For the perennial watch enthusiast, one of the more interesting types of the watch has always been pilot watches. After all, you would not immediately associate watches and pilots. So what are these watches exactly? As the name suggests, these are watches that have special design features and functions that are useful to pilots. One does not need to be in the aviation industry to take advantage of these features though.
Before we dive into the details it is important that these watches are often referred to as pilot chronographs. In order to talk about the watches themselves, we have to know what “chronograph” means. It is a watch that has an hour hand, a minute hand, and an elapsed-second hand that can be reset at the push of a button.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the special features a pilot chronograph watch has.
Get More Accuracy
As you would expect, the main feature of these watches that makes them so desirable to pilots is that they have mechanisms in place to make sure that they are even more accurate than standard mechanical or quartz watches. That is because in aviation, as one would assume, being extremely precise with time is of the utmost importance. The accuracy of the movement of pilot chronograph watches is often in part with watches that people in the military use.
Be Able To Tell the Time No Matter What Visibility You Have
Another notable feature that pilot chronograph watches have is that their watch faces are always bigger than usual. This is for the purpose of visibility. When you are a pilot you can never ensure the type of light and visibility that you will be getting no matter how many tools are in place in your cockpit, that is why you need a watch that you can tell time with at a glance.
A Winding Crown That Means Business
In the past pilots often struggled when it came to adjusting the time on their watches because most watches have smaller winding crowns. If you think about it, pilots often wear gloves. These gloves would make it more difficult to adjust smaller winding crowns so one of the more prominent features of pilot watches is that they have oversized winding crowns to make being able to adjust the time an easier ordeal even with gloves on.
Let It Shine
Another important thing to note about pilot watches is that they are always luminous whenever it is dark. As we talked about earlier — superior visibility is the main function that makes pilot watches stand out. If a pilot is given the task of flying at night, the lights in the cockpit often do not suffice to make ordinary watches legible enough to be convenient. The watches themselves need to light up when needed.
Don’t Let Timezones Confuse You
If you are a pilot you are obviously not constrained to a single time zone — that is why most pilot chronographs will often feature more than just one. A pilot watch that has dual-time capabilities, as the name suggests, allows you to view two different time zones.
The first one could be the time zone of the country that you traveled from and the other time zone could be the time of the country that you are traveling to. There is also a feature on some of these watches called world-time wherein the timezones of some of the world’s main travel destinations are displayed.
You do not need to be in aviation to enjoy the great benefits of these watches. If you are someone that values accuracy, handiness, and convenience — a pilot chronograph may very well be the right watch for you.