WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Specifications

Name
: AirNautic AN-24M
Movement: custom Swiss Made ETA 6497-1 manual wind, 17 jewels, 18,000 bph
Time display: 24 hour (12 on top), minutes, small seconds at 9
Case: cold carbon hardened satin all stainless steel case with flat sapphire display screw-on back
Size: diameter 44 mm, 49 mm with crown, 52 mm lug to lug
Height: 15 mm
Face: top daylight hours blue, bottom night time black dial; white hour and minute markers, Superluminova orange hour numbers and minute markers
Text on dial: AirNautic AN-24M PILOT
Text on back: AirNautic Watch Company Limited Edition Swiss Made 10/50 10 bar Stainless Steel
Hands: Superluminova orange hands
Water-resistance: 100 m (10 Bar)
Crown: signed crown at 3 with four gaskets
Crystal: domed sapphire crystal with internal AR coating
Lug: 22 mm
Bracelet: black leather strap with signed buckle


(This picture is from Ocean7 ETA AirNautic automática AN-24 M / Unitas 6497 MIT Soprod-Modul [AirNautic AN-24M] - €0.00 : mundo de la relojería online , comprar relojes en línea )

Foreword

I’m sorry for the long title. Exactly with this slogan AirNautic introduced this watch we have here today - "the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch". This limited edition of 50 pieces watch hand made in Switzerland is really something special and when one of them appeared in our WUS sales forum I could not resist. The price (incl. shipping) was about $600 (box – no, papers – yes).

Comments

Three years ago in 2009 we had in this forum excellent AirNautic AN-24 review by Dennis Smith: https://www.watchuseek.com/f5/airnautic-24-pilot-review-259853.html. I advise to read it again, nice photos and matter of fact review. In 2010 AirNautic Watch Company released one special and very different model of AN-24 family – manual wind AN-24M. The differences are so big that I decided that AN-24M deserves a separate review.

Some words on AN-24 pilot watch family. Here we have four main versions (there are also several subversions with different lugs etc.):

  1. AN-24 Pilot – watch reviewed by Dennis
  2. AN-24 Submarine – with fully luminous white/grey dial for low light conditions (one subversion here is Submarine Tritium with tritium tubes)
  3. AN-24 GMT – with a second time zone function
  4. AN-24M – watch reviewed here
Watches 1-3 can look different, but different is only dial, essentially they are the same watch (same case, same movement).

When we take the standard AN-24 Pilot and AN-24M, then at first glance they appear to be similar. But similar are only dials. These watches are very different – the dimensions, movements, cases, everything is totally different.

Actually even the dials are different in details – AN-24M has no date window and instead of sweep second hand has small seconds at 9. These differences are obvious because the movements are different.

The rest on AN-24 family is equipped with ETA 2893-2 automatic movement, but AN-24M has customized manual wind ETA 6497. This is famous movement used by many good watchmakers.

Movement 6497 was created by Unitas in the 50s for pocket watches. It is very big movement – 16.5 lignes (36.6 mm). ETA owned Unitas for a number of years and continued to make these movements. The movement is produced now mainly as model ETA 6497-1. There is another modification 6497-2, which has higher beat 21,600 bph. The original 6497 is of course 12h movement. For AirNautic it is customized for 24h.

As I said, these great looking fine movements are used by many brands and the possible decorations are countless. Here with AN-24M we have 6497 with Geneva Stripes (in French Côtes de Genève) and blue screws. Display case backs are very nice with manual wind movements. From automatic movement you can often see through display window only the dangling rotor. Decorated 6497 movements are so gorgeous that most watchmakers try to make the display as big as possible to show you all the glory, as it is case here.

If you are interested in different 6497 decoration possibilities (plain, hammered, golden, perlage, engraved etc. etc.) then please take a look at Tourby Watches (BTW, our Watchuseek sponsor) Movements - TOURBY WATCHES HAGEN IN WESTFALEN.

There is another sibling movement – Unitas/ETA 6498. Both are originally pocket watch movements with the same size. The difference is placement of small seconds. When the crown is at 3 (like here), the 6497 has seconds at 9, but 6498 has seconds at 6. In pocket watch terminology the 6497 is called Lépine movement (for open face case), 6498 is Savonnette movement (for hunter case).

Here are both movements according to ETA tech manuals - 6497-1 on the left, 6498-1 on the right.



AirNautic decided to use open face pocket watch movement, that’s why small seconds are opposite to crown at 9.

Next week I promise to review one very nice 24h watch with 6498 movement, where small seconds are of course at 6.

Now let’s look at the case. This is again something very special. First, as the movement is very big the case is big too – 44 mm without crown (3 mm more than the rest of the family). But what makes this steel case special is that it has been sandblasted and then Cold Carbon hardened. AirNautic said that the result is four time hardness of the standard 316 stainless steel. When introducing AN-24M AirNautic said:
AirNautic said:
Only one other Swiss watch company in the world uses this process, on one of its dive watches, to increase corrosion and scratch resistance.
Are there any drawbacks? One (which I agree) was mentioned commenting Dennis’ review
IMO, the hour hand is too long, when two hands close together, the hour numeral was blocked to tell the time as well as other reason will be width of the hands are too wide. You need to be completely accustomed to the positions of the hour in order to tell time.

Im still on the fence thinking about the current design is the best of it all or not? Too many hourly markers and numerals. If i would bring the hourly circle further to the center of the dial (or even cancel the circle, just keeping the numerals), delete odd numerals and short strokes between hour. Shorter and thinner hands. This design will be a winner for me.
Finally I have to say again, that this watch is limited edition of 50 watches only. I got number 10. Interesting, how many of them are landed here among WUS members?

As you know my pictures are worthless. They are maybe good only for some registry. If you like to enjoy really nice pictures of AN-24M then please, here they are: https://www.watchuseek.com/f133/24m-photos-491092.html

Summary

One of the best watches I have, no doubt. The biggest problem for me would be that my wrist is very small and this watch is BIG. But I will not let myself be distracted. Today I was wearing this watch and got good comments from colleagues (btw, the main attractors were orange hands J). This happens very rarely, when somebody pays attention on wristwatch you are wearing, at least in this country where I live.

 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,630 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Beautiful watch and a great, informative review. I did not know the case was hardened, neither did I know the sapphire crystal was domed on that model (I wish it was on my AN-24). Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,533 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

I think I know what I'm saving for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Does the watch have to be that big? I have a watch that uses a Unitas base caliber (the movement is highly modified) and the diameter is 42 mm. It's still on the big side. I'm not too sure that visibility is an issue anymore once you get about 40 mm in diameter, which is comfortable for most people to wear. Would have loved to have seen them keep the diameter down a bit.

With a case that tough you could hammer nails with it and not leave a single scratch on the case. How much does this watch cost new?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Redone 6897 and crown 'with four gaskets' is cool combination! Very interesting watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

I am very excited: just ordered one of these from Ocean 7. Don't know what number I have but wanted one for years. Cheers all
Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,125 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Very nice for the price. I like the Submarine model in particular.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,533 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Bought one last week and it arrived Friday.. haven't had a chance to do more than open the box yet, but it looks great :) I'll be wearing it tomorrow :)
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,630 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Had to resurrect this thread...I finally broke down and ordered one of these. :) Should be perfect for my current needs (no need for a date display at this time, nor for a second timezone). I only hope it doesn't wear too big on my 6.5 inch wrist. Should be a great watch for me, and beautiful front and back.

Question for owners: I know the crown has four gaskets, and it's rated to 100m. I was hoping that since it's a manual wind that it does not have a screw-down crown. Can someone confirm this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Question for owners: I know the crown has four gaskets, and it's rated to 100m. I was hoping that since it's a manual wind that it does not have a screw-down crown. Can someone confirm this?
That's right. With 4 gaskets the crown is a normal pull-out crown, no screw-down needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,475 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Beautiful watch!

But am I correct in understanding these are now out of production?
The company is gone?

Are these still available somewhere?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,630 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: Chronopolis

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,568 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

So the Pilot 24 are all done?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,568 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Lost the pic .... upside down
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Man if it was 24 on top I'd have bought one a while ago.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,630 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

I still love this review. I need to thank Afka for opening my eyes to this version.

I got an AN-24M last year and love it. I wear it regularly. The diameter and total lug distance are at the maximum of what I can wear, but the watch is not too thick, which helps a lot for comfort.

I've owned automatic Yantar AirNautics and O7 Airnautics in the past, but this watch is more pleasing in several ways. The originals have cases that are literally perfect cylinders. The crystal is flat on top to a ninety degree edge on the case, and same on the caseback. It's a clean, harsh look. The domed sapphire softens this up a bit. The caseback on the originals was very uncomfortable for me, always leaving a hard circle on my wrist and making me wear the watch on a Bund type strap (not my favorite). The AN-24M has a standard, rounded caseback that is completely comfortable.

The ice-hardened case also has a stark beauty. It's a tough, tool finish that also goes well aesthetically with the colors on the watch.

Finally, the watch does attract attention in a good way. But when you take it off and show off the beautiful Unitas movement through the sapphire caseback, it becomes a real stunner. Fun watch all around :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jkn1946

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

I was able to purchase a AN-24M about a month ago. I really like the watch - the size and design except for the hands. The hands are large and about the same shape and, for me, not that good of lume. I wish they had Tritium capsules or at least as good of lume as a Lum-Tec.

I am a Quartz guy for the convenience and, to be honest, price. But this is one mechanical I plan on keeping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Re: AirNautic AN-24M – the world’s most robust 24 hour Swiss made pilot’s watch (AWW 27)

Boy, this really is a beautiful piece. I love the colors, and it's a manual, so you can really see inside it. A little large for my 6 1/4 inch wrist, though. If they made one with midnight on top, that would be a different story!

What would be the chance of having one made that way? Does anyone know how to have that done?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
Amazingly the AN-24Ms are still in stock at Ocean7: I've just received mine (19/50).

This watch exudes quality and sturdiness. The bold colours are a bit of a shock in person but after a few hours of wearing the watch I'm fine with them. It will definitely be an attention getter!

If I have one criticism it's that if I could I'd shorten the hands by 2mm so they point to the tick marks rather than cover them.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top