What You Need to Know about The Pilot Watch

One of the most popular types of watch today is the pilot watch. Not only are they collector’s items, but they are also useful in day to day life. However, it should be noted that the pilot watch is a precision tool that should not be treated as a casual instrument.

What exactly is a pilot watch? In simple terms, it is a watch designed to be used by aviators. This type of watch is born at the same time as aviation. Right from the start, an aviator watch is a precise and reliable tool that tells time. While not all aviator watches are the same, they do have similarities.

Key Features of Pilot Watches

The key features of a pilot watch are ability to tell time in two time zones and ease of use. Precision and accuracy are also important features to consider. Pilot watches are not only worn by aviators, but also by frequent flyers. It allows them to tell the time from different time zones.

Traditionally, pilot watches were oversized because they were used on the outside of flying jacket or coat. That way the pilot can easily see the readings even in a vibrating environment. Most pilot watches can be read even in dimly lit rooms, such as the airplane’s cockpit.

Short History of The Pilot Watch

The very first pilot watch was made by Louis Cartier in 1904. It was named Santos after his aviator friend Alberto Santos-Dumont. According to the story, Santos-Dumont complained to Cartier that it was difficult for him to check the time with his pocket watch. And that’s why Cartier made the first aviator watch for him in 1904. Aside from keeping time, the watch was used to calculate fuel consumption, lift capacity, navigation, and air speed.

In the 1930s, Luftwaffe developed the Flieger style watches that come in two types – Type A and Type B. The latter was large at 55 mm, and given to navigators who required precise timing for navigation.

Iconic Pilot Watches

Longines Lindbergh

Longines is a manufacturer that is known for its aviation timepieces, and one of its most iconic watches is the Longines Lindbergh. It is the watch that Charles Lindbergh used when he made his non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The watch served as his navigation tool that allowed him to achieve the momentous feat.

Mark V

The Mark V was a pocket watch model issued to pilots during the World War I. Its design allowed pilots to fit the watch into the instrument panel of their plane, which is why they were known as cockpit watch. While most of the manufacturers were anonymous, there were four known manufacturers. They were Omega, Electa, Doxa, and Zenith.

Rolex GMT Master

This is the most famous watch that had a GMT hand. It had a two-toned red-blue bezel, which is known as Pepsi bezel. The bezel has 24 hours onto scale. And if the 24 is aligned with the 12 on the main dial, then it indicates Greenwich time.

These are the things that you need to know about pilot watches. From watches issued to pilots during the war, they have become must-have accessories for men who require precision time keeping and other complex features.