Today, on January 15th, 2019, at SIHH 2019, the Swiss watchmaker has officially presented the new IWC Bronze Pilot 36mm Special Edition Automatic wristwatch: a beautiful homage to a timekeeper that was introduced over 70 years ago and was worn by the British Royal Air Force pilots for many years to come. Featuring a deliciously compact and surprisingly -for a watch powered by a self-winding caliber- slim case machined from a bronze alloy, it looks stunning new and has a great potential to age graciously together with its owner.
Earlier this year, the German watchmaker Steinhart has issued their new take on the concept of a "vintage-modern pilot's watch". Successfully blending vintage exterior with a classic caliber and modern CNC machinery, the new Steinhart Nav.B-Chrono 47 Baumuster B Grey Edition (ref. 106-0877) offers, perhaps, the best "value for money" ratio for those interested in buying a relatively affordable brand new pilot's timekeeper.
Looking at our stats, I see that demand for recommendations regarding diving watches is a seasonal thing with most visitors coming in summer and then gradually declining till Christmas only to start growing again in early January. "Pilots" are different animals: I have an impression that people are always interested in "aviators" regardless of the time of season. So, for your reading pleasure, a choice of fifteen timekeepers from under $200 to more than $10,000 as priced by online retailers that I find worthy of being considered while shopping for your new (or maybe your very first!) pilot's watch this year.
The new Alpina Startimer Pilot automatic chronograph wristwatch (refs. AL-725B4S6, AL-725GR4S6 & AL-725N4S6) is available in three colors of its laconic, extremely sober dial and in two colors of the geunuine leather strap. It is a bit expensive, many people may (and probably will) call it boring, and it is clearly not a match to majors like IWC and Omega in terms of mojo and percieved value, yet the combination of a highly ergonomic design, reliable mechanism and acceptable price make it a very nice everyday watch for a person who can afford one.
In less than two months, the British watchmaking brand will start selling their new Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer timekeeper. Styled as a pilot's watch and featuring an appealing combination of a robust Swiss made movement with their new distinctive approach to design, the new timekeeper seems to be well worth the serious chunk of cash that the watchmaker plans to charge for it.
If you noticed the sporty Chronoliner collection from last year, but decided to pass on it for the lack of bling, this new 2016 Breitling Chronoliner Triple Time-Zone Chronograph limited edition model will make you want to reconsider. Preserving the same energetic (some may even call it assertive) styling of the original, the new watch comes in a lot dressier rose gold case that, thanks to careful balancing the mix of materials and textures somehow manages not to look too arrogant in all of its polished rose gold and glossy ceramic glory.
Presented at Baselworld 2016, the new Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 9 Automatic Limited Edition (ref. 241732) chronograph wristwatch somehow manages to combine more or less adequate pricing (especially after all the usual discounts that the Swiss-based brand is known for) with a fairly small lot of pieces destined to be manufactured and sent to select stores around the world.
Japanese / Quartz
The Japanese brand has been in the business of (also) making GPS-equipped watches for quite some time now. Their new Citizen Promaster Navihawk Satellite Wave GPS (ref. CC9030-51E) is a fine example of how you can get a lot of experience, a block of high-grade steel, a handful of silicon parts and create an absolutely wonderful object that can be a watch, a gadget, and even a surprisingly low-priced fashion statement as well!
Japanese / Quartz
Featuring design cues similar to other "aviators" released by the Japanese brand during the last five or six years (those including not only relatively expensive members of their higher-range Prospex family like this ref. SSC279 wristwatch, but also a lot more affordable ones like their older SND253P1 model,) the new Seiko PROSPEX Radio Sync Solar World Time Chronograph, which is available in three different finishes, was probably designed to cover the niche of XXL-sized timekeepers designed with price-conscious public in mind.
Officially revealed last January at SIHH 2016 show, the new IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph (ref. IW389002) automatic wristwatch brings everything you loved about the Miramar collection, albeit in a smaller package. With a touch oversized case crafted from dark grey scratch-resistant ceramic and a high-contrast, yet discreet dial layout, this new model looks like a very interesting choice for a person who always wanted a dressy pilot, but wasn't quite satisfied with earlier models and their Gargantuan proportions.