As with any purchase, you want to make sure you’re buying quality when investing in a pilot watch. There are, alas, plenty of watch brands out there that put quantity over quality when it comes to releasing pilot watches onto the market, and knowing what to look out for when buying a timepiece of this nature will definitely stand you in good stead in the long run.

Pilot watches are amongst the most popular men’s timepieces right now and we’re rightly proud of our aviation offerings here at MTM. We’ve built a reputation for crafting high quality timepieces that those in the armed forces gravitate towards because they’re purpose built for action and adventure. However, not all pilot watches are created equal, so we’ve compiled a list of tips that you should bear in mind when it comes to spotting a quality men’s pilot watch.

When looking to pick the ideal watch for you, it’s always a good idea to pay close attention not only to the aesthetic of the timepiece i.e. that it fits in with your style sensibilities but also to all of the features and components it has. After all, the quality of materials used and the design aesthetic will determine the difference between a “throwaway” timepiece and a solidly-built accessory that you’ll want to wear for many years to come and pass on to your next generation. Here are some of MTM’s top tips on discovering the perfect pilot watch for you.

1] High price doesn’t always mean high quality


It goes without saying that some watchmakers have timepieces which cost, quite frankly, a small fortune. However, that doesn’t always mean the components that they use are any better than more affordable options such as our pilot watches at MTM – you’re merely paying for their brand name and reputation. 

Always consider the actual cost to make the watch (that is to say the materials used and their quality, the caliber of the labor, and the profit margin the watchmaker builds into the watch). You’ll be surprised that some of the top names in the watchmaking world are significantly overcharging their consumers based on the quality of materials they’ve used. 

At MTM, we pride ourselves on the quality of our pilot watches – each of which is hand-made in our LA based workshop, and our watches are highly competitively priced given the excellence of the materials we use and the high quality of our craftsmanship.

2] Pay attention to the movement


Put simply, the movement of a watch is its beating heart, its most crucial component and one of the most crucial elements to be aware of when making a purchase of this nature. Some watchmakers will charge a fortune for a movement which costs next to nothing to make, so it’s always imperative to do your research when buying a pilot watch. 

At MTM, we use a few different movements in our pilot watches such as Japanese Quartz – Miyota OS-80 and our MTM Proprietary Quartz – Swiss Ronda 763E movement. These offer great value for money and impeccable performance, reliability and accuracy day in, day out. Do your research on movements prior to buying a pilot watch to make sure you’re not overpaying. 

You’ll find that most automatic watches have a glass on the back so that you can watch the impressive movement in action. Movements are not always made equal and a functional movement will always keep your time reliably, whereas lower quality ones will have much less impressive results. You can say you’re essentially “losing time” if you own a watch with a poor-quality movement with inconsistent tick speeds so if you’re planning to purchase a pilot watch in 2021, pay particular close attention to the quality of the movement it possesses.

3] Make sure it uses high quality glass on the dial


There are few things more disheartening that scratches and scrapes all over your watch dial and the best means of avoiding such a pitfall – particularly with a pilot watch which is likely to be on your wrist for any outdoor adventures – is to ensure the timepiece you choose uses high-quality, scratch-resistant glass as part of its design. 

When doing your research into aviation watches, you’ll quickly realize that top quality timepieces typically always use sapphire glass because of the inherently robust characteristics that it possesses. It also depends on why you wear the watch. Sapphire glasses remain clear and scratch-resistant even after frequent use. Crystal glass or mineral glass is found on an average watch. Further, these glasses are cheaper, but they’re also more susceptible to scratches. 

At MTM, we use Anti Reflective & Scratch Resistant Glass With Ultraviolet Protective Coating that ensures that all our watches are properly protected when it comes to bumps, scrapes and scratches. If a watch uses mineral glass, for example, don’t expect it to stay blemish free for too long.

4] Consider the watchmaker and do your research on them


We’ve garnered a great reputation in the watchmaking industry here at MTM and we always encourage our customers to read reviews of our timepieces prior to making a purchase as we stand by their quality. If you’re looking online to buy a pilot watch, you’ll encounter an awful lot of brands and if you’re planning on investing a significant amount of money into a watch, it’s imperative to do your due diligence and make sure they’re a reputable brand who offer quality timepieces. 

Read reviews, look at the materials used in their watches and familiarise yourself with the watchmaker’s overall ethos to make sure it tallies closely with your own. At MTM, we’re all about uncompromising quality and delivering timepieces capable of withstanding action on the front lines. This isn’t common throughout all watchmakers so make sure you go with a brand that has inherent quality in their blood.

And if this has tickled your fancy, check out our huge collection of pilot watches, chronograph watches, automatic watches and more.