(L-R) Bell & Ross BR 03 94 and Graham Chronofighter Oversize GMT. Photograph by Louie Aguinaldo
Style Watches

The 7 best pilot watches for your consideration

The romance of aviation—soaring freedom, powerful engines, and cool gear—has made pilot watches immensely desirable. Here are the rarefied seven of its kind.
Rheea Hermoso-Prudente | Jan 20 2019

Bell & Ross BR 03 94

Created specifically for aviation professionals featuring clean, legible design, and heavy-duty materials.

Hours, minutes, seconds. Date. Chronograph, 3o minutes, and 6o seconds counters.

42 mm steel case with matte black PVD finish. Black dial with hands, markers, and numerals in luminescent coating. Leather strap.


Graham Chronofighter Oversize GMT

The blue bezel and left hand fast-action start/stop trigger and reset pusher are scene-stealing features that have people loving the watch or hating it.

Hours, minutes, seconds. Chronograph, 30 minutes, and 6o seconds counters. Big date. GMT/second time zone.

47 mm steel case with bezel with blue GMT scale. Black dial with blue counters. White Super-LumiNova hands and numerals. Leather strap.


IWC Big Pilot

The watch that awakened the market's appetite for pilot's watches echoes the classic designs of cockpit instruments. This particular model also features a seven-day power reserve and protection against magnetic fields.

Hours, minutes, seconds. Central hacking seconds. Date. Power reserve display.

46.2 mm 18-carat white gold case with onion-shaped crown. Ardoise dial. Alligator leather strap.


Omega Aqua Terra master GMT

While aviation may not immediately come to mind when you think of this model, its GMT function is ideal for time zone-crossing pilots (or travelers).

Hours, minutes, seconds. 24 hour GMT. Date. Chronograph, 12 hour, and 30 minute counters. Stop seconds.

44 mm steel case with bidirectional rotating bezel. Start/ stop and return-to-zero pushers. Teak-gray dial.


Rolex GMT-Master II

Originally created in 1954 for Pan-Am Airways pilots who had to cross multiple time zones. More than 50 years later, the watch has become iconic.

Hours, minutes, seconds. GMT. Date. 4ornm steel and yellow gold case with rotating bezel. Oyster bracelet with Oysterlock safety clasp.

(L-R) Rolex GMT-Master II, Breguet Type XX Limited Edition

Breguet Type XX Limited Edition

Made to mark 100 years of French naval aviation, the limited edition Type XX Aeronavale features an engraving of the official emblem of the centenary on the caseback.

Hours, minutes, seconds. Flyback chronograph. Date. 48 hours power reserve.

39 mm steel case with bidirectional black lacquered bezel with raised numerals. Matte black dial, chapter ring in Arabic numerals. Hand-sewn calfskin leather strap.


Breitling Navitimer 01

This limited edition features Breitling's very first in-house movement, the Caliber 01, making this iconic watch model even more collectible.

Hours, minutes, seconds. Date. Chronograph: 12 hours, 30 minutes and seconds.

43 mm steel case. Circular slide rule bezel. Black dial. Steel bracelet.


Photographs by Louie Aguinaldo

This story first appeared in Vault Magazine Issue 2 2011.