The 15 Best Pilot Watches

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Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures — or at least, an extraordinary watch. Our list of the best pilot watches captures that sentiment perfectly, with picks that are versatile, durable, and highly functional in all kinds of conditions. With the right specifications, your new favorite pilot watch — or watches, plural — can go anywhere you need to go.

The pilot watch, in all of it’s glory, dates back to nearly 1904 when Brazilian-born pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont — a major contributor to aircraft design at the time — commissioned Louis Cartier to design an easy-to-read aviation watch with a large dial, large numbers, and a clean design.

Companies like Bell & Ross take an approach that’s military-inspired and yet global, and plenty of other brands have done up their take on the pilot’s watch in ways that range from simple and effective to durable and hard-wearing to sleek and refined. In short, the best pilot watch for you will capture the versatility and spirit of adventure that today’s guy needs.

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono

Hamilton has a heritage that stretches back decades — likely, to the watch your father or grandfather wore. And the Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono takes that heritage and brings it forward into the 21st century, to say the very least. This is a precise, technical, and yet beastly watch that looks great and stands out in a crowd — there’s no telling where it’ll take you, because it can do just about anything. It’s probably best suited for adventures abroad, and triple chronograph functionality helps out with that. Start saving now — or else put this watch on your wish list for later.

Archimede Pilot Chronograph

Archimede Pilot Chronograph

The Archimede Pilot Chronograph achieves what all great watches should set out to achieve — functionality merged with tasteful, striking looks, and good design. The Swiss-made automatic movement on the Archimede Pilot Chronograph offers precision and reliability, while the black leather strap and black dial combination (but one offering from the brand) offers excellent style. Between three chronographs and a date window, it also offers at-a-glance updates to keep you on time. What’s more, the refined-yet-functional profile of the Archimede Pilot Chronograph offers you the ability to dress it up with a herringbone blazer this fall or winter, or dress it down with a rugged denim jacket and worn-in leather boots.

Bremont ALT1-P2

Bremont ALT1-P2

If you’ve got money to burn — as in, a considerable amount of money — the Bremont ALT 1-P2 Chronograph is the watch you’re going to want to invest in. With all the hallmarks of a handsome, stylish and dependable luxury watch, the ALT 1-P2 Chronograph boasts a high price tag — but plenty of quality in spades. The hardened stainless steel case ensures maximum durability, while the calfskin leather strap adds a premium touch. The functionality of three chronographs ensures you’re connected (the old-fashioned way) wherever you go — and you can absolutely go lots of places with this watch.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII

To say that IWC doesn’t cut any corners when producing some of the finest watches in the world (and indeed, one of the best pilot watches out there) would be an understatement, because IWC is among the best of the best at what it does. And what exactly does the lauded brand do? They consistently and carefully craft watches with an eye toward style, refinement, and functionality, as in the case of this Swiss-made watch built on a black calfskin leather strap. Talk about versatility and accessibility in one handsome offering, right? 

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph

The spirit of Zenith watches is on fine display in this Pilot Type 20 Chronograph, an homage to old-school pilot watches that simply had to get the job done, no matter the conditions in the air or on the ground. Zenith based this watch on a throwback aesthetic and models that delivered time and time again, and we know this watch is going to provide loads of style and durability. 

Sinn 900 Pilot S Chronograph

Sinn 900 Pilot S Chronograph

Sinn’s 900 Pilot S Chronograph is unlike any other pilot’s watch we’ve seen, blending bold looks and a large dial size with functionality for the adventurous gentleman on the ground or in the air. Take the built-in Magnetic Field Protection for maximum accuracy, or the Black Hard Coating for toughness and dependable performance. It’s going to come through in the clutch when you need it the most. 

Ollech & Wajs P-104

Ollech & Wajs P-104

Ollech & Wajs makes timepieces that really are a thing of beauty, including the magnificent P-104, carefully merging classic looks with modern performance for the man on the move. Featuring a design that takes inspiration from a cockpit control panel, this finely crafted timepiece is meant to help both commercial and military pilots, with features like a slide rule and Super-LumiNova dial markings. 

Seiko Astron

Seiko Astron

Seiko’s well-made and affordably priced dive and dress watches are some of our favorite on the market, so it only makes sense that the Seiko Astron delivers the goods in yet another category. Of course, we’re talking about pilot watches here, so the Seiko Astron fits right in, what with its GPS solar movement and triple-chronograph functionality. 

Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master II

There are some watches that need no introduction, regardless of category, and mark our words when we say the handsome and always classic Rolex GMT-Master II is assuredly one of those watches. With a bold and instantly recognizable design (note the black-and-blue color scheme), this take on the GMT-Master II is the stuff of legend, and a perfect pilot’s watch for your next adventure. 

OMEGA Spacemaster Z-33 Chronograph

OMEGA Spacemaster Z-33 Chronograph

OMEGA is yet another watch brand that needs no introduction, what with a heritage that literally stretches to the moon and back. The Spacemaster Z-33 Chronograph is a stunning timepiece designed with great heights in mind, built with a durable rubber strap, a brand-new movement and a dial that combines digital and analog timekeeping

Luminox SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph

Luminox SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph

Across the board, Luminox delivers the sort of rough-and-tumble watches loved by explorers, adventurers, and the military in equal measure, so the SR-71 Blackbird Automatic Chronograph is the kind of watch not to be missed. That’s especially true if you want one of the best pilot watches for men, and the durable stainless steel case and self-powered illumination only drive that point home even further. 

Breitling Exospace B55

Breitling Exospace B55

Breitling stands above the rest as far as consistently crafting some of the best men’s pilot watches, with price tags and stunning quality to match. The Exospace B55 is everything you could ask for in a pilot’s watch, complete with a smartphone-connected chronograph for incredible functionality. 

Bell & Ross BR 03-92

Bell & Ross BR 03-92

The good folks at Bell & Ross consistently exceed our expectations as far as the finest men’s watches on the planet are concerned, and the BR 03-92 is certainly not that far off the mark (to say the very least). The BR 03-92 was designed for all conditions in the air, complete with Super LumiNova markings, a striking all-black design, and an easy-to-read dial. 

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter

Oris knows exactly what aviation enthusiasts (and style-minded guys back on the ground) need, and in the case of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter, they deliver the goods quite readily. Oris watches like this one do exactly what you need ‘em to do, when you need it done, and here they’ve come through with an automatic mechanical watch (the world’s first) with a mechanical altimeter. 

Garmin D2 Air GPS Smartwatch

Garmin D2 Air GPS Smartwatch

Even your pilot’s watch can be a smartwatch these days, thanks to Garmin and the D2 Air GPS Smartwatch. It’s exactly the kind of watch you need for longer flights or joy rides, complete with a bright lighting display, readily available runway, and airport information, and of course, a barometric altimeter to keep you on the right track. 

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