Pilot and aviation style watches are amongst our favourite style of timepieces here at Coolector HQ and there are few watchmakers that are as accomplished as AVI-8 when it comes to making this form of watches at the affordable end of the spectrum. AVI-8 didn’t want to just create another pilot watch, they want to get a deeper look into the shape and form of an aircraft and tell some of the amazing stories that permeate the world of aviation to help draw out the brand.
The vision of AVI-8 is to produce timepieces that are both functional and enjoyable to wear, whilst also telling a story of both man and machine. They strive to be one of the most respected watch brands in the world by delivering unparalleled excellence in design / specification / value in what is an exceptionally competitive marketplace. Well, from what we can see, they are well and truly crushing it with their magnificent line up of aviation inspired watches.
Check out our pick of 5 of the best AVI-8 watches for aviation aficionados below:
AVI-8 Desert Sands Watch (£360)
Each component of the AVI-8 Desert Sands Watch (£360) has been purposefully designed, and takes its inspiration from the Harrier XV741 aircraft. Applied indexes are generously coated with Swiss lume, which delivers a dial that is not only bold and innovative, but clear and legible in low light conditions. Measuring 44mm, each detail of the XV741’s robust, adventure ready case has been carefully considered with performance in mind. Brushed, polished and chamfered lugs and case bezel are topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire lens with anti-reflective coating.
Contemporary aviation design and flair is supported by a precise and ever-reliable Japanese automatic movement. Under the hood, this watch is powered by a modified 21 jewel, 21,600 vph, Miyota 8 series automatic movement. A custom self-winding rotor has been integrated into the design to reflect the Harrier’s distinguished Rolls Royce Pegasus engine.
Taking design inspiration from the code name Operation “Blue Nylon” given to the XV741’s participation in the air race, a comfortable leather and nylon strap has been designed to attach the case to the wrist. A great watch for the aviation lover out there. (£360)
AVI-8 Retrograde Chronograph Watch (£220)
A robust, no nonsense yet precisely finished marine grade stainless steel case houses a Japanese retrograde split time chronograph that sits under the dial for the striking and effortlessly cool AVI-8 Retrograde Chronograph Watch (£220). The angled off squared shape reflects the key pieces of the Hunter’s own instrumentation, the reference to the famed military jet that first flew in service for the RAF in the early 1950s.
The dial of this bold timepiece is a perfectly designed assembly of indentations, tension rings and carefully positioned sub dial frames. As a compliment to the dial features there are piston like pushers that continue the look and feel of this watch as a piece of military instrumentation.
Snugly strapped to the wrist with a hand stitched vintage genuine leather strap – the Hawker Hunter Retrograde Chronograph is an aesthetically superior, versatile and unique aviation inspired timepiece like no other on the market. (£220)
AVI-8 Mitchell Flyboy Watch (£225)
With legibility the overriding goal for the AVI-8 Mitchell Flyboy Watch (£225), the dial design, hand shape and size deliver this with aplomb. Allowing each element its own space to shine, the dial of this aviation inspired watch matches the proportions effortlessly for a clear cut view of the time, whilst the seconds hand is finished off with a custom carved roundel.
At 42mm, the Flyboy Engineer Automatic is the perfect size for most men’s wrists. Each one has been crafted with solid stainless steel and the brushed case is topped with a domed sapphire lens for maximum robustness wherever your adventures take you. A moulded roundel sits on the edge of an ergonomically shaped conical crown.
Powering this tool watch is an ever-dependable Japanese NH35 automatic movement that delivers accuracy and reliability in spades. A hydraulic pressed Flyboy icon on the case back is a tribute to the exploits, bravery and rakish flair of 20th century Flyboys who inspire us to this day. (£225)
AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph (£185)
The classic aviation inspired chronograph is taken to whole new heights with the AVI-8 Hawker Hurrican Classic Chronograph Watch (£185). Classic case shape lines house detailed dials, colours, and graphics that are designed to celebrate the spirit and adventurism of a bygone era. Straightforward hour indexing, bold hands, and an impressively detailed vintage designed sub dials of the chronograph are all blended to create a watch that is sophisticated in design, precise in performance and stylish aesthetically.
Boasting a genuine hand-stitched leather strap that is both dressy yet casual, this is an aviation style watch that nods to chivalry and performance. A tribute to arguably the most iconic plane from the WW2 era – The Hawker Hurricane – this Classic Chronograph timepiece is underpinned by a simplicity that echoes the design of its namesake.
Clean, bold lines surround the dial on which the colours and graphics celebrate the fighter plane’s uncomplicated but striking motif that identified the Hawker Hurricane as one of the most important planes in the history of aviation. (£185)
AVI-8’s P-51 Mustang Silver Oak Watch (£255)
The new P-51 Mustang Silver Oak Watch from AVI-8 (£255) is a wearable tribute to the amazing exploits of American fighter ace and commander, Colonel Don Blakeslee, who is regarded as one of the greatest heroes of the Allied forces during World War II. The dial of the Blakeslee Chronograph leans on both the inner and outer detailing of the P-51 Mustang. It has been carefully considered and precisely proportioned, which means the dial is a lesson in legibility and offers a visually arresting layout.
Using the very shape of the P-51 Mustang as its design inspiration, a 43mm case flows and glides across the wrist with specific micro details that are designed to be a nod to the machining and features of this iconic aircraft. The pushers in particular are custom crafted and shaped within the line of the wings and fuselage.
Making use of the iconic Seiko VK series Meca Quartz movement, the P-51 Mustang Blakeslee chronograph watch is armed with the reliability and precision of quartz split time chronograph timing along with the satisfying and pleasingly retro hand feel of high beat automatic movements. The end result of this is a high spec timing instrument that looks and operates like no other chronograph.
Available in your choice of a solid stainless steel H-link bracelet or padded genuine leather, once more the attachment of case to wrist is a function of careful attention and observation of the inspirations drawn from the majestic Mustang. (£255)