The 2012 IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW388002 is named after the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, USA. Almost 43 years ago, the military installation gave birth to the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School that was immortalized in a Hollywood movie starring Tom Cruise and is now mostly known to the general public as TOP GUN.
Around three years ago, Archimede has revealed its Pilot H limited-edition model. The Pilot H was a sort of “homage” to their successful Pilot Original that was powered by a vintage (so-called “New Old Stock”) Junghans 687 hand-wound movement. This year, the German brand decided to bet on yet another iteration of the same timekeeper that is now introduced in a smaller case. Meet the “historic” Archimede Pilot 39H!
As I promised back in August 2011 while briefly reviewing their then-new F-22 Raptor 9270 Series quartz chronograph, I am finally getting back to its sister model: an even more massive Luminox F-35 Lightning II Chronograph (ref. 9388 aka GGL.L9388). Placed in the same price category (the model has an official price tag of $1200, but you can find one online at about $250-$300 less,) the watch offers basically the same exterior styling.
The Swiss-based watchmaking brand has updated its Startimer line with a new Alpina Startimer Classic Automatic (Ref. AL-525SCR4S6.) Designed to carefully mix refinement of a dress watch with a no-nonsense style of a vintage-styled aviator’s timekeeper, the new gadget does its job just fine.
The German brand will soon start selling its new Sinn EZM 10 “Einsatzzeitmesser” Pilot with a 24-hour GMT display and an impressive (at least, for a pilot’s watch) water resistance rating of whole 200 meters. As the German watchmaker readily admits, the new automatic chronograph is a tribute to timekeepers that were powered by the legendary caliber Lemania 5100. No longer in production, it was adored by the German military thanks to an almost unrivaled combination of legibility and reliability that it provided. The secret, of course, was in the unique layout of its chronograph display.
The American-based watchmaker has finally introduced a full-fledged flight computer that you can wear on your own wrist. Designed for real pilots, the quartz-powered multifunction Hamilton Khaki Flight Timer (ref. H64554431) was created together with Air Zematt, the Swiss helicopter transport and rescue service.
Seiko has recently introduced yet another member of its line of accurate and not particularly expensive “aviators.” The 2011 Solar Pilot Alarm Chronograph (ref. SSC009) offers a loud alarm, a bidirectionally rotating Breitling-style slide-rule bezel, as well as a 60-minute chronograph accurate up to 1/5th of a second.
The brand, which is known for its mid-priced tool watches, has recently presented the new Bell & Ross Vintage WW1-92 Heritage “aviator” that mimics the design of legendary WWII timepieces worn by German pilots. As one can always expect from a vintage-styled pilot’s watch when it comes to legibility in any lighting conditions, the design is almost flawless: crisp and sharp, it lets you read the watch in no time.
Although officially positioned as a timekeeper for adventures, the new Muehle Glashuette Terranaut III Trail may be a nice choice for people searching for a reliable tool that looks like a pilot’s watch, is powered by a good Swiss-made movement, and wouldn’t break a bank even if you are a student majoring in Liberal Arts.
As you may have already guessed, the new self-winding Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture Aviation is a luxury “aviator” that offers you not only superb legibility both in broad daylight and in total darkness, but also accompanies it with a manufacture-made movement, which is crafted and decorated exclusively in-house.