Haute Five: Best Pilot Watches in 2014

Let’s be honest, most pilot watches aren’t being used the way they were intended, thousands of feet above ground. So why are pilot watches so popular? Is it their size, legibility, or heritage? Whatever the reason, we’ve selected some of our favorite pilot watches released in 2014: 

Chronomat 44 GMT “50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse”
Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT “50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse”

Breitling celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Patrouille Suisse this year by introducing a personalized Chronomat, with custom dial and engraved caseback. The timepiece reinforces the special bond that ties the watch brand with the elite pilots from Switzerland.

This mechanical chronograph features a sturdy satin-brushed steel case and a black dial bearing the flight team logo at 9 o’clock. The second hour hand, tipped by the outline of a red F-5E Tiger II, displays the second timezone in 24-hour mode, while the 24-hour scale on the bezel also enables a third timezone reading.

The Chronomat 44 GMT “50th Anniversary Patrouille Suisse” houses the B04 calibre, a selfwinding chronograph movement entirely developed and produced in-house.

Photo Credit: Breitling. For more, please visit Breitling.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight”
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight”

This month, IWC paid tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who disappeared 70 years ago during his last flight above the Mediterranean Sea. This special edition, limited to 17 watches, comes in the same tobacco color as the flying suit Antoine de Saint-Exupéry used to wear, with a brown ceramic case made from silicon nitride, a brown dial and a calfskin strap in the same color.

Ref. IW388005 houses IWC’s 89361 calibre, an entirely in-house movement, hidden by a closed back engraved with a special image which commemorates the 70th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s last flight.

A platinum version of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” will be presented at Sotheby’s Geneva auction next November, and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the charitable Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation.

For more information, please visit IWC.

Bremont Wright Flyer 
Bremont Wright Flyer Limited Edition

Bremont’s latest timepiece celebrates the first manned flight, by Orville and Wilbur Wright, and features some of the original muslin material used to cover the 1903 Wright Flyer aircraft.

The 43mm case is made with Bremont’s Trip-Tick® construction method, while the watch houses Bremont’s BWC/01 calibre, a propriety movement designed in conjunction with Swiss specialists, La Joux-Perret, although many of its constituant parts were crafted at Bremont’s workshops in Henley-on-Thames.

The Wright Flyer is a Limited Edition timepiece, available in polished stainless steel, rose gold or white gold, and comes with an alligator strap with pin buckle to complement case material.

Photo Credit: Bremont. For more information, please visit Bremont.

Zenith Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Type 20 Extra Special

Presented in an oversized 45mm steel case, the Type 20 Extra Special has all the features of a classic Pilot with oversized onion crown, a clear and easy to read dial with signature hands and supple Nabuck leather strap.

What’s extra special about it then? Well the words ‘Extra Special’ on the dial are a reference to Zenith’s early WWII pilot’s watches, which also featured the expression on their dials.

The Type 20 Extra Special is one of the more accessible watches in the collection thanks to the proprietary Zenith 3000 calibre it houses.

Photo Credit: Zenith. For more information, please visit Zenith.

BR 03-92 Black Matte
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Black Matte Ceramic

The BR 03 collection stands out with its square 42 mm diameter case. This new ceramic model with black PVD finish will appeal to the younger collector. It’s definitely a fun watch, and an icon at its price point.

The BR03-92 Black Matte is built with pilots in mind, with a sapphire glass with anti-glare coating, and a clean and legible dial with only hours, minutes, seconds, as well as a small date window.

The BR 03-92 Black Matte is powered by the ETA 2892 automatic movement, and comes with a black heavy-duty canvas strap and steel pin buckle.

Photo Credit and Feature Photo Credit: Bell & Ross. For more, please visit Bell & Ross

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