The 25 Best Pilot Watches of 2023
Let’s be honest here, as much as we’d like to say that money doesn’t buy class, the truth of the matter is that more times than not, without the proper budget to shop around with, you cannot actually portray yourself as a person of a higher social status.
When it comes to this, there are plenty of different purchases that you can make in order to properly convey your sense of style, but by far the most successful one of the bunch has been and will always be the wristwatch you’re sporting.
This is why for today we actually decided to bring you our very own top 25 best pilot watches that are sure to help you improve your sense of style.
With this article however we’d like to focus more so on the pilot watches of the world, simply because we believe that these are the utmost classy and stylish option on the market.
But hey, if you’re new to this venue then you’re probably wondering what a pilot watch even is and why it’s worth investing so much money into. Luckily, we’ve got you covered as we’re about to delve right into:
- What Is a Pilot Watch?
- Pilot Watch Types
- 25. Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GR-B200
- 24. Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T Blue Angels
- 23. Tissot Heritage Navigator Automatic 160th Anniversary
- 22. Mühle Glashütte Terrasport I
- 21. SINN 104
- 20. Luminox SR-71 Blackbird
- 19. Seiko Astron SSH049
- 18. Junghans Meister Pilot
- 17. Tudor Black Bay GMT
- 16. Laco Paderborn Type B Dial Automatic Pilot Watch
- 15. Marathon Navigator
- 14. Alpina Men’s AL-372BGR4S6 Startimer Pilot Watch
- 13. Fortis 635.10.11 L.01 B-42
- 12. Rolex GMT Master II
- 11. Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33
- 10. Zenith 031930681.21C Pilot Watch
- 9. Garmin D2 Bravo Aviation Watch
- 8. Hamilton H64715535 Khaki Pilot Watch
- 7. Bremont ALT1-ZT/51
- 6. Citizen JY0010-50E Eco-Drive Skyhawk A-T Titanium Watch
- 5. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King
- 4. Longines Avigation Avigation Watch Type A-7
- 3. Bell & Ross Collection Aviation BR
- 2. Breitling Exospace B55
- 1. IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch
What Is a Pilot Watch?
To put it bluntly, a pilot watch is essentially just a wristwatch that is specifically meant to be a lot more useful to you depending on your circumstances.
First off, it needs to be quite a bit larger than the standard watch out there, since the person that owns it will not have all that much time on their hands (we couldn’t help it). Second of all, the hands and indices on the wristwatch need to be readable during the darkest of nights.
Third of all, you need to be able to use it even if you’re wearing gloves at the moment, which is why the crown needs to be extra-large.
Pilot Watch Types
Other than that, however, you should also know that the typical pilot watch can be separated into one of three main categories:
- The Flieger
- The Pilot’s Chronograph / Flight Computer
- The GMT
The first of these is the classic Flieger category, known for being the most basic of the three. They’re typically very large and easy to read, and they’re also famous for having the “A” layout very similar to that of a traditional watch face.
The “B” layout uses two different timekeeping tracks on the dial and other than that, you will usually find an oversized crown and leather strap on it.
The second of the bunch is the Pilot’s Chronograph which is known for being a more modern looking watch than the Flieger. Because of this it offers a lot of new features meant to aid the pilot during flight. As such they can calculate the airspeed, distance and basically everything else for the pilot’s convenience.
The last of the three is the GMT model. Although they started off specifically meant for the pilots, they are now used by pretty much everyone that wishes to add a bit of class to their look.
The original GMT model was made at the request of Pan Am, the most famous airline of all time, and as a result Glycine and Rolex really gave it their all in order to get on good terms with Pan Am.
But alas, now that we know what a typical pilot watch is, how about we jump straight into the top 25 we have in store for you today, starting off obviously with none other than:
25. Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GR-B200
With one of the most attractive looking price tags on this list we have the Casio G-Shock, a fully water-resistant hunk of a wristwatch that really deserves to be on this list simply because of how practical it is.
As we’ve come to expect from this company, they’ve always made sure to make their products military-grade when it comes to their resistance and they really didn’t hold back with this model right here.
24. Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T Blue Angels
As one of the top rated Flieger models on the market out there, you know exactly what you’re getting when you’re buying this watch and let’s just say, it goes one step beyond those expectations in no time.
Despite its modern look, it is actually a very good choice for those that have gotten used to wearing their old pilot watch simply because of its classic functions. Couple this with its eco friendliness and you’ve got a winner right here.
Quite a bit of a ramp up when it comes to its price tag, this model more than makes up for it by sporting a modern design.
It’s also a cool homage to the Tissot Navigator watch that took the world by storm back in 1953.
22. Mühle Glashütte Terrasport I
Although they’re known mostly for their rugged tool watches, this brand actually really outdid themselves by taking the already incredible design of the traditional Beobachtungsuhr and modernizing it in its entirety.
The result is a very powerful watch that can stand amongst the most popular fliegers out there without a problem.
21. SINN 104
Sure, pilot watches are all amazing and worth the price tag, but throughout the ages, dive watches have always appeared to outclass them when it comes to the sales rates.
This is why SINN decided that it was about time that this distinction was abandoned altogether, by bringing in the SINN 104, arguably their most unique model yet.
Despite clearly being a pilot watch, this model literally mimics both the design and the functionality of a dive watch, making this a must for those that want something original around their wrist.
As one of the top picks for most special force units out there, Luminox have really taken it a step further by bringing them one of the toughest watches you’ll ever lay your eyes on.
Its only real issue is its price tag which is astronomical to say the least. But hey, can you really blame them? They wanted to make the world’s best watch and from what we can tell, they more than made up for it.
19. Seiko Astron SSH049
Specifically built to be a traveling watch, this model really went one step beyond what we expected from it by coming straight out of the box with a GPS that adjusts its settings based on your current time zone.
On top of that, it is also powered by a 5x Dual Time movement which makes it extremely fast and easy to use at all times.
18. Junghans Meister Pilot
Definitely one of the most modern looking watches on our list, the Junghans Meister Pilot comes with an incredible 43.3mm case width and a ton of different features which are specifically tailored to make your traveling easier.
17. Tudor Black Bay GMT
Coming up we have the Tudor Black Bay GMT, an incredible model that comes with a manufacture caliber MT5652 with a date and GMT complication at hand. While definitely a bit more on the expensive side, you won’t regret buying this one in the slightest because of all of the attention it will get you.
The amazing thing about this watch right here is the fact that it comes with an excellent Sellita SW 200 automatic movement which makes this watch amongst the most precise timepieces on the market.
On top of that its design is just straight up insanely cool and let’s not forget the fact that as a modernized version of a past model, this watch comes with a ton of updates including the thermally blue hands and dial markers that help you see it even in the darkest of nights.
If you want a wristwatch that can really take a pounding like a tactical watch then this right here might very well be the top pick for you.
Marathon really went one step beyond when creating this model by making it adhere to the military specifications that the San Antonio’s Kelly Air Force Base requested back in the 80s.
Luckily, they truly delivered on their promises, giving us what could very well be the toughest pilot watch on the market.
This watch right here is the literal definition of pinpoint precision at its finest. Not only that, but it actually features a very accurate Swiss quarts movement coupled with six jewels and over 48 months of battery life in total.
Just to reemphasize, this is pretty much going to be the golden standard wherever you go, so always be sure to take it with you regardless of your destination.
If you’re the type of person that just really loves using a watch that comes jampacked with dozens of different features the you’re going to love this one and that’s a fact. Yet another Swiss automatic watch right here, it offers so many different features that we could literally write a whole article on it alone.
Instead, however, we’ll focus on the anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial window and the fact that this watch can literally survive at over 200m underwater.
12. Rolex GMT Master II
Although it started off as a pilot’s watch, this soon became a fashion phenomenon as more and more people started to look into purchasing it simply because of how incredible it looks.
Honestly though we can’t blame them, just look at how absolutely stunning this model is. With its modern ceramic bezel and its titanium white look you absolutely can’t go wrong with this one right here. If you have the money for it this one is a no-brainer for sure.
As the very first result of the collaboration between Omega and Solar Impulse Project, this watch right here is just brimming with personality, and on top of that we’d argue that it is one of the most ambitious watches on the market too.
With those signature skeletonized hands at hand and that incredibly sleep design choice this watch is sure to be a great companion for any pilot out there and that’s a fact.
Most watches out there have to choose between being practical and being stylish, but most watches out there are not made by Zenith. Just look at how absolutely stunning this watch is, and on top of that it offers all of the features that we’ve come to expect from Zenith’s roster.
This Swiss automatic watch is pretty much any business man’s go to as long as they can handle the initial price tag.
9. Garmin D2 Bravo Aviation Watch
The reason as to why this smartwatch deserves to be on our list is definitely the fact that it wirelessly receives the flight plan straight from the Garmin Pilot and if that weren’t enough it also manages to control the VIRD as well.
On top of all of that, it is marketed as one of the most useful watches you can use while flying, all thanks to the many features that it offers.
We can sit here and talk all about the many different features offered by the Hamilton watch but we’re not going to do that. We could talk all about its automatic movement, its luminescent hands and the fact that it can literally survive at over 200 meters underwater, but we’ll leave that out for now.
Instead, we’ll take this time just to say: Look at how absolutely stunning this looks. It’s just straight up one of the most gorgeous designs on the market and that’s a fact.
7. Bremont ALT1-ZT/51
One of the top picks for any military squadrons out there, as soon as luxury watchmaker Bremont released a statement claiming that they’ll improve upon the formula and make an even better version of the watch everybody lost their minds.
Luckily, this is Bremont we’re talking about here so they definitely managed to deliver on their promises. This model is ideal for traveling long distances, the GMT hand is just super useful on the road and its functionality is tailored to help make your journey all the easier.
If you’re a young aviator looking to really spruce up your look while also adding to your toolset then look no further than this model right here.
First off, it looks amazing, but besides that it is also perfect when it comes to its functionality. We’re talking about radio-controlled accuracy perfection, meaning that it can literally receive radio signals in a matter of seconds after they are sent out.
5. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King
This is Rolex we’re talking about here, regardless of whether they made a pilot watch or if they made one for chicken, we all know that the end result would have been the same regardless.
Even so, they managed to outdo themselves with this model right here by offering what we would refer to as one of the most classic looking watches on the market. Couple that with the brand-new additions to its technology and you’ve got yourself a watch you can’t skip out on.
4. Longines Avigation Avigation Watch Type A-7
While there are quite a lot of other options out on the market at the moment, the Longines Avigation model tops most of them off by offering 28’800 vibrations per hour alongside a 48-hour power reserve.
On top of that the model also comes with an alligator strap which is just downright awesome.
3. Bell & Ross Collection Aviation BR
One of the sportiest looks on our list over here, the Bell & Ross model is by far one of the most advanced and modern looking watches you’ll ever see, and for good reason too.
Its square face design is meant to change things up, to make you stand out, and on top of that it is also very practical considering the fact that it was originally inspired by aeronautical instruments.
2. Breitling Exospace B55
Out of all of the watches we’ve seen so far, this one might very well be the most practical one simply because of how many exclusive features it offers.
With its unique SuperQuartz movement and the incredibly gorgeous design, regardless of whether you’re looking to fly around with it on your wrist or if you just want to be the talk of the town, this watch right here has got you covered for sure.
1. IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Automatic Men’s Watch
When it was originally released, IWC claimed that this watch would revolutionize the industry and they meant it. Its design is flawlessly elegant, and coupled with the incredible 168-hour power reserve, you have what can very well be referred to as the top of the line for any watch out there, pilot or otherwise.
Compared to other awesome pilot watches in this list, IWC’s Big Pilot watch is also relatively affordable, which makes it the best option in our eyes.
While most of these were originally meant for flying, you can still sport them around at any high-class events without a problem and that’s a fact. So, if you want to really show everyone how classy you are, you absolutely can’t go wrong with any of these picks right here.
Thank you for reading this far and we hope that this was a helpful bit of insight into the wondrous world of pilot watches.