The Best 14 Pilot Watches in 2019 (Affordable Buying Guide)

For decades now, men have considered watches a mandatory accessory that can add style and elegance to clothing for any occasion. For pilots, timepieces are also useful tools that can come in handy while in the air. Those watches manage to be fashionable while delivering important data to the user. Let’s take a look at the candidates for the best pilot watch in 2019. We covered their vital features and all other information you should know to make a smart buying decision.

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BEST CHOICE

AVI-8 Men's AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane Analog Display Japanese Quartz Watch with Leather Band
Hawker Hurricane Analog Display Japanese Quartz Watch

PREMIUM PICK

Bulova Men's 45mm Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch
Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch 96B258

BEST VALUE

Garmin D2 Pilot Watch
Garmin D2 Pilot Watch

The Best Pilot Watch

 1. Our Pick: AVI-8 Men’s AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane Analog Display Japanese Quartz Watch

BEST CHOICE

1. Our Pick: AVI-8 Men’s AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane Analog Display Japanese Quartz Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • It includes a date window
  • Inspired by aviation history
  • Excellent value for money

PROS

  • Classic design with analog display
  • Reliable performance thanks to the Japanese quartz movement
  • Admirable water resistance
  • Numerous color combinations available

CONS

  • The leather band is not that resistant to water
  • Some may consider it too big

DETAILS

The entire AVI-8 brand is inspired by aviation history. The Hawker Hurricane was a fighter aircraft that the Royal Air Force used during WWII. Today, we have a classic timepiece that looks to honor this amazing aircraft.

Hawker Hurricane is available in various color combinations, and it offers a great value for money. The case is made of stainless steel, and the simple but beautiful watch face will impress you.

The analog display is expected by a traditional timepiece like this one, and the Japanese quartz movement is in charge of reliable performance. The watch itself is suitable for showering, swimming, and diving up to 165 feet (50 meters). However, the leather band might not make that a good idea.

The mineral dial window is resistant to small scratches, and it does a good job in reflecting glare. Ultimately, if you are looking for a pilot watch, this unit will be a real bargain.

2. Premium Pick: Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch 96B258

 2. Premium Pick: Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch 96B258

 PREMIUM PICK

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • A large case diameter
  • Stylish design
  • Rich history background

PROS

  • Durable stainless steel case with sapphire glass
  • The UHF quartz movement is very reliable
  • Adequate resistance to water
  • A light unit suitable for wearing at all times

CONS

  • Luminosity could be better at low-light conditions
  • It might not be suitable if you are not fans of big watches

DETAILS

It is always nice when watches have a history background, and Bulova has a story to tell. The commander of Apollo 15, which landed on the moon, wear this watch. Actually, this is a replica of the watch he wore adapted to modern times.

The timepiece retained a large 45mm stainless steel case with a black dial and silver-tone finish. The analog display uses a reliable quartz movement and can display time accurately. The black leather band makes this watch both modern and elegant at the same time.

The resistance to water is adequate as the timepiece is resistant to brief immersions and splashes, but you should avoid bathing or swimming. It is equipped with a night mode, but the luminosity could be better since it might take a bit of effort to read the time. Despite that, this is an excellent pilot watch that can exceed all your expectations and serve you for a long time.

3. Best Value: Garmin D2 Pilot Watch

 3. Best Value: Garmin D2 Pilot Watch

 BEST VALUE

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Connected to the worldwide airport database
  • Reliable performance
  • A modern design

PROS

  • It can display multiple time zones
  • Vibrating and timer alerts for various tasks
  • Domed lens make the screen readable when in direct sunlight
  • Suitable for night flights

CONS

  • It is a bit bulky
  • GPS may take some time to calculate the position

DETAILS

Garmin designed a true pilot watch with numerous useful features. For starters, it has a digital display that can show time in multiple time zones. Additionally, it can provide a reference to UTC / Zulu, which can be important to pilots.

You can use the watch for navigating as it has nearest and direct-to buttons to direct you to the specified airport. The internal memory contains the data from the worldwide airport database to secure accuracy, although it may take some time for the GPS to calculate the position.

You can also use vibrating and timer alerts for various purposes, and compass and an altimeter round up useful features of this timepiece. And don’t worry, you can easily read the information on the screen in the sunlight since the domed lens reflects the glare.

Overall, this is a great watch packed with modern features and can be an excellent choice if you don’t mind watches that are a bit heavier to wear.

4. SUUNTO Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch

4. SUUNTO Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • A budget-friendly price
  • High-tech design
  • Many useful features

PROS

  • A digital display shows various information
  • It includes a weather tracker with storm alarms
  • Can measure altitude and serve as a compass
  • It reminds more of a gadget than a watch

CONS

  • The battery life is somewhat limited
  • It might not be a great choice if you love traditional timepieces

DETAILS

Here is another watch that is more like a gadget, and can be a great choice for lovers of modern technology and digital displays. The default feature of showing the time is fairly reliable, although you have to adjust it yourself the first time.

As for additional features, the timepiece can measure height and depth, and it also serves as a compass and barometer. The weather tracker can show temperature information from -5F to 140F (-20C to 60C), and in some locations, it even shows predicted sunset/sunrise times.

The battery life is not that great as you might need to recharge it every several days and replace the batteries after several months. Despite that, it is a watch packed with different features, and if you want a timepiece that is also a gadget, you will love this unit.

5. D2 Charlie Aviator Watch, Titanium Edition

5. D2 Charlie Aviator Watch, Titanium Edition

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Extremely durable
  • Rich navigational information
  • Fitness-friendly features

PROS

  • A titanium band guarantees extreme durability
  • It displays various airport information
  • Dynamic moving maps in full-color
  • It can show time in multiple time zones

CONS

  • A high price tag
  • Not a great choice of colors for the display

DETAILS

This watch also belongs to the D2 series manufactured by Garmin that we already mentioned. The crucial difference is that this is a titanium edition, which makes this timepiece a premium solution.

The price agrees with that, but you will get plenty in return. The watch is suited for pilots as it provides a wide range of airport data, including runways, frequencies, and other info. The database is automatically updated to show accurate data.

The altimeter is fairly reliable, and you can also enjoy a dynamic moving map with water bodies, roads, and other specifics. The watch looks beautiful, too, although the choice of colors for the display could be better as it’s not always clear to see the shown information.

6. Chotovelli Aviator Mens Watch- Chronograph Display, Silicone Military Strap 3300

6. Chotovelli Aviator Mens Watch- Chronograph Display, Silicone Military Strap 3300

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Affordable price tag
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Beautiful gift box

PROS

  • Analog display with large numbers at five-minute increments
  • The large case made of stainless steel
  • The durable leather strap that provides comfort
  • Several color options available

CONS

  • A large logo on the display
  • The watch is not luminous

DETAILS

Chotovelli claims that they hand-craft each watch, which is why they only make 300 timepieces a month. As for this model, its design is unique and stands out from the rest. The black leather strap and the silver case made of stainless steel fit well together.

You can also notice large numbers at five-minute increments, and the manufacturer put a bit logo, which might be a bit unnecessary. Regardless, the screen provides accurate time and features date and chronograph windows.

The watch is comfortable to wear, and it comes in a beautiful gift box. It is a shame that it is not luminous, but it still offers a lot of things for the price, which makes it a valuable investment.

7. Aviator F-Series Men’s Vintage World War II Pilot Design Quartz Chronograph 100 Meters Waterproof Watch

7. Aviator F-Series Men’s Vintage World War II Pilot Design Quartz Chronograph 100 Meters Waterproof Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Built to use in air
  • Suitable for emergency landings
  • Vintage design

PROS

  • A retro design inspired by WWII
  • The chronograph function for accurate timing
  • Luminous hands make it possible to read the time in low-light conditions
  • Mineral crystal glass is scratch-resistant

CONS

  • Durability could be better
  • It doesn’t pack any extra features

DETAILS

If you love retro style and simplistic design, you may want to consider this timepiece. It only includes the essentials, but it does that in a way that exceeds expectations.

For starters, the analog display is accurate in showing time thanks to the Miyota Japanese quartz movement. Additionally, the chronograph feature 1/10, 60 seconds, and 60 minutes sub-dials.

The hands are luminous, which will be useful in the dark. The watch is water-resistant and is equipped for emergency landings. The mineral crystal glass is scratch-resistant, but the overall durability could be better. Ultimately, if your budget is limited, this wearable can be a great fit.

8. Laco Augsburg Type A Dial German Automatic Pilot Watch 861688

8. Laco Augsburg Type A Dial German Automatic Pilot Watch 861688

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Automatic movement
  • The elegant strap color
  • Original WWII design

PROS

  • A round case with a standard 42mm diameter
  • High-quality components for optimal durability
  • Reliable performance
  • Great readability in the dark

CONS

  • It doesn’t have a chronograph function
  • It can be tricky to make a difference between the hands sometimes

DETAILS

According to the company, the watch features the original design that German pilots wore during World War II. The brown leather strap is stylish, and the silver stainless-steel case is scratch-resistant.

The dark background complements well with light-colored dials, but the hands can seem of similar length sometimes. The great thing about them is that they are luminous so that you can read the time in the dark.

The timepiece uses automatic movement, which provides reliable performance. While it only has basic functions and even lacks a chronograph, it is elegant and durable, which makes it a smart investment.

9. Seiko Men’s SNA411 Flight Alarm Chronograph Watch

9. Seiko Men’s SNA411 Flight Alarm Chronograph Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Reliable performance
  • Impressive water resistance
  • The link bracelet is easy to use and durable

PROS

  • Round and durable case
  • The excellent and accurate chronograph function
  • A display packed with information
  • Use the rotating bezel as a slide-rule

CONS

  • The inner ring makes it tricky to set the exact minute
  • The display can be confusing at first

DETAILS

Seiko is a reputable timepiece brand, and they didn’t disappoint with the SNA411 unit either. The watch has an analog display with plenty of information, including the date display window and the chronograph function.

The inner ring shows the current time, and it uses Japanese quartz movement to ensure accuracy. If you are adjusting it additionally, it may be a bit difficult to set the exact minute due to the specifics of the watch.

The watch uses high-quality and durable components, and you can use the rotating bezel as a slide-rule. It also has an impressive water resistance that makes it suitable for marine activities.

10. AVIATOR Military Army Mens Wrist Watch

10. AVIATOR Military Army Mens Wrist Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Excellent value for money
  • Chronograph function
  • Modern and sporty design

PROS

  • Analog display, but modern design
  • The Japanese quartz movement is very precise
  • The round and large case made of stainless steel
  • The propeller-inspired dial is a nice touch

CONS

  • Chronograph hands may be hard to distinguish
  • The strap might be uncomfortable at first

DETAILS

This may be one of the most affordable watches in the Aviator series. Although it uses a traditional analog display, the timepiece looks modern and sporty. If you consider the price, the components are of adequate quality, although the leather strap is a bit stiff and might be uncomfortable at first.

The watch does well what is expected of it thanks to the Japanese quartz movement. The chronograph function is reliable, and the propeller dial is a nice touch. However, the other two chronograph hands are dark, and they may be difficult to read on a dark background.

The round case has a large 44mm diameter, and it also has a 10ATM rating for water resistance.

11. Mil-Tec Vintage Style WW2 Pilot Watch with Black Leather Strap

11. Mil-Tec Vintage Style WW2 Pilot Watch with Black Leather Strap

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Excellent readability
  • Affordable price
  • Mechanical movement

PROS

  • A retro WWII style
  • A fairly durable product
  • Provides enough luminosity to be readable in low-light conditions
  • It is easy to read thanks to the magnified rim

CONS

  • The case-back might leave color marks on your hand
  • The strap doesn’t exactly fit the vintage style

DETAILS

Mil-Tec is another watch designer that decided to make a pilot watch that features a classic WWII style. However, it seems that it only does that partway because the strap doesn’t exactly fit that design. Despite that, it is fairly durable, as well as the rest of the timepiece, and that is what matters.

The stainless steel case is of round 40mm shape, and the strap features an adjustable buckle. You can easily read the time even in low-light conditions thanks to luminosity and the magnified rim.

The product is attractive and provides consistent performance and accurate timing, but it doesn’t seem to be waterproof. Furthermore, the back of the case might leave color marks on your hand when it gets wet.

12. Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime Pilot Black Dial Men’s Watch

12. Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime Pilot Black Dial Men’s Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Extremely durable
  • Prestigious brand
  • Accurate timing

PROS

  • Over-sized 46mm case
  • A chronograph function with three sub-dials
  • Numerous extra features
  • Swiss-made watch with precise movement

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • The display may be confusing at first

DETAILS

Let’s clear up one thing – Breitling is a premium brand for those that are willing to splash their cash on an outstanding watch. This timepiece is a luxury solution and offers extreme durability and superb performance.

The case is a bit over-sized with a 46mm diameter, which many users will love. Additionally, it will be helpful because the watch is packed with extra features. The chronograph function with three dials, date display, second time zone, and world time, are only some useful additions.

The display may be confused at first, but you will get used to it quickly. The precise movement of this Swiss-made watch is fantastic, and if you want to impress people around you, this timepiece is a great option.

13. Invicta Men’s 17204 AVIATOR Stainless Steel Casual Watch

13. Invicta Men’s 17204 AVIATOR Stainless Steel Casual Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Over-sized 48mm case
  • Modern design
  • Reliable performance

PROS

  • Attractive design
  • Stainless steel band and case
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Solid water resistance

CONS

  • The components are not of great quality
  • Not suitable for those who do not like large watches

DETAILS

Invicta brings us a watch that belongs to the Aviator family and features an affordable solution for those looking to buy a timepiece with chronograph function.

The case is made of durable stainless steel, and the same material was chosen for the strap. Thanks to the safety clasp, it is easy to put on and take off your hand. The Japanese quartz movement secures precise timing, and the chronograph works like a charm.

The watch has an over-sized case with a diameter of 48mm. Thanks to that, you can clearly read the time, although the number marks also help. The tachymeter and compass are also included, as well as a window that shows the current date.

14. Hamilton Aviation Black Dial SS Olive Leather Automatic Men’s Watch

14. Hamilton Aviation Black Dial SS Olive Leather Automatic Men’s Watch

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT

  • Simplistic design
  • Excellent water resistance
  • Luminous hands

PROS

  • A clear and simple screen with a date display
  • The case is scratch-resistant
  • You can read time in the dark since it has luminescent hands
  • Impressive durability

CONS

  • It doesn’t offer plenty of extra features
  • It may be a bit expensive

DETAILS

If you are a fan of a traditional timepiece, you will love Hamilton’s simplistic design used in this model. The analog display uses white dials on a dark background to show time. You can see it at any time of the day, and luminescent hands will help you at night.

The 42mm round case is scratch-resistant, and the overall durability of the watch is impressive. It doesn’t pack a lot of extra features, although it has a date window on the screen.

The water resistance of the timepiece is amazing (165 feet or 50 meters), and the watch is an example of how a premium wearable should look and feel like.

How to Choose the Best Pilot Watch

Here is a quick overview of the things you should consider when choosing a pilot watch:

Available features – these depend on your preference, but they can be the deciding factor when picking a pilot watch. Some users do not need extra features and only want accurate movement. Others, however, need a chronograph function, date display, second time zone, and other extras.

Case diameter – once again, it comes down to your preference. The standard is between 42-44mm, and you may consider the size of your hand and choose accordingly.

Material – you want a durable watch with high-quality components. The case should be of stainless steel, and it should have a scratch-resistant mineral glass. As for the strap, you can’t go wrong with a leather band.

Analog or digital display – if you are a fan of traditional timepieces, go with an analog display. And if you like your watch to look like a gadget, go with a digital one.

Visibility – you want to ensure that it is easy to read the time at any occasion, so make sure that the dials have adequate readability. Additionally, you may consider models that allow you to read time at night, too.

Final Conclusion

Are you ready to pick the best pilot watch for your needs? If you read our reviews and tips carefully, it should be easy to choose a timepiece that perfectly suits your style and expectations!

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Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips and strategies for building wealth and success.

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