Best Pilot Watches With Reviews

The best pilot watches aren’t just for an impressive, professional look. It’s like a mini-flight information panel that serve as a quick reference while flying.

With a pilot watch, you can quickly have access to coordinates through its GPS link. It also has a tri-axis compass that helps for accurate directions when flying or looking for a place to land.

Pilot Watches Reviews

Air Commando Divers and Pilot Watch


The Air Commando Divers and Pilot Watch by Xezo can fit wrist sizes from small to extra large. It has a sapphire crystal glass, which is scratch-resistant. It can function with three time zones.

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Hamilton Men’s Khaki Pilot Watch


The Hamilton Men’s Khaki Pilot Watch has an automatic movement. You can wear it even in waters around 660 feet deep. It also has a stainless steel case and sapphire crystal protector.

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Garmin D2 Bravo Aviation Watch


The Garmin D2 Bravo Aviation Watch has a compass with a moving map display and horizontal situation indicator (HIS). It also has a barometer and altimeter. Moreover, it has an alerting function plus smartphone connectivity.

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Men’s Hawker Hurricane Watch


The Men’s Hawker Hurricane Watch by AVI-8 can be used while showering or swimming. It has a mineral crystal dial window and buckle closure. The Japanese quartz movement has an analog display.

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Prospex Smoke Dial Men’s Watch


Seiko’s Prospex Smoke Dial Men’s Watch boasts of a chronograph display. The bezel and case are made of polished stainless steel. It also comes with a bezel, which functions as a compass.

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Types of Pilot Watches

The first pilot watch was just a repurposed field watch. The pilot who first wore it needed only a timepiece that can give accurate data that are visible under low-light conditions. Designs have evolved with functions specific for a pilot’s needs.

Flieger Style. The first pilot watch showed large numeral numbers with delta index at the 12 o’clock position. Another variation had an outer dial with the minutes and the inner dial with the hours.

Space Race Pilot Watches. They came about when jet pilots started flying across different time zones. They have a 12-hour hand on the dial and a 24-hour bezel which synchronizes with international time zones.

Digital Age Pilot Watches. These are loaded with multiple features such as multiple time zones, chronographs, solar quartz, and circular slide rule which is their most distinct feature. 

Tough Aviator. Mostly worn by US Air Force pilots. It is built to last, tough, with dual time zone system, solar-powered, and able to receive radio time signal. 

Watches Developed by Aviators. These watches have a streamlined, modern design, but equipped with features specific for every pilot’s needs. They boast with Japanese quartz movements in stainless steel cases. 

How to Select a Pilot Watch

In the early days, pilots used oversized watches to help them in navigating. With technology, aviator or pilot watches have become a necessity. Here are tips to help you choose:

Know what design you’d want to purchase so that when you go out to buy one, you know what to look for. You can check the web for designs.

Consider your budget. Establish how much you are willing to spend for your pilot watch. There are some expensive ones and there are cheap ones, too.

Consider durability. Aviator watches are designed to be pilot’s tools. Look for one that has stainless steel finish and the mechanism won’t break down anytime soon.

Pilot watches usually have many special features as per a pilot’s needs, which might overwhelm you. Choose the one that you can easily learn how to use.

If you are a pilot and you will use it for its original intent, choose one that can accurately give you the data you need.

How to Maintain Your Pilot Watch

Your pilot watch is designed to give you accurate and reliable service for a long time. But, just like any other precision-crafted devices, your watch needs proper maintenance.

Standard maintenance includes replacing batteries every 2 to 3 years, specifically for most quartz watches. Bring it to the service center for inspection and to be serviced accordingly.

Use soft cloth when wiping off moisture, sweat and dirt, particularly on the back and the band. Avoid using solvents or other chemicals that may damage the watch.

The strap or band need more attention since it directly comes in contact with your skin. It can easily be soiled due to perspiration and dust from the environment.

Most watches are water-resistant but do not place your watch under running water, even when the crown is locked and closed. Just keep it dry always when not in water.

Avoid dropping your pilot watch (even if it is said to withstand shock) on hard and rough surfaces which can create shock that may damage the whole system.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pilot Watches

Before purchasing your first pilot watch, some questions like the following would help when choosing for a timepiece that is suitable to your needs and preference:

What are pilot watches? A pilot watch is a typical wristwatch that tells time, but a mechanical chronograph system is added to help pilot navigate when in flight.

Do pilots wear them? It has become a tradition to wear them. Though they don’t need to use it since their cockpit is already equipped with all that they need.

Can I wear it to a formal event? Most designs are for casual and business casual wear, but if you are confident enough, you can pull it off.

How do pilots use the watch? Theoretically, they use the chronometer on their watch for navigation. But the multiple time zone feature is what they love.

How can I ensure that my watch continues to work perfectly for a long time? Proper maintenance is the key, and information has been provided to you above.