The 1930’s are believed to be the golden age for progress and development within the world of aviation and thus pilot-friendly technology began its implementation into aircraft wristwatches thereafter. Watch manufacturing has played an important role in providing professional pilots with safe and effective equipment to aid a variety of technical procedures whilst suspended in the air. Since the Baselworld 2015 show has come to a close, we recap on just a few of the most impressive timekeeping instruments for aviation, responsible for impressing a wide scope of watch enthusiasts this year.
Bremont shares most of its DNA with a strong connection to historical aerospace and aircraft backgrounds. Both the Boeing 1 and Boeing 247 models demonstrate an exquisite mixture of high precision timekeeping and an extensive experience in advanced material research. Using further aviation-grade materials exclusive to the watch brand, Bremont launch the Boeing Model 1 Ti-GMT and the Boeing Model 247 Ti-GMT. Setting new standards for aviation timekeeping, both new timepieces will now consist of the Ti-64 Titanium case. Model one reflects the clear and crisp design of the very first aircraft designs within Boeing’s rich history of cutting edge manufacturing. Model 247 like its predecessors takes inspiration from the original twin-engine airliner from the 1930’s. The aviation grade materials used within their Boeing models have never been used before by any other watch brand, making each Bremont masterpiece remarkably distinctive in its alluring persona. Clarity within the subdials and Super-LumiNova® hands of both models create a beautiful contrast between the luxurious, velvety black backdrop of the Model 1 or the slate grey of the Model 247. Responding to the success of the previous GMT models, the brand have continued to build on fundamentally important qualities of an aviation wristwatch. A bold and striking GMT hand, adopted from the successful Tera Nova range offers clear and easy readability. The Boeing emblem sits at the top of the centre seconds hand on Model 1 and chronograph seconds on Model 247. The new additions also signal the debuting of a ceramic anthracite bezel – the first Bremont models to ever have had this material incorporated into their bodywork. The anti-shock movement mounts, protecting the in-house calibres are both dressed in Boeing blue and can be marvelled at through their anti-reflecting sapphire crystal casebacks.
The Sinn 104 ST Sa A is a classic pilots watch distinguished by its clear structured dial layout and intelligent positioning of the three main hands. The ratcheted pilots bezel itself can be rotated on both sides supported by a securely attached polished stainless steel case. The Sinn 104 ST Sa A is robust and holds a sturdy posture, withstanding pressures of up to 20 bar. The timepiece is beautifully finished on Sinn’s vintage chocolate brown leather strap.
The Bell & Ross BR 03 94 Rafale Limited Edition of 500 pieces pays a tribute to the military world and its numerous fields of pioneering. The special collection takes us back to the 1900 period in military and civil aviation, right through to developments of the present day. Just two years ago Bell & Ross teamed with Dassault Aviation to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the Falcon business jet – the Vintage Falcon model being the product outcome. This year Bell & Ross welcome Dassault Aviation to join them once again in celebrating yet another multi-role fighter aircraft. The Rafale has provided the focal point of inspiration for the brand in creating the BR 03 94 Rafale Limited Edition, fitted with the traditional matte black ceramic casing and colour coordinated dial. The BR-031 independent movement powers the beating heart inside the workings of the sturdy steel structure. A splash of orange is welcomed amongst the Arabic numerals providing a dynamic and powerful wrist presence and the traditional tang buckle to the rubber strap is also black PVD coated, sitting flush with the wearer’s wrist and promising a comfortable and nimble piece of timekeeping equipment. A perfect aviation piece for any pilot enthusiast.
The Hamilton Chrono Worldtimer has to be one of the most impressive pieces from a functiona
lity point of view this Baselworld. It has the ability to tell the time across the 24 time zones of the world. The Hamilton watch has been designed in collaboration with Nicholas Ivanof, French aerobatic pilot who will be competing again this year in the Red Bull Air Races against 13 pilots from 7 countries on 3 different continents. The special timepiece is powered by the H-41 e chrono quartz movement. An additional feature of the watch is that it even displays UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). The significance of the yellow highlighted markers positioned between the 12 o’clock and 4 o’clock, is due to the specific requirements of an aerobatic pilot. The four minutes correspond to a freestyle programme – a precise and beneficial advantage to the timepiece. The Chrono Worldtimer holds the ability to switch between chronograph and Worldtimer functions with the simple push of a button at 10 o’clock and the bezel also comprises of a clearly engraved countdown and a day and night indicator.
The Muhle Glashutte Terasport Beobachter belonging to the family known as the “Large observer” watches carries all of the perfect traditional pilot gear elements. The original collection comprised of two different versions – that of the large numerals and minute scale on the edge, and a second version equipped with a separated outer minute circle to the smaller inner hour scale. The in-house movement SW 200-1 powers a beautifully structured, woodpecker neck regulated timepiece with tidy easy-read decoration, well rounded layout and a relaxed air of clarity for maximum pilot efficiency. The Terasport Beobachter is a breath of fresh air amongst the already well established pilots range, allowing the modern pilot of everyday life to clearly and precisely navigate their way through the air with precision and intelligence. Muhle Glashutte manage to keep in trend with the traditional style aviation pieces yet also sports modern components of professional functionality.
More information on all of the above pilot’s pieces can be found here.