The 45 Best Pilot Watches (From Affordable To Luxury!)
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Best Pilot Watches from Affordable to Luxury

The 45 Best Pilot Watches (From Affordable To Luxury!)

Long before planes were invented, humans dreamed of flying. Centuries ago in Greek mythology, there lived Icarus, son of Daedalus, a mythical inventor who constructed wings out of feathers and wax. The wings were to aid the duo in flying out of Crete, where they were held captive by King Minos. 

Taking to flight with unfathomable excitement, Icarus soon forgot his father’s warnings and flew too close to the sun. His wings melted, and he died, but the myth implied that man’s innate desire to fly would be impossible. 

Yet the desire lived on, and on December 17th, 1903, the Wright brothers invented the world’s first successful motor-operated airplane. The wish to soar through the atmosphere was now granted, but another need was created, namely a timepiece to help the pilots keep track of their flying time.

Positioned more as statement pieces today than critical tools used in the air, pilot’s watches were launched to serve as timing devices for aviators. Nothing best captures the intrigue and excitement of a navigator’s lifestyle like a pilot’s watch.

This is why we put together a comprehensive list of the best pilot watches to satisfy your aeronautical fantasies. Enjoy!

About Pilot Watches

During the early decades of aviation, there was no such thing as aeronautical timing devices. Pilots desperately needed a timer because the timing was a vital element in nearly every aviation-related calculation.

To meet this pressing lack, timing devices were created to help pilots with simple calculations and keep accurate flight times. The first was a small gold watch with a square face and exposed screws, constructed by Louis Cartier.

Aviation watches are considered to be one of the first real onboard “computers” for pilots. They often feature specific characteristics and functionalities that are useful for flight-related activities. 

All pilots’ watches are designed with aviators in mind; thus, the dials have a highly legible display, large enough to be read when flying. 

Many pilot’s watches include chronograph complications, which enable pilots to measure elapsed time for various tasks, such as flight calculations and navigation.

The pilot’s watch saw innovations to make an aviator’s job even easier, and many of them on the market today incorporate useful features. 

These include dual time zone displays, integrated slide rule bezels or E6B flight computers, and anti-magnetic and shock-resistant constructions to help protect the timekeeping accuracy of the watch. 

While not a universal feature, many pilot’s watches offer water resistance to varying degrees. This is useful for pilots who may encounter wet conditions or work around water bodies during their operations. 

History of Pilot Watches

The history of pilot’s watches dates back to the early days of aviation when reliable timekeeping was crucial for navigation and flight operations. 

According to connoisseurs, the story begins in 1904 when Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont asked his friend Louis Cartier to design a watch specifically for his aviation needs. 

The innovative Cartier came up with a wristwatch that featured a square case with the unmistakable sapphire cabochon crown, a large dial with Roman numerals, and a simple design. 

The World War began in 1914 and ushered in major changes in aviation. The demands of military aviation during World War I led to the development of dedicated pilot’s watches. The British Royal Flying Corps issued watches to their pilots featuring large, easily readable dials and robust construction. 

The growth in pilot watches escalated, and during the 1930s and World War II, German watchmakers such as A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, and Stowa produced pilot watches known as “Fliegeruhren.” Alongside timekeeping, pilots required watches with additional features for navigation. Chronographs, which included stopwatch functionality, became popular among aviators. 

Brands like Breitling and Longines produced chronograph watches with various scales and additional subdials for measuring elapsed time, calculating distances, and performing other calculations.

Today, pilot’s watches continue to be extremely popular not only among pilots but also among watch collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate their functionality, aesthetics, and historical significance.

The Best Pilot Watches

Seiko Pilot Chronograph SNN241

Seiko Pilot Chronograph SNN241

Seiko’s contribution to the aviation industry has been relatively minor; however, not including a watch from the Japanese giant watchmaker would be a transgression. There may not be tons of dedicated pilot watches from the brand, but the SNN241 meets and exceeds the criteria for an aviation watch. 

Behold one of the best watches available in the sub-$150 price range! If you’re a fan of classic pilot watches and looking for a no-nonsense watch with suitable military vibes, look no further.

Seiko offers this solid, value-priced chronograph that is large and easy to read in a 42.6 mm stainless case with a thickness of 11 mm. The tactical watch has a clean brown dial with contrasting white numerals and indices, offering excellent readability. 

There are minute markers around the outer rim of the dial, and the watch also has two sub-dials for measuring chronograph functions and a date window at 6 o’clock. It is powered by the Seiko Caliber 7T94 and is worn on a comfortable contrast-stitched leather band with buckle closure.

AVI-8 Timepieces Gutersloh (ref. AV-4088-22)

AVI-8 Timepieces Gutersloh (ref. AV-4088-22)

AVI-8 was founded in 2012 by a combination of pilots, watchmakers, and engineers. The watch brand is known for its unique and functional design, which draws inspiration from aircraft and aviation history. 

At about $160, the Gutersloh Ref. AV-4088-22 is a stunning, straightforward timepiece that pays tribute to Britain’s distinguished military aviators who gave their lives for a worthy cause during WWII. It is presented in a stainless steel case that measures 43mm across and is 12mm thick. 

The dial features an army-blue color which is a distinct addition that stands out from the majority of pilot watches with black or blue faces. The design elements are inspired by the aircraft’s cockpit instruments and aesthetics, so you will find two recessed subdials at 9′ and 3′, enclosed by cockpit instrument-style frames. 

There is a highly legible dial with bold applied Arabic and baton indexes, all coated with Swiss lume on a matte canvas. There’s also a date window at 6 o’clock and an additional orange-colored hour hand to indicate time in a different time zone. 

Orient Pilot’s Sports Watch (ref. RA-AC0H04Y)

Orient Pilot’s Sports Watch (ref. RA-AC0H04Y)

Orient has a timepiece for everyone. From elegant dress watches to rugged divers and, of course, pilot’s watches, the brand is getting increasingly popular in the watch community. At $200, the Ref. RA-AC0H04Y is an effortlessly functional pilot’s watch that offers exceptional value for money. 

The 42.4mm stainless steel case is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters. The layout of the beige dial emphasizes easy readability and a tool-like feel. The dial has a large minute ring on the perimeter with a distinctive black print. 

There is a date display located at the third hour, and the face of the watch is protected by a mineral crystal. The watch is worn on a stylish all-occasion brown leather strap with contrasting light stitching. It is powered by the Orient caliber F6722, an in-house self-winding automatic movement with 22 jewels and a power reserve of 40 hours.

Citizen Chandler Pilot Chronograph (ref. CA0621-05L)

Citizen Chandler Pilot Chronograph (ref. CA0621-05L)

Citizen is an absolutely legendary watch manufacturer that has been around for over 100 years. Known for its high-quality, technical and affordable timepieces, the Japanese watch company is respected for adding eco-mindfulness as a core value. 

Since it launched its first light-powered timepiece with proprietary Eco-Drive technology in 1976, thousands of exceptional watches with outstanding build quality and innovative technology have followed.

The Pilot Chronograph Ref. CA0621-05L is a reasonably priced aviation watch that stays true to original pilot watches used during World War II. The stainless steel case is relatively large at 42mm in diameter and features flat protruding lugs, which will make it feel a bit bigger than it is.

With 100 meters of water resistance and a screw-down crown, this timepiece can be worn comfortably in the air, at ground level, and underwater for activities like swimming. The iris blue dial has a lot of information but is highly legible and uncluttered. The watch features Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, which works by running off light as its power source and retails for $230.

Citizen Promaster Altichron (ref. BN5058-07E)

Citizen Promaster Altichron (ref. BN5058-07E)

Honoring the world of pilots and aviation is the Promaster Altichron Ref. BN5058-07E. Many pilot watches are purely technical, and only a few standout pieces can combine technicality with pure aesthetics as this one does.

Encased within a 47 x 11mm stainless steel case with prominent pushers and crown, the Altichron over delivers the attributes required for a top-notch aviation watch. First off, the titanium bezel features a compass ring, and on the inside, you’ll find an altimeter, which measures altitude. 

The dial is pretty busy, no doubt, but this is a function-packed watch that was designed to work well up to 32,000ft above sea level. Plus, it has a water-resistant rating of 200 meters. Talk about cool!!

On the black dial with red accents, one finds large SuperLuminova-coated Arabic numerals, large sword-shaped hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock. Altogether, the watch is all about functionality and readability. Like most watches from Citizen, the Ref. BN5058-07E is powered by the brand’s Eco-drive solar movement. It retails for $595 and comes fitted with a black rubber strap.

Laco Augsburg 42 (ref. 861688.2)

Laco Augsburg 42 (ref. 861688.2)

Headquartered in the southwestern German town of Pforzheim, Laco is generally regarded as the originator of the German Pilot Watch. The brand, which was founded by Frieda Lacher and Ludwig Hummel, has been an established part of the German luxury watch scene since the 1920s.

Inspired by pilot’s and deck watches from the 1930s, the Augsburg 42 Ref. 861688.2 is a robust aviator watch presented in a sleek brushed 42mm case with a solid screw-down crown. The dial is pretty straightforward with a simple matte black finish. It is adorned with rectangular minute indices and Arabic numerals for marking the hours.

The hands and indices are legible even in low light thanks to ample punchy-green lume. Protecting this dial is a double-domed sapphire crystal. It retails for $420 on the brand’s website and comes fitted with a brown calfskin leather strap.

Seiko Flightmaster SNA411

Seiko Flightmaster SNA411

Imagine trying to navigate a mountain range in a blizzard without a reliable watch. From long-haul flights to snorkeling trips, the Seiko Flightmaster SNA411 is the ultimate adventurer’s watch. 

Whether you’re a pilot or aviation enthusiast searching for an accurate, sturdy, reliable, and affordable watch that looks good, too, this military-grade and rugged timepiece is your best bet. The Seiko Flightmaster SNA411 is an impressive chronograph watch presented in a finely brushed case that measures 42mm across and has a thickness of 13mm.

The stainless steel case is matched with a 20mm wide bracelet that flawlessly combines polished and brushed finishes. It also has three sub-dials for compass, stopwatch, and alarm, which makes the dial pretty interesting to stare at. The quartz-powered watch has been discontinued but is readily available in the secondary market for around $480

Atmoss SR-01 Everyday Pilots Watch

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Atmoss is a relatively new kid in the vast world of watchmaking, but it is in no wise the least! If you want a sleek pilot’s watch that combines next-level durability with avant-garde technology, this is your best pick. 

What better person to construct a pilot’s watch than a man with a history of flying low-tech planes himself? I’m talking about Warrick Bettany, the man behind Atmoss Watches. The innovator has been pretty busy rolling off some of the best aviation watches that preserve the old-school tradition of getting things done analogically. 

First things first, the case of the Everyday Pilots Watch has a diameter of 41mm, a thickness of 10.5mm, and a lug-to-lug of 48.5mm. The functionality of the watch begins with the two matching logarithmic scales or slide rules — one on the bezel and one on the chapter ring on the outer perimeter of the dial. 

The pure aesthetics of the white dial with blue and red accents add a touch of aviation-inspired romance. Keeping the price of this elegant watch down to $480 is a solid movement; the Japanese Miyota 9039 with a modest 42-hour power reserve. The watch has a water-resistant rating of 100 meters and is worn on a metal bracelet or FKM rubber strap.

Bulova Pilot A-15 (ref. 96A245)

Bulova Pilot A-15 (ref. 96A245)

If you’re looking for a graceful aviator’s watch with a timeless design and thick feel, the Pilot A-15 Ref. 96A245 comes highly recommended. On request from the US Army Air Force Air Technical Service Command, the original A-15 was initially designed in 1943 to solve very critical flight-related problems for pilots at the time. Unfortunately, the watch never made it out of the testing phase for some reason or another. 

The project was thus suspended, but 76 years later, Bulova deemed it necessary to release the watch to the general public. The Ref. 96A245 is a reinterpretation of the A-15 “Elapsed Time Watch” and is presented in a 42mm stainless steel case with narrow lugs and three crowns at the 2, 3, and 4 o’clock positions. The crown at 2 rotates the internal bezel measuring elapsed time, while the four o’clock crown controls a second-time zone or elapsed hours.

The dial might seem a bit complex at first glance since it features about four concentric rings, but everything is neatly arranged and harmonious. The watch is powered by the Miyota 82S6 movement with 21 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. It is worn on a brown leather strap and retails for about $650.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono Quartz (ref. H76522131)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono Quartz (ref. H76522131)

Hamilton is an American watchmaker, now owned by Swatch Group. The brand has been an iconic name in the field of military and aviation-inspired timepieces with a long tradition of delivering quality and precise ‘trench’ watches. In 1994, Hamilton was named the official wristwatch supplier for the American Armed Forces. The former glory the Swiss watchmaker had has been revived in the Khaki Aviation collection today.

Modeled after some of the famous pilot’s chronographs produced by Hamilton for the British Royal Air Force in the 1970s, the Ref. H76522131 is a watch that captures the daring spirit of a pilot like no other. The case is made of stainless steel and has a large notched crown flanked by two pump pushers. 

It measures 41mm across with a thickness of 12.47mm, so it’s a no-nonsense watch that is slightly cumbersome. The dial is clean, uncluttered, and highly legible, with luminous markers and a bi-compax display. It has a water-resistant rating of 100 meters, and the dial is well protected with a sapphire crystal, so you can trust this watch to accompany you on your daily missions. It is powered by a quartz movement and retails for about $750.

Yema Flygraf Pilot M2 (ref. YFLY2020-CAS)

Yema Flygraf Pilot M2 (ref. YFLY2020-CAS)

Yema is a French watch brand that is seriously underrated for one simple reason; it does not have the words ‘Swiss Made’ plastered all over the dial of its watches. This is very disheartening as the France-based company has consistently demonstrated remarkable mastery in watchmaking since its founding in the 1940s.

The Flygraf collection turns timekeeping into a worthy expedition for those interested in utilitarian watches for the outdoors. All the models in this collection are designed and constructed by brand and professional aerobatic pilot Sammy Mason.

With a vintage-inspired design arising out of military field watches from the Second World War, the focus is obviously on aviation themes. The Ref. YFLY2020-CAS is a watch with a clear spirit of adventure and comes in a brushed 316L stainless steel case that measures 39mm across. A sapphire crystal protects the matte gray dial, adorned by Arabic numerals and indexes, all treated with Superluminova BGW9. 

The watch is water resistant to a depth of 300 meters, so you can confidently take command of both sky and sea! It retails for about $750 and is powered by the YEMA2000 in-house caliber with a power reserve of 42 hours.

Farer Morgan Pilot Watch

British watch brand Farer was established in 2015 with one simple goal; to make affordable automatic watches for all. If you’re looking for an affordable purpose-driven timepiece befitting a fighter pilot, the Morgan Pilot Watch is just the watch you need. 

Farer might not be a name you hear quite often, but the fast-growing brand is capturing millions of enthusiasts around the globe thanks to its superlative build quality and tried-and-true aesthetics. The aviation-inspired watch comes in a highly polished stainless steel case that measures a fitting 39.5mm in diameter with a height of 12.5mm (including domed sapphire crystal). 

The matte black dial has two rings for speedy reading, with outer minute markings and the hours on the inside. Farer is known for combining bold colors and contrasting textures beautifully. The Pilot Watch has hour/minute alpha-styled hour and minute hands outlined in Royal blue, while the sweeping second hand tip is finished in beacon red.

Encased in a soft-iron Faraday cage is the SW200-1 caliber. It is an anti-magnetic automatic movement that delivers up to eight times the standard level of anti-magnetic protection. The watch is fitted with an over-stitched American Horween leather strap and retails for approximately $990.

Vaer A12 Dirty Dozen

Founded in 2016 by Ryan Torres and Reagan Cook, Vaer is a watch brand that does everything right. The California-based watchmaker has a strong reputation for producing high-quality tool watches with impressive design elements. Dirty Dozen is a group of legendary watches made within the last two years of World War II. 

Twelve watch manufacturers were tasked with supplying these military watches for the British Army hence the name. Vaer decided to pay homage to this military timekeeping icon by releasing this functional, attractive, and utilitarian watch. 

Encased in a sleek 36mm 316L stainless steel case dominated by brushed surfaces, the A12 Dirty Dozen is an everyday utility watch designed to not be too cumbersome or clunky on your wrist. With a tightly sealed case back and large screw-down crown design that maintains an airtight seal, a water resistance rating of 100 meters is guaranteed.

The watch is incredibly slim and comfortable on the wrist, boasting a thickness of about 10 mm. According to the brand, the dial features up to 25 layers of SuperLuminova, with a lume performance rating of 8/10. The watch retails for $899 and is powered by a Swiss-made Sellita SW260-1 automatic movement with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76205530)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76205530)

Stand by for take-off with Hamilton’s versatile companion. This one is a true pilot’s watch for adventurers and explorers seeking a timepiece with great accuracy.

The Ref. H76205530 draws inspiration from the Model 23, a cutting-edge pocket navigational chronograph pocket watch made for the US Army Air Forces during WWII. The watch is presented in a 38mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 11.4mm and a lug width of 18mm. 

As you’d expect from a military reissue, the dial is ultra-legible numerals with Arabic numerals, cathedral-styled hands, and a railway track outer scale. The face of the watch has a sandpaper-like finish that gives the timepiece a luxurious touch. It is protected by the highly scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and matched with a calf leather strap. 

On the inside, you’ll find Hamilton’s caliber H-10 with a 3Hz beat rate and a remarkable power reserve of 80 hours. The watch is water resistant up to 100 meters and retails for about $1000.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto (ref. H77785733)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto (ref. H77785733)

The Khaki Aviation X-Wind (please do not say ‘ex-wind’, it’s pronounced ‘crosswind’) is probably the first drift-angle calculating timepiece. If you’re just a watch enthusiast like me, you’ll probably not care so much about this function. However, the crosswind feature is useful for pilots as it enables them to accurately calculate and record crosswind components with the internal rotating bezel.

The Ref. H77785733 comes in a PVD-coated stainless steel case that has a diameter of 45mm and a thickness of 12.8mm, so yeah, this is not for the faint-hearted. The dial has a lot going on, but there’s a harmonious symmetry interplaying between all the components. Bold Arabic numerals in white generously coated with Super-LumiNova make time reading seamless even in the dark. 

The sword hands and day-date window at 9 o’clock also keep the dial looking pretty cool and balanced. The entire watch has a black glossy appearance and comes with prominent crowns on both sides. The X-Wind Day Date Auto is powered by Hamilton’s caliber H-30 with a power reserve of approximately 80 hours. It retails for $1,335 and is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters.

Stowa Flieger Classic Sport 43mm

German luxury watchmaker Stowa has been on fire lately. If you’re looking for a watch that can go anywhere and do anything, this is the one. Since 1937, the brand has been producing classic watches in the style of Bauhaus. Flieger or B-Uhren watches were specially designed for German armed forces (the Deutsche Luftwaffe) tasked with air defense.

The watches were designed to be the most legible timepieces on earth while offering top-notch robustness and accuracy at the same time. Luckily for you, a fat wallet or giant’s wrist isn’t a prerequisite to secure the look and feel of a Flieger, as Stowa presents a faithful interpretation of the B-Uhren watches for about $1,500. The sports watch is encased in an excellently finished 43 mm stainless steel case with a height of 12.8 mm. 

With a water resistance of 200 meters, you can confidently take this watch straight from the skies to the oceans. The breathtaking matte black dial is flawlessly executed and decked with temperature-blued steel hands with a generous coating of C3 Super Lumi-Nova. The watch is powered by the Sellita SW215-1 mechanical movement with a power reserve of 42 hours.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono (ref. H76746140)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono (ref. H76746140)

Hamilton has contributed a great deal to the aviation sector by creating precision watches for professional pilots for over a century. Between 1965 and 1976, the brand manufactured almost 40,000 wristwatches for the British military. When I think of Hamilton, my mind immediately jumps to the robust instruments for professionals, such as the X-Wind timepieces supplied to air racers.

The Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono continues the brand’s history of serving the flying community well and is just the watch you need to keep up with your inexhaustible lust for aeronautical adventure. The stainless steel case measures 44mm across and has a thickness of 14.6mm, so now you can have a look-good watch peeking out from under your dress shirt.

The most notable feature of this watch is the slide rule bezel, also known as the “logarithmic bezel”. This feature was a crucial tool for pilots who needed to perform basic calculations involving multiplications, divisions, exponents, roots, or logarithms.

The Converter bears the spirit of those instrument watches from the 1940s but adds a good dose of futuristic aesthetics, as can be seen in its gorgeous blue dial that evokes visions of clear skies. It retails for $2,300 and comes equipped with the H-21-Si movement with silicone hairsprings for increased performance and accuracy.

Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot GMT (ref. 01 748 7710 4164-07 5 22 14FC)

Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot GMT (ref. 01 748 7710 4164-07 5 22 14FC)

The Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot was first released during the early decades of aviation, one year before World War ll began. Since the second world war was mostly fought in the air, the demand for pilots’ watches skyrocketed, and Oris, founded about 30 years prior, stepped up to the challenge.

The watch was a flight instrument with a highly legible dial, robust movement with accurate timing, and a large crown of about 8mm to aid operation with gloves on. The Ref. 01 748 7710 4164-07 5 22 14FC bears the iconic design elements that distinguished the first Big Crown Pro Pilot.

It comes in a 45mm case equipped with a screw-down crown (100 meters) and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating inside. The lug width is 22mm, and the watch is matched with a comfortable olive textile strap with stainless steel folding clasp.

The black dial features a GMT function that allows the wearer to track time in two different time zones simultaneously. It also has a subsidiary dial for the seconds at 9 o’clock and large Arabic numerals and hands coated with Superluminova BG W9. A see-through mineral glass caseback reveals the Oris 748 caliber, which is based on the SW 220-1. This automatic movement has 28 jewels, beats at a rate of 28’800 vph, and provides a power reserve of 38 hours. Enjoy this Swiss-made luxury for $2,500.

Sinn 144 St Sa Chronograph (ref. 144.066)

Sinn 144 St Sa Chronograph (ref. 144.066)

To not include a watch from German watchmaker Sinn would be a sin (sorry too tempting). Not only have pilot watches been part of the Sinn’s repertoire for over five decades, but the brand was also founded in 1961 by flight instructor and pilot Helmut Sinn!

The luxury watchmaker is renowned across the globe for making expert pilot’s watches that can withstand the harshest and most extreme conditions in the skies, on land, and deep in the ocean. It’s not just the day-date display and chronograph function that sets it apart.

This watch is equipped with a unique Ar-Dehumidifying Technology and lubricant-free anchor escapement that enhances functional reliability and freedom from fogging. The 41mm x 14.2 stainless steel case is topped with sapphire crystal glass in front and a transparent case back, also made of sapphire crystal.

The killer watch comes with a waterproof and pressure-resistant rating of 200 meters and combines a tachymeter and pulsometer scale instead of a rotatable bezel. A new 144 St Sa Chronograph on a leather or silicone strap costs around $2,400, while one on a stainless steel bracelet demands around $2,600.

Junghans Meister Pilot (ref. 27/3794.00)

Junghans Meister Pilot (ref. 27/3794.00)

Find yourself a more enchanting pilot’s watch; I’ll wait. German brand Junghans has been creating durable mechanical cockpit clocks since the early 20th century. If you are a hardcore adventurist seeking a reliable and elegant pilot’s watch to help you keep your eye on the prize, the Ref. 27/3794.00 is your best bet.

The Meister line is the top dog of the brand’s offerings, and though it was initially lined up with dress watches, the brand decided to ditch the status quo with some welcome additions. Pulling inspiration from control panel instruments that the Junghans manufactured for airplanes and airships in the 1930s, the Ref. 27/3794.00 is a classic mechanical pilot’s watch with a unique twist. 

The watch is accurate, reliable, and extremely functional, with a beautifully sculpted case measuring 43.3mm in diameter and 14.4mm. The stainless steel case is DLC coated with scalloped grooves on the side and a bi-directional turning bezel. The brown-gray lacquered dial is highly legible and is protected by a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. The watch is powered by the J880.4 movement with 38 hours of power reserve and retails for approximately $2,800.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Takeoff Auto Chrono (ref. H76786733)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Takeoff Auto Chrono (ref. H76786733)

This is a pilot watch that embodies everything precision. It boasts of a legacy that spans over a century and comes in collaboration with Air Zermatt. The watch functions as a wrist-, cockpit-, and table watch. 

Having a touch of exclusivity it is limited to only 1,999 pieces, it features a bi-directional turning flange for convenient countdown recording. The watch comes with a black dial housed within a stainless steel case with PVD black coating with a measurement of 46mm. 

It is powered by an H-31 automatic movement and boasts a 60-hour power reserve. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal ensures durability, while the black calf leather strap is fastened by a pin buckle. The watch is pegged at $3,295.00, as it exemplifies the perfect fusion of functionality and craftsmanship.

TAG Heuer Autavia (ref. WBE5116.FC8266)

TAG Heuer Autavia (ref. WBE5116.FC8266)

This is a vintage-inspired luxury chronograph watch that combines a retro flair with advanced technology, creating a truly remarkable accessory. It comes with a 42mm steel case and a gradient smoked blue dial.

The watch houses the Caliber 5 movement which ensures impeccable accuracy. Its brown calfskin strap pays homage to the brand’s aviation heritage, while the bidirectional turning bezel, made from ceramic, adds a modern touch to the classic design.

The TAG Heuer Autavia has an “orange peel” texture, complemented by Super-LumiNova-treated silver-toned numerals and hands. When you flip the watch over, you’ll see the iconic engraving of an airplane propeller inside a steering wheel. The TAG Heuer Autavia is a complete leather strap timepiece priced at $3,500. The watch is considered the perfect blend of heritage and performance

Longines Avigation Type A-7 (ref. L2.812.4.53.2)

Longines Avigation Type A-7 (ref. L2.812.4.53.2)

The Longines Company is rooted in the watchmaking tradition. It’s no surprise they crafted the Longines Avigation Type A-7, as a testament to their commitment to excellence. The watch commands instant attention with its seamless elegance.

Measuring 41mm in diameter and 14.10mm in thickness, the stainless steel watch showcases a black dial adorned with silvered polished hands. The timepiece is powered by automatic movement with a 60-hour power reserve.

The Ref. L2.812.4.53.2 was designed with great attention to detail such that its brown alligator leather strap with white stitching adds a touch of warmth and refinement. Additionally, it comes with a steel triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism. At $4,570, this charming watch offers you the perfect blend of heritage and technology to command the skies.

Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 (ref. A17315101B1A1)

Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 (ref. A17315101B1A1)

The Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 is a pretty cool watch that would make an excellent choice for fashion-conscious adventurers.

The Ref. A17315101B1A1 comes in a sleek 41mm case that has been finished to the highest sheen. The dial is enchanting with its luminous-filled hands and Arabic numeral hour markers to ensure easy readability. 

It is powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 17 automatic movement. Additionally, it offers precise timekeeping with a 38-hour power reserve. The watch is fitted with a stainless steel bracelet that has a folding clasp and a safety latch. Expect to shell out approximately $3,150 for a new piece.

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph (ref. MB117836)

The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph is a masterpiece pilot’s watch renowned for anyone looking for an enduring companion. The watch demonstrates Montblanc’s commitment to tradition and storytelling.

The Ref. MB117836 has a 42mm case with a satin finish that strikes the right balance between retro and futuristic aesthetics. The black dial has a bi-compass counter at 3 and 9 o’clock, which exudes contemporary allure but also evokes a warm vintage charm.

The watch comes with bi-pushers for seamless activation of the chronograph, while its automatic, self-winding MB 25.11 movement ensures precision. It is water-resistant up to 100 meters and is mounted on a beige leather strap. If you wish to own this timepiece, you should be ready to part away with at least $5,400.

Fortis Flieger F-43 Triple-GMT (ref. F4260000)

Fortis Flieger F-43 Triple-GMT (ref. F4260000)

Fortis is a brand that has a legacy rooted in space exploration. The independent Swiss watchmaker has accompanied astronauts to achieve horological milestones for nearly a century. As early as 1994, the brand was selected to supply precision watches for the Russian space program ROSCOSMOS.

The Ref. F4260000 is crafted for pilots and comes with a titanium case and bracelet, housing a Swiss mechanical movement with a 70-hour power reserve. Its GMT function allows for tracking a second-time zone, while its COSC certification ensures time accuracy. 

The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and the markers and handset are lumed to enhance legibility. The watch comes with a 43mm case diameter and is considered a robust timepiece fit for any adventure. 

Get ready to embrace the spirit of exploration with the reliable, durable, and fortified Fortis Flieger F-43 Triple-GMT. The watch can be gotten from the brand’s website for $5,507

Longines Spirit Flyback (ref. L3.821.4.53.6) 

Longines Spirit Flyback (ref. L3.821.4.53.6)

This pilot watch is a timepiece that embodies the adventurous spirit of the Longines brand. Boasting a rich heritage of legendary pioneers in their conquest of air, land, and sea, the brand drew inspiration from its remarkable history to birth the Longines Spirit Flyback.

The watch features a 42mm stainless steel case, a bi-directional rotating bezel with a ceramic insert, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The sunray dial is adorned with applied Arabic numerals and PVD bronze-colored hands, all illuminated by Swiss Super-LumiNova. 

A transparent sapphire crystal offers a breathtaking view of the automatic Caliber L791. The movement boasts a monocrystalline silicon balance spring with a power reserve of up to 68 hours. The watch is available for around $4,500.

Bremont Martin-Baker MBII

Bremont Martin-Baker MBII

In collaboration with Martin-Baker, a renowned British aviation company, Bremont flexes its muscles in horological expertise with this exceptional timepiece. The MBII is a symbol of resilience and was designed to withstand rigorous testing, including Live Ejection Testing and Extreme Temperature Endurance.

Its contemporary design features sleek numerals and a bronze-colored ‘military challenge coin’ on the case back, representing camaraderie and service. It is powered by a modified caliber 11 1/2″ BE-36AE automatic chronometer movement that keeps it precise and dependable. 

It features a 43mm hardened stainless steel case that is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters. The contemporary dial has a clean look with Super-LumiNova coated indexes and hands that ensure clear visibility. It is further protected by a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal that provides durability. Prices begin at $5,470.

IWC Mark XX (ref. IW328201)

IWC Mark XX (ref. IW328201)

The Mark XX is regarded as a perfect fusion of heritage and innovation. IWC is a renowned luxury watch brand established in 1868 that has consistently pushed the boundaries of watchmaking. The Ref. IW328201 is a testament to the luxury brand’s legacy.

It has a sleek 40mm stainless steel case and a captivating black dial; this watch exudes understated elegance with luminous hands and markers that ensure easy readability in any lighting. The watch is powered by the in-house IWC caliber 3211, a highly accurate and robust movement that boasts an impressive 120-hour power reserve. 

It comes with a black leather strap which adds a touch of versatility, but no, it’s not a dress watch. You can purchase it for $6,050 from the brand’s website. 

Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter (ref. BR0394-SW-CE/SRB)

Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter (ref. BR0394-SW-CE/SRB)

Bell & Ross is a luxury watch brand renowned for its instrument watches designed for professionals. Inspired by aeronautical tools, the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter is a timepiece that seamlessly blends functionality and style.

Limited to just 500 pieces, this watch showcases the power of the chronograph complication in the world of sports. It comes with the iconic “circle within a square” design, just like the emblematic cockpit clocks from the 1930s.

The matte black ceramic case measures 42mm in diameter and is 12.8mm thick, making it perfect for daily use. It has a captivating multicolor dial coupled with a sophisticated chronograph, which provides athletes with vital information during their physical activities.

The watch is crafted with precision and boasts double-weighted hands for optimal readability and two additional dial counters for enhanced functionality. Additionally, its water resistance threshold is up to 100 meters and will set you back $5,800 at the retail store.

Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 45 (ref. AB01821A1C1X1)

Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph 45 (ref. AB01821A1C1X1)

If you’re daring and resilient, the Avenger B01 Chronograph 45 by Breitling is for you. Its robust 45mm stainless steel case, striking blue dial, and a choice of stainless steel bracelet or military leather strap qualify this timepiece as a symbol of strength. The watch was designed for adventurers who crave adrenaline. 

Additionally, the Avenger B01 Chronograph 45 comes with a rugged bezel and glove-friendly grip pattern on the crown and pushers. It has a self-winding mechanical movement, the Breitling 01 caliber, with a 70-hour power reserve capacity. 

The watch’s chronograph function, luminous numerals, and a water resistance of 300 meters add to its value. It measures 45mm in diameter and 15.7mm in thickness; the Avenger B01 Chronograph 45 is the perfect companion for the classic man. This limited edition timepiece can be yours for $7,500 and is considered an investment in both style and adventure.

Zenith Pilot Automatic (ref. 03.4000.3620/21.I001)

Zenith Pilot Automatic (ref. 03.4000.3620/21.I001)

ZENITH is reputed for its pursuit of precision and exploration. Little wonder they introduced a timepiece that invites you to soar through the open skies. It comes with a 40mm steel case and an oversized crown, blending the brand’s aviation heritage with a contemporary touch. The black dial is adorned with luminous Arabic numerals and guides you through the dark with clarity. 

The watch comes with interchangeable black Cordura-affect rubber and brown calfskin leather straps, giving you the flexibility to personalize your style effortlessly. The watch is powered by the El Primero 3620 automatic high-frequency manufacture movement with a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. The Zenith Pilot Automatic watch is priced at $7,500.

Cartier Santos Large (ref. WSSA0018)

Cartier Santos Large (ref. WSSA0018)

Inspired by aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Santos Ref.WSSA0018 embodies the spirit of adventure and impeccable craftsmanship. The watch comes with a stainless steel case that measures 39.8 mm in diameter and 9.08 mm in thickness. The Santos showcases a silver-opaline dial adorned with Roman numeral hour markers and sword-shaped hands. 

It is powered by an automatic movement, the caliber 1847 MC, which offers precise timekeeping with 23 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve capacity. The watch has a steel bracelet with the “SmartLink” adjustment system for a personalized fit. The Ref.WSSA0018 also includes an interchangeable calfskin strap. You can indulge in the luxurious lifestyle of those who own a Santos watch by shelling out $9,400.

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition (ref. AB0910371B1X1)

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition (ref. AB0910371B1X1)

Behold the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, a watch that honors its iconic ancestor with an unwavering commitment to detail. Breitling is a brand celebrated globally for its outstanding contribution to the aviation sector. In the 1930s, the Swiss Marque produced an aviator chronograph that helped pilots calculate elapsed time.

The brand here resurrects the essence of the original Navitimer from 1959 with a narrative of historic elegance. When you cop this watch, you get for yourself a 41mm stainless steel case, which mirrors the dimensions of its vintage muse with a height of 12.9mm. An alluring all-black dial reigns supreme with tone-on-tone small second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters.

The Ref. 806 1959 is shielded by a gracefully domed Plexiglas and is powered by the COSC-certified hand-wound Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09. The robust movement exudes accuracy and reliability while boasting an impressive 70-hour power reserve. The watch is secured by a sleek black leather strap and is priced at $9,050.

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 (ref. AB0138211B1A1)

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 (ref. AB0138211B1A1)

After 70 years of captivating hearts, the Navitimer returns with a touch of modernity. Featuring a sleek profile, a domed crystal, and a lustrous interplay of polished and brushed metal elements, the B01 Chronograph 43 defines the collection’s renewed allure.

The dial shines in a captivating shade of black while the cherished AOPA wings once again grace the 12 o’clock position. It is encased in 43mm stainless steel and is powered by the reliable Breitling B01 movement. This self-winding mechanical wonder boasts a remarkable 70-hour power reserve capacity.

With its bidirectional slide rule, 1/4th-second chronograph, and water resistance of up to 3 bars, the Navitimer is ready for any adventure. You can embrace its legacy and its spirit of flight for $9,700.

IWC Big Pilot 43 Spitfire (ref. IW329701)

The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire is a timepiece that combines military heritage with contemporary style. IWC is known for its history of crafting watches for military pilots since the 1930s and has created remarkable watches inspired by its iconic designs.

The Ref. IW329701 comes in a durable titanium case that measures 43mm in diameter and 14.4mm in height. Its sapphire crystal and water resistance of up to 100 meters ensure its resilience. Powered by the Caliber 82100 movement, this watch offers precise timekeeping with a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour. 

The legible dial pays homage to its military roots, while the brown calfskin strap adds a touch of elegance. Embrace the spirit of adventure with the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire for $8,950. 

Rolex Air King (ref. 126900) 

Rolex Air King (ref. 126900)

With a 40mm Oystersteel case and a sleek black dial, the Air King Ref. 126900 flawlessly combines aeronautical heritage with modern elegance. The dial features navigational time readings, large numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and the iconic Air-King lettering from the 1950s. 

Crafted with corrosion-resistant Oystersteel, the watch is built to last and features an Oyster bracelet for durability and comfort. Powered by the Manufacture Rolex Caliber 3230, the Air-King provides precise timekeeping with a 70-hour power reserve. 

Its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and water resistance of up to 100 meters means you can take this beauty straight from the skies to the oceans. The highly legible Chromalight display shines with long-lasting blue luminescence, so this watch can be easily worn in a variety of scenarios. The luxury chronometer-certified watch is priced at $10,130.

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 P-51 Mustang (ref. AB04453A1B1A1)

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 P-51 Mustang (ref. AB04453A1B1A1)

Breitling’s history is intertwined with the world of aviation. The Super AVI P-51 Mustang is inspired by a famed aircraft built by the North American Aviation Department in the 1940s.

The watch features a rugged 46mm case with an oversized crown and knurled bezel for optimal grip, even with gloved hands. Its dial features large Arabic numerals for excellent legibility, while the 24-hour marking on the inner bezel and the red-tipped GMT hand enables effortless tracking of a second-time zone.

Offering an impressive power reserve of 70 hours is the COSC-certified in-house movement, the Caliber B04. It is fitted with a stainless-steel bracelet and retails for $11,100.

IWC Big Pilot (ref. IW501001)

IWC Big Pilot (ref. IW501001)

The Big Pilot Ref. IW501001 is a contemporary Illustration of the antique “B-Uhr” used by German pilots during WWII. The luxury watch is crafted in a round, entirely brushed stainless steel case with an oversized onion-shaped crown engraved with the IWC logo at 3′.

The watch’s face has a black metallic sunburst appearance that serves as a high-contrast background for the printing of the Arabic numerals, minutes track, and calendar indication. The mechanical self-winding 52110 movement with 31 jewels offered an impressive 7-day power reserve. 

The watch comes with a black calfskin leather strap and a tang buckle, ensuring both comfort and durability. You can get the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Ref. IW501001 for $10,965 from the brand’s website.

IWC Pilot Timezoner Chronograph (ref. IW395001)

IWC Pilot Timezoner Chronograph (ref. IW395001)

Perfect for frequent fliers, the Timezoner Chronograph Ref. IW395001 pays homage to the early days of aviation when pilots relied on their watches for navigation and timing. With a 45mm stainless steel case and a black embossed leather strap, this watch is perfect for fashion-conscious aviator enthusiasts. 

The black dial features Arabic numeral hour markers and luminescent hands, while the 89760 automatic movement provides reliable precision with a 68-hour power reserve. With functions such as GMT, a second-time zone function, and a date display, this timepiece is tailored to meet the needs of pilots and international travelers. The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the watch is priced at $11,900.

Blancpain Air Command (ref. AC02-12B40-63B)

Blancpain Air Command (ref. AC02-12B40-63B)

Famous for creating one of the most complicated mechanical watches on earth (the Blancpain 1735), Blancpain is a major player in the aviation watch market. The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer supplied American military pilots with tactical watches in the 1950s, and the Air Command was an official military aviation watch with the Colombian Air Force.

The legendary aviation watch is reborn in the Ref. AC02-12B40-63B; a watch that ticks all the right boxes. Sophisticated aesthetics? Check. Superlative functionality? Tick. Legendary history and authenticity? Yup. Legibility and military vintage allure? Overdose!

At 42.5 mm x 13. 7 mm, the case of the watch is bulky for sure, but that’s the point. Every adventurer needs an eye-catching watch with a good measure of masculine impact. The dial is clean, uncluttered, and mesmerizing, with a 30-minute counter in a subdial at three o’clock and a 12-hour counter situated at nine o’clock. Expect to pay around $20,000 for a new Air Command Ref. AC02-12B40-63B with a blue leather strap. 

IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar (ref. IW503605)

Since the dawn of aviation watches, right up to today, IWC has built a solid collection of some of the best pilot watches in the world. The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer influenced the cockpit-instrument look of classic pilot’s watches during the 1930s, at least as far as aesthetics are concerned.

The Big Pilot collection is the brand’s flagship model with a diverse range of exceptional luxury pilot timepieces. The Perpetual Calendar Ref. IW503605 is a fashionable and functional timepiece with a stainless steel case that follows the Big Pilot’s Watch formula. 

It is big at 46.2 x 15.4 mm, so again, we have a big watch that evokes a real appeal and makes you stand out from the crowd. Everything about this watch screams superlative quality. From the deeply knurled and oversized onion-shaped crown to the dark blue metallic sunburst dial, we are sold.

Command the skies with this enchanting pilot’s watch, which will integrate beautifully with business or casual attire and add a transcendent edge to any outfit. The watch is powered by IWC’s in-house caliber 52615 with 7 days or 168 hours of power reserve. It retails for $39,000.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 (ref. 82035/000R-9359)

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 (ref. 82035/000R-9359)

What would a list of the best pilot watches be without the Historiques American 1921? Vacheron Constantin is one of the oldest watch brands in the world, with an uninterrupted history of creating high-end watches since its foundation in 1755.

The Genevan brand created some supremely elegant timepieces for the American market in the 1920s, and the Ref. 82035/000R-9359 follows the spirit of the original very closely. The eccentric watch has a pink gold cushion-shaped case that measures 40 x 40 mm with a crown at the top right corner of the case. 

The striking piece has a diagonal time display with Breguet-style hands and black-painted Arabic numerals that allows you to read the time without needing to turn your wrist. The brass dial is excellently executed with a railway dial train and a small seconds between 3 and 4 o’clock.

Visible through the transparent sapphire glass case back is the prominent Calibre 4400 AS with a power reserve of 65 hours. The watch is equipped with a half-matte dark brown alligator strap and retails for approximately $49,000.

Richard Mille RM 39-01 Automatic Winding Flyback Chronograph Aviation

Richard Mille RM 39-01 Automatic Winding Flyback Chronograph Aviation

Richard Mille is a brand that takes watchmaking beyond the 21st century with its technical wizardry. Famous for creating some of the world’s most complicated and idiosyncratic timepieces, the Swiss luxury watch company is one of the greatest Haute Horology players in the world. 

The brand is also known to release technically-complicated racing machines for the wrist, so it’s no surprise that the Ref. RM 39-01 displays highly technical and extremely sophisticated features. Designed as a flight navigation instrument, the watch is encased in 50mm of titanium and is mounted on a black rubber strap. 

The skeletonized dial is both stunning and sophisticated and houses different complications. The watch features a flyback chronograph, E6-B slide rule function, GMT/UTC function, and a semi-instantaneous date display below 12 o’clock.

Revealed through the porthole in the back is the grade 5 titanium RMAC2 caliber with its 55 hours of power reserve. At the time of writing this article, the watch is priced at $165,000, so yes, it was made solely for top collectors, but what harm is there in dreaming? 

Patek Philippe Grand Complications Travel Time (ref. 5520P-001)

Patek Philippe Grand Complications Travel Time (ref. 5520P-001)

Founded all the way back in 1839, Patek Philippe is famous for creating some of the most highly coveted watches in the world. The prestigious luxury watchmaker has a history of horological brilliance for almost 200 years with a small (yet significant) contribution to aviation history.

The Ref. 5520P-001 is a decidedly masculine timepiece that reignites the doused flames of the brand’s Pilot range with a superlative technical appeal and elegance. The case of the watch is crafted from platinum, one most precious of the noble metals, and has a diameter of 42.2 mm with a height of 11.57 mm. 

The design of the case seems overwhelming, with a crown at 4 o’clock and three additional pushers, but everything is symmetrical and well-balanced. The watch has a time-zone function that is especially useful in air travel, with a 24-hour alarm mechanism and a hammer that strikes on a classic gong. 

It is powered by the self-winding caliber AL 30-660 S C FUS, a movement comprised of 574 parts. The watch is worn on a matte black calfskin strap and retails for approximately $220,000. 


Pilot watches will always hold a special place in the hearts of professional aviators and aviation enthusiasts alike. 

Not only because they take us back to the fascinating years of the past but also because they are a critical tool in a class of their own that will forever remain relevant.

About Exquisite Timepieces

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