Although the new Tissot T-Navigator (ref. T062.430.11.057.00) automatic timekeeper is not a real pilot’s watch in its, err, canonical sense, it still offers superb legibility and actually looks good in its own clumsy way.
Offered in a slightly oversized (for a sporty three-hander anyway) stainless steel case 43 millimeters in diameter, it is a bit on a thicker side measuring over 16 millimeters top to bottom, but still looks fine on a hand of an average man. Its setting crown sports a rather unusual shape, but provides a good grip not only when you need to rotate it, but also when you have to pull it in order to set the calendar with its day/date functionality.
In fact, the only piece that sounds out of tone here is the black PVD-treated bezel with compass-like markings on it. If the Swiss entry-luxury watchmaker managed to leave the bezel alone, this gadget might have been simply perfect.
As you can see on the photo below, the pair of hour and minute hands looks like old-school gauges from older planes.
Covered with snow-white Superluminova they, together with extra-large Arabic numerals, offer superb legibility making it especially easy to read current time, even in total darkness.
The watch is powered by the well-known ETA 2836-2 automatic movement that also offers simple calendar functionality.
As you can see, the watch has a wide aperture at 3 o’clock that displays not only date, but also current day of week. Well, since it is not a full calendar, you will still have to manually correct the calendar five times a year.
The watch is offered with a sapphire crystal on its top and a transparent back (not sure about the choice of material here, but it is probably a mineral glass) that provides a good view at the turbine blades-shaped winding rotor. A nice touch, that, although I suspect that Tissot’s designers were inspired by the last year’s Perrelet Turbine family of watches.
Buying one of these timekeepers at MSRP of $895 USD probably will not be a good idea: there are lots of more interesting choices in this price range (even an Archimede Pilot H will blow this T-Navigator out of the water at half the price.)
However, if you really want one of these gadgets, you should probably wait just a little bit longer when the timepieces start to appear in numerous decent online shops and, if history is any indication, will soon be available with huge discounts thus offering you a lot better value, although you will still probably lose a lot of cash when you finally get tired of it and decide to sell to some other person.
Tissot T-Navigator automatic (ref. T062.430.11.057.00) watch specification
Price: $895 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, ETA 2836-2, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Winding rotor stylized as a turbine blade
Functions: Hours, minutes seconds, date, day of week
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel, black PVD
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: 22 mm
Case height: 16.50 mm
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap / Stainless steel bracelet
Case back: Transparent