Ah, the Pilot watch wearables – there is nothing out there quite like them. Having drawn inspiration from the aviation industry, pilots watch wearables are rather well known for their awesome array of impressive features and classy designs. Moreover, uniquely stylish and awesomely functional, these wondrous timepieces are masters at both keeping precise time and looking equally dashing on your wrist just as well.
Let’s face it, you and I may not (probably!) be what you would call a “top gun” material (too much bacon and cheese you see), and taking an F16 for a weekend cruise is not something we’d probably have in our general agenda either. Having said that, it doesn’t really have to be that way, there are other ways to get in on the fun, less risky ways, more fun ways – enter pilot watch wearables!
- Best Pilot Watch in 2018
- Here is what this review is all about Pilot Watch
- Pilot watch wearables – what are they exactly?
- The top 5 characteristics that define a good pilots watch (this is important!)
- How to use Your Pilot Watch: The Basics
- The Best Pilots Watch Wearables To Get Your Hands On in 2018 (updated)
- 1. Stuhrling Original Mens Analog Stainless Steel Sport Aviator Watch
- 2. Invicta Men’s 17204 AVIATOR Stainless Steel Casual Watch
- 3. Bulova Men’s 45mm Special Edition Lunar Pilot Watch
- 4. Seiko Men’s SNK805 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch
- 5. Garmin D2 Pilot Watch
- 6. Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s JY8037-50E Navihawk A-T Pilot Watch
- 7. G-Shock GA-1000-1A Aviation Series Men’s Luxury Watch
- 8. Timex Men’s Expedition Field Chronograph Watch
- 9. MARATHON WW194013 Swiss Made Military Issue Milspec Navigator Watch
- 10. Seiko Men’s Black Ion Finish Nylon Strap Solar Chronograph Watch
- How to use Your Pilot Watch: Converting Currency Watch Video
Best Pilot Watch in 2018
The design of the pilot watch may not really have changed much since it took inception by Cartier’s hands (more on this later) in 1904. Well noted for its extra-wide dial, wristband and generously sized display, a typical pilot watch is not really a device limited to the pleasures of a high flying man, but can also be an ideal wearable for motorists, sailors, aviation enthusiasts and the man who takes to the skies from his office at a moment’s notice. (Trippy stuff, these watches are)
Here is what this review is all about Pilot Watch
In this well-researched review/buying guide on them, I am gonna introduce you to a bunch of well-crafted best pilot watch models that I think better represents what that particular great niche has in its classy little offing. From technical and utility-driven ones to works of art that would always warrant a second good look, we got’em all tucked here in this review. Join me as I take a trip through the realm of wearables that are designed for those who appreciate the magic of air travel and the many wonders it holds. (Sounds a bit too cheesy, huh? Sorry,)
Well, what are we waiting for, Hanukkah? Let’s get this ball/review rolling!
Pilot watch wearables – what are they exactly?
Asking this weird question this far in to the review may seem rather ludicrous at best, but to be fair on my part, I don’t really think most people out there really understand what pilot watch wearables are all about over their general presumption of being extremely flashy, classy and ostensibly awesome and fair (I really love them!). Can’t really blame them though, very few people nowadays properly know about what they really are, or to phrase it better, how they came into being and the sheer amount of rich history they have behind them.
The history lesson – here’s where it all begins
In many ways, the first pilot watch was also the first proper wristwatch in our history. While it’s true that you could easily find records about timepieces mounted with a bracelet dating as far back as the 17th century, the modern watches with its form now familiar to us only really took off (pun intended) when the need for it arose with the aviation boom that hit us towards the early 20th century,
Actually, this “arose” event has a nifty little story behind it that clearly tells us how it all went down and gave birth to an iconic piece of tool. Well, if you are interested, the story goes somewhat like this.
Once upon a time in a land just around the corner, the world-renowned Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont charged his friend Louis Cartier (the one and only) with creating a watch designed specifically for him. Being a pilot who eats daredevil stunts for breakfast, he did so by asking for an easy to read design, pretty bold numbers, a rather large dial, an overly simplified form and a ruggedness a pilot might find a need for while he is cruising through the clouds. Well, needless to say, Cartier lived up to his name and his finished product was everything that Alberto was looking for and more.
The aftermath – here’s where they stand today
This little incident happened in 1904, and obviously, a lot has happened since back then. While the original premise and the theme remains rather unchanged, the pilot watch brands and models overall has been through the wringer rather pretty well over the years. The modern iterations now come incorporating a sleek, stylish, and dressy aesthetic without ever having to sacrifice on its original concept. Moreover, the finest of men’s pilot watch models can not only help complete the snazziest of outfits; they are still rather practical for a few aviation adventures.
What makes a pilots watch a rather snazzy wearable to own?
Right off the bat, I gotta say something here. things are gonna get a bit technical around here in a while and if you aren’t really a fan of huge words and mindless blabbering, it’s better if you skip this part to the actual review down below.
Still here? So, let’s go!
Nothing can really capture a man’s imagination quite like what the magic of flight can. After all, there has to be a reason as to why flying is so common in our dreams, and that pretty much all of our literary superheroes have the ability to fly. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the pristine and classy charm of a pilots watch is so very popular so very much now.
Not only these watches are practical and ass-kickingly legible (pardon my French); their high flying connection to the skies can strike a well-timed chord with pretty much anyone’s heart.
As I mentioned before, the actual design of these watches hasn’t really changed that much since Cartier drew it out in 1904. Built to withstand against gravitational as well as sudden and extreme climate changes, these made for the skies pilot watches are also resistant to the perils of vibrations and centrifugal forces, on a bid to keep precise time no matter the altitude, destination or the varied circumstances. What I am trying to say here is that if there ever was a wearable made perfect for an adventurous Gentleman, the mens pilot watch timepieces are surely it.
These well-crafted watches are a perfect testament to the universal fact that style need not be produced at the sacrifice of sheer reliability and great quality. Well, Cartier certainly knew that, and the modern age men like you and me who also revere that sentiment would surely stand to make him proud. I am well sure of it.
The top 5 characteristics that define a good pilots watch (this is important!)
1) Design and style
The most defining aspect these unique watches carry on themselves will probably be their design. Originally built to be used in cramped cockpits and high-octane situations, these watches exude a form factor that is larger than normal to better facilitate it easy visibility and overall convenience. Their so-called stratospheric style begins with the case, simple, utilitarian and masculine, the pilot watch brands cases built from aluminium, steel, and other exotic materials mostly feature straight lines, hard-edged lugs and leather straps that sings pander to their rich history while also embracing a dash of modernity.
2) Dial size and form factor
Like what I mentioned before, the pilot watch wearables are rather infamous for their huge cases and body sizes. Therefore, it’s only natural that they would also tend to boast some of the biggest dial panels in the business. Often made fully open to help better with visibility, these dials usually measure between 42-mm and 46-mm, and will come packed with nifty features like highlighted dials, contrasted hands, Arabic numerals, indexes, tritium tubes and in the more modern ones, you can even find a sub-digital head display
3) Flight oriented features
While their design and sizing can often distinguish a mens pilot watch for itself by design, their features are what that makes them worthwhile out in the air and in the world. designed to aid pilots while he is cruising through the air, these watches usually come sporting with flight computer bezel markings to assist with fuel burn rates, wind correction angles, altitude markings and other calculations while on the go.
Moreover, these watches can also be expected to come standard with magnetic sealing, Faraday cage setting, and crystal technology to better fare against the many perils the open sky can throw at them.
4) Wearable comfort and convenience
Saying that these watches aren’t exactly small will probably be the biggest understatement of the century. Therefore, it’s only normal that there will be some doubts about their wearability and comfort levels. While it’s true that the earlier and original iterations were a pain in the unmentionables to the sport, the newer ones, fortunately, aren’t so.
5) Chronographic prowess and accuracy
Often packed with world-class movements and components, the pilots watch wearables are literally are some of the most accurate timepieces you can now find in the market. As far as their moniker-earning features are concerned, the dual time feature is rather pretty much standard for them, and so is GMT and UTC. Moreover, these watches also tend to come with anti-shock properties to better ensure that their time telling game is always on point.
Another thing you need to know about this particular aspect is that while the older and classic ones still prefer to go the quartz way in timekeeping, the newer modern ones are slowly adapting digital hearts as their preferred medium. What this means is that while the outer facade is all classic and ancient, the inner mechanism will be a digital one that is powering through (a bad time to be a classic collector, huh?).
How to use Your Pilot Watch: The Basics
Equipped with leather, silicone or the more popular NATO Canvas strap, these watches, despite their size, exudes a sense of good comfort that itself can be a rarity to find among wearables of any calibre. Often built with aluminium, steel and ceramic, the makers of these watches usually tend to focus on cutting the flab to better counteract their ever exponential sizes. Moreover, a typical branded Mens pilot watch will also be curved slightly on the back plate to better accommodate the contours of its wearer’s wrist (This feature is not standard, mind you).
The Best Pilots Watch Wearables To Get Your Hands On in 2018 (updated)
Featuring a design style what Stuhrling simply calls as being the “edge”, the Mens pilot watch comes sporting a very special dial system, that is masculine, edgy, functional and rather colorful. Ably supported by a black face, accented tones and a set of bold markers, the watch is a real treat to read even in low light conditions – a fact which is only made better by its humongous 44 mm dial case.
Crafted from a blend of steel alloy and resin-coated tin, the watch exudes a sense of strength and durability but not at the cost of looks. The matte color scheme not only gives this wearable a stunning look but can also actually protect it with its scratch and reflection resistant Nano-particle powder paint coat.
A major highlight all by itself, the mineral glass shielded dial panel houses a set of luminescent dials and markers that can help you tell time even in pitch-dark conditions. moreover, this water and pressure resistant watch also come sporting a rather convenient date and day indicator which I think is brilliant since many other models on its range usually skip out on them to cut the cost.
At a price that falls well below the 120$ mark, the Stuhrling best pilot watch isn’t exactly a revolutionary offering that could change your style overnight. Moreover, the color scheme too may be a bit divisive for some people out there (I like it!). but if you are looking for a tough, classy pilot watch that’s gonna serve your for a long, long time and gonna look good while doing it, the Stuhrling best pilot watch is the perfect one to get.
- Vintage, classy design
- Tough steel and resin made build
- Comfortable leather strap
- Luminescent dials and markers
- 5-ATM water and pressure resistance
- The size may pose an issue for some people
- The leather band may not last very long
Designed with a rather refreshing outlook that’s pretty modern and pristine, the Invicta Men’s 17204 AVIATOR sports one of the busiest dial panels you can find in the business. Built like a tank with steel and sapphire glass as its preferred medium of construction, this Invicta watch is for those who are looking for a flight wearable that’s gonna last them a lifetime or even more.
Powered by a trusty Japanese movement that has been imported straight from its homeland, the Invicta 17204 can not only make a tough statement with its stylish looks but can also be depended on to keep excellent time in any and all conditions. The sapphire glass topped dial window can obviously seem a bit crowded with three subdials, a main dial system, and rather a great date window finding their home on it. it’s not really a major deal breaker, mind you. however, it can be a bit annoying until its novelty wears off fully.
The steel-plated chain strap is pretty good and I gotta say, I loved the fact that I could adjust it (a separate tool is needed) to better befit my will and needs. Not many other makers in this niche really do that, especially not at these ranges. Moving on, the watch also comes featuring tachymeter and compass on it. While they themselves are not really that good or accurate, they are a nice addition that is still worth having nonetheless.
Putting a fresh modern spin on the classic flight watch tale, the Invicta 17204 is for those people who prefer to stand apart from the rest. With a build that could survive a blast and a price that is just as easy on the wallet, this wearable certainly has a lot going on for it. While it’s not without its own set of little problems (its heavy for starters), this rugged offering from Invicta is nevertheless an offering worthy of being splurged on.
- Sturdy and strong build quality
- Imported Japanese movement
- Convenient tachymeter and compass function
- Adjustable stainless steel bracelet
- 3-ATM water and pressure resistance
- The sapphire glass is a bit too reflective
- Quite heavy and big
Functional, elegant and outright charming, this particularly handsome pilot watch brands from Bulova is made for those who prefer their wearables to be a low-key affair but still want a premium and luxury feel to them nonetheless. Crafted using aircraft-grade stainless steel and resin made glass, the minimal watch is quite sturdy and pretty lightweight despite having a dial size that goes well over 42-mm in width.
Powered by their own home-brewed high-performance UHF quartz movement, the watch sports a very fluidic dial system that not only helps to keep excellent time but can also keep you engaged with its enthralling non-jumpy movements. The blacked out watch face looks quite good and it perfectly accentuates the light dials and markers to give them a boost in visibility (not that it needed though, with its huge sizes and everything).
The strap is crafted using genuine leather and needless to say, it’s soft, supple and can definitely help you bear through those long flight sessions sans any major hiccups. It’s untreated though, so its viability, in the long run, maybe a bit on the questioning side.
A bit on the premium pricey side, this gorgeous wearable from Bulova is perfect for those who are looking for a handsome flight watch that can also serve as a capable daily driver. The quality of its construction is phenomenal, and so is its timekeeping ability. The strap could have been made better, but it’s not really a major deal breaker.
- Easy to read blacked out watch face
- Super precise UHF quartz movement
- Water resistant up to 5-ATM
- Bezel with inscribed tachymeter
- Sapphire glass top
- The leather strap is not that good
- Not really suitable for small wristed people
While is green canvas strap and simple style may present this watch to be an outright Military inspired offering, the horde of different features and functions are what that really make this one a pilots delight. Designed for people who prefer a bit of minimalism, this particularly awesome Seiko device come sporting a dial face that is easy to read even on the most high-octane situations.
Water resistant up to 100 meters, the watch draws its timekeeping prowess from a Japanese made Miyota movement. Composed mainly from a stainless steel alloy, the durable case of the watch also features a rather good mineral glass top that is scratch, shatter and reflection resistant. The dials and markers are toned white and they come with a certain degree of luminescence to better aid with their visibility. It’s not much, but it certainly has enough oomph to make a good difference if the need arises.
Designed to give off a refreshing minimalistic presence, this watch from Seiko may not be your typical flashy pilot timepiece. However, if you are on the hunt for a timepiece that is more about function than fashion, then this well-built offering from Japan might just be what the doctor – or in this case, the pilot ordered.
- Easy to read minimalistic style
- Powerful Miyota Quartz movement
- Water resistant up to 100 meters
- Comfortable nylon strap
- Integrated date window
- No special flight based features
- The dial window is a bit small
A welcome change from the usual run of the mill analog pilot timepieces, the D2 comes sporting a fully digital display that is bright, vivid and engaging. Moreover, this powerful smartwatch from Garmin also houses a rather comprehensive and updatable data cache on pretty much every other major airports out there. If you are a beginner or still need a third eye while cruising through the heavens, the Garmin D2 is an option that is well worth checking out.
Capable of displaying and tracking multiple time zones (Zulu, UTC) simultaneously, this rugged yet stylish smartwatch comes packing with a super precise and power efficient GPS unit that can help you navigate better through the vastness of the sky.
Built to last a good long while, the device sports a steel plated frame that well coupled with its mineral glass topping. Moreover, painting a clear nod to the past, the device also comes featuring a leather made strap that is soft, comfortable and surprisingly, well durable (you don’t really get to see that every day, even with the premium ones)
A smartwatch with a sky-topping difference, the Garmin D2 is one of the very few smart wearables out there that are geared mainly towards the art of flying. Packed to the brim with advanced features like water resistance, inflight alerts, time zone trackers and air data cache, this handsome smartwatch for flying from the house of Garmin is perfect for those who are looking for a smart change of pace from the regular analog offerings.
- Bright, touch sensitive display
- Powerful GPS based navigation unit
- Convenient multiple time zone tracker
- Updatable data cache on major airports
- Comfortable leather made strap
- Steep learning curve
- Slightly on the heftier end
Designed for those who live by the second, the Citizen Eco-drive Navihawk mainly attribute its phenomenal time telling prowess to the onboard atomic clock repeater that it proudly boasts off. Well-built with a combination of premium materials and tech, this oversized watch is water resistant up to 200 meters and also comes featuring an IP67 rating that ensures its ability to brave the world in any way.
At 48 mm, the watch isn’t exactly on the smaller side. However, its huge size and form factor is well justified since its hybrid display houses everything from a digital display, a triple subdial system, a compass, date window and even a solar panel for never-ending power. Crafted using a blend of rubber and polyurethane, the strap used here is designed to withstand some heavy abuses while also ensuring a nice comfortable fit all day every day.
Clearly designed to last a full lifetime, the Citizen Nitehawk isn’t your typical pilot timepiece in the sense that it carries more features than what they usually let on. sporting innovative features like Atomic repeater, hybrid displays, and Eco-drive solar panel, the Nitehawk can not only help you make a solid statement but can also aid you in your flying dreams more better than what others can.
- A classy blend of vintage and modern looks
- Steel plated aluminum build with Eco-panel
- Atomic calibrated quartz movement
- Water resistant up to 660 feet
- Sturdy and soft polyurethane strap
- A bit on the hefty side
- Overtly protruding crown
Casio doesn’t really hold back when it comes to their products and that’s pretty much the case here with the G-shock 1000 too. Made for the skies but still built like a tank, this rugged looking Casio offers a horde of specialized features like Neon-Illuminator Light, Thermometer, Anti-Magnetic Structure, digital compass and many other such ones that a typical pilot might find useful while he is tearing through the sky.
Moulded from a high-durable and shock resistant resin material, the GA-1000 sports a design that is pretty much typical to what the G-shocks are known to have. With raised bezels, wide polyurethane straps, mineral glass coating and pinned clickable buttons, the watch may look a bit on the bigger side, however, in true Casio style, the device is pretty comfortable to wear even for long ended sessions.
With bold dials, markers and a hybrid display, the Casio product is designed to put forth its best foot wherever it is used. The EL-backlighting system, which can be found with the GA-1000, is one of the best available now on the market. And add to that mix a 200-meter water resistance and an anti-glare coating and you got yourself a watch that is more dependable than the aeroplane that you are in – I am not kidding here, it’s true.
- Shock and magnetic resistant resin build.
- Mineral glass topped Hybrid display
- Powerful EL backlight system
- Inbuilt digital compass and thermometer
- 200-meter water resistance
- A bit on the larger side
- Crowded watch face
Having a handle on time never looked this much cooler – sporting a classy vintage façade complete with an aged genuine leather strap, this awesome pilot timepiece from Timex relies on a trusted Miyota Movement to keep its ultra-precise time telling game on point. Moreover, this watch also carries their INDIGLO Light-Up system that can help you tell the time even in the darkest conditions.
A nod to the bygone era, the watch comes with an aged look that could add classiness to whatever it is being paired with. The display isn’t really that huge which I think is refreshing since it could offer a change from the normal pace. Having said that, the mineral glass shielded dial face still carries a set main dial system, a chronometer setup, three subdials and even a convenient date window without ever making it feel crowded or annoying in any way.
Water resistant up to 100 meters, the well-built classy watch from the Timex stable may not really come carrying advanced features like what many others do, however, that particularly lacking aspect may also turn out to be its main selling point. offering a no-frills approach to the art of time telling, this watch is perfect for those who are looking to get a fancy piloting wearable that they could sport anywhere at any time.
- Stunning vintage looks
- Mineral glass shielded watch face
- Built-in Indiglo light-up system
- Imported Japanese Miyota movement
- Genuine leather strap
- The strap may not last long
- The crown protrudes a bit too much
Made by a brand that is well preferred by the American Special Forces, the Marathon WW 194013 comes with a special tritium tube collection under its hood that can help you tell the time even in pitch-dark conditions courtesy of its faded glow output. Moreover, this watch is IP67 certified and comes with 5-ATM air resistance to help whether your piloting needs.
Built by adhering to government and military specifications, the watch is pretty sturdy with its plated fiber glass shell case and the acrylic glass window that is acting on its protection behalf. The watch face is pretty minimal with its blacked out face and white toned dials and markers, however, there is a slight glaring issue with its glass panel that could make time telling a bit too hard under heavy lighting.
Designed for pilots and paratroopers, the Marathon WW194013 watch is pretty lightweight yet strong owing to its clever use of modern fiber materials. The barebone design may not really appeal to everyone’stastes; however, if you are a sucker for minimalism and prefers function to fashion, you will surely feel at home with this one.
- Military-inspired barebone design
- Fiber shell cased lightweight design
- Domed acrylic glass
- High-torque Quartz movement
- Water resistant up to 6-ATM
- The style may not be up to everyone’s taste
- A bit too pricey
Functional, stylish and packed with an irresistible classic charm, the Seikomens best pilot watch comes sporting a unique look where the dials and markers are toned bright orange and are set against the darkish dull background of a large dial face (not too shabby, if I say so myself). The punchy style not only it looks super cool, it also enhances its visibility and ease of use to a whole new level of awesomeness.
How to use Your Pilot Watch: Converting Currency Watch Video
Built to last, the watch comes with a stainless steel build that is shocking, drop and vibration resistant. Moreover, the device also sports a tough mineral glass plating right over its elegant watch face to better protect it against the perils of dust, water and the world itself. Definitely not lacking on the numbers game, the watch dedicates its superb time telling ability to the imported Japanese movement that they have employed within it. And aside from that, the device also packs in a 100-meter water resistance, a date window, and a rather very comfortable leather strap for good measure.
Striking a very different chord with its style, the Seiko Ion finish watch is perfect for those who are looking to get a wearable that goes out of its way to make a clear statement. The colors are really popping and I really loved the fact that it draws power from a solar panel and not a physical battery. Moreover, this one also doesn’t cost as much as the other ones do and interestingly, the makers are also now offering a rather good discount on it.
- Colorful, punchy design
- Steel and mineral glass based tough build
- Imported Miyota movement
- Durable Nylon band with buckle closure
- Water resistant up to 100 meters
- No specific backlighting system
- Loud ticking sounds
Known for their minimal timepieces that strikes the perfect balance between style and functionality, the Citizen has done it again with their newest addition – the Eco-drive Avion watch.Designed with a minimal outlook, the watch features a pair of white toned dials that are set against a darkish background to better enhance their visibility. Aside from that novel approach, the watch also features a set of three different chronograph functions and date display pinned between the gap of four and five o’clock.
Water resistant up to 100 meters, the device relies on an imported Miyota movement to get its time telling grooves on point. The movement, on the other hand, is a bit on the louder side, however, it’s not as bad as some of the other ones out there and it is certainly not a deal breaker by any means.
The Leather calfskin band with the buckle closure is pretty good and it certainly provides a nice contrast to the silvery, pristine looks of its steel-based casing. The mineral glass shielding is rather well made and along with its sturdy build, it can certainly protect the watch against some serious beatings if the need calls for it.
At 45mm, the watch isn’t exactly on the smaller end, however, the super comfortable leather band and intuitive buckle closure can certainly help you make the most out of its goodness sans any major hiccups. The glow in the dark dials are a nice addition and I loved the way that they have been emphasized on the watch face. If you are looking for a pilot watch brands timepiece that offers the perfect experience possible without missing out on style, then this is the perfect one to get.
- Utility-driven watch face
- Sturdy and strong construction
- Ultra-precise Japanese motor
- Water resistant up to 100 meters
- Comfortable Calfskin leather band
- A bit too loud
- The leather strap may not last very long
Final verdict About Best Pilot Watch in 2018
“With a birth rooted in classic aviation lore, the quint essential pilot watch has since transcended the cockpit for which it was built to become a real true blue timeless tool, noted as much as for its elegance as its sheer durability and convenience”
Did you like our review? Wanna say something to us? Have we missed any good ones? Please send us your opinions, concerns, and ideas by shooting us a comment down below.