There are certain types of watches that just intrinsically appeal to men due to their effortless cool and the fact they are synonymous with something so aspirational. We are, of course, talking about aviation watches and the immeasurable draw that they have for men the world over when they are looking for the next timepiece to don their wrist.
Aviation watches are a variety that most of the world’s leading watchmakers show interest in because, quite frankly, the demand for this type of timepiece amongst consumers is incredibly high. So, if you’re a man on the hunt for a watch that looks to the skies for its design inspiration, then you’re in luck because there are so many glorious looking timepieces to choose from to suit every budget.
The allure of aviation watches is pretty much unparalleled, particularly amongst those adrenaline inclined men who want a robust, classy timepiece that performs impeccably well and looks great whilst doing it. If you’ve been on the hunt for an aeronautical offering of your own, check out our pick of the top 6 aviation timepieces below:
1 - Bell & Ross Vintage Chronograph
When you think of aviation watches, it is very likely that one of the first watchmakers that will spring to mind is that of Bell & Ross. This magnificent French watchmaker has a collection of airborne inspired watches that is simply beyond compare and, here at Manhattan Time Service, we find it difficult to look beyond their classy Vintage Chronograph collection.
This superb series of watches contains updated versions of popular iterations from the 1940s and the understated, vintage appeal of these timepieces and the exceptional level of detail that has gone into their creation really sets them apart from the crowd. The the Bell & Ross Vintage Chronograph collection of aviation watches is classical in design, you can rest assured they are modern in the components and technology that they use and this makes them a must have timepiece for any fan of flying.
2 - Bremont ALT1-C Collection
British watchmakers, Bremont, have aviation in their blood and this is something that positively shines through in so many of their breathtaking watches. As far as aviation inspired timepieces are concerned, it’s hard not to be won over by their classically stylish and striking ALT1-C Collection.
This spectacular series of aviation watches from Bremont integrates a carefully modified, chronometer-rated Valjoux 7750-SO BI AC movement for an unparalleled level of precision and for fans of WWII looking watches, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option for your wrist.
Bremont ALT1-C watches are positively dripping in technological innovation and understated cool and it really isn’t difficult to see why this watchmaker is really making a name for themselves in the world of aviation timepieces if the brilliant ALT1-C series of watches.
3 - Breitling Exospace B55 Connected Watch
Whilst the technologically miraculous Breitling Exospace B55 Connected Watch might not be exactly what we think of when we talk of aviation watches, it is probably the one in our list that is most suitable to be worn by an actual pilot due to the phenomenal specifications that it boasts.
The Breitling Exospace Watch is a Swiss made, connected watch that not only looks first class but has features like SuperQuartz, thermocompensated quartz electronic, analog and 12/24 hr LCD digital display, display backlighting, EOL indicator for the ultimate in visibility whilst in the skies.
Pilots will flock to this incredible looking timepiece from Breitling because it simply offers so many intuitive features that are accessed through your smartphone interface to make it one of the most advanced and genuinely useful aviation watches ever created. Breitling don’t do things by halves and their first foray into the world of so-called smartwatches is a prime example of this.
4 - Alpina Startimer Pilot Collection
Operating towards the more affordable end of the aviation watch spectrum, the awesome Alpina Startimer Pilot Collection is a real favourite of ours at Manhattan Time Service and we’re sure you can see why. This mesmerising collection of timepieces are inspired by the watches created by Alpina in the 20s and 30s and if this is the sort of design aesthetic that you gravitate towards, these will keep you happy.
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Collection is made in close cooperation with Cessna Aviation and PrivatAir so there is that level of authenticity to these pilot watches that might not be evident with some others on the market. The design, components and craftsmanship of this collection are all top of the range and you’ll not find many aviation watches on the market that are so well-performing yet so affordable.
This amazing series of watches is on a limited run of 8888 pieces so if you’ve liked what you’ve seen with the collection from Alpina, you’ll need to move quickly to make sure you get one on your wrist. Undoubtedly one of our favorite examples of aviation watches at Manhattan Time Service.
5 - Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot Altimeter Watches
Oris have been making watches since 1904 so they’re unquestionably one of the best in the business and this is especially true when it comes to their aviation inspired watches - a fact that is well and truly borne out by the miraculous looking and devilishly cool Big Crown Pro Pilot Altimeter series of timepieces from this Swiss watchmaker.
This first class collection of watches embodies everything that a pilot watch should be about and if you’re after a wristwatch that looks and feels exactly as it should when you take to the skies, this brilliant series of watches from Oris tick all of the right boxes.
The Big Crown Pro Pilot series from Oris arrives more than 75 years after the watchmaker released their first pilot watch and you can see for yourselves that they’ve come a mighty long way in this time. This exceptional offering is the world’s first automatic mechanical watch with a mechanical Altimeter and for those who regularly take to the skies, it’s got so many features that will set it apart from the crowd including incredibly robust craftsmanship that make it one of the most durable and hard-wearing watches on the market. A truly phenomenal aviation watch and one we’re huge fans of at Manhattan Time Service.
6 - IWC Pilot Watches
Diversity is key when it comes to IWC pilot watches - you’re simply not going to find a more extensive and supremely cool series of aviation watches than those from world-respected watchmakers IWC and if you’ve got a big budget and a hankering for the ultimate in pilot watches, this Swiss purveyor of timepieces should probably be your first port of call.
IWC Pilot Watches have been in production since 1936 and, like wine, they seem to just keep getting better and better with age. The cracking collection of pilot timepieces from IWC will meet all design tastes because there is such an expansive selection to choose from and the quality of the materials, components and craftsmanship is unparalleled.
Aviation watches form the foundation of the IWC brand and they are synonymous with this form of timepiece and rightly so when you consider just how skilled and experienced they are in making this highly technical and striking type of timepiece. IWC pilot watches are second to none and whether it’s a Big Pilot or Le Petit Prince that you’re after, this is one watchmaker that never fails to impress.