) for your reference.

Bulova Classic (ref. 96B149) vs Movado Museum Classic

When looking for a versatile day-to-day timepiece that wouldn’t look out of place in the office or in casual environments, both the Bulova Classic (reference 96B149) and the Movado Museum Classic present a solid choice.

Both options are powered by quartz movements, are rated to 30 meters of water resistance, and feature stainless steel construction. While the Bulova Classic will present a better value at less than half the price of the Movado Museum Classic (not to mention the inclusion of a stainless steel bracelet. Movado has an upcharge here).

It’s also true that with the higher price of the Museum Classic, you’re buying into the brand name, heritage, and the added recognition you’d get from wearing a more popular/known timepiece. 

That said, the Bulova would also wear better on smaller wrists, coming in at 38mm in diameter and a pronounced curvature of the lugs, which would drape well over any wrist. 

Bulova Classic (ref. 96B149)Movado Museum Classic
Case Size38mm40mm
MaterialsStainless Steel, Domed Mineral CrystalStainless Steel, Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance30m30m
MovementQuartzSwiss Quartz
StrapStainless SteelLeather or Stainless Steel
Additional FeaturesIntegrated bracelet design with curved lugs to hug the wearer’s wrist. Patterned black dial for visual playClassic minimalist design with plain black dial and silver-toned dot at 12:00. Hour and minutes hands only (no seconds hand)
MSRP$295.00$595.00 (leather strap)
$895.00 (stainless steel bracelet)

Bulova Lunar Pilot vs Movado Heritage Series Calendoplan Chronograph

In the chronograph department, both Bulova and Movado have long, storied histories and accomplishments, which helped propel both forward as technological powerhouses in the last century. When comparing the Bulova Lunar Pilot and the Movado Heritage Series Calendoplan Chronograph, however, space geeks and historians might side with the Bulova, which is a direct descendant of the very watches used by NASA in the 1970s and Apollo 15 mission. 

The Bulova comes standard with a stainless steel bracelet, as well as a higher water resistance rating (50m against the Movado’s 30m). On the other hand, the Movado focuses on a cleaner aesthetic with traditionally-styled chronograph pushers, case, and overall design on a Cognac leather strap for the same retail price. Impressively, the NP20 movement of the Bulova is also higher-tech, with a frequency of 262 kHz, 8 times greater than standard quartz movements, providing an accuracy of seconds within a year.

Bulova Lunar PilotMovado Heritage Series Calendoplan Chronograph
Case Size43.5mm43mm
MaterialsStainless Steel, Anti-Reflective Sapphire CrystalStainless Steel, Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance50m30m
MovementHigh Performance QuartzSwiss Quartz Chronograph
StrapStainless Steel (NATO leather strap included)Cognac Leather Strap
Additional FeaturesSame 43.5mm silver tone stainless steel case as the original NASA watch. NP20 Quartz Movement accurate within seconds a yearBlue dial with triangular indices, date window at 4:30 position. Swiss Super-LumiNova applied throughout

Bulova Marine Star Series B (ref. 96B256) vs Movado Series 800 Blue Chronograph Perpetual

In our final category of dive watch chronographs, we compare the Bulova Marine Star Series B (reference 96B256) with the Movado Series 800 Blue Chronograph Perpetual. Arguably, the Movado is more capable (200m depth rating vs. 100m) and more wearable for more wrists (at 42mm vs. 43mm). 

But, at over twice the price of the Bulova, we should expect such levels of refinement over the Bulova. On aesthetic looks alone, the Movado is more classic in design with an oyster-like styled bracelet and traditional sub-dial layout, whereas the Bulova features an additional crown at 10 o’clock for an inner rotating bezel in lieu of an external rotating bezel as on the Movado.

Bulova Marine Star Series B
(ref. 96B256)
Movado Series 800 Blue Chronograph Perpetual
Case Size43mm42mm
MaterialsStainless Steel, Mineral CrystalPerformance Stainless Steel and Aluminum. Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance100m200m
MovementQuartz, accurate to within 15 seconds/monthSwiss Quartz Chronograph
StrapStainless SteelPerformance Steel Link Bracelet
Additional FeaturesIncludes fold-over clasp with push buttons, 6 hands with 1/20 second chronograph (up to 60 minutes), calendar, and small seconds handTrue divers watch with rotating bezel and trademarked Performance Steel bracelet for rugged durability


Ultimately, it’s a matter of taste and personal preference when deciding between Bulova and Movado watches, both brands having ties to American history. We’ve explored these histories and dived even deeper into direct comparisons across specific models between each brand. 

However, overall it can broadly be said that a Movado buyer is one that is likely more interested in design and classic refinement, whereas a Bulova buyer might tend towards design variety and, increasingly, niche preferences such as the heritage-based reinterpretations and the Accutron sub-brand. Both brands will provide similar levels of material construction and dependability, as well as price point variety and movement tech. 

Each has a long and storied history with representative models that have come to define each brand in the century since their respective foundations. While you can’t go wrong when choosing either, at the end of the day, it’s the stories and histories we build with our own personal watches we choose and wear that make them the objects we desire today. Godspeed!

Fake vs real richard mille

The fake watch industry is huge. In fact, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights estimates that nearly 1.9 billion Euros of annual revenue for legitimate manufacturers is lost to counterfeit watches and jewelry on the European market (nearly 13.5% of total sales for the sector), with counterfeiting causing an estimated 3.5 billion Euros worth of sales lost for the European economy.

It’s likely you’re even just as aware within your personal life that fake watches exist, so their proliferation in markets and social settings is common. Wear a branded watch, and you might get asked, “Is it real?”; Ask the same question to a peer, and the response, “It’s a fake…”, is just as likely. 

And with watches being increasingly present in the public consciousness today than ever before, it’s no wonder that their counterfeit counterparts are increasing in quality and numbers than ever before as well, copying brands the full spectrum from Seiko to Rolex and even Richard Mille.  

About Richard Mille Watches

Richard Mille is a Swiss high luxury watchmaker founded in 2001 by Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat. The brand is known for its innovative designs, cutting-edge materials, and high-performance movements with advanced technologies. 

Richard Mille watches are some of the most expensive watches in the world, with prices ranging from $100,000 to well over $1,000,000, and are worn by celebrities and world-class athletes the world over (You may have heard of Jay-Z, Michelle Yeoh, Kevin Hart, Drake, or Rafael Nadal for starters). 

With their unique designs, manufacturing, and celebrity endorsements, Richard Mille watches have come to represent among the highest tiers of achievement and attainment within the watch industry. Unfortunately, this popularity and status have also made them a target for counterfeiters.

Fake vs Real Richard Mille Watches: What to Look For

Counterfeit Richard Mille watches are often made with inferior materials and craftsmanship and may not even have the correct features or functions. As a result, it is important to be able to tell the difference between a real and a fake Richard Mille watch before you buy one. 

While this is not a “be all, end all” guide on how to spot a fake Richard Mille, these are a few helpful tips that can help you on your way, or at the very least raise a few immediate red flags to help you get out of dodge. Let’s jump in.

Watch Price

Is the deal “too good to be true”? Trust your gut; it’s probably a fake. If you see a Richard Mille watch for sale for a price that is too good to be true, it probably is; remember, the entry level pricing for a Richard Mille is nearly $100,000. 

If you see a watch at a fraction of the cost, ex: $20,000 for an RM 07-04, it’s likely a fake. Counterfeiters often sell their watches at a fraction of the retail price to lure unsuspecting buyers. This goes without saying that RM 11-03 on eBay for $450.00 is also…not legit.

Build Quality & Materials

Inspect the materials. Richard Mille watches are made from high-quality materials, such as titanium, carbon fiber, and sapphire crystal. If the watch you are considering buying is made from something technically “inferior” or low-tech, like steel or plastics, it is likely a fake. 

Additionally, look for flaws in the craftsmanship. Richard Mille watches are made with meticulous attention to detail and should be precise in execution. If you notice any flaws in the craftsmanship, such as uneven lines or misaligned screws, incorrect fonts, engravings, or even the wrong movement type (many fakes will use quartz batteries in place of mechanical movements), you’ll know it’s counterfeit.

Watch Weight

A watch’s weight can be a tricky tell for watch authenticity without experience handling many watches or understanding how weight should translate on the wrist; however, it can certainly be a factor when determining if one is real or fake.

In the case of fake Rolex watches for example, the legitimate watch will often feel much heftier and solid than the fake. However, due to their use of advanced materials, Richard Mille watches are inherently lightweight, so quite the opposite can be said.

If the watch feels too heavy, as if made of steel, etc., then it’s safe to doubt the authenticity. Indeed, watches such as the RM 035 “Rafael Nadal” are purpose-built to be as lightweight as possible for use on the tennis court, so be sure to do your research to gauge accordingly.  

Case Finishing

With pricing into $100,000 and beyond, it’s easy to understand that case finishing should be of the utmost importance for a manufacturer such as Richard Mille to meet the expectations of the prices being asked. 

On the other hand, manufacturers of fake watches are not going to be spending nearly as much time or effort in finishing their watch cases, as their intent is to pump out as many fakes as they can with as close to acceptable finishing as possible to maximize their profit margins. With a fake Richard Mille in hand, you may often find rough edges or surfaces that aren’t finished correctly (ex: brushed when it should be polished).


Is the watch ticking or does it have a visible battery? Unfortunately, that’s a fake. Is the movement finishing on par with the cost of the watch, or are there bare bridges, poor decoration, and missing jewels? 

All are tell-tale signs of a counterfeit watch (which isn’t to say there aren’t high-end quartz watches; rather, cheaply made quartz movements are often placed in fake watches). Do your research and get familiar with the functions of the particular model you’re aiming to buy. If it’s a chronograph, make sure the functionality is present. Oftentimes, a fake won’t be able to do it all.

How to Avoid Fake Richard Mille Watches: 

We’ve listed a few basics that should help you along the way. But even for the most hardened watch experts, it can still be difficult to tell a really good fake from a legitimate timepiece, particularly as the fake manufacturers continue to get better and better at what they do. It’s scary how close the counterfeits are getting these days, so what more can you do to ensure your safety?

Do Your Research

It goes without saying, but when spending over $100,000 on a timepiece (or any luxury purchase for that matter), do your research. A friend once told me you should be able to describe the face of the watch in perfect detail, at a minimum, before you even consider buying it. 

More than that, immerse yourself in the details of the watch; its dimensions, features, and functions, heck, make it your cell phone wallpaper so that you see it every day and know what a proper example should look like. When the example you’ve been waiting for comes to sale, do your research on that! This leads us to the next point…

Ask Questions

A legitimate and worthy seller should be willing to answer any question you have about the watch they have for sale. Ask to see the warranty card; every Richard Mille should have a unique warranty card with a holographic seal embedded. 

It should be signed and dated by a Richard Mille employee and should have a serial number that should match the serial number engraved on the bottom of the caseback of the watch. Ask about the history of the watch, its provenance, return policy, and more pictures of the details (ex: the movement, watch condition, etc.) as needed.

Take Your Time

Don’t be a victim of FOMO (fear of missing out); making a rash decision to purchase a watch without taking your time and due diligence can land you in a tough spot. You also shouldn’t feel pressured by the seller to make the purchase.

Get An Expert Opinion

Social media and local watch groups like Instagram and Red Bar are great resources for finding like-minded collector communities. Technology has brought us together in ways that can benefit you when making a purchase decision. 

You’ll find that, more often than not, people are willing to help. Reach out to other collectors or specialists, and they’ll be able to speak to a watch’s legitimacy or at least raise red flags if anything looks off. I’ve even personally saved a friend from being victimized by watch fraud when I noticed the URL of the watch he wanted to purchase was a fake eBay listing. 

Always Buy from a Reputable Seller

Which brings us to the final point: Always buy from a trusted dealer. There’s an adage in the watch community, “Buy the seller, not the watch”. A trusted, reputable dealer has nothing but their reputation and will go to great lengths to protect it.

They will do their due diligence to ensure a watch is legitimate, often with employed watchmakers on hand to confirm this, even down to the watch’s construction and movement analysis. They may even be certified to work on/with the brand, or at the very least, should be able to provide a post-purchase warranty and a flexible return policy, with authenticity guaranteed.

They should have experience dealing with watches of this caliber and be able to accommodate all of your questions and concerns detailed above. At the end of the day, your best ticket to guaranteeing an authentic watch is to purchase from a reputable dealer.


Richard Mille is a young brand, but it has quickly made a name for itself in the world of luxury watchmaking. The company’s watches are known for their innovative designs, cutting-edge materials, and high-performance movements. Its quick ascent has made it a target for criminal activity and the production of fakes. 

Purchasing a fake Richard Mille is costly. Not only will you be paying for an inferior product, but you may also be supporting criminal activity. By following the tips in this article and purchasing only from reputable sellers, you can help to ensure that what you’re getting is the real deal. Godspeed.

best IWC pilot watches for the aviation enthusiasts

IWC Schaffhausen, also known as International Watch Company, is a Swiss luxury watch brand that has been a present force in the industry since 1868. With over 150 years of history, the brand has established itself as a leader in the watch industry, known for its precision engineering and timeless designs. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the history of IWC watches, specifically IWC Pilot watches.

Founding of IWC

IWC was founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones, who saw an opportunity to combine skilled Swiss craftsmanship with modern American technology. In 1868, he established the International Watch Company in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Jones’ goal was to create high-quality watches that could compete with the best Swiss brands, using the latest technology and machinery from the United States for the American market. He was also one of the first watchmakers to use the newly developed system of interchangeable parts, which made it easier and more efficient to produce watches.

Early Years

In the early years, IWC produced pocket watches for both men and women. These watches were known for their precision and accuracy and quickly gained a reputation for quality. In 1899, IWC introduced one of its first known wristwatches utilizing the small 64 caliber ladies’ pocket watch movement fitted with lugs, a watch which was designed specifically for women.

The watch was a commercial success and marked the beginning of IWC’s focus on wristwatches. In the late-19th and into the early-20th century, IWC continued to innovate with the introduction of the first watch with a digital display in 1885 (Pallweber system) and the Reference IW436 launched in 1936 for specific use by pilots with an oversized crown and rotating bezel aiding navigation.

History of IWC Pilot Watches 

With the introduction of the “Special Pilot’s Watch” (ref IW436) in 1936, IWC’s trajectory in supplying watches to pilots was set in stone. Indeed, IWC’s history is closely intertwined with the history of aviation. In these early days of aviation, pilots needed watches that were accurate, reliable, robust, and easy to read. 

IWC was one of the first watchmakers to recognize the need for such watches, and the high legibility and tech within the IW436 illustrate this well with its antimagnetic escapement (important due to the equipment within the cockpit) and large hands and numerals.

This was shortly followed by the “Big Pilot” in 1940 supplied to the German Air Force, a 55mm diameter goliath utilizing the pocket watch caliber 52 T.S.C. The Big Pilot would go on to influence the design language of German-style pilot watches in the following years, with its characteristic military triangle at 12 o’clock, sans serif numerals, and leaf-shaped hands present even in modern-day designs.

In 1948, we saw the arrival of the Pilot’s Watch Mark XI, powered by the (legendary) manually wound 89 caliber movement, a watch infamous for its use by the British Military. A soft-iron inner case is applied, further advancing IWC’s penchant for reliable tech into the mid-twentieth century. Built to British Ministry of Defense specifications, vintage examples are highly coveted today.

The Mark XI was produced as late as 1984, yet after a hiatus, it wasn’t until 1993 that the next Mark series watch, XII, was released as a near replica of its predecessor but with a self-winding automatic movement.  In 1999, the Mark XV was released at a larger size of 38mm and is widely considered the transition from a military watch to civilian use.

Now into the 2000s, the Mark XVI (2006-2012), XVII (2012-2016), and XVIII (2017-2022) are all released with various sizes and stylistic changes – yet all staying true to the heritage and inspiration of the classic Mark line as far back as the Special Pilot’s Watch.

IWC Pilot Watches Today

The IWC Pilot Watches of today can be broken into three distinct sub-collections: Classic (Big Pilot, Pilot, and Mark series), Performance Materials (Big Pilot and Pilot watches made with advanced materials), and Antoine De Saint Exupery (Big Pilot and Pilot special edition watches commemorating the famous author/pilot). Let’s explore further.

The Best IWC Pilot Watches

1. IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX (ref. IW328201)

 IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX (ref. IW328201)

When IWC quietly updated its brand icon in the Mark series in the late summer of 2022, a few notable changes were made from the prior Mark XIII (just don’t ask us what happened to the Mark XIX). 

Notably, the watch was trimmed down in both lug-to-lug length and thickness (40mm Diameter, 10.8mm thickness, 49.2mm lug-to-lug), the dial was rebalanced with a tweaked hour and minute markings along the outer track, a white date disc was added to aid in legibility (and repositioned, most popularly), but perhaps most impressively, the Mark XX is now powered by the caliber 32111 ValFleurier movement, increasing power reserve from the base 42 hours on the Mark XVIII to a dramatic 120 hours (5-day) in the Mark XX.

Retail Price: $5,250

2. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 46 (ref. IW501001)

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 46 (ref. IW501001)

They don’t call it the “Big Pilot” for no reason. Clocking in at 46.2mm in diameter, 15.5mm in thickness, and 57mm lug-to-lug, IWC’s classic Big Pilot of the 1940s is revived again in a technically smaller size than the original (originally 55mm in diameter and 17.5mm thick).

In aesthetic design, the modern Big Pilot is quite faithful to the original, with its iconic flared onion-shaped crown and altogether Germanic Pilot’s watch dial design (and power reserve sub-dial indicator at 3 o’clock). 

A robust and smooth leather strap is attached at both sides, with the eye-catching rivets echoing the original design. Powering the watch is the in-house caliber 52110, providing an automatic self-winding 7 days of power reserve. Though large in overall size, it’s hard to think of another definitive flieger-style watch with the historic chops and design to boot. 

Retail Price: $13,200

3. IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire (ref. IW326801)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire (ref. IW326801)

IWC’s 39mm Automatic Spitfire is a bit of a value proposition within the brand’s Pilot watch lineup. Measuring in at 39mm in diameter, 10.8mm in thickness, and about 50mm lug-to-lug, it’s also a modestly-sized watch suitable and comfortable for most wrists.

Powered by the in-house automatic movement, caliber 32110, the Spitfire also receives a 72-hour power reserve (with a silicon escape wheel and lever for increased anti-magnetism). 

Aside from the technical specs, visually, the Spitfire features designs that call back to IWC’s military heritage, with faux-patina colored markers along the outer track at 12, 3, 6, and 9 (as well as the Flieger style triangle and dots up top), and broadsword-styled alpha hands, encased in a stainless steel brushed case. 

Retail Price: $4,900

4. IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW327010)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW327010)

Continuing along the line of Mark series watches, the Mark XVIII utilizes a soft iron dial and inner case for increased magnetic resistance, much like its predecessors. Sizing is not far off either, at 40mm in diameter, 11mm in thickness, and 51.1mm lug-to-lug.

However, where the reference IW327010 really shines is in its sunray brushed blue dial against white text and dial markings, a striking look paying homage to the eponymous book (Le Petit Prince, in case you missed it). 

The case back also features an illustrated engraving in the same vein, and the “spitfire” style alpha hands offer striking visibility against the dial. Paired with the ever-solid Santoni-produced calfskin leather strap, the watch is an overall handsome look for pilots and non-pilots alike.

Retail Price: $4,500

5. IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium® (ref. IW371815)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium® (ref. IW371815)

As a leader in advancing innovative materials into standard watch production, along with a history of producing pilot watch chronographs, IWC’s forward-thinking Double Chronograph “Top Gun” Ceratanium watch continues that trend. 

The brand, the first to introduce a ceramic case back on a wristwatch in 1986, and having developed the reference 3711 DoppelChronograph (an industrialized split-seconds chronograph, traditionally a delicate and high-end complication), brings both ideas into the modern day with a new material, ceratanium, which combines ceramic and titanium to provide the advantages of both.

Corrosion and scratch resistance, lightweight and durable, in an all-black case, the Top Gun Ceratanium represents IWC’s strengths at its finest.

Retail Price: $16,100

6. IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 (ref. IW324008)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 (ref. IW324008)

For a pilot’s watch, visibility and legibility are of primary importance. For this reason, the genre is typically occupied by larger watches; look no further than the 46mm Big Pilot within IWC’s own lineup, and you’ll catch my drift. But what of options for the smaller wristed or those who simply prefer a smaller, more compact wearing watch? Enter the Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 (reference IW324008). 

Measuring 36mm in diameter, 10.6mm thick, and 46mm lug-to-lug, the Automatic 36 wears like a mid-size dream without the loss of that iconic styling present on its larger Mark series brothers. As the market continues its downward size trend in recent years, the Automatic 36 will continue to provide a smaller “safe haven”.

Retail Price: $4,350

7. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (ref. IW329701)

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (ref. IW329701)

Despite the polarizing “downsizing” of the Big Pilot from 46mm to 43mm diameter (14.4mm thickness, 52mm lug-to-lug), make no mistake that the 43 Spitfire is still a larger wearing experience relative to its modestly sized Mark series brethren.

In line with a reduced size, the 43 Spitfire is encased in a lightweight Grade 5 titanium, matte gray in appearance, achieved through polishing and sandblasting. 

The dial provides enhanced legibility with the minutes and seconds track in white on the outer ring, with an inside ring in gray containing the hour markings, 1 through 12. Powered by the in-house caliber 82100, the 60-hour power reserve movement is additionally reinforced with ceramic components, and the watch is further protected with a soft-iron case (for anti-magnetism).

The 43 Spitfire is a perfect option for collectors looking for a more wearable Big Pilot experience with traditional styling.

Retail Price: $9,500

8. IWC Pilot’s Chronograph “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW377717)

 IWC Pilot’s Chronograph “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW377717)

As the chronograph representative within the “Le Petit Prince” line, the reference IW377717 is a bold watch at 43mm in diameter, 15mm in thickness, and 53.5mm lug-to-lug. 

Made of entirely stainless steel and set on a five-link bracelet, the use of sunray blue is particularly showcased and accented by the three contrasting blue subdials of the chronograph registers (60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters), balanced against the sharp white markers, Arabic numerals, and Spitfire alpha styled hands. The in-house caliber 79320 also provides day-and-date functionality, along with an estimated 44 hours of power reserve.

Retail Price: $6,850

9. IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph (ref. IW395001)

 IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph (ref. IW395001)

The IWC Timezoner Chronograph packs a punch, not only in sizing (46mm diameter, 17mm thickness, 55mm lug-to-lug) and visual weight (all of the complications and features!) but in functionality as well. 

First, we should mention it’s a chronograph, with sub-counters at 6 and 12 o’clock providing running seconds and hours, respectively. Secondly, it’s a flyback chronograph, meaning the chronograph can be quickly reset by actuating the pusher at 4 o’clock, which is useful for pilots in timing exercises. 

And finally (and perhaps most impressively), the Timezoner offers a timezone complication (did the name give it away?), operated by pushing the bezel down and rotating to the desired timezone, in effect setting the time zone with the date and 24-hour hand without needing to actuate the crown and jumping hour hand as with common “flyer” GMTs.

Retail Price: $12,300

10. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 “Mr Porter” (ref. IW329703)

 IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 “Mr Porter” (ref. IW329703)

For the uninitiated, Mr. Porter is a luxury fashion online outlet retailing hundreds of top designer brands in menswear. Owned by the same Richemont group as IWC, it makes sense that the two should collaborate on several watches, of which the Big Pilot 43 (reference IW329703) is part. 

Measuring the typical Big Pilot 43 sizing (43mm diameter, 14.4mm thickness, 52mm lug-to-lug), Mr. Porter’s take on the watch is a bit more modern leaning in aesthetic than the 43 Spitfire Bronze, for example, despite utilizing a similar bronze case.

Uniquely, the watch features contrasting gold hands and beige markers against a matte black dial (with the “1” Arabic numeral set with luminous material commemorating the first in a series of collaborations between the two brands). 

A titanium case back encloses the in-house caliber 82100 with 60 hours of power reserve with the usual soft-iron cage for anti-magnetism and an impressive 100m of water resistance overall.

Retail Price: $10,900

11. IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun “Lake Tahoe” (ref. IW389105)

An all-white, modern, and punchy ceramic Pilot Chronograph from IWC? Sign me up! When the “Lake Tahoe” reference IW389105 first debuted at Watches & Wonders 2022, it quickly became a favorite by watch media, industry, and IWC fans alike. It’s not hard to see why.

The all-white ceramic case with white markers and dial printing, coupled with a white rubber strap, is an immediately fun and stylistic look that’s sure to brighten your day (literally). 

Named after the snow-filled mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe, visible by Top Gun fighter jet pilots circling nearby base Reno, Nevada, the Lake Tahoe watch is otherwise a robust IWC Pilot’s Chronograph, powered by the caliber 69380 featuring a 12-hour chronograph, day-date complication and time display with a 46-hour power reserve. On the caseback, the Top Gun US Navy Fighter Weapons school logo is emblazoned; it just doesn’t get cooler than that.

Retail Price: $11,700

12. IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW395503)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW395503)

With the signature sunray blue of the “Le Petit Prince” series of Pilot Watches, the Timezoner (reference IW395503) is handsome not only in its use of color but overall design and functionality execution. Getting the hard specs out of the way, it measures 46mm in diameter, 15mm in thickness, and 55mm lug-to-lug.

But take one look at the Timezoner, and you’ll likely not recall a more striking yet balanced design with a timezone function. We mentioned a Timezoner earlier in the reference IW395001. The cleverness of the function is replicated here. Simply press down and rotate the bezel to actuate a change in a timezone on the watch (locales listed along the bezel).

Release and the hour hand for local time will be set to the correct time. No need to jump the hour hand via the crown; it’s entirely effortless. And whereas the Timezoner Chronograph added visual complexity overall, stripped down of all that, the Timezoner IW395503 is pure beauty in simplification.

Retail Price: $14,200

13. IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902)

 IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902)

Debuting at the former SIHH trade show in 2019, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire in bronze (reference IW387902) is, at its core, a well-proportioned, vintage-cued, practical bronze-cased chronograph with an upgraded in-house movement.

With IWC’s historical penchant for no-nonsense tool watches, the use of bronze in the Chronograph Spitfire is a stylistic turn, which will provide a user-specific patina over time (caseback in Titanium for safety and health reasons). 

At 41mm in diameter, 15.3mm thick, and 51.5mm lug-to-lug, the watch wears more compact than its larger brothers (for example, the 43mm IW377709 Pilot’s Watch Chronograph). The smaller case also helps balance out the dial with its various subdials tightened up, given the smaller surface area. 

The olive green dial itself is a handsome look not often found on watch dial furniture but paired perfectly with the bronze against the gold-plated Spitfire-style hands. In sum, the IW387902 is a great option for those looking for a moderately sized IWC Pilot Chronograph with the potential for a unique patina over time.

Retail Price: $8,000

14. IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun “Woodland” (ref. IW389106)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun “Woodland” (ref. IW389106)

As a “Woodland Green” variation to the all-white “Lake Tahoe” Pilot’s Watch Chronograph earlier on our list, the Woodland (reference IW389106) features the same specs and dimensions as the aforementioned model (44.5mm diameter, 15mm thickness, 54mm lug-to-lug), but with a dark green ceramic case and dial.

Both debuting at Watches and Wonders 2022, the Woodland is perhaps a soberer, yet still very much modern, take on the colored ceramic case theme. 

Taking inspiration from the flight suits of the naval aviators of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (better known as “Top Gun”), the deep green case is contrasted with the light green hue of the dial markers and hands, along with a matching green rubber strap (textile inlay) for an altogether militaristic look.

Retail Price: $11,700

15. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar (ref. IW503605)

 IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar (ref. IW503605)

As the flagship IWC model, the Big Pilot was paired with a perpetual calendar compilation for the first time in 2006, showcasing the high-complication production capabilities of the brand. Many variations have been produced since that initial limited edition run.

However, in 2021, IWC re-introduced a Big Pilot Watch Perpetual Calendar in steel as part of the permanent collection. The striking sunray blue dialed reference IW503605 is a large watch, much in the same vein as the original Big Pilot, which historically utilized a pocket watch movement.

The new Perpetual Calendar measures 46mm in diameter, 15.8mm thick, and 58.8mm lug-to-lug, but again places legibility and visibility at the forefront despite the added complication and subdials, and does so handsomely. All functions are accessed via the oversized onion-shaped crown: moon phase, month, date, day, and year. 

Retail Price: $33,000

16. IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 “Mercedes AMG-Petronas Formula One Team” (ref. IW388108)

The first official team watch developed between Mercedes-AMG Petronas and IWC, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 (reference IW388108) is special in that it was produced not only as part of the ongoing IWC x AMG collaboration (many Formula One-inspired watches have been produced so far), but that it was also made to be worn by staff as well: race engineers, mechanics, and star pilots alike. 

The watch packs an immediate punch visually, owing to the application of Petronas Green (the signature color for the F1 team) for all dial printing and furniture set starkly against a matte black dial.

Size-wise, the IW388108 retains the familiar case size of the standard Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, at 41mm in diameter, 14.6mm in thickness, and 51.5mm lug-to-lug. Beneath the sapphire exhibition case back, the in-house caliber 69385 provides column wheel chronograph functionality and 46 hours of power reserve.

Retail Price: $8,350

17. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar (ref. IW502706)

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Annual Calendar (ref. IW502706)

Often placing high-end complications within the heritage-driven Big Pilot line, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar (reference IW502706) is no exception to the rule, extending a sense of high-end luxury further with its 18k rose gold case construction.

What is an Annual Calendar? Annual Calendar complications showcase the day, date, and month. However, they are different from Perpetual Calendar complications in that they require manual winding and date adjustment at the end of each February. 

Because of this, the Annual Calendar complication is oftentimes preferred by collectors who enjoy a closer relationship with their watch through manual operation. The watch is as large as the Big Pilot moniker intended: 46.2mm in diameter and 15.3mm thick.

In dial design, the 9 o’clock subdial provides running seconds, opposite the 3 o’clock subdial notating power reserve (approximately 168 hours, or seven days total), with the calendar set just under the 12 o’clock, presenting month, date, and day accordingly.

Retail Price: $32,400

18. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun “Mojave Desert” (ref. IW503004)

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun “Mojave Desert” (ref. IW503004)

Retaining the same case proportions and functionality of the standard Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar, reference IW503605, the Top Gun “Mojave Desert” edition (reference IW503004) comes in a familiarly large case measuring 46.5mm in diameter, 15.4mm thick, and 58.8mm lug-to-lug.

Where the Mojave Desert differs, however, is in aesthetic and case material. Encased entirely in a sand-colored ceramic material, the watch coloration and aesthetic were inspired by the Mojave Desert, in particular, that of the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake land area owned by the US Navy.

All dial printing and furniture are set with that same sand coloration, contrasted with a matte brown dial to increase legibility. The Mojave Desert is a welcome addition to the Perpetual Calendar range as a unique color variant for complication, which is often more conservative in design approach.

Retail Price: $40,900

19. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Shock Absorber XPL (ref. IW357201)

How can one describe the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Shock Absorber XPL (reference IW357201), a watch so experimental and “out there” in both concept and design? A bit Star Trek and concept car in personality, the true hero of the Absorber XPL is its resistance to extreme shock: 30,000G’s, to be exact. 

The 44mm diameter Ceratanium case (combining the durability of ceramic and the light weight of titanium into a new compound) is 12mm thick, a thickness that belies the advanced technology contained within. 

Suspended inside the case is the movement, held by a bulk metallic glass spring, providing increased elasticity than typical metals such as steel. Talk about shock absorption…The Absorber XPL was limited to 10 pieces a year beginning in 2021, with 30 pieces total planned.

Retail Price: $86,100

20. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW504803)

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW504803)

Taking the Le Petit Prince line of watches to the highest tier (and perhaps the most romantic representation of the book itself) is the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Le Petit Prince (reference IW504803). Measuring 46.2mm in diameter and 16mm thick, the Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon is encased in 18K Armor Gold (a new alloy developed by IWC to be harder than regular 18K rose gold). 

Perpetual Calendar functionality is presented via subdials at 3 (date and power reserve), 6 (month and moon phase), and 9 o’clock (date; the year window is placed just underneath 8 o’clock), but most impressively sits the mesmerizing tourbillon at 12 o’clock with its constant rotation of the balance wheel, balance spring, and escapement to negate the effects of Earth’s gravity in any position. 

The tourbillon is certainly a high-end complication, and prices for such watches are typically in the six figures. The IW504803 in question is no exception, with a retail price of $120,000.

Retail Price: $120,000


Over the past 150 years, IWC has established itself as a leader in the watch industry, known for its precision engineering and timeless design. From its early years of producing pocket watches to its modern-day sports watches and complications, IWC has consistently innovated and pushed the boundaries of what is possible in watchmaking. 

With a rich history and a commitment to quality, IWC watches are a true investment in both style and function. No matter which watch you choose from their Pilot range, should you choose one, take pride and comfort in your decision knowing this.

best longines dive watches

Longines is a Swiss luxury watch brand that has been creating timepieces of exceptional quality since its formation in 1832. The company was founded by Auguste Agassiz in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, and has since become one of the most respected watchmakers in the world.

With a nearly 200-year history, it should come as no surprise that the accolades and accomplishments of Longines are plentiful: the winged hourglass logo trademarked in 1889 (the oldest registered trademark of a watch brand being used today), the adoption of industrialized watchmaking from the United States in the 1870s, the first pocket watch indicating two time zones in 1908, one of the world’s first wrist-worn chronographs in 1911, first wristwatch chronograph with a flyback function and two independent pushers in 1925, the Lindbergh Hour Angle for aviators in the 1930’s, the first waterproof chronograph in 1937… the list goes on and on through the decades. 

With these advancements, Longines quickly became known as useful tools for aviators, with their watches becoming essential tools for navigation and timing during flights. Longines also became involved in sports timekeeping, providing timing equipment for events such as the Olympics as early as 1896 and other international competitions.

This focus became the brand’s bread and butter and, indeed, represents the watches we mostly associate with Longines today: pilot watches, chronographs, and sports pieces. Today, Longines lives on as part of the Swatch Group portfolio of brands (first acquired in 1983 with the merger of ASUAG and SSIH, later to become the Swatch Group in 1988), continuing their focus on a wide range of products from high spec tool watches to sophisticated dress timepieces. 

About Longines Dive Watches

Though we might not immediately associate dive watches with the Longines name today, just as the brand had a hand in achievements throughout various watch categories historically (pilot watches, chronographs, etc.), they’ve also had a history of creating iconic and distinct dive watches as early as the 1950s and 60s when the sport became increasingly popular. 

History of Longines Dive Watches

In the latter half of the 1950s, following the leadership of the earliest dive watches from Blancpain (Fifty Fathoms), Rolex (Submariner), and Zodiac (Sea Wolf), a variety of Swiss watch manufacturers decided to throw their hats into the game. Longines was among them. 

In 1959, the model 6921 (colloquially known as the Nautilus Skin Diver) was launched, featuring a pressure case in familiar skin diver form, an external rotating bakelite bezel, and 150m of water resistance. Soon after, in 1961, the reference 7150-1 Super Compressor (popularly called the Legend Diver) was launched with two crowns, one operating an internal timing ring for dives. Both models will see popular reinterpretations in the present day.

Moving into the back half of the 1960s, Longines diversified their dive watch designs with more experimental and technically capable references. 

The Skin Diver 8248-1, with a quick set date and 19600 fluctuations per hour frequency (with orange minute hand and marker accents), the bold, thick, and broad reference 1542-1 Conquest with caliber 6651 movement, UltraChron labeled Hi-Beat divers, and the chronograph equipped diver reference 7981-1 with its unique red aluminum timing bezel. All are excellent examples of the brand trying new case shapes and colors to keep relevant with the times and consumer tastes.

With the advent of the “quartz crisis” in the 1970s, Longines was also quick to adopt electronic mechanisms such as the ESA 9162 with a tuning fork oscillator (Longines caliber 6312), even in their dive watches. Examples such as the reference 8484 featured an acrylic three-color bezel with bright oranges and contrasting gray. 

Today, the legacy of Longines dive watches lives on in the HydroConquest, Legend Diver, and ULTRA-CHRON collections. Each collection has its particular focus and variations in size and color, whether serving as a modern line with traditional dive watch aesthetics and function or as reclamations of the past in modern material and updated tech. Without further ado, let’s dive in (you saw that coming, didn’t you).

The Best Longines Dive Watches

1. Longines Hydroconquest 41mm Black Dial (ref. L3.781.4.56.6)

Longines Hydroconquest 41mm Black Dial (ref. L3.781.4.56.6)

First launched in 2007, the HydroConquest is Longines’ standard bearer modern diver. With all the classic calling card design traits of a modern diver, the HydroConquest line has come into its own with its reintroduction in 2018 in both 41mm and 43mm sizes with modern upgrades, along with multiple dial color variations. 

Distinctly, the HydroConquest features a robust case with angled crown guards, a configuration of 12, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals with circular indices at the remaining hour makers, and of course, the classic Longines logo with winged hourglass just beneath the 12-hour marker. 

Though the watch previously featured a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and an aluminum insert rotating bezel, 2018 saw the introduction of a ceramic insert bezel, and the Caliber 888.2 movement (ETA A31.L01) with 65 hours of extended power reserve, both considerable additions bringing the watch on par with watches in the price range and beyond.

Measuring 41mm diameter, 12mm thickness, and 50.5mm lug-to-lug, the 41mm iteration on bracelet with polished center links should wear comfortably on most wrists (recommended 6 inches and above) as your standard black dialed modern diver for the office and the beach.

Retail Price: $1,775.00

2. Longines Legend Diver 42mm (ref. L3.774.4.50.6)

Longines Legend Diver 42mm (ref. L3.774.4.50.6)

With a catalog as extensive and legendary as Longines, it only makes sense for the brand to offer modern reinterpretations of its more popular historical pieces, particularly in the modern-day era of nostalgia-driven design and aesthetic. 

We mentioned reference 7150-1 above, the Super Compressor case that allowed nearly 200m of water resistance (increased underwater pressure yielded increased water resistance) with its iconic dual crowns (one for operating the internal timing bezel, the other to access the hand positioning), and in the “Legend Diver” of present day we have a near one-to-one aesthetic recreation of the 42mm size original.

Indeed, this iteration of the Legend Diver measures 42mm in diameter, 12.7mm in thickness, and 52.4mm lug-to-lug and is a most handsome timepiece for those looking to step outside of the usual “standard” dive watch archetype.

Though the lug-to-lug measurement may raise an eyebrow for the smaller wrists out there, paired with a strap such as Perlon to complete the vintage look should help reduce the visual impact if the size is a concern.

Retail Price: $2,500.00

3. Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Blue Dial (ref. L3.780.4.96.6)

Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Blue Dial (ref. L3.780.4.96.6)

Longines’ focus on making rugged and capable dive watches at entry luxury pricing isn’t limited to larger sizes only. 

In the reference L3.780.4.96.6, we have a 39mm HydroConquest that has all the features of its larger 41 and 43mm brethren; a ceramic bezel, the same 12-6-9 Arabic dial design, angular crown guards, polished center link bracelet, 300m of water resistance, and L888 movement with approximately 65 hours of power reserve, all in a more traditionally sized 39mm diameter case, with 12.2mm thickness, and 47.75mm lug-to-lug. 

If your wrist is on the smaller side of the spectrum, or you simply like traditional-size dive watches (e.g. the Rolex Submariner measured closer to 39mm for years), the 39mm Blue Dial variant is your choice.

Retail Price: $1,775.00

4. Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph 43mm Black Dial (ref. L3.883.4.56.6)

Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph 43mm Black Dial (ref. L3.883.4.56.6)

Laying claim to the first waterproof chronograph as far back as 1937, it is no wonder that Longines still has a stake in underwater timing via their HydroConquest Chronograph line today. Make no mistake, at 43mm in diameter, 15.9mm thick, and 53mm lug-to-lug, this watch is not for the faint of heart or “faint of wrist”. 

Yet despite the larger sizing, Longines has created a handsome addition to the HydroConquest line by staying true to the line’s modern aesthetic; ceramic bezel, polished center link bracelet, 12:00 Arabic numeral, and most impressively, chronograph pushers incorporated into the trademark angled crown guards on the right side flank of the watch case. Though the 4:30 placement of the date window is always a controversial choice, its size, and placement encourage legibility when you need to check the date. 

Retail Price: $2,750.00

5. Longines Hydroconquest 43mm Green Dial (ref. L3.782.4.06.6)

Longines Hydroconquest 43mm Green Dial (ref. L3.782.4.06.6)

Every year claims a new “it” color in the world of watches. When 2020 rolled around, it was clear that Green was the new Blue, which was, for years, the new Black. And while a variety of colors have come and gone in the few years since (look no further than the Tiffany blue craze or the Rolex Oyster Perpetual dials of late), the Green HydroConquest remains to this day a most handsome iteration of the modern HydroConquest model. 

Spec and size-wise, not much has changed (still 43mm in diameter with an 11.9mm thickness), but the particular execution of green here is most attractive, leaning more towards an olive drab green similar to green shades used widely in military applications, we’re presented with a subtle yet punchy take on the HydroConquest line. 

If you’re tired of or already own plenty of black or blue dialed watches, Longines Green HydroConquest in 43mm would be a bold addition to your lineup.

Retail Price: $1,775.00

6. Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Quartz Black Dial (ref. L3.730.4.56.6)

Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Quartz Black Dial (ref. L3.730.4.56.6)

Though quartz can sometimes be considered a bit of a dirty word in hardcore mechanical watch snobbery circles, the truth is quartz can be executed at higher levels than your typical throwaway drugstore $15 watch meant to be thrown away when replaced.

Indeed, even luxury brands have pursued quartz technology, and still due to the present day, such as the watch we see here in the 39mm Quartz HydroConquest. 

Featuring the caliber L156 movement (with an end-of-life battery notification system), the use of quartz in a daily driver/diver such as the HydroConquest platform is both reasonable and practical from a timing standpoint, where precision and accuracy are key, particularly in diving. 

Paired with the familiar 39mm HydroConquest case and design cues, quartz also has the advantage of a slimmer size. Clocking in at only 10.1mm thick (39mm diameter and 48mm lug-to-lug), one can’t undercut the importance of comfort and the low profile that results. As a grab-and-go-do-anything watch, it’s hard to argue against the 39mm Quartz HydroConquest.

Retail Price: $1,100.00

7. Longines Hydroconquest 43mm Black Ceramic (ref. L3.784.4.56.9)

Longines Hydroconquest 43mm Black Ceramic (ref. L3.784.4.56.9)

Introduced in 2019, the 43mm Full Black Ceramic HydroConquest took the 43mm HydroConquest platform and gave it a new facelift. This time, with a case entirely made of high-tech, scratch-resistant ceramic material (Zirconium Oxide Zr02 denoted on the dial) in an altogether stealthy and attractive blacked-out look. 

All other technical features remain the same: 300m of water resistance, the typical 12-6-9 Arabic numeral indices, and a graduated unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel with sapphire crystal. And despite the 43mm size (13mm thickness), the watch wears comfortably, owing to its decreased weight to the lightweight ceramic material – a handsome and tactical watch for those looking for alternative case materials.

Retail Price: $4,150.00

8. Longines Legend Diver 36mm (ref. L3.374.4.90.2)

Longines Legend Diver 36mm (ref. L3.374.4.90.2)

Longines’ commitment to producing multiple size iterations within its watch ranges is commendable. In the Legend Diver 36mm (first introduced in its current form in 2018), we’re provided with what’s essentially a sized-down version of the 42mm Legend Diver, measuring at 36mm in diameter, with an 11.9mm thickness and 44.5mm lug-to-lug. If you found the 42mm version’s lug-to-lug length a bit too much for your wrist, the 36mm is your answer. 

Despite the smaller sizing, the style and overall aesthetic balance of the larger size is retained. Coupled with an attractive gradient blue dial in the reference L3.374.4.90.2, the 36mm Legend Diver will wear comfortably on any wrist and provide perhaps a greater sense of “vintage” feel and sizing as most divers of that era came in around 36-37mm.

Retail Price: $2,500.00

9. Longines Hydroconquest 44mm Quartz Blue Dial (ref. L3.840.4.96.6)

Longines Hydroconquest 44mm Quartz Blue Dial (ref. L3.840.4.96.6)

Continuing with the quartz variations of the HydroConquest is the 44mm quartz Blue Dial L3.840.4.96.6. Certainly a watch for larger wrists, or those who prefer larger sizes altogether, the timepiece measures 44mm in diameter with a relatively slim for the diameter (proportionally) 11.9mm thickness. 

The caliber L157 provides the usual hours, minutes, seconds, and date functions power, with an end-of-life battery indication system for when a battery replacement is soon needed. The overall attractive modern looks and practicality of a quartz dive watch remain the same, just in a larger size.

Retail Price: $1,150.00

10. Longines Ultra-Chron 43mm (ref. L2.836.4.52.6)

Longines Ultra-Chron 43mm (ref. L2.836.4.52.6)

When the Ultra-Chron originally launched in the 1960s, it was a perfect culmination of the technical know-how and prowess of Longines at its near height of mechanical accuracy. With the reintroduction of the Ultra-Chron diver in 2022, the model was revived with the design of the original in the usual Longines “heritage” collection fashion, with modernized proportions (43mm diameter, 13.6mm thickness, 48mm lug-to-lug), manufacturing and material use. 

Importantly, this modern version beats at 5Hz and is also “ultra-chronometer” certified (caliber L836.6; modified ETA base movement with increased frequency at 36,000 vibrations/hour, along with anti-magnetic silicon hairspring and 52 hours of power reserve). 

What is “ultra-chronometer” testing? Rather than typical COSC certification, the Ultra-Chron diver is certified by TimeLab, for a 15-day period in five positions across multiple tests to meet ISO 3159:2009 standards. From an aesthetic standpoint, the watch benefits from modern materials and construction. 

Take, for example, the sapphire bezel in place of the original bakelite and the grained black dial with the punchy red minute hand and bezel graduations. In sum, the Ultra-Chron diver represents the best of modern Longines, rooted in its legendary technical know-how, without compromise.

Retail Price: $3,600.00

11. Longines Hydroconquest 41mm Two-Tone Black Gold (ref. L3.781.3.56.7)

Longines Hydroconquest 41mm Two-Tone Black Gold (ref. L3.781.3.56.7)

Mention the words “two-tone” in relation to watches, and your thoughts might immediately jump to the 1980s, a time of bravado, ostentatiousness, and flaunting of wealth. And while trends and styles truly revolve in circles in the fashion world, the same can be said of wristwatches.

In the past few years, as nostalgia for the 1980s and 90s has grown, so too has the increasing appearance of gold and two-tone watches. As such, the 2021 Longines Two-Tone collection was released in the flagship HydroConquest line.

We’ve spoken about all the features and design of the HydroConquest and its iterations to this point (ex: 41mm diameter, 11.9mm thickness, 50.5mm lug-to-lug), but the key call out for the L3.781.3.56.7 in question is just how effectively the use of yellow gold is applied. On the hands, the bezel grip, indices, winged hourglass logo, crown, along with polished center links in an altogether balanced way. 

At the end of the day, Two-Tone (and, in particular, Yellow Gold Two-Tone) is a stylistic lifestyle choice. But if you’re tired of the typical full stainless steel sports watches and decide to class it up (or just want to play Miami Vice), you could do much worse than the 41mm HydroConquest.

Retail Price: $2,025.00

12. Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph 41mm Blue Dial (ref.L3.783.4.96.6)

Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph 41mm Blue Dial (ref.L3.783.4.96.6)

Another size variant within the HydroConquest Chronograph range, the 41mm blue dial iteration (15.6mm thickness), provides a bit of relief from the 43mm size alternative should you prefer tamer watch sizes.

Housing the L688 caliber with 28,800 vibrations per hour and approximately 60 hours of power reserve, the column wheel chronograph features a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12 hours counter at 6 o’clock, and small seconds at 9 o’clock for your various timing needs. 

Being a dive chronograph, the 300m water resistance is retained, along with the intuitive chronograph pushers built in congruence with the angled crown guards as an altogether attractive package.

Retail Price: CHF 2,550.00

13. Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Sunray Grey Dial (ref. L3.780.3.78.6)

 Longines Hydroconquest 39mm Sunray Grey Dial (ref. L3.780.3.78.6)

As part of the two-tone collection within the HydroConquest line, the reference L3.780.3.78.6 is arguably the most modern leaning aesthetically of the two-tone variations, with its use of Sunray gray on the dial and bezel, countered with pink gold colored accents in the hands, bezel, and winged hour-glass Longines logo. 

The case size and technical specifications of the 39mm HydroConquest line are retained (39mm diameter, 12.2mm thickness, 47.75mm lug-to-lug), providing a familiar platform with an updated and attractive modern two-tone look that’s subtle and minimalist in execution.

Retail Price: $2,025.00

14. Longines Legend Diver 42mm Bronze (ref. L3.774.1.50.2)

Longines Legend Diver 42mm Bronze (ref. L3.774.1.50.2)

The use of bronze in dive watches is not a new concept. Indeed, the idea of bronze and diving often brings to mind images of the earliest divers in the 1900s with their hefty helmets and umbilical diving gear. Additionally, the tarnishing often associated with bronze (or, as we say in the watch collecting, “patina”) provides a unique and organic look, particular to the users wearing habits and environment. 

Longines launched the 42mm Legend Diver in bronze in late 2020. It remains familiar in size and spec as the standard 42mm iterations (42mm diameter, 12.7mm thickness, 52.4mm lug-to-lug). Still, it will be purely unique in its bronze patination, depending on the user. 

Contrasted with an attractive green gradient dial and leather strap (including a second strap in green NATO-type nylon style), the Bronze Legend Diver is a unique take on the classic heritage model that will surely please anyone seeking a more experimental case material that will age over time and use.

Retail Price: $3,125.00

15. Longines Hydroconquest 43mm Two-Tone Blue Rose Gold (ref. L3.782.3.98.7)

Longines Hydroconquest 43mm Two-Tone Blue Rose Gold (ref. L3.782.3.98.7)

The final two-tone variation we’ll be looking at is the 43mm HydroConquest in blue and rose gold. Measuring 43mm in diameter and 11.9mm in thickness, the watch is a slim and attractive option for those wanting the modern lines and design of the HydroConquest in a larger size. 

The use of blue on the bezel and dial is a beautiful contrast to the pink (PVD) gold applied on the bezel grip, crown, indices, hands, and polished center links, creating a look that is both luxurious and modern in execution (as compared to a more traditional yellow gold). 

Looks aside, the L888 movement continues to provide approximately 65 hours of power reserve. The watch is built to the same robust diver’s spec as the fully stainless steel HydroConquest models, despite the addition of the inarguably more luxurious rose gold material.

Retail Price: $2,025.00


Longines has a long and storied history in the world of watchmaking, and their dive watches from the past and present are no exception. The brand’s commitment to precision and innovation, as well as accessibility for a variety of wrists, has made it a leader in the industry for nearly two centuries. 

Whether you’re a dive watch collector or simply appreciate the art of watchmaking, a Longines dive watch is a true work of art built to a rugged capable spec that will stand the test of time. 

Slide rule watches from affordable to luxury

In our modern digitalized world famous for the “internet of everything”, it’s easy to forget that analog tools and their functions in the decades before computers were actually the norm. Today, most people can pick up a tool or instrument from the past and have no idea what it is or how it would even work.

Heck, try even explaining what a “VHS” tape is to my 5-year-old niece and why we’d have to drive to the local Blockbuster down the road to rent one every Friday night in the 1990s instead of just switching on Netflix (how “20th Century” of us). 

Even watches overall are “outdated tech”; need the time? Simply look at the corner of your computer screen, or pull out your iPhone to quickly check. But what do you do if your battery dies or you forget your phone at home?

I’m not suggesting that everyone has multiple analog redundancies for every part of their waking lives; however, simple things like wristwatches can function as totems, expressions of our aesthetic sense and tastes, and nostalgic reminders of when things weren’t so digital.   

About the Slide Rule Complication

On the topic of watches (that’s why you’re here after all, right?), it can be said with certainty that every function and complication developed came out of a specific real-world use or need. Take, for example, the dive bezel, used to track the elapsed time on a dive to ensure the user isn’t subject to decompression sickness.

Or the GMT hand, developed specifically for pilots frequently traveling across time zones. But perhaps the most visually impactful, with functions not limited to one specific purpose, is the sliding rule complication (or slide rule bezel).

Developed by Breitling in the 1950s at the request of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the sliding rule bezel was applied on the now iconic Navitimer (“navigation timer”) model to aid pilots in navigation and perform complicated arithmetic with a simple twist of the bezel. 

This feature was a hit, and the concept has been adopted by many watch companies in the decades since, even as its practical use has fallen out of favor with the advancement of computers and technology.

What Is The Purpose of Slide Rule Watches? 

While the modern buyer or watch enthusiast may no longer rely on slide rule bezels to fly planes or perform complicated arithmetic, this doesn’t detract from the bezel’s functionality. The tool is still there; the user just has to learn to use it!

So even if you purchase a watch with a slide rule bezel for the looks alone or appreciation for its use in history, here are a few ways you can get some use out of that Navitimer (or any of the other options we’re about to list below). 

First, some basics:

There are two scales and unit index markers; the inner scale, running along the outermost perimeter of the dial itself, and the outer scale, running along the periphery of the bezel itself. The index markers (specifically on a Navitimer; this may vary on other models) are indicated in red and serve as a reference point in the alignment of the rule. 

The bezel can be moved in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction. Finally, the slide rule doesn’t consider decimals; finding the number closest to the one you want, regardless of the decimal point sits, will be the way to go. 

Example: “50” on the slide would equate to 5 as input; Or, if the answer reads as 32.5, and we know intuitively the number should be in the hundreds, we’d read it as 325 instead. 


Let’s say we want to multiply 9 times 12. To do so, align the unit index 10 on the outer scale to the 9 on the inner scale. The scale is now aligned to all multiplications of 9. From here, find 12 (the number we’re multiplying against 9) on the outer scale, and the answer displays as 10.8, which, intuitively, we know to read as 108. Note: Multiply your restaurant bill by 20, and you’ll get an approximate tip figure to impress your friends with


Let’s try division! For 20 divided by 16, move 16 on the outer scale to 20 on the inner scale. Our answer is read from the outer unit index 10: “12.5”, which, intuitively, we know would convert to 1.25.


Knowing that speed equals distance divided by time, we can calculate the average travel speed by looking at the inner scale value corresponding to 10 on our outer scale.

If we know it took us three minutes to pass one landmark from the start of our journey, we’d see that the inner scale reads about 33.5, or 3.35 miles per minute. On to the watches!

The Best Slide Rule Watches

1. Casio Edifice (ref. EF-527D-1AVEF)

Casio Edifice (ref. EF-527D-1AVEF)

Measuring 45mm in diameter, 50mm lug-to-lug, and 11mm thick, the EF-527D is an affordable and reliable step into the slide rule watch pool for anyone wanting to test the sizing or look of such watches.

Capturing the toolish busy look and functionality of watches at multiples in price, this model Edifice benefits in its quartz movement with a svelte case, screw-down crown, and 100 meters of water resistance despite also being a chronograph. 

This combination of chronograph functions in mechanical watches typically results in a lower water resistance rating (30-50 meters in most cases), making the EF-527D an attractive alternative in both the practical sense and for the wallet.

Retail Price: $190

2. Citizen Promaster Nighthawk Eco-Drive (ref. BJ7006-56L)

2. Citizen Promaster Nighthawk Eco-Drive (ref. BJ7006-56L)

Anecdotally, for every Breitling Navitimer I’ve seen on a pilot’s wrist when flying, I’ve seen at least 3x the amount of Citizen Promaster Nighthawks on their wrist instead (filtering out all Apple Watches, naturally). Point being, if it’s good enough for a large number of real actual pilots, it should be good for us normie passengers as well. With a pleasant 42.4mm case diameter, 12.7mm thickness, and 46.5mm lug-to-lug, it’s also quite wearable for a pilot’s watch, which is typically large in size for practical visibility in the cockpit. 

Add in 200m of water resistance and the hassle-proof light-powered Eco-Drive movement, and it’s no wonder that so many choose the Nighthawk when looking for a practical and reliable watch. The BJ7006-56L, in particular, is styled in an attractive blue and yellow in honor of the US Navy’s elite flight demonstration squadron, The Blue Angels.

Retail Price: $475

3. Seiko Prospex SRPB57J1

Seiko Prospex SRPB57J1

The SRPB57J1 is Made in Japan as part of the Seiko “Sky” collection, within the Prospex (“Professional Specifications”) line of watches intended for use by professionals. Powered by the caliber 4R35 movement, the watch is an automatic mechanical movement with both hand winding and hacking seconds (i.e.: the seconds hand stops when the crown is pulled out for a more precise time setting) and is rated to 100m of water resistance. 

Without chronograph functionality, as we typically see in slide rule bezel watches, the SRPB57J1 offers a clean dial aesthetic in a 44.7mm diameter case with 12mm thickness. If you’re looking for an affordable mechanical watch alternative to the Pilot’s watch style, this Seiko is a great option.

Retail Price: $497

4. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind (ref. H77912135)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind (ref. H77912135)

Hamilton has a long history of aviation watches (even providing the US Airmail service with watches as of 1918) and has developed the Khaki Aviation line in conjunction with air squadrons and renowned pilots to create function-forward timepieces that can be used effectively on the job. 

In the X-Wind (ref. H77912135) in particular, we have a combination of crosswind calculator, chronograph, and GMT functionality, all packed within a 46mm diameter case with 14mm thickness and a caliber G10.962 ETA Quartz movement accurate to +/- 10 seconds, water resistant to 100m to boot. It’s harder to imagine a more useful set of complications for a Pilot’s watch; just don’t ask us how to calculate crosswinds (we’ll defer to the watch manual book for that).

Retail Price: $1,045

5. Seiko Flightmaster SNA411

Seiko Flightmaster SNA411

In the pantheon of household name Seiko watches, the SNA411 Flightmaster (colloquially known as the “Flighty” in some circles) is the watch of choice in the pilot watch category. Its overall popularity is attributed to a few things: its wearability, looks, and function. 

With a 42mm diameter case, 13mm case thickness, and short lug-to-lug of 44mm, the Flightmaster can be worn on a large range of wrist sizes, with its good looks and comfort accentuated by the infinite combination of straps and watch bands (21mm lug width) it can be placed on.

The reliable Seiko caliber 7T62 quartz movement, screw-down crown, 200 meters of water resistance, and alarm flyback chronograph capability are all the icing on the cake for this classic fan favorite.    

Retail Price: $475

6. Hamilton Khaki X-Patrol (ref. H76566751)

Hamilton Khaki X-Patrol (ref. H76566751)

Returning to the Hamilton Khaki Aviation line of watches, we have the 42mm diameter (16mm thickness and 52mm lug-to-lug), automatic mechanical caliber H-21 movement X-Patrol, reference H76566751, with 60 hours of power reserve. 

A looker of a watch accentuated with a see-through case back to view the movement, the X-Patrol is rated to 100m of water resistance, no small feat for a mechanical chronograph which also features an inner rotating bezel in place of the typical slide rule bezels exposed on the outside of the case. With a day and date function windowed on the right-hand side of the dial, the additional sub dials are positioned at 12, 6, and 9 in an attractive configuration. 

Retail Price: $1,695

7. Ollech & Wajs Zürich OW P-104

Ollech & Wajs Zürich OW P-104

Founded in the city of Zurich in 1956 by business partners Joseph Ollech and Albert Wajs, Ollech & Wajs was formed to create robust, legible, and reliable tool watches powered by proven movements of the day; a brand ethos that still continues through today.

The P-104 in question is not a re-issue of a historic watch but rather a re-imagination of the watches created throughout the brand’s history. Measuring in a widely accessible 39mm diameter case, 50mm lug-to-lug, and 12.5mm in thickness, the P-104 has a fully brushed case which speaks to the robustness intended in use.

Of note, this is not a chronograph watch, but one built with both the military and commercial pilots in mind featuring a slide rule bezel akin to a diver’s bezel in form. With the proven workhorse ETA 2824-2 automatic mechanical movement inside and a 300m water resistance, Ollech & Wajs have created a particularly unique watch stylistically and function-wise for discerning collectors.

Retail Price: $1,250

8. Victorinox Airboss Mach 9 (ref. 241710)

Victorinox Airboss Mach 9 (ref. 241710)

Outside of the Swiss Army Knife collector community, luggage, and cutlery worlds, Victorinox also makes some of the most rugged and capable wristwatches available on the market. Enter the Airboss Mach 9, reference 241710; 45mm in diameter, 15mm thick, with uncharacteristic left-sided “destro” crown and chronograph pushers, and slide rule accessible via a crown at the 2 o’clock position. 

The Airboss Mach 9 is a sizable and unique watch for those looking to make a statement, with 100m water resistance, chronograph, and automatic mechanical Valjoux caliber 7750 movement to boot. Even cooler, Air Force One squadron models have been known to surface on the aftermarket as well.

Retail Price: $2,450

9. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono (ref. H76726530)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono (ref. H76726530)

Launched in 2020, the Khaki Aviation Converter Collection from Hamilton aims to capture the essence of traditional “E6B” flight computer-style watches, similar to the Navitimers of the world, which are the usual suspects in the genre.

It must be noted that the reference H76726530 is not a re-edition, though slide rule bezels have existed on previous Hamilton models in the past (look no further than this list). Rather its classic styling speaks to the success Hamilton achieved in capturing that vibe in modern materials and execution. 

Measuring 44mm in diameter and about 15mm in thickness, the Auto Chrono wears with a presence on the wrist with polished chronograph pushers and lug bevels, adding an additional layer of quality. With a 100m water resistance rating and the anti-magnetic silicon hairspring of the caliber H-21-Si movement, Hamilton has created a new riff on a classic design with all the advancements of modern watchmaking tech.

Retail Price: $1,995

10. Zeno-Watch OS Slide Rule Chronograph (ref. 8557CALTH-a1)

Zeno-Watch OS Slide Rule Chronograph (ref. 8557CALTH-a1)

With a 47.5mm case diameter, Zeno-Watch classifies the Slide Rule Chronograph reference 8557CALTH-a1 within its Oversized “OS” collection, and rightfully so. Powered by an automatic chronograph Valjoux 7750 (with approximately 42 hours of power reserve) and rated to 30m of water resistance, the watch is certainly a bold look. 

Coupled with a crown at the 10 o’clock position to actuate the inner rotating slide rule, despite its size Zeno-Watch provides a clean and attractive aesthetic, balancing bold lumed Arabic along the dial with attractive cathedral-style hands. 

Retail Price: CHF 2,538

11. Oris Big Crown X1 Calculator (ref. 01 675 7648 4264-Set 5 23 77)

Oris Big Crown X1 Calculator (ref. 01 675 7648 4264-Set 5 23 77)

Originally developed as an homage to the first manned supersonic flight of October 14th, 1947, the Oris Big Crown Calculator is a uniquely gray-plated (PVD) stainless steel automatic chronograph from the brand. 

Clocking in at 46mm in diameter and 16mm in thickness with a 23mm lug width, the watch will certainly have a presence on the wrist. Still, with its grey PVD coloring and bold Arabic at 12, 3, 6, and 9 with the utmost in legible hands, you can’t knock the legibility and function of this uniquely styled slide rule watch. Particularly attractive is the coin edge bezel, a call back to vintage styling despite its outwardly modern case finish.

Retail Price: $3,950

12. Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 (ref. A17326241B1P1)

Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 (ref. A17326241B1P1)

Redesigning and creating line extensions of classic, well-known watches can often be a delicate subject. Get it wrong, and the legions of fans will let it be known. Do it right, and you might just capture something new, worthy of its own praise. 

When Breitling sought to refine the Navitimer in the Automatic 41, it can’t be denied that the clean dial aesthetic lacking chronograph subdials and functionality captures the essence of the Navitimer at its core, providing a clean and direct focus on the bi-directional slide rule bezel overall.

With a 10.10mm thickness and 47.9mm lug-to-lug, the classed-up Automatic 41 will wear closer to a dress watch than the tool watch feel of the Navitimer Chronograph it pulls inspiration from. Available on a number of leather straps, the Automatic 41 is truly elegant.

Retail Price: $4,750

13. Sinn 903 ST Navigation Chronograph

Sinn 903 ST Navigation Chronograph

Like many brands of the Swiss watch industry in the 1970s, Breitling was hit particularly hard by the quartz crisis, eventually closing its doors in 1979. In the wake of staff layoffs and liquidation, the rights to the Navitimer were sold to Sinn and Sicura, with Sinn, in particular, purchasing the rights to the Breitling 806 and 809 Navitimer models of the day.

Sicura continued to manufacture watches under the Breitling name (as well as owning the “Navitimer” name outright), while Sinn continued to develop the Navitimer technology into present day. The 903 ST Navigation Chronograph is an attractive culmination of those decades since, featuring a La Joux-Perret 8000 column wheel chronograph movement in a wearable 41mm diameter case (14.5mm thick, 48.5mm lug-to-lug) with 100m water resistance.

For anyone looking for an alternative to the Breitling Navitimer, the Sinn 903 ST is a surefire choice, both with its historic ties to the Navitimer itself and the classic telltale design at nearly half the price. 

Retail Price: $3,580

14. Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph (ref. AB0137211B1P1)

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph (ref. AB0137211B1P1)

The icon itself. When we talk about slide rule complicated watches, the Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph is most certainly the standard to which all others are judged. From its initial inception in 1952, partnering with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in developing a tool allowing pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations, to the latest iteration over 70 years later, the Navitimer defines the pilot chronograph genre. 

Of design note, the updated dial revives the AOPA wing logo to its original position at 12 o’clock, with new color variants in green, copper, and blue now available. The caliber Breitling 01 movement (70-hour power reserve) is housed in the familiar 46mm diameter case with 13.95mm thickness and is rated to 30m of water resistance. In a world of options, if you’re looking for the original archetype, there is no other choice.

Retail Price: $9,200

15. Richard Mille RM 039

Richard Mille RM 039

It’s always fun to have a halo piece, and with the million-dollar RM 039, that’s a really high halo. But if your pockets are particularly well lined, and you have all the right connections to get it (limited to 30 pieces), the RM 039 offers one of the most difficult and complex Richard Mille watches to buy, with nearly 1,000 individual parts comprising its 50mm diameter case (at 19.4mm thick). 

With an oversized date display, adjustable UTC function for displaying a second time zone, gearbox-like function selector (winding, neutral, hand0setting, UTC setting functions), power reserve indicator, bidirectional slide rule bezel, and oh, by the way, did we mention that it’s a tourbillon; we have one heck of a watch constructed and finished to a degree simply impossible at a lower price point. How much is it again?

Retail Price: €1,042,500 (As they say, “If you have to ask…”)


The slide rule complication can seem like an anachronism, an analog function from another age when computers and digital technology weren’t even yet a dream. And yet, wristwatches with slide rule complications continue to be made in the modern era. 

Whether as a nod to history or an aesthetic appeal to aviation-age romance, the 21st-century watch collector can still find modern applications to this anachronistic tool. Just be sure to charge your phone the next time you forget your watch!

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