Being biased towards chronographs (at least, when it comes to so-called ‘aviators’,) I must admit that I am almost in love with this mirror-polished Bell & Ross Vintage Original BR 126 Officer Chronograph. Offered in a refined mid-sized body that is inspired by pilot’s watches of the pre-WWII era, this iteration of the BR 126 model brings you a convincing combination of a relatively clean, easy to read dial and a slightly modified version of a Swiss-made automatic movement that is known for its reliability and precision.
Bell & Ross has updated its Vintage line of “aviators” with this new Vintage Original BR 126 Chronograph that now comes in a round stainless steel case and features an elegant egg-shell-white dial. Fairly compact by today’s standards, this aviator may get some well-deserved attention from persons seeking for a nice vintage-styled pilot’s watch that doesn’t look like you just stole a hockey pluck.
Known for their most elegant Big Pilot series of “aviators”, IWC has presented yet another limited edition of the popular line. The Blue Big Pilot (refs. IW500428 & IW500429), as you already may have guessed, will be available in two versions with the former being targeted at residents of Los Angeles, California and the latter addressing the needs of the population of the great city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Sporting an interesting blue-on-black color scheme, the huge wristwatches will soon be available in select stores of the informal capitals of California and Nevada.
The 2010 limited-edition Fortis B42 Black Mars 500 is the German-based brand’s another attempt to monetize its long-standing partnership with the Russian Roscosmos Federal Space Agency that dates back to the year 1994.
This year, Hamilton will again expand its model range with a line of “aviators.” Inspired by “historic” models from the 1930s and 1940s, the 2010 self-winding Khaki Pilot offers a lot more refinement than one could have asked for in the sub-$1000 range.
It is not the first time that Longines brushes off some dust of its vintage-styled Charles Lindbergh chronograph model. First introduced in 1933 to mark its collaboration with the famous aviator, the Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage (L2.7220.127.116.11) was re-issued several times with some minor tweaking to its vintage-style dial layout.
Archimede, a privately-owned German brand that primarily specializes in making homages to historic “aviators” of the WWII-era, has finally issued a version of their signature “aviator” series in a unisex case. Till now, the collection was offered only in three sizes starting from “mere” 39 mm for the most compact Pilot M, 42 mm for the mid-size Pilot, and going all the way up to almost gigantic 45 mm for the Pilot XL. Finally, the gadget is available as a lot more compact Pilot S (ref. UA4919-A1.5D) version that comes in a tiny 36-millimeter body that is suitable both for women and men of smaller stature.
If you have a body (or at least wrists) of heroic proportions and are not willing to pay thousands of dollars for ridiculously overpriced timepieces like, say, IWC Doppelchronograph Top Gun, than you may want to check out the vintage-styled Archimede Pilot XL Automatic, which is both ruggedly-classy and, priced well below the €500 mark, surprisingly affordable.
First unveiled at the Baselworld 2009 and going on sale at the beginning of October of the same year, the Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 4 (ref. 241381) featured a “love it or hate it, we don’t care” layout of its huge dial, but had at least one advantage over competitors that you just could’t deny: it was powered by an almost legendary Unitas 6497 hand-wound movement known for its impressive power reserve, the decent ability for keeping good time, as well as that old-school charisma that more modern mechanisms simply don’t have.
Originally introduced to the Professional line back in 2006, Breitling’s hi-tech Airwolf electronic chronograph with a digital-analog display is now available as the Airwolf Raven special-edition model.