#10 Best Watches for Pilots 2022

Choosing the best watches for pilots is a little more complicated than for the average person. As pilots are expected to wear a watch at all times, it has to provide much more than just tracking the time. Read this article to get the best for you.

👤 Written by: A. K. Sari
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Not every watch is just a watch. The best aviation watches not only tell time but also help pilots find their way. During the “golden age” of flying, a pilot, copilot, or navigator had to know how much fuel they used, how fast they were going up, and how many statute miles were in a nautical mile. Simple “Flieger” watches with large, easy-to-read dials were also used at the time.

There are a lot of aviation watches out there, and many of them look the same. This list is meant to help you find the best watch for your needs and your budget. We can help you find the best aviation watches to buy, whether you just got your pilot’s license and want a new watch to go with it or you love the history of manned flight and want to own something to honor it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What kind of watches do pilots wear?

With how far technology has come, pilots, these days are more likely to wear smartwatches with GPS than traditional “pilot watches.” As technology for airplanes has improved and computers have taken over, there’s less need to use a watch to figure out flight times and make calculations.

Because of this, the type of watch a pilot wears will depend on his or her job and style. The uniforms of commercial airlines are very dressy, so pilot watches or dress watches look great. Most military pilots, on the other hand, wear smart or tough tactical watches.

What is the main categories to qualifies as a pilot watch?

A pilot watch can be a lot of different things, as long as it has some key features. However, most of them will fall into one of three main categories.

  1. Flieger: The most classic, famous, and well-known design for a pilot watch is also the most simple.
  2. Pilot’s Chronograph/Flight Computer: Pilot’s chronographs and flight computers have a more modern design and can help a pilot in more ways than just telling time.
  3. GMT: GMT watches are more often thought of as traveler’s watches than pilot’s watches these days, but this type of watch was first made for pilots.

What features should best watches for pilots have?

A good pilot watch will have a large dial with easy-to-read numbers and hands that are lit up and have a big crown. It should also have a shock-resistant movement and a sapphire crystal face that won’t break or crack. To last for a long time, the building should be made of strong, high-quality materials.

How much the average price for best watches for pilots?

Many simple, affordable watches, especially Flieger-style watches, live in the $50 to $200 range. You don’t have to skimp on quality as long as you keep things simple but beware of shady brands in this price range that will sell you watches with a great ad campaign and an inspiring (but made-up) backstory, but which aren’t very good.

*Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct. Read more
Name Rank Check Prices
Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch IWC
IWC
Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch
#1 Amazon Iwc.com eBay
Exospace B55 Breitling
Breitling
Exospace B55
#2 Amazon Breitling.com eBay
Aviation BR Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross
Aviation BR
#3 Amazon Bellross.com eBay
Oyster Perpetual Air-King Rolex
Rolex
Oyster Perpetual Air-King
#4 Amazon Rolex.com eBay
1963 Chronograph Seagull
Seagull
1963 Chronograph
#5 Amazon Seagullwatchcompany.com eBay
Pilot Automatic Morgan Farer
Farer
Pilot Automatic Morgan
#6 Amazon Farer.com eBay
G-Shock Gravitymaster GR-B200 Casio
Casio
G-Shock Gravitymaster GR-B200
#7 Amazon Casio.com eBay
Promaster Skyhawk A-T Blue Angels Citizen
Citizen
Promaster Skyhawk A-T Blue Angels
#8 Amazon Citizenwatch.com eBay
9098 Men's Air SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph Luminox
Luminox
9098 Men's Air SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph
#9 Amazon Mygiftstop.com eBay
Paderborn Type B Dial Swiss Automatic Laco
Laco
Paderborn Type B Dial Swiss Automatic
#10 Amazon Laco-watches.com eBay

10 List of Best Watches for Pilots

  • IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch
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    #1

    IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch

    Watch with Stainless Steel Crown

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    When it came out, IWC said that this watch would change the way watches were made, and they were right. Its design is flawlessly elegant, and when combined with its amazing 168-hour power reserve, you have what could be called the best watch on the market, pilot or not. Compared to the other great pilot watches on this list, this pilot watch is also pretty cheap, which is why we think it’s the best choice.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Stainless steel crown
    Extra thickness
    Water-resistant
    Anti-reflective coating

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Ceramic or covered crowns are bad

    What other experts liked

    The movement is beautiful. This helps the viewer see movement more clearly. This watch is one of the most appealing modern three-hand automatic movements.
    A Blog to Watch

    What other experts didn't like

    Ceramic or coated crowns aren't good, and this gives dimension to the design.
    Monochrome-watches
  • Breitling Exospace B55
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    #2

    Breitling Exospace B55

    Watch with Chronograph Features

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Exospace B55 is especially notable for its features, which include a unique SuperQuartz movement and functions made just for pilots. However, the way it looks is also very nice. It has bold black and neon cobalt colors that make it look bright and bold. This watch is perfect for a man who likes to wear something a little more striking on his wrist. Breitling says it is designed for the future and is the most comfortable watch to wear.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Chronograph/stopwatch
    Optional alarm
    Electronic tachymeter
    Battery EOL (End Of Life) indicator

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Expensive

    What other experts liked

    This isn't a formal watch, but it's surprisingly comfy. Short, curved lugs and a titanium casing make the watch light and comfortable.
    Bobs Watches

    What other experts didn't like

    The Breitling Exospace B55 Connected is by far the most expensive smartwatch I've tried that isn't made of precious metal.
    A Blog to Watch
  • Bell & Ross Aviation BR
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    #3

    Bell & Ross Aviation BR

    Watch with Anti Reflective Sapphire Crystal

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Bell & Ross model has sporty looks. This pilot watch also looks like one of the most advanced and modern watches you’ll ever see, and for good reason. Its square face is meant to be different and make you stand out. It is also very useful since it was originally based on aeronautical instruments.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Ceramic or Stainless Steel Construction
    Anti Reflective Sapphire Crystal
    Water Resistance
    Rubber, Leather, or Canvas Strap

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Come in a small strap

    What other experts liked

    At the same time, Bell & Ross released the BR03-92, which is a slightly smaller version of the BR01. Which makes it a good choice for men with smaller wrists or those who want a striking watch for formal events. 
    Blog.crownandcaliber

    What other experts didn't like

    The watch was losing at least two minutes per week right out of the box, and it still is. For a watch in this price range that is made of moving parts, this is a very bad result.
    E. Friedemann
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King
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    #4

    Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King

    Watch with Noise-free

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    This brand is known for its classic looks and high quality. This watch carries on the aviation history of the original Rolex Oyster, but it also has some newer and more interesting features. The most interesting thing about this watch, though, is the black dial with emerald green accents and silver hands. It gives the watch more personality and combines old-fashioned parts with newer technology.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Great quality of material
    Affordable price
    Noise-free

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    The design looks crowded

    What other experts liked

    The Air-King 126900 looks and feels like most 40mm Rolex watches, which is to say that it stands out but is also comfortable and well-balanced.
    Monochrome-watches

    What other experts didn't like

    People who enjoyed the Air-Kings because they were basic and conservative will be torn by the new design. The dial is crowded with Arabic numbers, the company name, and a green hand.
    Boutique.humbleandrich
  • Seagull 1963 Chronograph
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    #5

    Seagull 1963 Chronograph

    Watch with Affordable Price

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Seagull 1963 is so popular and well-liked because it has unique red and blue hands, gold hour markers, and is an affordable mechanical hand-wind chronograph. It also has an interesting history. This pilot watch was made for pilots and was made for the Chinese Air Force in 1961. It has venus watch caliber 175 movements and was made specifically for pilots, making it a cool addition to any collection.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Affordably priced
    Comfortable wrist
    Lightweight

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Random configuration product issues

    What other experts liked

    It's an affordable watch that looks great and is styled in a vintage way
    Worn and Wound

    What other experts didn't like

    Many reviews and unboxing videos show different boxes and straps. This configuration seems random.
    Chronometer Check
  • Farer Pilot Automatic Morgan
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    with this product?
    #6

    Farer Pilot Automatic Morgan

    Watch with Nicely-sized

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Morgan is the one that most closely follows the traditional design of a pilot’s watch. With its high-contrast white on black dial, it looks the most military. In fact, it’s pretty sad for Farer. Easy-to-read dial numerals are separated across two rings. Aside from that, The dial is large and looks fantastic. Even though the case as a whole is only 39mm wide, the dial is 37mm. It means you have a watch that is a good size and easy to wear, which is made easier by short lugs.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Easily wearable
    Nicely-sized
    Good-looking dial

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    The colors aren't bright

    What other experts liked

    The numbers on the dial are split into two rings so that they are easy to read. 
    Oracle of Time

    What other experts didn't like

    I don't think the Morgan has gone far enough away from the typical reinterpretation of a military or pilot watch. 
    Fratello Watches
  • Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GR-B200
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    with this product?
    #7

    Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GR-B200

    Watch with Ultra-premium Materials

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Casio G-Shock has one of the most attractive-looking prices. It is a big, water-resistant watch that really deserves to be on this list just because it is so useful. This company always made sure that their products are strong enough for the military, and they didn’t skimp on this model. It’s a great choice for anyone who lives an active life and likes high-speed adventures because it has a unique mix of materials, is useful, and is very durable.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Water-resistant
    Eay to Use
    Durable
    Ultra-premium materials

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Bulky

    What other experts liked

    They do more than just tell you the time. They have features that help you get things done, like life-saving apps, fitness tracking, and running daily errands.
    Everyday Carry

    What other experts didn't like

    Some people might not like the way it looks, or they might want a smaller watch that fits better on their wrists.
    The Watch Company
  • Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T Blue Angels
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    #8

    Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T Blue Angels

    Watch with High-tech

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    As one of the best-rated Flieger models on the market, you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy this watch, and let’s just say it goes one step beyond those expectations in no time. Even though Citizen looks modern, it is a great choice for people who are used to wearing their old pilot watch because it has classic features. When you add that to the fact that it is good for the environment, you have a winner.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Complex
    Robust
    High-tech

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    The dial is hard to understand at first

    What other experts liked

    This watch looks great. It's busy and useful. I become lost in the blues, fiddling with the slide rule and doing useless arithmetic.
    Fifth Wrist

    What other experts didn't like

    The mineral crystal fails. It's flush with the bezel, thus it's scratchable. Given the Skyhawk's huge diameter and thickness.
    Watches You Can Afford
  • Luminox 9098 Men's Air SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph
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    #9

    Luminox 9098 Men's Air SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph

    Watch with Tritium Lume

    1  experts agree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    As one of the most popular choices for most special force units, this pilot watch went one step further and made them one of the toughest watches you’ll ever see. This model has a width of 44 mm and a height of 14 mm. The bezel on this watch is fixed, and the main crown screws down and have function pushers. The band of the Luminox 9098 is made of stainless steel that has been coated with black ions. A stainless steel fold-over push-button safety lock clasp holds the bracelet together.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Tritium lume
    The date on the side
    Rotating bezel timer

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Pricey

    What other experts liked

    In terms of quality, there is nothing better than this. Most likely the most expensive Luminox I own, but also the best.
    Felix Brown
  • Laco Paderborn Type B Dial Swiss Automatic
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    with this product?
    #10

    Laco Paderborn Type B Dial Swiss Automatic

    Watch with Modern Mechanics

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The amazing thing about this watch is that it has a high-quality Sellita SW 200 automatic movement, which makes it one of the most accurate watches you can buy. On top of that, Laco’s design is just plain insanely cool, and since it’s an updated version of a previous model, it has a lot of new features, like thermally blue hands and dial markers that make it easy to read even in the dark.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Easy to grip crown
    Leather strap
    Vary in diameter
    Scaled to Size
    Modern Mechanics

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Bad strap

    What other experts liked

    This is a great thing to look at. This one is the most comfortable and accurate one on my list.
    Patrick A. Mcgovern

    What other experts didn't like

    I only find the watch uncomfortable while wearing long-sleeve shirts or hoodies. The larger crown pinches into my wrist as the cuff pushes the watch forward.
    Chad Wilt

Conclusion: Best Watches for Pilots

Even though most of these were originally made for flying, you can still wear them to high-class events without any trouble. So, if you really want to show people how classy you are, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices. We’d like to thank you for reading this far, and we hope you find the best watches for pilots for your need!

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