Watches and airplanes have a shared history — or at least a shared moment in history.
Both came into fashion in the 1920s, with the advent of the wristwatch and the dawn of commercial (and military) aviation. Then, in 1935, with the ominous resurgence of the German Luftwaffe and the standard issuing of the Lange & Sohne B-Uhr, the two became inseparable. Since then, the pilot watch, as it became known, has been an essential tool for flyboys, who relied on the analog instruments to navigate and measure speed and fuel.
Today, pilot watches carry the essence of the original design — note the oversized crown, the easy-to-read dark dial, and the large white numerals. Newer models have added chronographs, more detailed complications, and modern flashes like rubber straps — but they all remain true to one essential truth: that the pilot is always, always the best-looking guy on the airplane, so you might as well dress like him.
Boeing 100 ($8,355) by Bremont
96B259 Precisionist ($725) by Bulova
Freelancer Piper Special Edition ($3,675) by Raymond Weil
Mark XVIII TOP GUN Miramar ($7,450) by IWC