WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This old man is insecure with watch terminology. A pocketwatch was a
watch. A wristwatch was a bracelet or strap ww. Today it is simply a watch. Maybe somebody can write a definition for a pilot's watch. Or is it
too broadly used name to be categorized? Here are 2 extreme examples of seriously advertised pilot watches of 1940 and 1960 with a modern poser. Hamilton ad reads well on second click. Navitimer actually came from pro pilot's garage sale. He found it impractical. I liked its appearance and high tech. but was happy to make a profit with it. Notice the compact and neat old Lemania. It has the 321 Omega movmt. that was in the original big Speedy Pro. 27 mm. tiny movement in a big case.
 

Attachments

·
Pil-Mil, Breitling Forum Moderator
Joined
·
12,308 Posts
This old man is insecure with watch terminology. A pocketwatch was a
watch. A wristwatch was a bracelet or strap ww. Today it is simply a watch. Maybe somebody can write a definition for a pilot's watch. Or is it
too broadly used name to be categorized? Here are 2 extreme examples of seriously advertised pilot watches of 1940 and 1960 with a modern poser. Hamilton ad reads well on second click. Navitimer actually came from pro pilot's garage sale. He found it impractical. I liked its appearance and high tech. but was happy to make a profit with it. Notice the compact and neat old Lemania. It has the 321 Omega movmt. that was in the original big Speedy Pro. 27 mm.
A picture is worth a thousand words... ;-) My .02 worth... b-)
Best,
Ron





 

·
Sinn Moderator
Joined
·
9,710 Posts
The quintessential pilot watch is the classic Omega Speedmaster Professional, the moon watch. I got advanced press notice and was waiting on Aldrin & Armstrong when they landed. Cheers, Bill P.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
2 Really nice demonstrations of the modern Pilot watches. Thankyou. Somewhat different from the 1930-40 Ford trimotor type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
The quintessential pilot watch is the classic Omega Speedmaster Professional, the moon watch. I got advanced press notice and was waiting on Aldrin & Armstrong when they landed. Cheers, Bill P.
Gaopa - The only chronograph I really like so I'm sorry to contradict you but it was designed and marketed originally for motorsports fans and then made famous by NASA using it for astronauts but it's not strictly speaking a "pilot's watch".

In my opinion being an astronaut probably has more in common with being a saturation diver than an aviator.

As you are likely aware, whilst there is clearly a traditional and also marketed style for pilots watches the ones that are actually chosen and used are based on personal preference rather than a set feature list. I'm not a fan of clutter on dials so prefer very limited features (no chronograph and no pointless slide rules). Pilots of more complex aircraft use the aircraft's instruments not their wristwatches meaning the usability of their preference is largely unimportant and down to convenience and style/fashion.

Your Rolex Explorer II is an ideal "working pilots" watch for me - it ticks all the right boxes for convenience and practicality for military and commercial use (even though it's a variant of the GMT-Master II and not actually a pilots watch in it's own right).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My first good ww. was earliest model speedy pro from car racer Wally Dallenbach. Sold by brother for $60. in nice condition. Sold for $120. after getting a later model. So a genuine motorsport object as you say but still a watch useable by pilots. Awhile ago had a simple military Bulova posted here used by lady Air Force pilot w.w.2. So a pilot's watch cannot be strictly defined and a definition for it by features is nonsensical. ( presently my opinion). Correction:
As reported here in the following certain features obviously define the pilot's watch. Just because a pilot uses a time only Polarouter does not make it a dsigned for application preferred Pilot's Watch. So I will not call it a pilot's watch. However, I will still call the time only military issued A11 time only black face sweep second hand a pilot's watch specific for w.w.2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
Well, I think that we have beat this dead horse more than once around here, but I don't really tire of the subject.

As aviation has recently passed the century mark, we have had a lot of technology changes in watches coinciding with the remarkable and parallel advances in aviation. I am wearing my Yes Zulu right now as I sit in a Shanghai hotel room. I have been on 5 continents in the last 10 days or so, and my Zulu is a true aviation tool. I also brought my Fortis B42 GMT with me which I wore for a few days, but I find that the Zulu is easier to use when I am really jumping time zones.

I wore the same B1 that Ron posted above while I was in Iraq. It was a good tool for the job as a new school watch packed with features. I still like old school fleigers, and everybody ought to own one, but they don't serve much purpose for the kind of flying that I perform.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,211 Posts
Super. A real professional expert's advisory opinion. A 1930's ford trimotor is not today's technology and operation as is the pilot's watch. Fine conclusion to this question.
 

·
Sinn Moderator
Joined
·
9,710 Posts
This has been a fun and enlightening thread! Not being a pilot I have learned from those of you who are. Thanks guys. Cheers, Bill P.
 

·
Sinn Moderator
Joined
·
9,710 Posts
On further reflection even though not a pilot, I still think the Omega Speedmaster is a good choice for pilots. If it was good enough for NASA.....

Or.... how about the Lum-Tec Combat B3? Cheers, Bill P.







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
I owned a Speedy, and I still think it is a great watch. The problem with it is that it does not have a date. The tach bezel is about worthless also. The watch is a classic for sure, and it has rightfully attained iconic status. But keep in mind that when the watch was first chosen by NASA, there were not very many choices to pick from. They had to go with the best thing readily available. A new watch for today's space mission would be quite a different animal for sure.
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I rather like the Longines ones. esp. its morden Lindbergn. that is way cooler. 47 in size, but just too expensive. some day...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
A new watch for today's space mission would be quite a different animal for sure.
It would surely be the Speedy X-33, standard NASA issue over the last decade. Although flight qualified, worth noting that the X-33 is NOT EVA approved like the original speedy. But far more functional for in flight use with its digital chrono, mission timers and alarm. Perhaps the ultimate "pilot" watch and a common choice for military pilots. Much less cluttered display than the Breitling equivalent. Photos robbed from another X-33 thread:-








 

·
Registered
Joined
·
946 Posts
My question would be what is really important to a 'pilots' watch? I have seen various examples from a simple plain faced watch to a Breitling coated in extra chrono dials and labelling - so as a pilot, what features are most useful in a watch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
The BEST pilot watch I have ever owned...

I own and have owned several different types of aviator/pilot watches but this is the most functional watch I have ever used for flying. Backlight display, chronograph for timing approaches and a countdown timer with alarm for timing procedure turns and holding patterns. I know this will disappoint some.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
Re: The BEST pilot watch I have ever owned...

I am not surprised at all by your choice of the Timex Iron Man. Easy to use buttons along with a clear display- all at a very cheap price! If it breaks or gets lost, you just buy another one. Too easy!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
Re: The BEST pilot watch I have ever owned...

I am not surprised at all by your choice of the Timex Iron Man. Easy to use buttons along with a clear display- all at a very cheap price! If it breaks or gets lost, you just buy another one. Too easy!!!!
I'm not surprised either. The Timex Ironman is NASA approved for use in space flight, as is the considerably more expensive Omega X-33. Casio G-Shocks are also very popular with astronauts and I presume with pilots too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
On further reflection even though not a pilot, I still think the Omega Speedmaster is a good choice for pilots. If it was good enough for NASA.....

I had an Omega Speedmaster till I came to my senses and realised that no astronaut has ever been to the moon . . . o|
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,934 Posts
Well, I'm not a pro, I'm a simple private pilot and I fly with small junk like Tomahawks, Cessnas etc...but I ENJOY to use old school chronos like the Speedy, my Poljots when I do navigation at sight, just like the military pilots of the 40s, it's serious fun!

I also understand that time have changed and probably my next purchase will be something more modern like the Citizen Skyhawk or the X-33.

BTW, I just came back from a watchshop where I bought a new strap for my Sturmanskie, and I wore the Skyhawk...the watch is HUGE! Really, my Sturmy felt cheap and fragile in comparison. They also had a beautiful and original Lemania chrono of the RAF...late 60s, military issue, and a Moonwatch Apollo XI.

These two watches along with my Poljot were dwarfed by the huge and heavy (it was SS, not titanium) "contemporary" pilot watch, and once more time I admired these old pilot of the 30s 0r 40s that relied on these simple chronos for the navigation, without GPS, VORs, time controlled wrist computers and son on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
From my perspective, as a helicopter pilot working on the North Sea, a watch is very important to me and there are various features which I value. I have tried many different things over the years, but there are a couple of things I can't really live without. Obviously it must be a reasonable time keeper and be reliable. The first is surprisingly maybe to some - a date feature. In todays flying, there is so much paperwork to fill in, before flight, during flight, after flight, and it always requires the date. I know, I should be able to remember the date, but.......Anyway, to me, no date - no good = pass. A day is a nice extra as well. An adjustable strap, not bracelet is also a plus for me. I spend from october to may wearing a thick survival suit, with thick neoprene cuffs, so the watch has to go on top. Everything else is a a nice to have. Sometimes it is nice to have an alarm, as I quite often get stationed away, and I need an alarm to wake me in the morning, although I always have a phone. I don't think i have ever used a stopwatch feature on a watch in the cockpit, as it is far easier to use the one in the aircraft, although a divers bezel is very often useful. I definitely cannot hear an alarm in the cockpit over the 2 CT7-8 jet engines above me, and all the avionic cooling fans surrounding me, so a countdown alarm is useless.
It must be comfortable to wear, very robust and not be a constant snag hazard and wearable in and out of the cockpit. The last thing I want is to dislocate my shoulder trying to put my survival vest on! Finally it must have the personal "x-factor" to me, and that is highly personal. It must be added at this point that the "x-factor" reserves the right to override all other criteria! The watches I use regularly are Rolex submariner on zulu strap - this one has been with me a while and saw active service strapped to my wrist for a tour of Iraq some years ago, and is close to perfect. A Sinn 356 has come into use, although works well with day/date, is not as robust as the sub. My Fortis B42 Marinemaster on a Toshi strap is also damn near perfect. Big, but not too big, bright, easy to read, day/date, great lume, bezel, and looks great, comfortable. I tried for a while with a ProTrek, but just couldn't warm to it. It is a great outdoor watch and regularly comes with me when I am hiking in the mountains, but seriously lacks the "x-factor" for me, and is just too damn big, although suprisingly comfortable.
Other watches i would seriously consider as contenders would be top of the list Rolex explorer II, as it adds the gmt function. I really like plain, simple robust watches so the IWC Mark XVI is also a good bet, but actually I think the Timefactors Speedbird III is a better watch, with all the same benefits, but added robustness due to lower price, better anti-magnetic properties, and better water resistance. Also Fortis B42 day/date Flieger.
So that is my take on it.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top