With a likeness towards the need for speed, the adrenaline rush, you love the aviator lifestyle. Something about the thrill of being 20,000 feet in the air, being amongst the clouds is what you dream of every day and it’s what you want to be a part of every single day. We at Glorious Watch understand the desire to go beyond mediocrity! It’s why we buy watches that have character than just an ordinary $10 watch you can find at a general store.
The pilot lifestyle is all about being grandiose: big, legible numbers, big casing, a monochromatic theme for ease of readability… A pure homage to the aviation world. We’ll go through four delectable pieces that would fit your lifestyle and how to wear it effectively in an outfit. You need to dress the part to enjoy what you have in this one, and we’ll help you do such that. It’s time to strap on and feel the G’s because we’re off and coming in hot.
We’d love to hear from our readers and see if we hit the mark, or missed it completely. Only you can help us improve, so let us know and let’s chat.
Casio MTP4500D-1AV and The Aviator
First one up is from Japanese giant, Casio. They’ve been pioneering the durability of watches with the G-Shock and has a great market share in the entry-level watch territory. Even though they’re focused on that price range, don’t let that fact discount their ability to produce a quality product. Casio is known to create dependable watches that are built to watch and affordable to buy. With various collections in their lineup, it’s pretty hard to choose a favorite but one spoke out to our aviation mindset: the MTP4500D-1AV.
The MTP4500D-1AV is packed with features for a great entry-level price tag. While it does have a quartz movement, it’s quite rare to see a new watch with an automatic/mechanical movement for <$100 without it failing within the first couple of days. Enclosed in a 42mm steel case, the MTP4500D-1AV has a built-in slide rule for on-the-fly calculations, chronograph movement with three sub-dials for stopwatch capability and a rotating bezel for elapsed time. It has 50m water resistance so you shouldn’t go swimming with it, but it’s enough for day-to-day life.
This would work well with a smart casual outfit, with the steel casing blending pretty well with chinos, a crisp dress shirt, and loafers. We think a good fit for this watch would be Leonardo Dicaprio’s interpretation of Howard Hughes in the movie The Aviator would be a great outfit to follow. It’s more formal than sweatpants, but the contrast chino to the double-breasted blazer oozes ‘smart-casual’. It’s a great way to look great at a cafe, but not out of place at a respectable eatery with your significant other. As we step the game up though, the rules get harder so time for us to be more strict.
Citizen JY8035-04E Navihawk and Sully
As we continue on, we see many selections that would be great for you. However, we here at GW chose one that is packed with extra goodies that tells any user information beyond time. Why would that be a useful case? You never know when you need to measure speed vs. time via a tachymeter, or chronograph technology to calculate averages.
Another entry-level watch that would be a great choice for the aviator life would be the Citizen Navihawk. A reliable Japanese-made watch, the Navihawk is a feature-packed piece that packs a big punch at 48mm. Possessing Eco-Drive technology, the Navihawk is also powered by light so you’ll always have a reliable source of energy anytime, anywhere. The features within the Navihawk which include chronograph, multi-time zones, tachymeter, fuel calculation, compass, would be vital for our pilot that would use this as his trusty companion. Whoever can fully take advantage of these tools and are savvy enough to utilize them can be a matter between life-and-death.
In 2009, US Airways pilots Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger faced an issue during his routine US Airways flight 1549 when his plane hit a flock of birds, forcing both engines to stall. Based on estimations, he forced a landing into the Hudson River, saving all passengers and crew from harm.
The movie that bears his name recalls the moments of the flight, and the aftermath surrounding it, finally declaring him a hero for his actions. Based on his lightning-fast responses and experience, we believe that the Navihawk would be a great companion for someone who is as heroic as Sully. He used his intellect, combined with experience and gut reaction to safely land a plane without any propelling assistance into a body of water. That deserves respect and a worthy tool to be at his side.
Khaki Field Mechanical Officer H69519533 and American Made
Our next selection will be controversial. Before we start, we’d like to point out that Gracious Watch does not support nor condone drug trafficking that affected countless lives in the 1980s, but in the movie American Made, our next selection needs for you to be ruthless, calculating, and on top of your game.
This one involves you dealing with the world’s most ruthless and profitable drug cartel and requires you to ship contraband from South America into American soil in a specific period of time, where you fly invisibly through the night sky. Our next selection involves Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a former Trans World Airlines pilot who also became a big-time drug smuggler during the 1980’s cocaine crisis and he, a natural-born pilot, relied on a chronograph to do what he needed to.
During this time, the Medellin Cartel smuggled drugs into America like clockwork and was so efficient at it that it forced Ronald Reagan to devise his famous ‘War on Drugs’ campaign and put all efforts to stop the cartel from continuing. One trick they learned the cartel does specific flight drop-offs at strategic locations and off-load shipments to another form of transportation, usually speedboats. In order to avoid detection, the cartel flew in the darkness of night with no light indication, and into an island in the Bahamas that was purchased by the cartel for refueling before entering the United States. That amount of coordination requires people in the system to have dependable tools.
Our selection for this one is the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Officer H69519533. This comes with a wide bund-style strap, which has aviation connections as well. The bund strap was invited for fighter pilots in World War II to protect the wearer from the metal watch case’s reaction to the elements and sudden changes to temperature such as a cockpit fire or flying into colder regions. The extra layer of padding between the watch and the wearer added another layer of protection for safety. In this case, it helped Barry Seal become one of the cartel’s notorious pilots and then an informant for the American government.
At 40mm, it’s a small watch but the bund strap adds wrist space and it’s a purely mechanical watch, it’s dependent on winding to run. The Hamilton would go well with a pair of linen pants, a plain dark tee to contrast, and some espadrilles to complete the outfit befitting the best pilot in town.. With a simple black face with 100m water resistance on a stainless steel case, it’s a no-frills, all-purpose watch that is built to withstand whatever life throws at you.
Alpina Geneve AL-372N4S6 Startimer and Flight
A great alternative would have to involve another controversial figure, but thankfully, this one is fiction. In the movie Flight, two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington is William “Whip” Whitaker Sr., a drug-infused alcoholic who miraculously saves the majority of passengers when their plane severely malfunctions during a routine flight.
His dark past and addictions, however, slowly unravel as he is investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, his struggle to beat his addictions, and to balance morality within him whether he really did save people’s lives on his own accord or by mere luck. This movie was riveting and powerful, and his suave performance got Denzel an Academy Award nomination. Someone who is as charismatic and enigmatic as Whip would need a watch that is as relatable to him as close as possible. Enter the Alpina Startimer.
The Startimer, as Whip himself, is also a struggle between ruggedness and sophistication but somehow pulls itself together to become something great. At 42mm, it keeps itself incognito but with a steel case and a black contrasting dial ensures that it’s not a watch to be taken lightly and mess around with. Featuring bold markers and a triple sub-dial layout for chronograph features, the Startimer would be a great companion for any pilot that needs to keep his machismo at bay without compromising his image.
We personally like the 12 o’clock marker, which is similar to the arrow second hand, pointing the wearer into the right direction, which is where Whip wants to head and tries his best to get there. With 100m water resistance as well, it’s a great all-rounder watch that leaves nothing to the imagination. What you see is what you get.
Orfina Porsche Design Ref. 7176S & Top Gun
Another Tom Cruise delight but this one is a classic with Top Gun. We can totally come up with awesome quotes from that movie such as,
The inception of the term ‘wingman’ into modern colloquialism
“Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash”
“I feel the need… The need for speed!”
We all want to live the life of Maverick, the cocky but talented pilot that gets the attention of nemesis, Iceman, and the beautiful pilot instructor, Charlotte. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in Top Gun, full of excitement, heartbreak, and chaos with a side order of Kenny Loggins. While arrogant and cocky, he did back up everything he said he would do, and that requires pure charisma, confidence, and machismo.
Nothing brings you more confidence and charisma than the same watch that Tom Cruise wore in the movie as Maverick: Orfina Porsche Design Ref. 7176S. Featuring a Lemania 5100 movement, it had an accurate chronograph that was being used by military pilots at the time.
The lume markers provided enough visibility without being distracting, while the contrasting red second hand for the chronograph gives the wearer accurate tachymeter reading or lap time whenever they need to. With a black PVD coated case and a matching steel bracelet, the 40mm watch can take me under mighty wings in the sky.
The Orfina hasn’t been made since the 1970’s, so it’ll be quite difficult to get one new but if you look through the used market like Chrono24, eBay, or Watchuseek forums, you may be able to find a piece of aviation history and own it for yourself. This would look good with a good fitting flight jacket, plain white tee, some slim cut jeans, and a pair of lace-up boots. Once you have it, then you can suit up to pick up Charlotte, and then you can play with the boys after, capping the day with an awesome game of beach volleyball. That’s definitely living life.
Citizen ProMaster BY0084-56E and Cast Away
Imagine how your life would have been different if your plane crashed and you became isolated from the civilized world. Would you have survived? That’s exactly what happened to Chuck Noland in the 2000 movie Cast Away, featuring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, playing Chuck. In the movie, Chuck is obsessed with time and focused on increasing efficiency in FedEx, the global shipping company. During a flight, his FedEx plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean, forcing Chuck to drift into an uninhabited island.
This is where we see Man’s struggle for survival, social dialogue, and the persistence to achieve success. It’s a moving film that will pull your heartstrings, and will make you think more about the world around you. In the movie, Chuck used the stars to figure out the time of year, and how things would have been different if he had a certain watch with him.
The Citizen ProMaster is a 44m world timer watch that would be a great partner for anyone who’s possibly stranded. With 100m water resistance, it’s more than enough to get you around harsh waters, while the multi-functioned piece can help you calculate and navigate around and is enclosed in a hard titanium case. With a tough sapphire glass and Eco-Drive technology which harnesses the power of light to keep the watch running, it will be a dependable companion for any stranded individual. The world time functionality and atomic clock synchronization may not be as useful, but it’s the least of your worries when your sidekick is a volleyball. WILSON!
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph and Air Force One
As we go through the list of famous aviation movies out there, we present to you the granddaddy of them all. It was full of action, drama, and risky plays that no president should ever have to face but at least we can enjoy it vicariously on the big screen. It may surprise people why we picked our next feature, but let us convince you why it belongs on this list.
Our biggest pick of the list has to be Harrison Ford’s heroic action movie Air Force One. The curveball is we actually picked the watch that was with the president when Kazakh terrorists hijacked Air Force One. Played by the legendary William H. Macy, Major Norman Caldwell was the President’s military aid that was with President James Marshall, played by Harrison Ford, when Air Force One was hijacked by a Russian Radek loyalist played by Gary Oldman. Major Caldwell directed the plane back to friendly airspace before being betrayed by a mole within the Secret Service. We see him guide the President to safe airspace sporting a Rolex Daytona, which was fitting for a high-stakes character like Major Caldwell.
At 39mm, the Daytona is a small watch that packs a punch when it comes to features and reliability. Developed to withstand the tough circuits of motorsport life, the Daytona has built-in chronograph capabilities and a tachymeter rule in the bezel. Several racing legends have worn this watch not only for recreation but also for racing purposes, like Paul Newman.
The accuracy of this Daytona is unmatched, coupled with the world-renowned quality and reliability of Rolex. In honor of the most powerful man in the world (debatable), we have to wear this Daytona with a bespoke, tailor-made suit, maybe a three-piece if you feel traditional, a crisp white shirt, a red ‘power’ tie, and some nice Oxford shoes. Wherever he may be, we salute you for your valiant efforts, Major Norman Caldwell. Thank you for keeping our President safe. It takes courage and valiance to do what you did and we respect you for it.
Zenith El Primero Pilot and Non-Stop
Our last selection involves yours truly, Liam Neeson. In his thriller Non-Stop, he is a Federal Air Marshal who must find a killer onboard an international flight with him who is executing passengers every 20 minutes. It involves him investigating specific clues and interrogating passengers while seeing one passenger succumb to death every 20 minutes. It involves great scenes from Liam Neeson himself, and heart-stopping action every minute it goes. As someone as esteemed as him, he needs a great watch to count down the time he has left to solve this crime.
For this, we see his non-stop action lifestyle would be a great fit for the Zenith El Primero Pilot. At 48mm, it’s as intimidating as the man wearing it and it’s hefty timepiece to have with you while you save the world. It has a cleaner, more classical look as Mr. Neeson himself, with a spiral crown, recessed start/stop/reset pushers, an annual calendar, and a classic triple sub-dial layout for the chronograph. With big, legible, Arabic hour markers, you can definitely tell how much time you have left before the next passenger goes down so time is of the essence for this. With an automatic movement, the wearer’s constant movements will keep the El Primero on-time and can withstand whatever life brings into the fray. A strong sapphire crystal completes the package to an already stellar timepiece.