5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE BUYING A PILOT WATCH
It goes without saying that purchasing a luxury pilot watch can be quite the financial commitment (but one definitely worth making if you ask us). Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’re asking the right questions before taking the plunge on an aviation watch. Fear not, we’re here to help to make sure that you go into this purchase with all the right knowledge as to what you should be seeking from a pilot watch. We’ve got some excellent men’s pilot watches on our shelves here at MTM and we’d want our customers to be asking themselves these questions before making a purchase.
Check out our pick of 6 of the most important questions to be asking (either the watchmaker or yourself) before you reach for the skies and add a pilot watch to your wrist.
Are you actually a pilot?
Do you actually have to fly planes to wear a pilot watch? Put simply, of course not. Pilot watches are amongst the most stylish and versatile timepieces on the market and earning your wings isn’t something that need preclude you from wearing one. Back in the day, pilot watches were more specifically for pilots because of the features they had which made flying more streamlined and safer, but such is their popularity in the mass market nowadays that they are worn by everyone – pilot or otherwise.
Anyone can enjoy a capable pilot watch with roots in aviation and, if you are actually a pilot, this sort of timepiece will often ramp up your appreciation of both the watch and the sophistication of contemporary aeroplanes. If you don’t fly planes but have a penchant for all things aeronautical and still want to sport a pilot’s watch, there’s definitely nothing stopping you.
Do you want a mechanical or quartz movement?
The movement is the beating heart of a watch and when buying a pilot watch, you should be thinking about whether you’re seeking a timepiece with a mechanical or quartz movement. Mechanical movements are typically a more expensive option and will often be less accurate than their quartz counterparts, but they can add an extra sense of luxury to watches, and this might be something that you’ll be after when buying a pilot watch from a watchmaker with a considerable heritage.
It’s important to realise, however, that the majority of pilot timepieces are chronographs, which means mechanical variations are often extremely expensive. Quartz watches provide a better value for money for the consumer and they can also deliver an abundance of features and digital tech that would come in handy for modern pilots. For example, you can use GPS and radio signals to automatically adjust to changes of time zones, and some modern pilot watches are specifically designed to record flight times and other crucial data.
What features are important for your pilot watch to have?
Needless to say, not all pilot watches are the same, with the same features and when purchasing a timepiece of this nature, you need to be asking yourself which features are most important to you. There are a few commonplace features of pilot watches that a lot of horology aficionados seek out such as GMT complication or a 24-hour bezel.
These are popular features because they are both handy characteristics and were originally intended for commercial pilots, these are especially beneficial for contemporary travelers or those with friends and families located in different time zones. Pilot watches have all sorts of useful features that will come in handy day in, day out, and this is something worth considering when purchasing an aviation watch — it’s just the icing on the cake that pilot watches are also so cool and positively steeped in history.
Do you want a traditional or modern pilot watch?
There are certainly a lot of different pilot watches to choose from and the watchmakers on the market typically sit in two camps in terms of their design – namely, traditional or contemporary aviation watches. History is a big part of pilot’s watches’ appeal, particularly for those iconic aesthetics rooted in 20th-century military applications.
While there are plenty of timepieces that offer impressive interpretations of these classic designs, there are also those made by the same brands that actually designed the originals. If you’re more of a modern design enthusiast, pilot watches like our Air Stryk II collection are a fantastic example of a contemporary aviation watch.
What style of men’s pilot watch are you in the market for?
As with most men’s watches, there are a lot of subtle design differences inherent in pilot timepieces and choosing the sort that is right for you is a big consideration at the outset when you’ve decided to buy a pilot watch. There are wide variations in type, model and so forth but if you’ve got a certain style aesthetic that you gravitate towards and an idea of what a pilot’s watch should look like, that’s a good jump off point.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of pilot’s watch on the market as this will help you better explore your options as there are so many watchmakers offering so many different styles. For example, there are classic aviation watches like the W10 and the flieger or much more complicated affairs like flyback chronographs. If you look around, you can even find watches that celebrate the fact that pilots don’t need these watches, and instead approach aviation as a design theme — a good example of this is how some pilot watches have airplane-shaped seconds hand, or recycle material that has been taken from some historic aircraft or other.
If it’s an adventure ready, robust and top performing pilot’s watch that you desire, you’ll find plenty that fit the bill on the digital shelves of MTM. We pride ourselves on the quality of our timepieces which are all constructed in our Los Angeles workshop. Some of the stand out aviation watches we have to offer in 2021 include the Black Air Stryk II, Grey / Black Cobra 44 Watch and Grey Air Stryk I – all of which can be on your wrist for under $1600.