The new Aerowatch Les Grandes Classiques Chronograph Pilote (Ref. A 61948 NO03), which is due to be unveiled at the upcoming Baselworld 2013 show, won’t impress any enthusiast with ingenuity of design or some revolutionary complication. Still, even with its standard dial layout and the usual set of features, the timekeeper is a very tasteful and elegant take on a concept of a “pilot’s watch” intended for men that were dreaming about becoming fighter jet pilots in their childhood only to find themselves having a good but depressingly boring job in the downtown and spending their evenings playing Il-2 and War Thunder simulators in their man caves.
Upon re-reading the lead part of the article, I find that it indeed sounds sort of depressing, but, hey, if you can afford a toy that costs more than an above-the-average laptop computer your life is actually not as miserable as you can imagine!
Traditionally for the niche, the watch is presented in a slightly oversized, but still relatively compact 42 mm stainless steel body. The timekeeper’s body doesn’t take a lot of real estate on your wrist per se and its relatively short integrated lugs make it even more comfortable for persons with relatively narrow wrists. The only thing you may not like about the lugs is that leather straps seem to be fitted too tight between the horns and the sides of the body making them a bit too stiff, but that will probably go away as the watch gets broke-in.
Sandblasted and treated with black PVD coating, the body of the watch sports that ominous matt black finish that most of us tend to associate with fire arms and tactical gear.
As I have already mentioned, the watch offers a rather standard dial layout. Since the watch is powered by an unmodified ETA Valjoux 7750 self-winding movement, its dial sports all the usual visual clues as its many siblings from other watchmakers.
There is a 30-minute and a 12-hour chronograph sub-dials at 12 and 6 hours respectively, a small seconds indicator with a high-contrast red hand at 9 o’clock, as well as the usual day of week / date aperture at 3 hours with an inevitable AEROWATCH inscription right above it. Nothing special about it, but it still a pleasure to note that all elements of the dial (including the luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers) are perfectly matched to each other, which basically means that the dial of the watch is as pleasant to look at, as it is easy to read data.
Aerowatch is still not ready to reveal the recommended street price of the timekeeper, but I am pretty sure that it won’t be terribly expensive.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Aerowatch Les Grandes Classiques Chronograph Pilote (Ref. A 61948 NO03) watch specification
Price: Approx. CHF 2000
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: Approx. 40 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, day of week, chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel, black PVD
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous (SuperLuminova)
Hands: Luminous (SuperLuminova)
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap on a black foldover clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, domed
Case back: Transparent