Like countless watch brands, Torgoen has a habit of making direct references to aviation. Take the T51 I reviewed here earlier this year, a pilot watch that incorporates actual aluminum skin from retired P-51 Mustang planes—a neat party trick for fans of legit heritage and patina.

Torgoen’s hat tips to flying are less specific with the new T45 chronograph. The company calls it a “sleek design inspired by aviation architecture,” a vague reference to all things airborne rather than a direct hit to the technical world of aviation. Unlike the T51’s simpler GMT/date display setup which is powered by a Swiss Ronda 515.24H movement, the T45 shares that model’s 44mm size but incorporates a Ronda 5021.D with two subdials and a small date window at 6 o’clock. This marks a thematic departure from using literal aircraft parts, making the T45 less of a design artifact or conversation piece and more of a functional chronograph.

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The Torgoen T45 is available in five varieties, all of which incorporate 3161L stainless steel cases with aluminum accents, and three of which utilize Italian leather straps. As with Torgoen’s higher-end models, the T45 features a sapphire, not mineral crystal. The T45’s hour and minute arms are big and functional, with strong lume and small-but-contrasty orange arms the subdials. The date display is small enough to prove challenging to read, though that might be attributable to my softening near vision—where are those reading glasses?

I received two T45s for review: one finished in gunmetal sapphire, and another in a metallic finish with a matte blue dial. The pair complements each other nicely, the semi-blackout and aluminum finishes offering decent balance that’s neither too dark, nor too light. I’m also a fan of the band’s stainless steel deployant clasp, which clicks into place with a pleasantly clean, clutter-free mechanism.

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Incidentally, Ronda’s press materials reveal two versions of the 5021.D movement: one with Swiss parts that incorporates five jewels and nickel plating, and another that’s Swiss made with 10 jewels and gold plating. Standard battery life is estimated at 54 months, and accuracy is expected to range between -10 and +20 seconds per month.

Watches with integrated metal bands can sometimes feel unwieldy and snag arm hairs, but these Torgoens feel neutral on the wrist, with no sharp edges or pinchy parts. The 11.6mm case is slim enough to avoid being clunky, while still managing to feel substantial. This chrono is deceptively easy to wear for long periods of time, primarily because its band looks weighty but flexes around the wrist with smooth articulation. The quick legibility of the thick arms and contrasting face makes at-a-glance reading easy. A dip in the pool revealed the same in water: the Torgoen T45 offers clarity and ease of use, serving as an effective timekeeping piece that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself, or weigh itself down enough to distract from daily routine.

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After a couple weeks on the wrist, I found myself gravitating to the gunmetal model more often than the metallic version, namely because the darker of the two offers a slightly more dramatic look without sacrificing legibility or function. There’s often a fine line between form and function when it comes to blackout watches, and the T45 manages to straddle between the two nicely. It’s also a sharp looking piece, with a band that integrates into the 44mm case elegantly with 22mm lugs which are neither too bulky, nor too slight. The orange stem on the top pusher is another tidy detail that plays off the orange subdials just enough to accent the piece without coming across as loud or gimmicky.

Eminently wearable and right-sized for most folks (including my smallish, 6.75-inch wrist), the T45 takes a more classical, less technical approach to the aviation-inspired chronograph genre—think, less Tag Heuer, more Sinn. Torgoen’s latest is priced at $450 in leather and $475 in metal.

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While it doesn’t have the flash or texture of some of the more ornamented chronographs, that simplicity is what makes the T45 appealing to more minimalist watch lovers. Clean, understated, and elemental in its functionality, the Torgoen T45 is an appealing addition to the lineup that includes some busier pieces, among them the T18 Blue Orange Carbon and aforementioned, limited production T51.

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