Tracking time can be a daunting task when you're in the middle of a flight.
It's challenging to demarcate shifting time zones while in mid-flight. Time zones begin to change as the trip goes on.
Therefore, whether you are a pilot or a passenger, you need pilot watches that can help you track time while on-board any flight.
Unfortunately, most pilot watches are expensive. Thankfully, this review touches not only on the premier but also on the most affordable watches for aviators.
Garmin D2 Delta GPS Pilot Watch: Best Overall
The Garmin D2 Delta Pilot watch is one of many high-end Garmin watches. The Delta Series timepiece includes a premium GPS (Global Positioning System) function. It's the only mechanism that tracks your current position 24/7. [R]
You can incorporate your GPS with avionics for more accurate data and navigation. The pilot watch also measures your heart rate, altitude level, and course deviation. [R]
- Premium GPS aviator watch with dynamic color mapping, NEXRAD weather (when paired with a compatible...
- Synchronize with your Avionics for enhanced GPS navigation and mapping data
- Smart notifications (when paired with a compatible smartphone) help you keep in touch on the go,...
Once the whole flight is complete, your Garmin pilot watch logs the recording date, total flight duration, and route.
This unisex watch also offers smart notifications that you can access via a compatible smartphone. It also allows you to listen to up to 500 songs with your Bluetooth headset, which can be beneficial during long 12-15 hour flights.
Additionally, its nylon band and leather strap add comfort to your wrist. Indeed, the pilot watch has all the features you need. It's no secret why this stands out among other pilot watches.
Its hefty $949 price tag is the only disadvantage of the pilot watch.
- GPS features
- Records date of flight, altitude, duration, and route
- Allows you to listen to 500 songs with Bluetooth Headset
- Compatible with a smartphone for smart notifications
- Most expensive on the list of pilot watches
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time Watch with Date, BJ7000-52E: Best Value
Most pilots prefer Citizen watches for its top-notch performance, advanced innovation, and Eco-driven technology.
The Citizen Promaster Nighthawk watch is another suitable timepiece for pilots. For starters, a stainless steel case and mineral dial window protect the watch face. These make your pilot watch corrosion and scratch-resistant.
Like most pilot watches, the Promaster applies a Japanese quartz movement. It's known to be one of the most precise methods for tracking time.
The 42-millimeter stainless steel case enhances the watch's durability. The black dial is made up of a calendar window by the 3 o'clock marker, a pilot's slide rule inner chapter ring at the 8 o'clock position, and a dual-time display.
The watch's luminous hands are easy-to-read in poorly lit conditions. It also has a water-resistant up to depths of 200 meters. This means it can also handle water splashes from handwashing.
Compared to other pilot watches, you don't need to change batteries because of its Eco-Drive technology. It can recharge on its own using any light source.
These are just some of the features you will enjoy when buying the pilot watch for $395. The only drawback is it has a case thickness of 13 millimeters and may feel heavy on your wrist.
- Stainless steel case and the mineral dial window
- Water-resistant depth (200 meters)
- Rechargeable batteries
- Japanese quartz movement
- The case may be too thick
Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010: Best Budget Pick
Suunto watches can withstand steep mountains, deep-sea depths, and extreme weather conditions. These timepieces can also hold their own during flights. The Suunto Core Outdoor
Watch is my budget pick from the list.
- Suunto Core: This classic outdoor sports watch is packed with intelligent features like a Storm...
- Essential for Adventure: This watch has dual times, a date display, and alarm, plus predicted times...
- Suunto Sports Watches: Versatile and durable, Suunto sports watches are great for running, swimming,...
The watch has multiple features like the altimeter, barometer, and compass. The altimeter updates vertical movement. The barometer focuses on air pressure trends. The compass tracks your current direction.
As a pilot, you need all these vital pieces of information.
A weather trend graph along with sunrise and sunset times for 400 geographical regions help you plan your flight itineraries.
This information maintains the safety of a pilot and the passengers on-board. It has an operating temperature of 20 to +60 degrees Celsius.
Other pilot watches have watch straps that you cannot change according to your preference. With the Suunto watch, however, you can customize your watch strap. You can go for a stainless steel strap or a nylon band.
The best part is, you get all these features for only $125. Unfortunately, the disadvantage holding it back is its black dial. It may not be easy-to-read at night.
- ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass) watch
- Weather trend graph
- Sunrise and sunset of 400 locations
- Customizable watch strap
- Watch dial may be hard to read
Laco Type B Dial Miyota Automatic Pilot Watch 861690
Laco manufactures pilot watches that emphasize accuracy, precision, originality, and quality. Given its rich history, the Laco Type B Pilot watch is another good watch option.
Unlike most pilot watches with Japanese quartz movements, The Laco pilot watch employs a Miyota automatic movement.
- Made in Germany
- Stainless-steel case, black dial, Superluminova
- Automatic-self-wind movement from Miyota
Instead of relying on batteries, automatic movement harnesses the kinetic energy of your wrist movement. Therefore, you won't need to wind and unwind the pilot watch because it will keep moving on its own.
The stainless steel case surrounds the watch face, making it rust-resistant. It can also withstand scratches thanks to the watch's synthetic sapphire crystal dial window.
Its Superluminova hands and time markers improve the readability of your Laco pilot watch. At $378, you'll be getting your money's worth with the watch's features.
Be wary, though. Seeing as how it has a leather strap, this may result in allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin. [R]
- Miyota Automatic movement
- Stainless steel case prevents corrosion
- Sapphire crystal window avoids scratches
- Superluminova hands and markers
- Leather is not suitable for sensitive skin
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Blue Angels World Chronograph Atomic Timekeeping Watch With Day/Date, AT8020-03L
Next on the list is another Citizen Eco-Drive watch. The Blue Angels Chronograph timepiece is another superior product for the following reasons.
To begin with, it uses Atomic Timekeeping Technology for the most accurate and precise results. [R]
- With bold design and superior accuracy, Citizen AT watches synchronize to an atomic clock with a...
- 1/20 Second Chronograph Measures up to 60 Minutes, Perpetual Calendar, 12/24 Hour Time, Power...
- Silver-Tone Stainless Steel
It also has a Synchronized Time Adjustment feature, where you can calibrate your time readings according to your current time zone, allowing you to adjust up to 26 time zones.
The Chronograph pilot watch also comes with a blue dial and an anti-reflective crystal window. These design features make the watch easy-to-read under direct sunlight.
It's also worth noting the Citizen Men's Blue Angles has a water-resistant depth of 200m, the highest among all pilot watches listed here.
The slide-rule bezel allows you to calculate logarithmic or metric equations, giving you other ways to track your current direction.
It has a starting price of $468.75. Indeed, you get all these features and then some with this high-end aviator watch. It still has its disadvantages, though.
One drawback is you have to restart all your settings if your watch begins malfunctioning. Also, it can be hard to edit the date and time while troubleshooting errors.
- Atomic Timekeeping Technology
- Slide-rule bezel for mathematical expressions
- Anti-reflective crystal window
- Water-resistant of up to 200m
- Hard to troubleshoot errors
AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II Japan Quartz Watch - AV-4056-01
Aviators, flight attendants, and passengers wear the AVI-8 Hawker timekeeping device.
Unlike most pilot watches, it uses a tang buckle that consists of nine holes. Think of it as a belt buckle for watches.
- AVI-8 - OUR STORY: The brand inspiration and design excellence originates from the collaboration...
- THE HAWKER HARRIER DUAL RETROGRADE: In the annals of aviation history, perhaps no fighter plane...
- CHRONOGRAPH MOVEMENT: Fearless modern aviation infused style - a stylish men's watch with Japanese...
The 3 o'clock area contains the day-date feature. All seven days of the week are displayed, while the yellow arrow points to the current day.
Like most pilot watches, it employs the Japanese Quartz movement. Its navy blue dial and luminous hands enhance the watch's readability. It also comes with a tachymeter that allows you to measure speed and distance.
The AVI-8 Hawker is a $290 pilot watch that has its advantages and flaws. It has a weight of 10.58 ounces, which might be too heavy on your wrist.
Some time markers are missing too. The 2, 3, and 4 o'clock positions do not have any line-markings, which may be an odd design for some.
- Tang buckle snuggles comfortably on your wrist
- Day-date display (Monday to Sunday)
- Japanese Quartz movement
- Tachymeter for measuring speed and distance
- Heavyweight (10.58 ounces)
- Missing time markers
Hamilton Khaki King Series Stainless Steel Automatic Watch With Brown Leather Band (Men's H64455533)
The last watch on the list is a timepiece for the Hamilton Khaki series. It's one of the few pilot watches that function via an automatic mechanical movement.
The automatic watch has an anti-reflective glass crystal and stainless steel case.
- Stainless steel watch featuring round black dial with day/date display at 12 o'clock, sword-shape...
- 40 mm stainless steel case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
- Automatic self-wind movement with analog display
These features, along with the watch dial and luminous sword-shaped hands, improve the watch's readability.
The inner dial consists of the 24-hour format. The day-date display is at the noon marker.
What separates this from other pilot watches is it only weighs 2.56 ounces. In short, it feels very light on the wrist. You can also fasten and unfasten the watch using a buckle closure.
It's water-resistant up to 50 meters, meaning it can handle some splashes from handwashing. Unfortunately, as with most pilot watches, there are some disadvantages.
It costs $414.28, making it quite expensive if you're running on a low budget. The stationary bezel does not rotate compared to other pilot watches with advanced bezel types.
- Lightweight (2.56 ounces)
- Automatic mechanical movement
- Anti-reflective glass crystal for easy readability
- Stainless steel case
- It has an expensive price tag
- The stationary bezel does not rotate
Why Should You Buy Pilot Watches?
Here are some features that should convince you to buy the best pilot watches:
Pilot watches showcase high-quality materials coupled with elegant artistry. These timepieces have royalty written all over it. You can even wear pilot watches on dates and formal gatherings.
The best pilot watches are the most accurate ones. You should get a watch that derives time correctly, no matter your location. You need to make sure it is in sync with the world's time zones.
It would be a big help if your watch stays durable. If you're planning to pursue a career in aviation, you need a watch that has a long battery lifespan and unbreakable materials. After all, it will be hard to replace watch parts mid-air.
This review discussed and analyzed the best pilot watches currently available in the market. Each brand always raises the standard when it comes to creating air watches for today’s aviators.
With multiple duties at the cockpit, each vying for your undivided attention, you deserve nothing but superior timekeeping service from watches designed to give all attention to details.
Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2023-02-05.