WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — There are few styles of wristwatches that are more iconic than the aviator. Aviator watches are a stylistic reminder of a time that has been idealized in popular culture for decades. The aviator watch makes us think of the era of exploration when intrepid explorers crossed the ocean in biplanes, or a few years later, when the “Greatest Generation” was fighting in WWII.
The only problem with a watch style that has been around for 100 years is that it can feel a little boring at times. There is a fine line between “Classic” and “Old-fashioned.”
The way to overcome these concerns is to look for a watch that combines classic styling with innovative and modern features.
Form Meets Function
Aviators have remained such a relevant style of the watch due to their functionality. There are a couple of different aviator styles for various purposes, but they act as multi-tools to help complete specific tasks.
World Timer Watches
World timers are straightforward watches that could almost pass for a standard dress watch. A world timer has a dial that you can set to whatever your local time zone is, and it will allow you to track what time it is in every other major time zone in the world.
This function is most valuable historically for non-stop flights, where a pilot can adjust as crossing time zones. For the average user, this function allows you to travel for business or pleasure while always knowing what time it is where you are.
This is the classic aviator look that most people think of when they hear “aviator watch.” The chronograph may have many
functions, but the most basic process that chronographs have in common is a stopwatch.
In addition to the stopwatch, some functions vary from watch to watch. The most visually striking element of an aviator’s chronograph is the face with multiple smaller dials.
These dials can be used for many functions. Typically one of them is for the stopwatch. The role of the other subdials and the number of dials depend on the watch.
Many chronographs only have two subdials: one for the stopwatch and one for the second hand. A third hand often measures time on a 24-hour rather than a 12-hour sweep.
Often the outer band of a chronograph will have a scale for tracking other functions. These scales can be used for monitoring airspeed, heart rate, or many various time ratio functions. This makes chronographs helpful for professionals, from pilots to business travelers to doctors.
The best aviator watches on the market will have modern features incorporated into their functionality. These features allow modern aviators to honor the aviator watch’s history while appealing to a modern aesthetic and functionality.
Glow-in-the-dark dials make your watch functional in varied environments. Modern color palettes can make a very traditional watch appear modern and stylish.
The ideal watch can work for you every day, in all your activities. A great modern aviator will also function as a dive watch. Since a chronograph is already excellent for tracking time, all it needs is water pressure resistance, and your aviator is ready to work on your next dive.
Another function that helps with the versatility that did not exist in the past is the quick-change band. If you prefer a leather strap but would rather have stainless for dress occasions or dives, a quick change allows you to swap at a moment’s notice!
To summarize, aviator watches have the functionality to be great for the modern man. With the addition of a few modern features, an aviator can go from good to perfect!