There is no denying that military style watches are known for their style and function and have become the standard for any gentleman. These types of watches are incredibly good looking, function well, and are built to last. As we wade through the history and progression of men’s watches, there is one style that continually stands above the rest. Pilot watches are in a league of their own. They continue to grow as one of the most popular style of men’s watches available, varying in price and quality. Let’s dive into the allure of pilot watches and explore its manly history.


It is said that origins of the pilot watch can be traced back to the early stages of aviation, near the turn of the 20th century. Aviation was becoming more prevalent and the needs of the pilot based on his role fueled a new breed of wrist watch demands. It is said that an aviator from 1904 actually worked hand in hand with famous watch maker Louis Cartier. The pilot requested that Cartier design a watch that better fit his airborne life style. The watch had to be durable, large, and easy to read as to minimize distractions for a pilot.

early aviator watch

As time went on, more reliable and extremely accurate timepiece were required and demanded by pilots. These guys need to know their fuel consumption and navigational calculations, and timing was everything. With the huge influx of pilots during World War II, the pilot’s watch finally became engraved as a part of style and culture among the military and later civilian life. All of these hot shot pilots coming home from the war naturally kept the watches and wore them constantly. This likely fueled the demand for more aviator style watches to be available to the general public.

Features of a pilot watch

The style and look of an aviator’s watch was a direct correlation to the look of the instruments in his cockpit. Large plain dials that are black and white with skinny and defined hands were the nature of the game for pilots. As watches were designed over the years, these key features remained the most popular:

Rotating disk for navigational purposes

Large Clear Face

Large adjustable knobs

Modern aviator watches offer even more features and customization for pilots. Some watches can tell you elevation, include a compass, or give you tools for calculating fuel consumption. Having said that, here are some great pilot watches that you can be the proud and stylish owner of.

Seiko Men’s SNA411 Flight Alarm Chronograph Watch 

Amazonseiko sna411


Invicta Men’s 11370 Specialty Pilot

Amazoninvicta mens 11370

Casio Men’s MTP4500D-1AV Slide Rule Bezel Analog Chronograph Aviator Watch



Citizen Men’s BJ7000-52E “Nighthawk” Stainless Steel Eco-Drive Watch

Amazoncitizen nighthawk watch


Seiko Men’s SNAD05 Flight Computer Silver-Tone Watch

Amazonseiko flight computer watch

Timex Men’s T2P102DH Intelligent Quartz Aviator Fly-Back Chronograph Black Dial, Brown Leather Strap Watch

 Amazontimex pilot watch

Seiko Men’s SNAE97 Sportura-Aviator Watch

Amazonseiko avaitor watch


Editor’s Pick

Citizen Men’s JY0050-55L “Blue Angels Skyhawk A-T” Titanium Eco-Drive Watch

Amazoncitizen blue angel titanium

As you can see, the style of a pilot watch is a timeless statement. We hope one of these good looking watches find their way on your wrist and accompany you on your next adventure!

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