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Aviator's Dream: 13 Traditional Pilot's Watches For All Budgets



The traditional pilot's watch was, once upon a time, the quintessential aviator's tool. It was used to calculate distances, time travelled, how much fuel was left, and so on. The pilot's watch gave the pilot the ability to safely cross enormous distances, and while the practical necessity for a mechanical watch to be used while flying is all but gone, the nostalgia of its practicality makes the pilot's watch one of the most sought after and respected mechanical timepieces. 


There are a few tenets that make a good pilot's watch. It needs to be legible with large dials and plenty of luminescent material. It needs to have a large crown to be handled quickly and sometimes while the pilot is wearing gloves. It needs to be durable and robust enough to handle changing environments and exposures. And it needs to be easy to operate, wind and set. 


Here are some of the best traditional pilot's watches for all budgets in order of least to most expensive.



Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer




  • Brand: Hamilton

  • Model: Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer

  • Reference: 17150267

  • Case: 38mm x 11.40mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: H-10

  • Frequency: 3 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 80 hours


The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer is a quintessential pilot's watch, embodying the heritage and functionality crucial for aviation. With a bold design, it captures the essence of classic pilot timepieces, featuring large Arabic numerals and luminous hands for easy readability. Its robust construction ensures durability, vital for the demands of aviation. The watch boasts precision and reliability, equipped with a Swiss automatic movement, offering accurate timekeeping. Its sapphire crystal protects the dial, enhancing durability and scratch resistance, while the 100-meter water resistance adds versatility to its functionality. The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer is more than just a timepiece; it's a testament to the enduring legacy of pilot watches.


BALL Engineer Master II Aviator




  • Brand: BALL

  • Model: Engineer Master II Aviator

  • Reference: 17150267

  • Case: 46mm x 13.30mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: BALL RR1102

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 38 hours


The BALL Engineer Master II Aviator is a true testament to the craftsmanship and innovation of pilot's watches. Designed with precision and functionality in mind, it embodies the spirit of aviation. Its robust stainless steel construction ensures durability, while the anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the dial, offering clear visibility even in challenging conditions. The watch features large hour indices bold hands with luminescent material, facilitating easy readability, crucial for pilots. Equipped the Swiss made BALL RR1102 automatic movement, it guarantees accurate timekeeping, essential for navigation. With a water resistance of 100 meters, it proves its versatility beyond the cockpit. The BALL Engineer Master II Aviator is not just a watch; it's a companion for those who dare to soar the skies.


Oris Big Crown Pointer Date




  • Brand: Oris

  • Model: Big Crown Pointer Date

  • Reference: 01 754 7741 4064-07 8 20 22

  • Case: 40mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 50m

  • Calibre: 754

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 38 hours


The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date is an iconic pilot's watch that exudes vintage charm and functionality. Its distinctive oversized crown, a nod to aviation history, is not just for show but serves a practical purpose, allowing easy adjustment even while wearing gloves. The watch features a classic design with Arabic numerals and cathedral hands, all coated with luminous material for optimal readability in low light conditions. The standout feature is its pointer date complication, indicated by a central hand pointing to the date around the outer edge of the dial, adding a touch of elegance and practicality. Powered by a reliable automatic movement, it ensures precise timekeeping for aviators and enthusiasts alike. With its heritage-inspired design and practical features, the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date is a timeless companion for any adventure.


Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special




  • Brand: Zenith

  • Model: Pilot Type 20 Extra Special

  • Reference: 29243067921C753

  • Case: 45mm

  • Case Material: Bronze

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: Elite Calibre 679

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 50 hours


The Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special is a captivating blend of vintage aesthetics and modern craftsmanship, embodying the spirit of early aviation. Its bold, oversized case, crafted from bronze exudes rugged elegance. The oversized onion crown, reminiscent of vintage pilot watches, adds a distinctive touch. The matte black dial, with large cathedral numerals and matching cathedral hands coated with Super-LumiNova, ensures optimal legibility even in low-light conditions. Powered by Zenith's renowned automatic movement, the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special guarantees precise timekeeping and reliability. Completing the vintage-inspired look is the oiled nubuck leather strap, which ages gracefully over time, adding character to the watch. With its timeless design and robust construction, the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special is a true homage to aviation history.


IWC Pilot's Watch Automatic 36




  • Brand: IWC

  • Model: Pilot's Watch Automatic 36

  • Reference: IW324008

  • Case: 36mm x 10.40mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 60m

  • Calibre: 35111

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 50 hours


The IWC Pilot's Watch Automatic 36 is a refined timepiece that captures the essence of aviation heritage in a smaller, more versatile package. Its 36mm stainless steel case offers a classic and elegant design suitable for both men and women. The distinctive fluted bezel and oversized onion crown pay homage to traditional pilot watches, while the sleek black dial with Arabic numerals and luminous hands provides excellent readability. Powered by the robust and accurate 25111 automatic movement, this watch ensures precise timekeeping for any adventure. Its soft-iron inner case protects the movement from magnetic fields, adding a practical touch for pilots. Paired with a choice of leather or stainless steel bracelet, the IWC Pilot's Watch Automatic 36 blends timeless style with everyday wearability.


IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph




  • Brand: IWC

  • Model: Pilot's Watch Chronograph

  • Reference: IW378001

  • Case: 43mm x 14.80mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: 69385

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 46 hours


The IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph is a masterpiece of precision engineering and classic design, ideal for those with a passion for aviation. Its 43mm stainless steel case exudes durability and sophistication, while the iconic oversized pushers showcase its pilot watch heritage. The black dial, with its clear Arabic numerals and luminous hands, ensures excellent readability, even in low-light conditions. Powered by the legendary IWC caliber 69385 automatic movement, this chronograph offers precise timekeeping and a 46-hour power reserve. The chronograph function, with its central seconds hand and sub-dials for 30-minute and 12-hour counters, provides accurate timing for pilots and enthusiasts alike. With its rugged construction and timeless style, the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph is the perfect companion for any adventure in the skies or on the ground.


Zenith Pilot Automatic




  • Brand: Zenith

  • Model: Pilot Automatic

  • Reference: 03.4000.3620/21.I001

  • Case: 40mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: El Primero 3620 SC

  • Frequency: 5 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 60 hours


The Zenith Pilot Automatic is a testament to the brand's aviation heritage, offering a blend of classic design and modern technology. With its 40mm stainless steel case, it strikes a balance between robustness and elegance. The oversized onion crown and large Arabic numerals on the black horizontally-planed dial evoke vintage pilot watches, while the luminous hands ensure readability even in low-light conditions. Powered by Zenith's renowned El Primero 3620 SC automatic movement, the Pilot Automatic delivers precision and reliability. Its sapphire crystal caseback allows a view of the beautifully finished movement, showcasing Zenith's watchmaking expertise. Whether soaring through the skies or navigating the urban landscape, the Zenith Pilot Automatic is a stylish and dependable companion for the modern adventurer.


Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41




  • Brand: Breitling

  • Model: Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41

  • Reference: AB0139211B1P1

  • Case: 41mm x 13.60mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 30m

  • Calibre: Breitling 01

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 70 hours


The Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 is an iconic timepiece that epitomizes precision and style. With its 41mm stainless steel case, it strikes a perfect balance between elegance and functionality. The hallmark of the Navitimer series, the circular slide rule bezel, allows pilots to perform various calculations on the fly. Powered by Breitling's in-house caliber B01 automatic movement, this chronograph boasts exceptional accuracy and a power reserve of 70 hours. Whether in the cockpit or on the ground, the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 exudes confidence and sophistication, making it a timeless choice for aviation enthusiasts and watch aficionados alike.


IWC Big Pilot's Watch




  • Brand: IWC

  • Model: Big Pilot's Watc

  • Reference: IW501001

  • Case: 46.20mm x 15.60mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 60m

  • Calibre: 52010

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 168 hours


The IWC Big Pilot's Watch is a true icon in the world of aviation timepieces, known for its commanding presence and exceptional craftsmanship. Its signature oversized 46mm case is crafted from stainless steel, exuding robustness and sophistication. The large onion-shaped crown is easily operable, even while wearing gloves, a feature reminiscent of traditional pilot watches. The black dial, with its bold Arabic numerals and distinctive triangle marker at 12 o'clock, ensures excellent legibility in all conditions. Powered by the IWC caliber 52010 automatic movement, the Big Pilot's Watch offers precise timekeeping and a remarkable 7-day power reserve. The watch also features a soft-iron inner case to protect against magnetic fields, a crucial feature for aviators. With its timeless design and impressive functionality, the IWC Big Pilot's Watch is an essential companion for those who appreciate both heritage and innovation.


Breguet Type XX Chronograph 2067




  • Brand: Breguet

  • Model: Type XX Chronograph 206

  • Reference: 2067ST/92/3WU

  • Case: 42mm x 14.10mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: 728

  • Frequency: 5 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 60 hours


The Breguet Type XX Chronograph 2067 is a remarkable timepiece that pays homage to the brand's rich aviation history. Its 42mm stainless steel case combines elegance with durability, reflecting the essence of classic pilot watches. The rotating bezel, marked with slim numerals, adds functionality and style. The black dial, adorned with luminous hands and markers, ensures excellent readability, even in low-light conditions. Powered by the Calibre 728 movement, this chronograph provides precise timekeeping and a 60-hour power reserve. The flyback function allows for quick consecutive timing, a feature appreciated by pilots. With its blend of heritage design and modern performance, the Breguet Type XX Chronograph 2067 is a true masterpiece for aviation enthusiasts and watch connoisseurs alike.


Rolex GMT-Master II




  • Brand: Rolex

  • Model: GMT-Master II

  • Reference: 126710BKBLSO

  • Case: 40mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 100m

  • Calibre: 3285

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 70 hours


The Rolex GMT-Master II is an iconic timepiece renowned for its functionality, durability, and unmistakable style. With its 40mm Oystersteel case, it balances robustness with elegance, making it suitable for both professional pilots and world travellers. The uni-directional rotating bezel, fitted with a two-color ceramic insert, allows for tracking of multiple time zones. The black dial, adorned with luminous markers and hands, offers excellent legibility in any lighting conditions. Powered by Rolex's caliber 3285 automatic movement, the GMT-Master II boasts superb accuracy and a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. Its signature feature, the GMT hand, enables tracking of a second time zone alongside the local time, making it indispensable for frequent travellers. With its timeless design and unmatched reliability, the Rolex GMT-Master II is a true companion for global adventurers and watch enthusiasts alike.


Blancpain Air Command




  • Brand: Blancpain

  • Model: Air Command

  • Reference: AC01 1130 63A

  • Case: 42.50mm x 13.75mm

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel

  • Water Resistance: 30m

  • Calibre: F388B

  • Frequency: 5 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 50 hours

The Blancpain Air Command is a legendary timepiece, revered for its rarity, historical significance, and timeless design. Originally created for the US Air Force in the 1950s, the modern reinterpretation of the Air Command stays true to its roots while incorporating contemporary craftsmanship. The 42.5mm stainless steel case exudes elegance and robustness, featuring a distinctive bidirectional rotating bezel with a ceramic insert. The black dial, adorned with vintage-inspired Arabic numerals and luminous hands, offers exceptional legibility, paying homage to its military heritage. Powered by Blancpain's caliber F388B automatic movement, the Air Command delivers precise timekeeping and a 50-hour power reserve. The chronograph function, with its flyback feature, adds practicality for pilots and enthusiasts. With its limited production and historical significance, the Blancpain Air Command stands as a testament to the brand's commitment to excellence and innovation.


Patek Philippe 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time




  • Brand: Patek Philippe

  • Model: Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

  • Reference: 5524G-001

  • Case: 42mm x 10.78mm

  • Case Material: White Gold

  • Water Resistance: 30m

  • Calibre: Caliber 26‑330 S C FUS

  • Frequency: 4 Hz

  • Power Reserve: 70 hours


The Patek Philippe 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is a unique and captivating timepiece that combines the elegance of the Calatrava line with the functionality of a pilot's watch. Encased in 42mm white gold, its design strikes a balance between classic and contemporary, with a sporty touch. The blue dial, inspired by vintage aviation instruments, features large Arabic numerals and broad sword hands, all enhanced with Super-LumiNova for excellent readability. The dual-time zone function, indicated by the skeletonized hour hand, allows for easy tracking of home and local time, perfect for frequent travellers. Powered by Patek Philippe's caliber 26‑330 S C FUS automatic movement, the watch ensures precision and reliability. With its luxurious finish and practical features, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is a sophisticated companion for modern adventurers.



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