Aviator watches from Wempe – not just for pilots
Easy to operate and highly sophisticated, aviator watches were once used exclusively by pilots to measure time quickly and to monitor other flight data. Today, these comparatively large watches are no longer reserved for masters of the skies. Brands such as Breitling and IWC Schaffhausen have a range of aviator watches that are modeled on early aviator models from the early 20th century. Unlike the early models, these modern aviator watches are equipped with the latest watch technology and are designed to be highly functional for today’s world – whether flying or not.
How to recognize an aviator watch
There are no clear rules about when a watch becomes an aviator watch. However, most aviator models have the following features:
- The case tends to be larger than on other models, and the time display is divided into hours and minutes. The surface, which is often matt black and slightly grained, is not reflective, and the hands are coated with luminous material. This means that you can read the time in the dark. Aviator watches also have a so-called zero index: a triangle pointing to the twelve which was originally created according to military specifications.
- The case and bezel are often made of stainless steel and satin-finished - and therefore not reflective. The case is also set higher, so there is plenty of room for the large crown or so-called onion crown, and other dials and functions can be easily operated.
- Whether you opt for a watch with hand-wound or automatic movement, aviator watches are always extremely precise and resistant. These watches are resistant to shock, magnetism, and pressure changes. Since 2012, there have been a technical standard and a DIN norm in place, both of which determine whether a watch is suitable for use by a pilot.
One of the first aviator watches was developed by Cartier together with the Brazilian pioneer of aviation - Alberto Santos-Dumont. The Santos de Cartier pays tribute to this collaboration.