The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date (ref. 01 752 7698 4164-07 5 22 17FC) combines a vintage modern (I hope, Marshall Amps won’t mind me using the combination of words) design of its moderately oversized stainless steel body with an inexpensive self-winding movement with day/date display that they outsource from Sellita. Easily readable and comfortable thanks to its ergonomically shaped case and a nicely designed folding clasp, the watch is priced at just over €1300, but delivers a lot more value than most similarly priced timekeepers with the same functionality.
With its lovingly reproduced look and feel of the original Longines CAF “aviator” that was first introduced almost 80 years ago (it was actually an evolution of one of their even older models from the 1920s), the 2014 Longines Heritage 1935 (Ref. L2.7220.127.116.11) gives you a perfect chance to own a timekeeper that perfectly blends the unique design language of the pre-war era with a modern technology.
While I seriously doubt that this fresh Breitling Navitimer 01 Panamerican will manage to stun you with originality of industrial design (we have seen this shape many times before) or some rare complication (it is nothing more than a mere chronograph with date, albeit COSC-certified), it may nevertheless be welcomed by those who always wanted a shiny new Navitimer powered by their recently introduced Caliber 01 in-house chronograph movement, but never liked the color combinations that were on offer. Combined with milky white counters, this gorgeous anodized brown dial that the brand prefers to call “Panamerican Bronze,” looks absolutely killer to me.
Commemorating the Swiss brand’s 100th Anniversary, the automatic Glycine F104 Pilot (Ref. 3932.146AT.LB7R) delivers that great mix of a clean, easy to read dial with an easy to recognize pre-WWII styling, and deliberately oversized body: something that you rarely see when it comes to pilot’s watches designed during the last decade or two. Although, like a number of recently introduced timekeepers that try to strike your imagination with monsters that look ridiculous on almost any wrist of a man of a normal stature, this one will not look that great if you decide to wear it with formal suit, it is still an interesting collectible item that one can even wear from time to time. Perhaps, combine it with an equally expensive winter bomber jacket that would be able to somehow hid the gadget’s overall bulkiness?
Breitling, the company that likes to be associated with anything that has an even passing relationship with the sky, greatly appreciates its long-standing partnership with Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force aerobatics team. It was less than 18 months ago that the brand has introduced the limited-edition Chronomat Frecce Tricolori 44: a member of the family that differed from its siblings only with the team’s logo printed on its black dial. This year, they introduce their 2014 Chronomat Airborne 30th Anniversary: another limited edition that, as the name implies, celebrates the 30th anniversary of their relationship. Available both in a compact 41 mm body and in a more impressive 44 mm case, the chronograph looks a lot more original, comes with two colors of its dial, and is equipped with a high-grade, in-house chronograph movement.
The limited edition Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Carbon Orange is easily recognizable thanks to its signature boxy case and the diamond-shaped hands inspired by indicators on instruments gauges. It is perfectly legible with its high-contrast color scheme and, all in all is a nicely designed model. What more do you expect from a pilot’s watch made by one of the most outstanding brands among Swiss watchmakers? Perhaps, a movement of a higher pedigree would be a good start. Still, if you are not after a hand-made in-house caliber that powers a gadget that costs more than a Korean SUV, this one may be one of the most well-balanced choices for you.
Based on their Oris Big Crown X1 Calculator (Ref. 01 675 7648 4264-07 5 23 77) that was first released in 2011, the Oris Big Crown Timer Chronograph (Ref. 675 7648 4234 LS) features only subtle cosmetic changes that, however, make all the difference: as cluttered as the base version is, the gadget still somehow manages to look cleaner and is easier to read.
The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Chronograph family (the one, which is listed on their website as a member of a larger Khaki Aviation family of military-themed watches) was recently updated with a limited edition collection (including a version with black dial, pictured, ref. H77766331.) Being ahem limited to ahem just 1999 pieces, it will never become a true rarity (well, maybe in fifty years or so), but I must admit that this little guy still looks nice. Featuring all the usual stuff, like a true chronograph movement and their famous drift angle calculator, the new watch differs from the rest of the pack with its new color combinations and a slightly reworked dial.
About two years ago, the Swiss watchmaker has introduced its vintage-styled Startimer Classic three-hander (Ref. AL-525SCR4S6). With a sleek, easy to read dial, the timekeeper looked great and probably generated good sales because for this year the company re-introduced the watch as an Alpina Startimer Pilot Sunray (Ref. AL-525GB4S6).
You have probably already seen Alpina’s recent Startimer ref. Al-860GB4S6. Slightly oversized, the “aviator” features that trendy bi-compax design and elegant overall styling of its dial. For this year, the Swiss watchmaking brand introduces another version. Called Alpina Startimer Pilot Black Star Automatic Chronograph (Ref. AL-860GB4FBS6), it differs from the earlier version only with its black body finish.