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My brother is graduating and headed to the US Coast Guard Academy Flight School hopefully flying the Jayhawk. Wanted to buy him a new watch for graduation; wanted to know which would be an ideal watch for him. Didn't know if there was a helicopter specific pilot watch. Or a flight watch that is ideal for working on helicopter on the coast?
 

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My brother is graduating and headed to the US Coast Guard Academy Flight School hopefully flying the Jayhawk. Wanted to buy him a new watch for graduation; wanted to know which would be an ideal watch for him. Didn't know if there was a helicopter specific pilot watch. Or a flight watch that is ideal for working on helicopter on the coast?
That is very commendable, congrats to your brother and to you for being such a good brother. approx how much would you spend it would help in making suggestions:think:
 

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What is your budget?

If a few thousands is possible, then I would say either a Breitling Aerospace or an Omega X-33 (the X-33 is hard to source new; they are only sold to military pilots and astronauts - but they do pop up from time to time on eBay, here on the sales forum, or on the Timezone.com sale forum).

Good luck!
 

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Excellent job your brother's going to. Congrats to him and a nice thought from you!

In that price range I'd look at Seiko / Citizen - the Nighthawk is a good one - great lume for all those night call outs and Torgoen ( the GMT models are good ).

Good luck with the search!

You could look on the second hand market too - at Glycine and Fortis.
 

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I am sure you will get all kinds of recommendations mainly based on ones own personal preferences, so i will just say that you need to look for a good quality watch that is capable of rough wear and is water resistant. the first watches in that price range that come to mind to me are Tag and Seiko, i have also been looking to purchase a G Shock for myself because it fits those qualities. Personal preference and price will have a lot to do with your final decision. What ever your decision I am sure your brother will appreciate it. If you had more to spend or were willing to combine assets with another loved one, every pilot would want a Breitling and they could be had new for around the 1800 more or less, just something to think about:think:
cheers
AL
 

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I would second Dennis recco on a sar variant.

-TSAR: tritium tubes and quartz for accuracy. (yes, everyone around here will push for an auto, but he might not be a watch head like all of us here.) Check countycomm or broadarrow.net $450

-Or a nice H3 watch. I like the traser P6506 ( tritium, titanium, sapphire, carbon fiber bezel) @ lapolicegear. There are cheaper variants too. Honestly, I had two trasers for beating around when I did first responder work before and they did great...no probs.

Tritiums are nice b/c when u take a peek at your watch at 0330 you WILL see the tubes glowing. Just don't buy him a luminox "navy seal" labeled watch.

-and of course, you must throw g shocks and pathfinders into the equation. (at least as a backup watch b/c the alarms are useful...atomic clock syncing, solar is nice too - check g shock forum). My pathfinder has 5 alarms which I thought was overkill at first, but surprisingly, I find it useful when u have to wake up at different times different days, u can activate each alarm as necessary. Casio's as everyday work watches cannot be denied!


He will need a work watch (that WILL get scratched and battered) , and then a "profile" watch for happy hour!

H3's and GSAR



Gshocks in action



ironman


non helo use g shock
 

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Excellent job your brother's going to. Congrats to him and a nice thought from you!

In that price range I'd look at Seiko / Citizen - the Nighthawk is a good one - great lume for all those night call outs and Torgoen ( the GMT models are good ).

Good luck with the search!

You could look on the second hand market too - at Glycine and Fortis.
Yeah, I like the Nighthawk a lot. The GMT complication is the one I used way more than any other complication, and that is mostly for flight planning (as weather and notices to airmen are in Zulu time).

I agree w/Dennis that the SAR line of watches are fantastic; especially for the price and they're rugged enough for the cockpit. I'm partial to the GSAR and it is in your price range.

Where is your brother getting stationed, BTW? I'm a C-130 pilot in the Coast Guard, so our paths may cross.
 

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Do the vibrations inherent in helicopter flying in any way affect the advisability to wear tritium-vial equipped watches?
 

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Interesting thread. I know of a company that is currently (and secretly) working on a watch for a European Coast Guard, for use by their helicopter rescue teams. Public announcement will be coming later this year. However, the price will, I believe, be way above for what you are looking.

I might suggest you wait until he completes flight school, as he might have a better idea of what would suit his needs. For instance some people do not prefer a SAR because of it's extreme height - makes it a bad watch for small spaces.

Nice to see Coasties represented here.

 

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Do the vibrations inherent in helicopter flying in any way affect the advisability to wear tritium-vial equipped watches?
I wouldn't think so Martin - in fact, I've had an eye on the Traser Commander for a while myself for the night readability. Most modern machines have vibrations damped out, but thee's always going to be more vibration than in a fixed wing machine.
 

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Thanks, Ian.

I guess there are at least two large communities among aviators, one which emphasize the neet to time things (chronograph), and those who stress the need for a UTC/GMT indication. Combining both makes for a less-than-perfectly readable watch, so it is usually a chronograph or a UTC watch.

I have heard of current helicopter pilots using their wrist chronographs in flight because their cockpit clock is unreliable - not sure whether this should enter into the equatiuon. Having UTC/GMT ready must be a huge advantage when working witrh multiple times.

Here is my "poor man's UTC" with tritium vials, titanium case and a good-quality quartz movement:

 

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Interesting thread. I know of a company that is currently (and secretly) working on a watch for a European Coast Guard, for use by their helicopter rescue teams. Public announcement will be coming later this year. However, the price will, I believe, be way above for what you are looking.
Narwhal, do keep us posted on that! :-!
 

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I have heard of current helicopter pilots using their wrist chronographs in flight because their cockpit clock is unreliable - not sure whether this should enter into the equatiuon. Having UTC/GMT ready must be a huge advantage when working witrh multiple times.
Really?! Wow. You'd think that they could outfit a multi million dollar war machine with a decent quartz instrument clock...
 

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Great thread and question. Congrats to your brother, and to you for being such a good one to him!

Two thoughts. First, as I've posted before, I'm a fan of the Lum-tec Combat B1. It's a great mechanical watch, rugged and has great Lume. It also happens to be pictured on a helicopter pilot, but don't know if this means it's preferred by them or just this one guy:



You can still get them new for around $600 or if you'd like to save some there are a few slightly used ones floating around the sales forums right now for under $500.

The second thought is that most of the military guys I know are, for practical purposes, G-Shock fans. This echos another post above. Getting your bro one of the solar models would give him a virtually indestructible tool for the next decade or more. The 6600 and 6900 models are the most common choices.

Here's the latest 6900 with the most current features, including atomic clock sync:



It's pricey for a G-Shock, but getting this one would be pretty special as it was just released and only available in a few spots. To get it into the states from Japan right now, this watch would run you about $200 shipped.

Anyway, hope these contributions help your thinking!
 
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