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Pilot watches aren’t just for aviators nowadays. Evolving to such impressive timepieces, they are also known to make a style statement.
Pilot watches, as you might guess, are invented specifically for pilots. In contrast to other watches, they come with a distinctive seconds hand to provide pilots the ultimate visibility to navigate the skies and keep track of the standard rate of turning.
Here’s a little fun fact: the first pilot’s watch was created by Louis Cartier for an aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos-Dumont. Though its technical specifications weren’t as practical as a pilot’s watch should be, it was still an easy-to-read design.
But with quick evolution, pilot watches now have a larger crown, wristband and dial – all to make them more convenient for pilots, since they wear jackets and gloves. Plus, the larger dial offers a quicker time reading.
That said, pilot watches these days have a more minimalistic look whilst maintaining a utilitarian aesthetic appeal, making them both a handy tool and style statement. Regardless of whether you are a pilot or not, here are five pilot watches you might want to have in your collection in 2019.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Right-Hander IW501012
This new Big Pilot’s Watch IW501012 comes with a case diameter of 46.2 millimetres and a diamond crown positioned at 9 o’clock — making it a perfect watch for all lefties out there. Limited to only 250 pieces, this eye-catching watch features an easy-to-read design with casing made of steel. Compared to the other classic Big Pilots, the dial on this particular watch is presented with black sub-counters in slate grey. The central seconds hand is replaced with a small seconds counter, whilst retaining the similar markers and numerals of the classics. Inside, the Big Pilot’s Watch IW501012 has a large automatic movement with Pellaton winding system and 7-day power reserve. W iwc.com
Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am
With more than 80 years experience as the official supplier to aviation, Breitling has come up with the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition. This Airline capsule collection comes with one of the most distinguishable logos in the aviation field which is printed on its sapphire caseback. The watch also showcases a stunning blue dial brushed with contrasting silver subdials. With several different strap options – an Air Racer bracelet or a brown vintage-inspired leather strap with either a pin buckle or a folding clasp, be sure to never go out of style. Plus, this model delivers remarkably with its power reserve of up to 70 hours. W breitling.com
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph
This versatile 41-millimetre watch adds a contemporary feel with clear Audemars Piguet design elements making it a novelty. The story behind its name comes from the last minute before midnight, creating the allusion of anticipating for a new day. Although the brand is known for their pioneering octagon shaped bezel, the Code 11.59 boldly channels it for the middlecase within a round case. With more features like the double curved sapphire crystal and internal surface shaped like a dome, this is one watch you should keep an eye out for. W audemarspiguet.com
Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph
Meet the timepiece that combines elegance and functionality effortlessly, the Santos de Cartier Chronograph. The Cartier brand has been expanding their pioneering wristwatch ever since they came up with the first ever aviator watch back in 1904. With features such as the reset function being integrated into the crown, this 48-hour power reserve watch is extraordinary. A classic piece that has been updated with the SmartLink adjustment system, it is now easier to adjust the length of the bracelet. W cartier.com
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Edition
The Speedmaster is known to be a class on its own as it has been part of all six moon landings. What makes this watch special is its unique hour marker positioned at 11 o’clock and a distinctive 9 o’clock subdial, featuring a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down onto the lunar surface. To add on, the NAIAD LOCK caseback reveals numerous engravings as well. This amazing timepiece comes polished with a 18K Moonshine™ Gold bezel and a grey and black dial with all indexes and hands in 18K Moonshine™. W omegawatches.com
Photos courtesy of the respective brands