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The Best Pilot Watches for 2022

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The Best Pilot Watches for 2022

Because everyone’s smartphones could tell time and way more these days, many might’ve forgotten the early tools people made use of before technology grew so advanced. Pilots need to keep track of the time when they’re flying a plane, but watches weren’t a thing always back in the day. In the early 20th century, people didn’t have wristwatches yet, so they would strap a pocket watch to their wrists. In 1904, Louis Cartier came up with the first-ever wristwatch, which people also referred to as a pilot watch. It’s because he created it for his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian pilot, who wanted a watch that he could easily read without taking his hands off the plane’s controls. Cartier created a small square gold watch with exposed crews, and he has been well-known as a watch pioneer since then. Over the years, pilot watches have evolved with more luxurious designs and handy technology. Such watches need features like large dials, luminosity, and dual time. Whether you’re a pilot or not, prepare to see all the best pilot watches you can get your hands on in 2022.

01 IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch

IWC, or the International Watch Company, is a reputable luxury watch manufacturer based in Switzerland. Despite being located in Europe, its founder, Florentine Aristo Jones, is an American. IWC has been coming up with incredible, high-end watches for years, and one of the best they offer is the IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch. It has a stainless steel case and a diameter of 46.2mm. Its design makes it perfect for casual or formal scenarios, and you don’t need to be afraid to wear it by the swimming pool or beach because it’s water-resistant. The Big Pilot is automatic and self-winding, and it boasts a 168-hour power reserve and a frequency of 4.0 Hz. The watch has 31 jewels and 257 components. It’s well-protected from magnetic fields thanks to the soft-iron inner case. The watch has anti-reflective Sapphire glass, so it won’t easily break when you drop it. With a price tag of $12,900, this Big Pilot Watch will undoubtedly make anyone feel like they made it in life.

Pros

  • Luxurious design
  • 168-hour Power Reserve

Cons

  • Expensive

Specification

  • Price $12,900
  • Frequency 28800.0 vph (4.0 hz)
  • Diameter 46.2 mm
  • Height 15.6 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes - 50 meters
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch

02 Hamilton H64715535 Khaki Pilot Watch

The Hamilton H64715535 Khaki Pilot Watch has a pretty straightforward design, and every inch of it screams luxury. The watch has a different format than regular watches, but you’ll get used to it after a little time. The watch has a sleek round grey dial, and its hands and indices are all luminous. It also had a small window, which tells you the day and date. The regular “clock” appears as a small circle in the inner part of the watch, while the large numbers you see around it are the minute markers. The Hamilton H64715535 features a 46 mm stainless steel case. It boasts an anti-reflective sapphire dial window. If you love swimming, you don’t have to worry about taking off the watch every time you go for a dip because it’s water-resistant up to 660 ft. The Hamilton H64715535 is an attractive choice because it’s also more affordable than most pilot watches.

Pros

  • Not as expensive as competitors
  • Has minute markers
  • Can tell you the day/date

Cons

  • Format might take some getting used to

Specification

  • Price $995.00
  • Frequency Frequency (Hz) 60
  • Diameter 46 mm
  • Height 22 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes - 50 meters
Hamilton H64715535 Khaki Pilot Watch

03 IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph

Another watch from IWC that is worth looking at is the Pilot Spitfire Chronograph. It’s still on the pricier side, but it isn’t as costly as the brand’s Big Pilot Watch. Aside from telling the time, day, and date, the watch also has a chronograph. You can consider a chronograph to be an old-school stopwatch. Pilots find them useful, especially when they aren’t fans of digital watches. The design of the Spitfire Chronograph is simple yet luxurious, and it features scratch-resistant Sapphire Crystal. This watch might be for those who are more financially blessed in life because not everyone is willing to spend over $5K on a watch.

Pros

  • Has a chronograph

Cons

  • Expensive

Specification

  • Price $5,722.50
  • Frequency 28800.0 vph (4.0 hz)
  • Diameter 41 mm
  • Height 15.3 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes - 60 Meters/ 200 Feet
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph

04 Bell & Ross Collection Aviation BR

If you love staying stylish and standing out from the rest, you might want to look at the Bell & Ross Collection Aviation BR. It has a hip and sporty vibe while still looking formal when it’s on your wrist. Aeronautical instruments reportedly served as the inspiration for the watch’s square design. It has heavy-duty canvas straps, so you can expect the watch to be durable. It also has a screw-in crown and a satin-brushed steel case. The watch has a great matte black color, and it looks like it will be easy for anyone to match it with different outfits. The watch’s indices, numbers, and minute and hour hands have Super-LumiNova®. The coating on its hands is photo-luminescent, and the watch’s glass is anti-reflective sapphire. The Aviation BR can also survive underwater, but make sure it doesn’t sink lower than 100m.

Pros

  • Features anti-reflective sapphire
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons

  • Lacks more color options
  • Doesn't tell you what day of the week it is

Specification

  • Price $3,275
  • Frequency 28,800 vph (4 hz)
  • Diameter 42 mm
  • Height 9.8 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes - 100 Meters / 330 Feet
Bell & Ross Collection Aviation BR

05 Breitling Exospace B55

The Breitling Exospace B55 stands out from its competitors because of its black DLC-Coated Titanium case matched with an eye-catching blue strap. The case of the watch has a diameter of 46 mm, and it’s one of the more high-tech options on this list because it has Bluetooth technology, which allows it to pair with your phone. The watch features an electronic & analog LCD digital display. This watch is perfect for pilots because it has a chronograph with lap and flight times. It has a countdown timer, date feature, electronic Tachymeter, a seven-day alarm, and even an end-of-life indicator. The watch also comes with the beneficial UTC Worldtime future. The sapphire crystal that the watch has is scratch-resistant, and the watch can be submerged underwater for up to 100 meters. All the hands and hour markers of the watch are luminescent, so you won’t have problems using it at night. The battery life of the Breitling B55 will supposedly last between nine to ten years. Spending over $8K on a watch might make some worry, but Breitling gives customers a two-year warranty period, which customers have the option to extend for an additional three years.

Pros

  • Packed with high-tech features
  • Unique sporty color
  • Equipped with Bluetooth technology

Cons

  • Pricey

Specification

  • Price $8,099.99
  • Frequency Battery Operated Quartz Chronometer Movement
  • Diameter 46 mm
  • Height 15.2 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes -100 Meters
Breitling Exospace B55

06 Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7

The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 might be an upscale pilot watch option, but it isn’t as pricey as others on this list. It has a thickness of 14.10 mm and a case diameter of 41 mm. The watch is stainless steel, and its glass is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The watch’s underside is equipped with several layers of anti-reflective coating. This Avigation Watch features painted Arabic numerals and black dial color. It’s easy to tell the time in dark environments thanks to the Swiss Super-LumiNova®. The movement type of the watch is automatic, and it beats 28,800 vibrations per hour. It even has a power reserve of about 60 hours. The watch has a single-push piece chronograph, and it’s able to tell you the date as well. The strap is also pretty unique because of its alligator design, which looks hip and modern.

Pros

  • More affordable than competitors
  • Single-Push piece Chronograph
  • 60-hour power reserve
  • Alligator strap

Cons

  • Doesn't tell what day of the week or year it is

Specification

  • Price $3,450
  • Frequency 28800 vph (4Hz)
  • Diameter 41mm
  • Height 14.1 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes - 30 meters
Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7

07 Citizen JY8078-01L Promaster Skyhawk A-T Watch

If you’re a pilot who needs a watch to wear while on duty, you should check out the Citizen JY8078-01L Promaster Skyhawk A-T watch. At first glance, you might find the watch confusing because of all the different numbers, words, and arrows you see. The case may only have a 45 mm diameter, but Citizen somehow found a way to add features like a UTC display, a countdown timer, a dual-time function, a perpetual calendar, alarms, a power reserve, a pilot’s rotating slide rule bezel, and a chronograph. The watch can tell you the time in 43 different cities from anywhere in the world. One of the watch’s most distinct features is its Eco-Drive technology. It allows the watch to be powered by light, eliminating the need for any type of battery. The watch also stands out with its blue dial and yellow accents. Like most pilot watches, it’s equipped with anti-reflective sapphire crystal and is water-resistant up to 660 feet. Upon purchase, you get a 5-year limited manufacturer’s warranty from Citizen.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Powered by light
  • Comes with many useful features for pilots

Cons

  • Confusing format for non-pilots

Specification

  • Price $650.00
  • Frequency n/a
  • Diameter 45 mm
  • Height 22.6 mm
  • Water Resistance Yes - 200 Meters
Citizen JY8078-01L Promaster Skyhawk A-T Watch

Brett Clarke

Feb 9, 2022

82 Articles Published

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