With so much change at Watchuseek, we're doing our best to maintain some sort of consistency around here. Some of you may know that our beloved Bhanu-the legend behind our longstanding Flieger Friday series-has moved onto new endeavors over at Quill & Pad. We wish him the best in this venture, and though he will be sorely missed, Flieger Friday must live on, and I'm here to pick up where he left off as best I can.

For this week's instalment, I'm looking at a question that has been at the back of my mind for some time now across all watch categories; which discontinued models are worthy of a comeback? I'm not talking about heritage reissues here-brands are clearly already scraping those archives as deeply as they can-but rather relatively recent models that have fallen by the wayside over time. The pilot category is a tough one in that respect, as many models are often quite large, and we're seeing a clear downward trend when it comes to preferences in case size. That said, when I started thinking about this topic at least three watches sprang to mind that I'd love to see come back around. That said, I also want this to be a discussion, so let's see/hear what pilot's watches you've been missing!

SINN 157 Ti

To start things off, I'm selecting the least traditional pilot's watch of the pack, but one that would be a welcome sight if it reappeared in Sinn's catalog. Of course the biggest hang-up here is the loss of supply of the Lemania 5100-one of very few available central seconds and minutes automatic chronograph calibers. Measuring 40mm across and cased in titanium, the utilitarian chronograph would now just about be considered 'retro' by younger enthusiasts. Its origins are the byproduct of the '80s, and this is the same watch that was rebranded as the Bell & Ross Space 2 in the early '90s. At 15mm thick she's not quite as low-profile as you might hope from seeing head-on images, but having worn the exact picture above (owned by user @jonathanp77 ) the shrouded lug design works quite well on a modest sized wrist. What are the odds of a comeback? This remains hard to speculate, but as Sinn has been ramping up movement development in the last handful of yeas (including the development of the 7750-based SZ01), could there be a Lemania 5100 type movement cooking?

Maratac Pilot


On the affordable end of the spectrum, I feel like there was a huge cluster of newer watch collectors that fell for the very basic Miyota 8245-powered pilot watch. It surfaced around 2010 or 2011, and was discontinued after a 6-7 year production run. I personally owned both versions back in the day, and if it were to pick out one key flaw it was sizing. The standard pilot measured 46mm across-a bit too big for many, and the Mid Pilot came in at 39mm. While I'd be curious to try the Mid again now, at the time, 39mm across and only 44.75mm wide just felt two small. It was the classic Goldilocks conundrum. Simple brushed cases, domed sapphire crystals (albeit with a fair bit of distortion at angle), and a ton of C3 Superluminova made these a crazy value at $200, even with the low-spec automatic movement. Would it ever come back? Well, CountryComm is still selling a few models under the Maratac name, so there's still hope.

Tutima FX UTC Chronograph

Last on the list is one that comes from a brand that I'm still quite fond of (I've owned more than a half dozen of their watches over the years, and currently still have three in rotation). This is quintessential pilot utility right here. A bi-directional 48-click 24h bezel, a 7750-based 3-register chronograph, broad blued sword hands, and a open/hollow UTC hand. Not sold yet? How about a 39mm case, screw-down crown, and 100m of water resistance? Not only is this peak Flieger material, but it also ticks just about every box under the sun as a practical daily 'go anywhere, do anything' watch. Would Tutima bring it back? My guess is unlikely, as their overall strategy appears to be shifting. Granted their new M2 Coastline Chronograph is back closer to the original NATO chronograph than ever before, so never say never?

Now that I've said my piece, let's hear it! What pilot watches are destined for a comeback?