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Breitling Navitimer
Breitling Navitimer
NZ$ 5,130
Seller
Jewelwatch Ltd
NZ
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince
NZ$ 15,236
Seller
Uhrwerk-Bielefeld
15
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 42,332
Seller
Uhrgenau
6
AT
Breitling Chronomat Evolution MOP Dial
Breitling Chronomat Evolution MOP Dial
NZ$ 5,259
Seller
Precision Watches
11
UK
Breitling Blackbird A44359 with RARE Blue Dial
Breitling Blackbird A44359 with RARE Blue Dial
NZ$ 5,998
Seller
Gold Rush
 
ES
IWC Fliegeruhr UTC Platin
IWC Fliegeruhr UTC Platin
NZ$ 21,594
Seller
Uhren Schöfer GmbH
DE
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Blue Automatic IW327004
TOP
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Blue Automatic IW327004
NZ$ 4,628
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
16
HK
Rolex GMT MASTER II Black and Blue Ceramic
Rolex GMT MASTER II Black and Blue Ceramic
NZ$ 13,036
Seller
Avi & Co NY
25
US
Breitling Navitimer 806 1966
Breitling Navitimer 806 1966
NZ$ 8,127
Free shipping
Seller
Montpellier Jewellers Ltd
 
UK
Bell & Ross BR 02
Bell & Ross BR 02
NZ$ 11,739
Seller
Jewelwatch Ltd
NZ
Rolex Gmt-Master II ref. 116710LN
Rolex Gmt-Master II ref. 116710LN
NZ$ 10,026
Seller
Eorologi
206
IT
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 37,053
Seller
Uhrgenau
6
AT
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 10,006
Seller
Smyth Jewelers
 
US
Breitling Navitimer 01
Breitling Navitimer 01
NZ$ 7,352
Seller
Joaillerie Royale
238
BE
Rolex GMT-MASTER II  Tritium
Rolex GMT-MASTER II Tritium
NZ$ 22,965
Seller
Uhren Schöfer GmbH
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II | DATE: 14-10-17
Rolex GMT-Master II | DATE: 14-10-17
NZ$ 11,952
Seller
Watchni.co.uk
 
UK
Rolex Gmt Master Ii Batman 116 Black Dial & Bezel S/steel...
Rolex Gmt Master Ii Batman 116 Black Dial & Bezel S/steel...
NZ$ 21,028
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
44
US
IWC - Pilot Top Gun Double Chronograph Ceramic - IW379901 -...
Auction
IWC - Pilot Top Gun Double Chronograph Ceramic - IW379901 -...
NZ$ 11,997
Estimated price
Seller
Catawiki BV
 
IWC Pilot UTC
IWC Pilot UTC
NZ$ 3,913
Seller
Jewelwatch Ltd
NZ
Breitling Chronomat Chronograph Automatic - B13047
Breitling Chronomat Chronograph Automatic - B13047
NZ$ 1,525
Seller
wagener-gold International e.K.
700
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 42,349
Seller
Uhrgenau
6
AT
Rolex GMT-Master II Custom Batman Watch 116710LN
Rolex GMT-Master II Custom Batman Watch 116710LN
NZ$ 16,254
Seller
Time 4 Diamonds DMCC Ltd
12
UK
Breitling 1966 Breitling Navitimer 806
Breitling 1966 Breitling Navitimer 806
NZ$ 8,127
Free shipping
Seller
Montpellier Jewellers Ltd
 
UK
Rolex GMT MASTER II Pepsi
Rolex GMT MASTER II Pepsi
NZ$ 11,825
Seller
Joaillerie Royale
238
BE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR NEW "Batman"
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR NEW "Batman"
NZ$ 14,739
Seller
Lux Watches
 
DE
IWC Pilot's Chronograph · Top Gun IW388007
IWC Pilot's Chronograph · Top Gun IW388007
NZ$ 11,500
Free shipping
Seller
Time of Switzerland SA
23
CH
Rolex GMT Master II - Gent's - 2008
Auction
Rolex GMT Master II - Gent's - 2008
NZ$ 9,940
Estimated price
Seller
Catawiki BV
 
IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVII
TOP
IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVII
NZ$ 4,349
Seller
Private seller
 
US
IWC Fliegerchronograph 3706
IWC Fliegerchronograph 3706
NZ$ 4,626
Seller
Uhrencenter Berlin
193
DE
Rolex GMT Master II
Rolex GMT Master II
NZ$ 12,327
Seller
JD Watches
 
US
Breitling : Navitimer :  A23322 :  Stainless Steel
Breitling : Navitimer : A23322 : Stainless Steel
NZ$ 6,272
Seller
BernardWatch.com
129
US
IWC IW377709 Pilot Black Automatic Chronograph Men's Watch
IWC IW377709 Pilot Black Automatic Chronograph Men's Watch
NZ$ 5,349
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
12
HK
Breitling Chronomat Gold Steel Oxblood Red Dial 39 mm
Breitling Chronomat Gold Steel Oxblood Red Dial 39 mm
NZ$ 2,742
Seller
Kleen Edelmetalen
109
NL
Rolex 116710LN Black GMT Master II Ceramic Bezel [NEW]
Rolex 116710LN Black GMT Master II Ceramic Bezel [NEW]
NZ$ 11,430
Seller
moibotime.com
 
HK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II Ref. 16710
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II Ref. 16710
NZ$ 11,568
Seller
Juwelier Eupen
73
DE
Rolex 2007 ROLEX GMT-MASTER 2 116713LN 2-TONE CERAMIC BEZEL...
Auction
Rolex 2007 ROLEX GMT-MASTER 2 116713LN 2-TONE CERAMIC BEZEL...
NZ$ 14,225
Estimated price
Seller
Catawiki BV
 
Bell & Ross WW1-92 MILITARY
TOP
Bell & Ross WW1-92 MILITARY
NZ$ 2,399
Seller
Private seller
 
ES
Breitling Navitimer
Breitling Navitimer
NZ$ 5,654
Seller
Uhrencenter Berlin
193
DE
Breitling Chronomat Evolution B13356 18k Gold & Steel
Breitling Chronomat Evolution B13356 18k Gold & Steel
NZ$ 5,801
Seller
Best Deals HD
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710
NZ$ 10,540
Seller
Oreficeria Lupetta Srl
118
IT
Rolex 116710LN   GMT Master II Black Index Dial
Rolex 116710LN GMT Master II Black Index Dial
NZ$ 11,857
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
12
HK
Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806
Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806
NZ$ 7,112
Seller
Steiner Maastricht
54
NL
Rolex Gmt Master II 16710 Ser. K 2002 FG
Rolex Gmt Master II 16710 Ser. K 2002 FG
NZ$ 11,190
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2138
IT
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II Ref. 16710
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II Ref. 16710
NZ$ 12,768
Seller
Juwelier Eupen
73
DE
Rolex GMT MASTER 2 16710 Pepsi Red/Blue Bezel Z Serial Full...
Rolex GMT MASTER 2 16710 Pepsi Red/Blue Bezel Z Serial Full...
NZ$ 29,729
Seller
Alex Pig Timepieces
35
HK
Bell & Ross BR 01-92
Bell & Ross BR 01-92
NZ$ 2,398
Seller
Watch Center London
351
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II  Watch  16710
Rolex GMT-Master II Watch 16710
NZ$ 11,054
Seller
della Rocca gioielli - Carol Exclusive
86
IT
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph · IW377801
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph · IW377801
NZ$ 10,391
Free shipping
Seller
Time of Switzerland SA
23
CH
IWC Pilot Steel Mark XI
IWC Pilot Steel Mark XI
NZ$ 11,378
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
66
UK
Bell & Ross Men's BR0392-D-BL-ST/SRB Diver Automatic...
Bell & Ross Men's BR0392-D-BL-ST/SRB Diver Automatic...
NZ$ 4,180
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
520
CH
IWC IW 327004 Pilot Midnight Mark XVIII Le Petit Prince
IWC IW 327004 Pilot Midnight Mark XVIII Le Petit Prince
NZ$ 4,319
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
12
HK
Rolex GMT - Master II Ref. 116713 LN LC100 Box/Papers
Rolex GMT - Master II Ref. 116713 LN LC100 Box/Papers
NZ$ 15,065
Seller
Chrono World
 
DE
Rolex Gmt Master Ii Batman 116 Black Dial & Black And Blue...
Rolex Gmt Master Ii Batman 116 Black Dial & Black And Blue...
NZ$ 21,026
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
44
US
Breitling : Navitimer 1461 Chronograph :  M1938022/BD20 : ...
Breitling : Navitimer 1461 Chronograph : M1938022/BD20 : ...
NZ$ 9,404
Seller
BernardWatch.com
129
US
Rolex GMT Master II "Rootbeer" 16713
Rolex GMT Master II "Rootbeer" 16713
NZ$ 12,979
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
148
US
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 11,601
Free shipping
Seller
LABELLE JEWELRY
 
US
IWC Mark XVI
IWC Mark XVI
NZ$ 4,454
Seller
Uhrencenter Berlin
193
DE
Rolex GMT Master II Stahl 16710 T Pepsi Automatik Rectangular...
Rolex GMT Master II Stahl 16710 T Pepsi Automatik Rectangular...
NZ$ 15,236
Seller
Juwelier Rieger
99
DE
Rolex GMT Master II 16710 "Pepsi" Steel F-Series
Rolex GMT Master II 16710 "Pepsi" Steel F-Series
NZ$ 11,654
Seller
Uhren Menze
25
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 10,112
Seller
MUST'S srl
 
IT

Pilot's Watches: Functionality for the Highest Demands

Pilot's watches are precise instruments as well as stylish accessories. Originally designed for pilots, they have developed into one of the most beloved types of watches. Breitling and IWC are two of the most well-known producers of pilot's watches.

Highlights

  • Famous brands: IWC, Breitling, Tutima, Fortis
  • IWC Mark XI features a typical pilot's watch design
  • Affordable pilot's watches available for less than 1,000 euros
  • Breitling Navitimer with a chronograph function and slide rule
  • Cartier Santos considered the first pilot's wristwatch

In the Cockpit with a Pilot's Watch

Pilot's watches are closely linked to aviation; the industry has strongly influenced the history and functionality of these special watches. For example, many pilot's watches are chronographs, meaning they also function as stopwatches. The term "pilot's watch" does not, however, have one standard definition. For some, it means a timepiece with a certain design: Watches with a black dial and white indices or numerals as well as large hands are enough to qualify as pilot's watches in some peoples' books. Another definition emphasizes other characteristics, such as legibility during the day and at night or a certain level of impact and shock resistance.
In the past, there wasn't a uniform standard for pilot's watches like the international ISO 6425 standard (DIN 8306) for diving watches. In 2016, however, the DIN 8330 standard was introduced, based on the Technical Standard for Pilot's Watches (Technischen Standard Fliegeruhren, TESTAF). According to DIN 8330, a certified pilot's watch is capable of replacing a plane's precise time measurement systems. Furthermore, the wearer is able to plan and execute vital, time-sensitive flight maneuvers with the watch. The German company Sinn was the first watch manufacturer to produce watches according to the DIN 8330 standard.
Two of the most famous manufacturers of pilot's watches are the Swiss brands Breitling and IWC. The design of the IWC Mark XI is particularly well known around the world and is often replicated. The watch is simple with its black dial, large numerals and indices, and triangular marker at the 12 o'clock position. IWC has sent the hand-winding model to numerous air forces.
One of Breitling's most famous timepieces is the Navitimer. Aside from its chronograph function, it has a rotatable bezel with a slide rule. With the help of this mechanism, you can calculate speeds, distances, and fuel consumption, as well as convert units of measurement.

Buying Advice

If you're interested in buying a pilot's watch, you have a large choice between many models from different brands. With such an expansive collection, there's certain to be the perfect watch for every budget. More affordable watches under 1,000 euros are available from Breitling. The Breitling Aerospace has the brand's characteristic bezel rider tabs at three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock. Inside its case, it's powered by an incredibly precise quartz movement. It's available for around 800 euros pre-owned. A used Breitling Chronomat is also available for less than 1,000 euros.
You can find numerous pre-owned Breitling watches for between 1,000 and 2,500 euros. Pilot's watches from the French manufacturer Bell & Ross are also available in this price range. Pre-owned pilot's chronographs from IWC cost around 2,000 euros. Three-hand models are available for less than 2,000 euros. IWC chronographs in good condition cost around 2,500 euros.
The 857 UTC watch from Sinn is available with or without TESTAF certification. Both versions cost about the same. You should plan on spending about 1,900 euros on a new model. A new chronograph Sinn 103 Ti TESTAF costs around 2,300 euros. New models with a chronograph and GMT function cost around 2,800 euros.
You can find Rolex's GMT-Master for under 10,000 euros. The Genevan manufacturer developed the GMT watch in the mid-1950s based on the demands of commercial pilots. The American airline Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) used the GMT-Master as their official watch.

History of Pilot's Watches

The Cartier Santos is considered the first pilot's watch. Louis Cartier developed the square wristwatch in 1904 for the Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont. Two years later, Dumont flew the first official flight in a motorized airplane. During the flight, he wore the Santos, allowing him to keep both hands on the controls while still keeping an eye on the time.
The roots of modern day pilot's watches go all the way back to pocket watches — or, more accurately, deck watches used in high-sea navigation. These watches were portable pocket watches that supplemented a ship's marine chronometer. The marine chronometer was anchored to the ship and mounted on three freely moving axles, keeping the dial face up even during heavy swells. The marine chronometer was regulated in this position. Sailors used these highly precise chronometers to determine their exact location. During long trips at sea, watches accurate to the second were indispensable for navigation.
The officers on board synchronized their deck watch with the marine chronometer and returned to deck to determine their position via sextant. A deck watch had a very precise movement, but due to the extreme deviations in temperature and different positions, it wasn't as precise as a marine chronometer.
At the beginning of the 20th century, pilots used these deck watches during flights. They soldered pieces to the watches and looped thick leather straps through them. When modified this way, they could wear the deck watches on their thighs or over a flight suit. These pilot's watches were easily identifiable by their large crowns, which also allowed the wearer to set the time with gloves on.
Later, deck watches received their characteristic pilot's watch design. A black dial with yellow numerals became a signifying feature of these timepieces. At the beginning of the 20th century, manufacturers started using the luminous, radioactive material radium. Today, they use the luminescent, non-radioactive material Superluminova. Black dials have some obvious advantages: There's no glare, and together with luminous indices and hands, they are easy to read at twilight and at night.
Most pilot's watches from the early 20th century also featured a stop-seconds mechanism. This allowed the wearer to set the watch to the exact second, which is necessary to navigate accurately. One of the most important German manufacturers of these types of watches was the Glashütte-based company A. Lange & Söhne. During the Second World War, they produced pilot's watches exclusively for the military; today, these watches are very rare. Just as rare are German pilot's chronographs, which were produced by manufacturers such as Tutima and Junghans. The movements powering these watches originally came from Glashütte. Altogether, there are only 300 to 400 watches remaining from the 1930s and 40s. These vintage watches cost upwards of 30,000 euros each.

Historical Highlights

  • Origins tracing back to deck watches used on ships
  • Deck watches with leather straps were the first pilot's watches
  • Cartier Santos: the first pilot's watch in the form of a wristwatch
  • A. Lange & Söhne was one of the most important manufacturers of German pilot's watches

IWC Mark XI: The Cult Pilot's Watch

The IWC Mark XI is a classic pilot's watch. The Swiss manufacturer IWC produced the watch starting at the end of the 1940s. The Mark XI was a smaller version of the Mark X. For around 30 years, IWC delivered the Mark XI to numerous air forces around the world. The simple, hand-winding watch featured no chronograph function. Therefore, it was comparably inexpensive at 350 Swiss francs. Now, it costs between 5,000 and 9,000 euros. The watch had a characteristic black dial with bright luminous numerals and a triangle at 12 o'clock. Still to this day, manufacturers such as Fortis produce pilot's watches with this simple, iconic design.

The Standard for Pilot's Watches: DIN 8330

An official standard for pilot's watches has existed since the beginning of 2016: the German DIN 8330. The watch manufacturer Sinn Spezialuhren initiated the process of developing this standard. The German Institute for Standardization (DIN) decided in the summer of 2013 to create a new standard for pilot's watches based on the Technical Standard for Pilot's Watches (TESTAF). This standard is oriented to meet the challenges of modern aviation. The aerospace engineering department at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences together with Sinn Spezialuhren developed the TESTAF in 2012. According to DIN 8330, pilot's wristwatches must be compatible with other on-board instruments, pose no risk to the aircraft and crew, and must be able to withstand the physical stressors of flight.
DIN 8330 differentiates between visual flight rules (VFR) and instrument flight rules (IFR). Watches certified according to IFR rules require a stopwatch function and are thus chronographs. Watches certified to VFR have a 12-hour as well as a 60-minute display. The central second hand must feature a mechanism so it can be stopped to the exact second. Furthermore, the standard requires the watch to have a bi-directional rotatable bezel with minute markers and ratcheting. The dial and scale background must be matte black, and the diameter of the dial must not be smaller than 27 mm. The watch has to be easily legible, and thus the hour indices, triangular marker on the bezel, and the hour, minute, and second hands must be filled with luminous material and glow for at least three hours.
The DIN 8330 also requires pilot's watches and their functions to work properly between -15 °C and +55 °C (5 to 131 °F). They have to pass an impact test by surviving a drop from a 1-meter height onto a hardwood floor. They are also tested for waterproofness according to DIN 8310. The watches undergo further tests for precision, strap fittings, and magnetic field resistance, among other things. At the end of the tests, the watch must still function properly and have no signs of external damage.