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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I regret to say I've only had 3 watches during the last 18 years of flying. The first was the Casio issued to me during pilot training. The second is the G-Shock MTG which had almost never left my wrist in over 10 years and I still wear it regularly although it looks a bit rough. The third is the G-Shock GW-2500 which I wear, but am not happy with.

I just upgraded to a Citizen AT9010 but I also found a Hamilton Pilot Day/Date combo that I really liked. The Hamilton was too big at 46mm and it seems there may be some recent quality issues according to some online reviews. I'd like to find out what else may be similar or a better value. I fly 737s and C-130s and want something interesting to wear on my airline trips and on an upcoming deployment.

Be advised I'm a watch novice and my watch vocabulary is limited.

These are the features I'm fond of:
- B-Uhr or similar style
- Automatic movement with a display caseback
- Non-rotating unmarked bezel
- Minutes on the outside, hours on the inside.
- Leather band
- Day/Date windows, not dials.
- 40-44mm width.
- Less than $800USD

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Consider this perhaps?



Most likely will not meet all of your desires above, but I thought it may pique your interest.

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Very cool. He did a very good job. The face looks exactly like the clocks in our Hercs (none of which have been used/operated in years, however).

I really have my mind set on a mechanical since I've never owned one.

The two watches I've found to be the closest to what I would like are the Steinhart Nav-B Uhr Premium and the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date. I'm not completely satisfied with either, though. Hoping to find others that are similar with all the features I listed, but it looks like I may have to make some comprimises.
 

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Have a look in the Laco SubForum.They have many beautiful Type A(1-12 Arabic) & Type B(0-55 Arabic)in your budget range.
Also have a look at the Alpina "Startimer Pilot"watches & welcome to WUS!
 
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Laco, Tissel, Archimede and Alpina are all starting places to find models in your wheelhouse. Go up a little bit and you can go into the next tier of Laco and bring Stowa and others into the mix. Happy Hunting. Thank You for your service to our country by the way.
Kevin
 

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Archimede, Stowa and Laco are fantastic watches for the money. You may even be able to hunt down an Archimede Chrono used for around your price range.

Otherwise go all in and buy the life long keeper, the Rolex Pepsi GMT Master
 

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Mod Edit: Link to commercial grey market site removed.
 

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The face looks exactly like the clocks in our Hercs (none of which have been used/operated in years, however).
If you've got an A-13A clock in your Herk you're not flying J Models. That being said, do Crew Chief's no longer wind and set the aircraft clock prior to each 72 hour Preflight Inspection validity period and again before each flight? And don't your FE's (again assuming you're not flying J's) use the aircraft clock to time their bleed down checks during their before flight/preflight checks?
 

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If you are looking for a day-date chrono Eterna is still making the classic PD:



If you want a B uhr, 42mm auto, the Laco Padeborn is what you are looking for:



This is a scaled down replica of the original B-uhr so no day date.
 

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It depends very much on what kind of flying you do. If you keep the watch on UTC all the time and use your phone or something else for local time, or operate in a relatively small band of time zones, then a simple three-hand watch is fine, and choices are aplenty.

At the price point you are looking at, I would strictly avoid things that call themselves "GMT" because most likely the GMT hand is independently adjustable, not the local time (12 hour hand), and when you set the local time, the GMT hand will also move, so then you will need to reset GMT too. I find this process frustrating because GMT is not a variable point of reference.

I do lots of long haul and ultra long haul flying and I've found the most convenient watches to be the G-Shocks with world-time functions, e.g. the GA-100 series, or the GD-100 series. Try to avoid the negative (black) LCD displays though because in low light they are impossible to read unless you activate the backlight.
Additionally they can handle all the snags on fasteners, bangs against seatbelt buckles, and they don't attract lots of attention at destinations where you want to go unnoticed.

Next up for convenience is a Glycine Airman Purist. Again, I would avoid the "GMT" version with the extra hand on it for actual flying purposes because it will not function the way you expect to if you operate on GMT. Focus on the Purist.
The Airman Purist is a simple three hander with the hours operating on a 24 hour scale, and a rotating bezel with a 24 hour scale on it. You can rotate the bezel to your local time while leaving the main time on GMT, and not resetting the movement. This way you don't need to unscrew the crown or reset anything on the watch other than the bezel, so you will maintain the water resistance... which by the way you should not really need to think much about while you're flying.
Finding one of these at the price you are looking for is certainly possible if you do a bit of hunting around. Check watchgooroo on the Bay website. She is an authorized seller, so you will have a proper warranty. The purists tend to be listed for around $1000 but you could make an offer for a lower amount that fits your budget and see if she accepts the offer. This is the best option for a new one, but if you don't mind a used one, the you should be able to find one in your price range. There are a few different sizes of the Airman series, ranging from very moderate to quite large.

The next most convenient watch type if you are crossing lots of time zones regularly is a real GMT watch, with an independently adjustable 12 hour hand (local time). Rolex GMT Master, Omega Seamaster GMT, or Aquaterra, etc...
However at the $800 or less price point I think you will have a difficult time finding a true GMT mechanical watch.

The Alpina GMT4 has true GMT functionality, and will fit within your limit, but keep in mind the date on this watch will change with the GMT hand not local time. This is not really an issue if you operate on UTC regularly.

If you don't mind kinetic, the Seiko SUN series, e.g. SUN015P1 (various colors available) is a great option for a true GMT function watch at a price well below your limit. These are great, but with kinetic, you need to wear it regularly to keep it charged.

Finally, you could go with a simple three hand watch that you will reset everytime you get to a new time zone. There is nothing wrong with this, but you will be constantly wearing down certain parts of the watch a little bit each time you reset it, especially the threads on the crown if it has a screw down crown. There are virtually unlimited options available to you in your price range for a simple three hand watch.
Pick something easy to read, and durable. Most dive watches check the boxes for durability and legibility. A domed crystal looks great, but a bezel that sticks up a bit higher than the crystal will save the crystal from scratches that you will eventually pick up from things around the cockpit. The Seiko Monsters (all generations) are great watches in the cockpit, but they are a bit scarce these days. Wait until more of them enter the market and prices return to normality if a Monster piques your interest.
Keep the blue side up and the brown side down to keep things easy, and good luck with your search.





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