That was in 1904. Since then, the pilot watch has evolved, incorporating a sleek, stylish, and dressy aesthetic without sacrificing the original concept. The finest of pilot watches can not only round off the snazziest of outfits, they’re still practical for aviation.
Looking to add a pilot watch to your assortment of daily accessories or formalwear? Consider any of these top 15 pilot watches.
What can you expect from a product manufactured by a leading watch brand? Something durable, long-lasting, and thoroughly functional. The Chronospace Evo Night Mission is a comfortable 43mm in size and versatile, complete with SuperQuartz movement and a fast-action timezone change powered by thermocompensated quartz electronics.
Traveling across time zones at high speeds? The Evo Night Mission will keep up with you traveling to ensure you’re always set to the proper time. Not only is this sleek Breitling attractive, it’s also undeniably useful.
Though its green band and simplistic style may make the IWC look more militaristic, its functions are everything you could want out of a Pilot’s Watch. The name “Top Gun” wasn’t some random callback to the classic movie, either. It’s a testament to the watch’s first-rate quality.
The face is as simple as they come with easy-to-read numbers and an oversized dial for convenience. The yellow-toned hands are visible even in darker lighting. Beyond being functional, the watch is also attractive. Its simplicity also makes it fashionable while the choice of darker colors like the black ceramic bezel help it go with just about anything.
The all-black design of Garmin’s D2 is sharp, but there’s so much to this watch that, surprisingly, it’s elegant style is low on the list of importance. From the makers of some of the best GPS systems out there comes a Pilot’s Watch that’s so much more than what its name suggests.
There’s so much to this watch that it’s hard to pinpoint where to start. It boasts bells and whistles like a heart rate monitor and the ability to display aviation weather. More-so, it also shows off the bearing, activity tracking, a baro-adjustable altimeter, Zulu/UTC time reference, multiple timers, and wireless control for Garmin’s line of VIRB cameras. It even sports a dedicated “Direct-to” and “Nearest” buttons that link up with a worldwide airport database.
When the first Pilot’s Watches were made, the D2 was likely the level of quality hoped for their future.
When it comes to watches, Hamilton is no stranger to classic and elegant timepieces. It also happens to make a mean, incredibly functional and versatile aviation watch. The X-Wind improves upon the original style of Hamilton’s watches, making it a technical powerhouse in the world of horology.
The black design helps the white, oversized numbers jump out while the three large buttons provide easy use. Expect the X-Wind to last as its face is made of a sapphire crystal that’s resilient to damage while remaining crystal clear. Stainless steel metal creates a durable accessory capable of water resistance up to 330’.
The Aviation X-Wind serves multiple functions, but if it doesn’t help while you’re miles above the ground, then the X-Wind isn’t going to waste your time with it
With the Zenith 031930681.21C, it’s clear that the manufacturer prefers simplicity over a complex set of features. One look at the face of this stylish design and you’ll know what you’re looking at. Much like the styles of the early 20th century, Zenith’s Pilot Watch uses large, bold numbers for easy reading.
Though it may not look like much, the 031930681.21C is a durable accessory capable of surviving up to 330’ underwater. The 40mm case allows for the large display while the large dial makes it easy to adjust. Even if you’re not a pilot, Zenith’s watch makes the perfect accompaniment for a night on the town.
It’s no surprise that one of the leading brands of sleek and stylish watches would also have a Pilot’s Watch in its collection. The Air King simply adds on to the perfection that Rolex usually manufacturers while keeping the same simplistic style that makes them so elegant looking.
With a 40mm case, the Air King sports a large display with a black dial and light-colored lettering to amplify readability while on the go. Rolex continues to deliver on timeless timepieces with a design and implementation that’s near flawless.
It may be a hefty sum to add a Rolex to your accessories, but they’re always worth every penny.
Laco goes for an easy-to-read face rather than cram a bunch of features in, making it impossible to use while on the road or in mid-flight. The white numbers contrast the black dial while the large dial ensures this timepiece is easy to manage in any scenario. Further enhancing its readability are thermally blued hands.
The Laco Type B sticks to a traditional style, including the leather band that’s comfortable, attractive, and familiar. While it’s exterior may not look like a technological wonder, the mechanics within the Laco Paderborn boast a time-tested Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, ensuring you won’t have to fiddle with it to guarantee accurate timekeeping.
The ALT1-ZT/51 has everything you’d want out of a basic watch – hour, minute, and second hands – but panders to the pilots that wear it. Super-LumiNova index markers make it easier to read while the Roto-Click bi-directional inner rotating bezel adds another layer of depth to the update to the ALT1-ZT/BK.
Water resistant for up to 330’ and C.O.S.C. chronometer tested and certified, this Pilot’s Watch is a durable product that will stand the test of time. The added benefits of a 42-hour power reserve and automatic chronometer further enhances this Pilot’s Watch as a must-have for the finest in aviation.
Sporting a 42mm stainless steel case with anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial window, the Smartimer Pilot combines durability, functionality, and readability in one striking package. To appeal to the pilots it’s manufactured for, the Smartimer sports contrasting color schemes – a black dial with white numbers and hands.
The black fabric band matches the case while providing a level of comfort to make the watch a pleasure to wear. Built to withstand being up to 330’ underwater, this quartz Pilot Watch is great for water bugs that fear ruining their nicer accessories.
One of the first things that’s easy to notice about the watch is the black leather band, which rounds off the simple and clean style while also providing a level of comfort. The Longines Avigation doesn’t just look nice, it runs smooth thanks to the self-winding mechanical movement, which beats at 28’800 vibrations per hour. Another incredible feature is its power reserve, which runs for an additional 48 hours.
The black-matte dial is a popular choice for Pilot’s Watches with good reason – the wearer shouldn’t have to struggle to read what time it is. Bold, white numbers and white dials show up even in darker situations. The contrast of the black band and black dial against the silver stainless steel case is a fine aesthetic choice for this sleek Pilot’s Watch.
With the capability to withstand up to 656’ underwater, the Hamilton is one of the more resilient Pilot’s Watches out there. It also happens to be one of the larger with its 46mm stainless-steel case. Though the case may be on the bigger side, it helps make it easier to read. Of course, the white numbering, white hands, and black dial also amplify its readability.
As if the Hamilton wasn’t stylish enough, it sports a dark brown leather strap that complements the watch’s simplistic dial.
The AVI-8 Hawker features a variety of different features, including three chronograph subdials, but doesn’t sacrifice readability to include them. The black face, white features, and bold numbering amplify readability, especially in low-light situations.
The 42mm stainless-steel case allows for many features while the mineral dial window and sturdy build allow for 165’ of water resistance. Other benefits of the Hawker include a tachymeter and the soft, leather calfskin band.
Dubbed the “Classic Pilot Watch,” the Sinn doesn’t go overboard with features, instead focusing on a simple and clean watch face and a sapphire crystal glass that protects its elements from everyday wear and tear.
Resilient to low pressure – up to 20 bar – the watch really does stand up to its purpose. The black dial sporting white glow-in-the-dark lettering and hands amplify readability while also boasting a classic and sleek style. A large dial and minute ratcheting are the features necessary for a Pilot’s Watch and the Sinn 104 delivers on them.
The name certainly garners attention, about as much as the simple, elegant style of the watch dial. The 42mm stainless steel case sports a mineral dial window for maximum durability and clarity and provides for up to 330’ of water resistance.
The Orient Defender has a 40-hour power reserve and comes with an easy-to-read 24-hour dial, day dial, and date reading. A rugged leather band completes the look while providing a comfortable strap to keep this classic timepiece in place.
Timex is synonymous with quality timepieces and when it comes to Pilot’s Watches, it doesn’t skimp on its traditional style and durability. The Fly-Back Chronograph combines everything loved about Timex with the necessities of a Pilot’s Watch, including an easily read display that swaps out the typical black dial and white numbering of most Pilot Watches for black numbering and a cream-colored, INDIGLO light-up dial.
The Fly-Back allows for up to two time zones, is water resistant for up to 330’, and features Intelligent Quartz Fly-Back Chronograph movement for improved accuracy.