Revue Thommen Airspeed Instrument RT1920 Swiss

Revue Thommen has just presented the new Airspeed Instrument RT1920: a new member of its –ahemcontroversial Bell & Ross BR 01-92-styled line of “aviators”. As you can see, the guys behind the –ahem– aspiring Swiss-based brand even preserved all four Arabic numerals from the series name, although, apparently for copyright reasons, put them in a slightly different order.

Created using the same brutal design language, the Airspeed Instrument RT1920 differs from the rest of the pack with its black PVD-coated stainless steel case that also features a “rose gold” PVD coating on its thin fixed bezel, four screws on the front side and, of course, on the extra-large winding/setting crown (the crown, by the way, features a reassuringly good grip not only thanks to its sheer size but also because of deep notching that makes operating the wristwatch even more comfortable.) While the square-shaped case may look too massive due to its width of 44 millimeters that allow the case to occupy almost all width of an average wrist, it doesn’t actually feel large thanks to its relatively thin profile of just eight millimeters from top to bottom and also because of its short lugs that don’t add too much to the gadget’s overall length.

I am not a fan of this styling, but if you like oversized, square-shaped timekeepers, you will probably love this one (just don’t forget to try one before ordering it from a web-based retailer, okay?)

Revue Thommen Airspeed Instrument RT1920

Where was I? Oh, speaking of differences between this model and previous iterations of the Airspeed Instrument line, the new member of the family also adds more upscale-looking hour indices and hands. Made of some sort of yellow metal (can it be steel plated with titanium nitride or something?) the hands (including better half of surface of the thin central second hand, which is not that common) feature generously sized patches of high-quality Superluminova luminous compound that, by the way, make the dial more legible in daylight giving the deep Navy Blue dial even more contrasting appearance.

To make the dial more legible at night, its light grey minute track is equipped with 12 small luminous dots. As you can see on the pictures, the dot at 12 hours is triangle-shaped, the ones at 3, 6 and 9 hours are square-shaped, while the rest eight dots are just round. Frankly, I think I would prefer the Superluminova to cover the applied Arabic numerals, but, well, nobody’s perfect.

Just like other members of the collection, as well as its source of inspiration (I assume, it was the Bell & Ross BR01 model), the RT1920 sports the same square case with four screws each placed at a respective angle and a round bezel with sapphire glass covering a set of the hour, minute and second hands reminding us of aviation instruments.

Bell & Ross BR 01-92

While the claim to the company’s aviation legacy is legitimate (a long time ago Revue Thommen indeed used to make money producing cockpit instruments and gauges for the aviation industry,) the result is, well, sort of disappointing.

Trying to differentiate their product from the original series by Bell&Ross, Revue Thommen’s designers somehow lost the original point of the collection.

You see, its main problem is that, with new styling, the dial doesn’t look much like an instrument gauge. Rather, it feels just like another rip-off (alright, upon re-reading this brief review I find that the wording is too strong: let’s call it “homage,” okay?) of the popular model of a better-advertised brand that, being priced at just about half the MSRP of the “original”, targets customers who can’t afford the “real” thing. Although I can’t call the approach questionable, I still find it, well, unsustainable: nobody wants their brand to be associated with “homages” in the long run.

WWR Verdict

Originality 1/5
Build Quality: 4/5
Usability: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 1/5

Overall Rating: 1.5/5

See also: IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Edition TOP GUN released

Photos: Revue Thommen

Revue Thommen Airspeed Instrument RT1920 specification

Price range: $1320 (MSRP)
Movement: ETA caliber 2824-2, automatic, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel in black PVD
Bezel: Rose gold PVD coating
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 8.00
Dial: Navy blue
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather with contrast stitching
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Transparent

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  1. Hello i would like to ask how much cost a wach REVUE THOMMEN T44?THAMK YOU IN ADVANCE

  2. Yes, I agree with you.It is a rip off on B&R but again what inspire B&R designer?

    again it is still a rip-off from the cockpit layout, whos’ idea is more original, it just a matter of who manipulated it first?

    With such great heritage, it a shame for RT to agree with the designer idea.

  3. I’m a bit fan of Bell & Ross watches and own 3 of them myself including a BR01 instrument watch, but I have to say that the Revue Thommen watch is no rip off or even a homage of the Bell & Ross instrument watch. The Revue Thommen instrument watch is a direct descendant of Thommen instrument clock, which looks nearly identical, using the same number font, dial layout, and even hand shape. The Thommen cockpit insturment clock is in fact still in production as you see for your self on their website.

    The Thommen Instrument company has been in business since 1853 and making pilot chronographs since 1916 and has had an avionics division since 1936 and has been making watches and cockpit instruments since before either of the founders of Bell & Ross company were even born. If anything, since Bell & Ross never made cockpit instruments of any kind and has only exited since 1994, The Bell & Ross instrument watches are more likely homages to the Thommen Instruments.

  4. @ John,
    Thanks for the comment. I see your point, but I also must note that the instrument you are referring to looks like just about any instrument from a classic (or a Russian, they still use analogue devices in their fighter jets) plane. I don’t see here any special design language, which is unique to Thomenn.

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