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Pilot watches - Three awesome aviation watches as seen at Baselworld 2017

Pilot watches Three awesome aviation watches as seen at Baselworld 2017

Pilot watches and aviation-inspired watches continue to steal the runway with new functions and designs that may also steal your heart.

This year’s Baselworld saw some interesting new renditions of aviation-inspired watches that will make their way to stores, and wrists, beginning next month.  Pilot watches have been around almost as long as planes have been flying.  Early pilot watches offered slide rules and methods for calculating such important information as fuel consumption, distances and speed.

Today’s aviation watches continue to offer similar useful data, as well as other pertinent functions, including world time, GMT and chronograph modes.  Interestingly enough, though, many of today’s finest designs harken back to yesteryear styles. Vintage looks combined with mechanical precision and extra features make for a very strong aviation watch.

Generally, though, a good pilot’s watch should be glare-proof, have a big dial and large, easy-to-read numerals, offer Super-LumiNova hands and markers, and, where possible be a COSC-certified chronometer. Examined by the Swiss observatory, Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (COSC), chronometer watches undergo rigorous testing over a period of time for such influences as extreme temperatures, changes in gravitational forces and other stringent conditions, and are certified if they pass within certain precise standards.

Longines has a lot to celebrate in aviation this year, as 2017 marks the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic non-stop flight across the Atlantic – flying in the famed Spirit of St. Louis plane in 1927. During that flight, which Longines timed, Lindbergh wore a Longines watch and at the end of the flight, he approached Longines with a design for a new watch for pilots. That watch became the Lindbergh Hour Angle watch, first released to the world in 1931, and the brand has produced it on and off over the decades. The watch was unique because of its rotating bezel that allowed for calculations of longitude.

This year, to celebrate, Longines unveils the Longines Hour Angle 90th anniversary watch, with just 90 pieces being made. The new watch marks the first time an Hour Angle watch is being offered in titanium.  The 47.5mm case features a rotating bezel made of black PVD steel. A center disk on the dial allows the wearer to synchronize the seconds, and the watch offers a 180-degree scale for calculating longitude.  A self-winding Caliber L699 movement powers the watch and the piece is finished with a vintage-looking brown leather strap.
Price: CHF 5,000

Trois superbes montres de pilotes vues à Baselworld 2017

At Baselworld,  Zenith unveiled new aviation timepieces in its Heritage Collection. Easily top among them is the Pilot Extra Special Chronograph with a bold bronze case. The watch features a ratcheted easy-to-adjust crown and pushers, as well as large luminescent numerals that are actually made from blocks of white (with green emission) Super-LumiNova SLN C1.

The Pilot Extra Special Chronograph features a sandblasted black dial and is finished with a khaki green nubuck leather strap.  The 45mm bronze case will garner its own patina over time as it touches the skin and makes contact with the air and other elements. The watch features a railway minute track and offers two chronograph counters on the dial. Beating at the heart of the automatic watch is the El Primero chronograph high-beat Caliber 4069. The column-wheel chronograph caliber beats at 5Hz and enables 1/10th of a second display.
Price: CHF 7,400

Trois superbes montres de pilotes vues à Baselworld 2017

Alpina has also added to its Startimer Pilot collection this year with four new watches that offer new dials and case options. The 44mm Startimer Pilot Automatic is offered in steel with a gray dial, in steel with a matte blue or white dial and in rose-gold plated steel with a matte white dial. The watches feature an oversized crown for easy use, and the dial offers minutes via an outer track and the brand’s signature red triangle-tipped hand.  The watch is powered by the automatic caliber AL-525 movement, based on a Sellita SW200. It offers 38 hours of power reserve and is being offered at a highly affordable price.
Price: €900

Trois superbes montres de pilotes vues à Baselworld 2017


Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.

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Based in St. Imier since 1832, Longines has a long tradition in watchmaking, characterised by the elegance of its watches. Using expertise gained as the company has evolved, Longines has gradually...

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Ever since it was founded, Zenith has been cultivating the ability to open up new horizons by assisting with some of the most remarkable human achievements.

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