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

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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)


: 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 )


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).


Three years ago in 2009 we had in this forum excellent AirNautic AN-24 review by Dennis Smith: 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:


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.

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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
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