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Patek Philippe Travel Time
TOP
Patek Philippe Travel Time
AU$ 66,513
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
43
HK
Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic
Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic
AU$ 2,100
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
6
AU
Breitling Navitimer World Breitling
Breitling Navitimer World Breitling
AU$ 6,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex GMT Master 6542 Stella dial gold 18KT  Full Set 1957th
TOP
Rolex GMT Master 6542 Stella dial gold 18KT Full Set 1957th
Price on request
Seller
Watches Management
24
IT
Breitling Navitimer Fighters Chronograph A13330 Full Set
Breitling Navitimer Fighters Chronograph A13330 Full Set
AU$ 5,170
Seller
The Watch Culture
AU
Bell & Ross BR03-94-S-07851
TOP
Bell & Ross BR03-94-S-07851
AU$ 4,200
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
AU$ 8,750
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Breitling Cockpit
Breitling Cockpit
AU$ 3,250
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
TOP
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
AU$ 11,942
Seller
Private Seller
AU
IWC Pilot’s Chronograph IW377710
IWC Pilot’s Chronograph IW377710
AU$ 6,250
Seller
Watch Trader Pty Ltd
AU
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage
AU$ 1,580
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
6
AU
Rolex GMT Master II
Rolex GMT Master II
AU$ 11,470
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
171
DE
Breitling Windrider Cockpit 41 UTC Big Date 18k Rosègold / Stahl
Breitling Windrider Cockpit 41 UTC Big Date 18k Rosègold / Stahl
AU$ 6,356
Free shipping
Seller
chronopark GmbH
 
DE
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
AU$ 13,121
Seller
Chronostore
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm
Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm
AU$ 12,266
Seller
EXPERTYCO
 
PL
IWC Le Petite Prince Pilot Chronograph IW377714
IWC Le Petite Prince Pilot Chronograph IW377714
AU$ 5,179
Seller
WearingTime LLC
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master
Rolex GMT-Master
AU$ 20,372
Seller
Aaron Faber Gallery
 
US
Mühle Glashütte Terrasport I Beobachter 44mm  Automatik
Mühle Glashütte Terrasport I Beobachter 44mm Automatik
AU$ 1,466
Seller
Paul Winnebeck
13
DE
Bell & Ross Military Type BR03-92-MIL-CE
Bell & Ross Military Type BR03-92-MIL-CE
AU$ 3,800
Seller
Watch Trader Pty Ltd
AU
Alpina Startimer Pilot
Alpina Startimer Pilot
AU$ 999
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
6
AU
Breitling Aerospace
Breitling Aerospace
AU$ 2,708
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
171
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 11,454
Seller
Uhrenhandel Eva Krause
 
DE
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
AU$ 13,397
Seller
Chronostore
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 17,263
Free shipping
Seller
Avital & Co Jewelry
5
US
IWC Flieger Chronograph Pilot's Watch IW3706
IWC Flieger Chronograph Pilot's Watch IW3706
AU$ 3,313
Seller
WearingTime LLC
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master II-2013
Rolex GMT-Master II-2013
AU$ 10,514
Seller
Spritz srl
10
IT
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Chronographe
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Chronographe
AU$ 5,177
Seller
Hall of Time
 
BE
Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Guynemer
Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Guynemer
AU$ 3,495
Seller
Watch Trader Pty Ltd
AU
Blancpain Lehman Fly Back
Blancpain Lehman Fly Back
AU$ 7,169
Seller
MW Sportive GMBH
6
DE
IWC Fliegeruhr
IWC Fliegeruhr
AU$ 13,939
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
171
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 11,135
Seller
Uhrenhandel Eva Krause
 
DE
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
AU$ 42,250
Seller
Chronostore
 
US
Rolex Gmt-master Ii 116710 Black Venom Limited Edition /35 Dlc...
TOP
Rolex Gmt-master Ii 116710 Black Venom Limited Edition /35 Dlc...
AU$ 17,364
Seller
Paradiso Luxury Srl
41
IT
Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute
Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute
AU$ 4,406
Free shipping
Seller
Elite Fine Jewelers
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 12,346
Seller
Spritz srl
10
IT
Bell & Ross Vintage
Bell & Ross Vintage
AU$ 4,381
Seller
Hall of Time
 
BE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 11,470
Seller
Diamants Story
 
FR
IWC Top gun Ref. IW3799
IWC Top gun Ref. IW3799
AU$ 11,613
Seller
Henry´s Auktionshaus AG
DE
Rolex GMT Master II
Rolex GMT Master II
AU$ 11,550
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
171
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Price on request
Seller
CIACCI WATCHES & JEWELS
 
SM
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
AU$ 11,754
Seller
Chronostore
 
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
AU$ 5,456
Seller
Aaron Faber Gallery
 
US
IWC Spitfire
IWC Spitfire
AU$ 58,624
Seller
MW Sportive GMBH
6
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 12,346
Seller
Spritz srl
10
IT
Bell & Ross BR 03-97 Réserve de Marche
Bell & Ross BR 03-97 Réserve de Marche
AU$ 3,983
Seller
Hall of Time
 
BE
IWC Pilot Mark
IWC Pilot Mark
AU$ 4,074
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT
Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT
AU$ 5,908
Seller
PUH Radosław Kalyciok
 
PL
Breitling Cockpit Lady Galactic 32
Breitling Cockpit Lady Galactic 32
AU$ 3,345
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
171
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR Blue Dial LC-EU 2018
Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR Blue Dial LC-EU 2018
AU$ 15,054
Free shipping
Seller
Tradeluxe Uhrenhandels GmbH
51
AT
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
AU$ 37,326
Seller
Chronostore
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master
Rolex GMT-Master
AU$ 23,896
Seller
watch house 1970 sas
 
IT
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar inkl. 19% Mwst.
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar inkl. 19% Mwst.
AU$ 15,134
Seller
Helmut Seidl GmbH
7
DE
Bell & Ross Vintage Bomber Regulateur-Heritage Aged Metal Calf...
Bell & Ross Vintage Bomber Regulateur-Heritage Aged Metal Calf...
AU$ 6,492
Seller
Koosh Jewelers
 
US
Bell & Ross Vintage
Bell & Ross Vintage
AU$ 6,372
Seller
Hall of Time
 
BE
Breitling Navitimer
Breitling Navitimer
AU$ 5,576
Seller
Diamants Story
 
FR
Bell & Ross BR 03
Bell & Ross BR 03
AU$ 3,108
Seller
Aaron Faber Gallery
 
US
IWC Fliegeruhr Sondermodell Saint Exupery
IWC Fliegeruhr Sondermodell Saint Exupery
AU$ 26,604
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
171
DE
Breitling Navitimer World
Breitling Navitimer World
AU$ 6,213
Seller
SARL Cap City
 
FR
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
Rolex GMT-MASTER II
AU$ 12,468
Seller
Chronostore
 
US
Breitling Cockpit
Breitling Cockpit
AU$ 8,746
Seller
Henry´s Auktionshaus AG
DE
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
AU$ 13,743
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
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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.

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