Essentials : Pilot Watches

PILOT WATCHES. Big and masculine may describe the basic characters of a pilot watch. With accent touches of respective brands, this year’s novelties cut a handsome dash


Breitling Navitimer GMT

Those who live between two cities would really appreciate the use of a dual timer, which is what this iconic model from Breitling delivers on a high note. The new Navitimer GMT champions an in-house automatic movement named B04 that supplies an extensive power reserve of 70 hours. In terms of functions, it provides a date dial at 4.30 o’clock, a quick-to-use chronograph with a press on the pusher at 2 o’clock, and two time zones (with a 24-hour mode for the second time zone). While there are some versions on sale, the red gold design with a black dial is limited to 200 pieces.

Case Size: 48mm
Case Material: Steel Or Red Gold
Dial: Black Or Mercury Silver
Strap: Leather
Movement: B04 Automatic
Power Reserve: 70 Hours
Water Resistance: 30m


Longines Heritage 1935

The rise of wristwatches is inseparable from pilot watches, as the related profession sparked the transition from pocket watches to wrist-strapped timepieces. Also part of that old history is this cushion-shaped watch, which Longines initially made for the Czech Air Force in 1935. The public at that time soon took notice and demanded the sporty-looking wristwatch for themselves. This year, Longines decidedly re-issues the Heritage piece with many unchanged details, from the squelette hour and minute hands to the legible numerals against a black dial. Although the Heritage 1935 is not a limited edition, each piece of the model is meticulously numbered.

Case Size: 42mm
Case Material: Steel
Dial: Black
Strap: Alligator Leather
Movement: L615, Automatic
Power Reserve: 42 Hours
Water Resistance: 30m


Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903

For the new pilot watch collection, Zenith thumbed old archives of aviation history, in particular a monumental event dated December 17, 1903, when the Wright brothers first glided 40 meters away, 60cm off the ground on a twin-propeller aircraft named “Flyer.” Both the spirit of innovation and the airplane construction galvanized Zenith’s watchmakers to create the Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903 timepiece. Ultra-light due to its titanium case in DLC coating, the watch has an agreeable vintage-looking presentation. The black dial is a result of five-times sandblasting treatment, whereas the numerals give off distinctive luminous glow, thanks to the “old radium” and classic Super-LumiNova processes. No less nifty is the creamy-hued bund, a wristband preference of German pilots during the Second World War. Limited to 1903 units.

Case Size: 48mm
Case Material: Titanium
Dial: Black
Strap: Suede Leather
Movement: Elite 693, Automatic
Power Reserve: 50 Hours
Water Resistance: 100m


Romain Jerome Nose Art Black

If you’re seeking a quirky timepiece, Romain Jerome has plenty in store. A prime example is this Nose Art Black chronograph. Encapsulating the spirit of patriotism in a military-inspired camouflaged dial, the case-back holds an unexpected surprise: an image of a pin-up girl. The idea derives from pilots of the past who often painted the nose of their aircrafts as a morale booster before perilous battles. The so-called “Nose Art” was even considered a lucky charm that would help the brave patriots evade life-threatening dangers. Geneva-based Romain Jerome translates this tradition by gracing the chronograph’s case-back with a depiction of the Vargas girls—a famous and seductive pin-up painting once popularized by
Playboy magazine.

Case Size: 46mm
Case Material: Steel
Dial: Camouflage
Strap: Leather, Nato
Movement: Rj0001-Ch, Automatic
Power Reserve: 42 Hours
Water Resistance: 30m