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  2. Watches That Make Great Graduation Gifts

    Watches That Make Great Graduation Gifts

    Looking for the perfect present is something that the best of us struggle with. Thankfully, there are certain items that are universally considered to be good gifts such as leather goods, jewelry, and watches. However, given the wide variety of timepieces available in the market, finding the ideal model can still prove to be a difficult task.  One of the most important things to do when buying a gift is to narrow down details, such as the occasion, the receiver’s preferences, their age, and so on. That being said, in this article, we will be focusing on the best men’s graduation gifts in the form of well-crafted watches.  For The Exciting College Years Ahead  Watches are definitely one of the most flexible graduation gifts for men who are just about to begin their college lives. Fresh out of high school, these boys are probably excited to explore and take risks, given the freedom that comes with university life. However, college is not all fun and games either, as it also calls for a certain level of maturity, especially in terms of education and the future.  With that in mind, versatile and robust timepieces are the ideal men’s graduation gifts for high school graduates. Here are some examples of the best watches that can be worn on either a casual lecture day or for a formal thesis defense:  1. TAG Heuer Aquaracer First, we have the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201A.BA0632, which has that classic sports watch exterior. The stainless steel case and bracelet paired with a black bezel gives the entire piece a versatile look. Meanwhile, the matching black dial features a horizontal teak pattern, luminescent hands and hour markers, and a magnified date window. Lastly, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer has a 300-meter water resistance rating and is powered by a self-winding calibre.  With a price tag of around $2,699 USD, this is an ideal choice for those who want a durable watch that can be worn to both on and off campus activities.  2. Victorinox I.N.O.X The Victorinox I.N.O.X Ref. 241812, on the other hand, is a more casual-looking watch that can go with any everyday ensemble. It is one of the most robust timepieces in the market and is a great men’s graduation gift for someone who likes to maximize the use of things. It is presented in a titanium case paired with a unique multifunctional paracord strap. The black dial follows a straightforward analog display with luminescent elements and a date window. Also, it is equipped with a quartz movement and has a 200-meter water resistance rating.  Retailing at around $729 USD, this Victorinox I.N.O.X piece is the perfect beater watch to get through the wear and tear of university life.   3. Suunto 9  Lastly, the Suunto 9 Ref. SS050149000 serves as a more modern and practical timepiece for college life. Since this is a smartwatch, it comes with a multitude of functions that can help in one’s daily activities. For many university students, time is a precious commodity, so this kind of tool watch will prove to be especially useful.  This Suunto 9 watch comes in a glass fibre-reinforced polyamide case paired with a titanium bezel and a silicone strap. The dial has a LED matrix display with the following functions: activity tracker, sleep tracker, weather function, GPS, multiple sports modes, and more.  Priced at approximately $929 USD, this is the perfect men’s graduation gift for a future busy bee in college.  For Those Entering The Real World   While finishing high school is an important milestone in life, graduating university calls for a whole new level of celebration. Gone are the days when students had to deal with terror professors, all-nighters, group reports, frat parties, and the like. Now, it is time for them to enter the real world, and what better way to commemorate that than with a new watch.  Some of these college graduates are lucky enough to receive offers from their dream companies while some are applying for jobs left and right. Regardless, this means that they are all bound to enter the workforce sooner or later, so here are some smart-casual watches that make for great men’s graduation gifts.  1. Grand Seiko Heritage 9S Mechanical  The Grand Seiko Ref. SBGR315 is a simple and timeless watch that oozes with elegance. Since it is mostly monochromatic, it has the ability to go well with any style but it is also bound to shine with a dapper ensemble. This Grand Seiko model comes in a lustrous stainless steel case and bracelet that complements its sunburst silver dial. In addition, it is powered by a highly precise 9S65 automatic caliber which boasts a 72-hour power reserve.  Priced at approximately $4,859, this is the perfect sophisticated companion for someone who is officially entering their adulthood years.   2. IWC Pilot  The IWC Pilot Ref. IW326803 is a more retro approach to the smart casual style. While this IWC piece has the exterior of a quintessential aviation watch, one does not have to be a pilot to pull off this accessory. It serves as a straightforward piece that can easily be paired with some slacks and a polo shirt.  This IWC Pilot model is presented in a stainless steel case with a classy calfskin leather strap in brown. The black dial features luminous hands, Arabic numerals, and a date window. Lastly, it is equipped with the self-winding IWC Calibre 32110 which has an impressive 72-hour power reserve.  With a price tag of around $5,039 USD, this definitely has potential to be a great graduation gift for men!  3. Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42  The Breitling Premier Ref. B0118371B1P1 serves as a high-end and multifunctional graduation gift option. This is the perfect accessory to up one’s style, especially if they are dressed to impress at work or at a job interview.  This Breitling Premier watch comes in a stainless steel case paired with a crocodile leather strap in black. The panda dial consists of luminescent elements, a date window, and a bi-compax display with 2 sub counters. Lastly, it is powered by an in-house B01 automatic calibre with a 70-hour power reserve.  For around $6,339 USD, you can get this classy and versatile celebratory watch!  For The Jetsetters At Heart  For some reason, many associate graduation with traveling, especially since it is one of the most common ways to celebrate this particular event. These travel enthusiasts probably find pleasure in exploring new places whilst high on happiness from achieving such a big milestone. As such, you cannot deny that a well-crafted GMT watch is best paired with some plane tickets for your dream graduation trip.  Whether they are traveling across the globe or to a neighboring country, a timepiece with a GMT function is definitely the best men’s graduation gift for a graduating jetsetter at heart. Here are some excellent GMT watches you can get right now:  1. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer  The Omega Seamaster Ref. 220.12.43.22.03.001 is an eye-catching and artistic take on a GMT timepiece. The use of blue throughout the watch gives it a distinct and striking vibe that many travel enthusiasts will surely love.  This Omega Seamaster watch is presented in a stainless steel case paired with a rubber strap in blue. Meanwhile, the matching blue dial features luminous hands and hour markers, a 24-hour layout, a central disc that resembles the globe, and a GMT display. This watch is also driven by an automatic Omega Calibre 8938, which has a 60-hour power reserve.   With a price tag of $8,900 USD, this makes for a distinct and one-of-a-kind graduation gift!   2. Oris Big Crown PilotPro  On the other hand, the Oris PilotPro Ref. 0174877564064-0732202LC serves as a more subtle yet rugged-looking GMT watch. It definitely has more unassuming and modest elements compared to the previous recommendation.  This Oris Big Crown ProPilot model comes in a stainless steel case paired with a rotating bezel and a comfortable green fabric strap. Its black dial features luminous hands, Arabic numerals, a 24-hour display, a date window, and a seconds counter. In addition, it is powered by an automatic Oris 748 calibre with a power reserve of 38 hours.  If you are buying a graduation gift for a travel enthusiast who enjoys simple yet functional designs, you can get this piece for around $2,600 USD!  3. Alpina Startimer Pilot GMT  The Alpina Startimer Ref. AL-247B4S6 is the most straightforward GMT watch out of the 3 recommended models. It is presented in a stainless steel case paired with a canvas strap in a muted green color.  The dial simply consists of the essential timekeeping elements, such as luminescent hour and minute hands, and red-and-black GMT hand, Arabic numerals, a date window, and a 24-hour layout. Moreover, this Alpina Startimer watch has a 100-meter water resistance rating and is powered by a precise quartz movement.  If you are looking for an uncomplicated and reasonably-priced graduation gift watch, you can check this out for around $595 USD!  For The Creative Minds While specifying the occasion will help in finding the best graduation gift, nothing can beat knowing the preferences of the receiver, since clothes and accessories are often perceived as a reflection of someone’s personality. If you are planning on gifting a timepiece, make sure you know their likes and dislikes in order for them to truly enjoy your present.  For example, if the person is creative, maybe consider watches that fit well with their aesthetic. That being said, since creativity is such a broad concept, it is difficult to group specific models together, which is why we have chosen distinct timepieces that any artistic person will surely love!  1. Nomos Glashuette Metro 38 The Nomos Glashuette Metro Ref. 1103 is a great men’s graduation gift for an artsy person who enjoys a minimalist aesthetic. It comes in a stainless steel case along with a leather strap in black. The matching black dial features Bauhaus-inspired elements such as thin hands, small Arabic numerals, a date window, a seconds counter, and circular hour markers in subtle mint green. Lastly, it is equipped with a manual-winding DUW 4101 calibre with a 42-hour power reserve.  With a price tag of $3,480 USD, this Nomos Glashuette Metro watch is for those who like unadorned yet unique timepieces.  2. Hamilton Ventura  The Hamilton Ventura Ref. H24515732 is a model with a completely different vibe compared to the previous one. This watch is perfect for those who like unique and eccentric pieces to match their personality. It comes in a triangular stainless steel case along with a calfskin leather strap in black. The dial consists of dauphine hands, stick indices, and an open heart display. In addition, it is powered by an automatic movement with a whopping 80-hour power reserve.  If he is the type of person who likes quirky timepieces, you can get this Hamilton Ventura watch for around $1,095 USD!  3. Bell & Ross Instruments  The Bell & Ross Ref. BRS-EBL-CE/SCA is also another unique and recognizable timepiece. It has a rather bulky yet sophisticated exterior which gives it a defined and sharp look.  This Bell & Ross Instruments model is presented in a scratch-resistant ceramic case paired with a calfskin leather strap in black. The main point of this watch is the dial, which has striking and understated diamond stones scattered all around it. This watch is also equipped with a BR-CAL.102 quartz movement, making it both gorgeous and reliable.  With a price tag of around $2,990 USD, this is the perfect men’s graduation gift for those who enjoy standing out!  For The Dashing Gentleman  This next set of timepieces serve as the perfect graduation gift for any dashing gentleman. It is ideal for those giving a present to a man who has an air of sophistication around him. Whether he is wearing a suit and tie or a just polo shirt and shorts ensemble, this person can charm any one he encounters. With that, the only thing missing is an equally captivating watch to complete his style.  Here are some of the best timeless pieces that can definitely complement a true gentleman’s vibe:  1. Bulgari Roma The Bulgari Roma Ref. 103219 is a gorgeous, contemporary-looking watch that is bound to spice up any outfit. It is presented in a steel case paired with a classy leather bracelet in brown. The main watch face features gold-plated hands and indices, a date window, and a fixed bezel with a “Bulgari Roma” engraving. Lastly, this watch follows an automatic movement and has a 50-meter water resistance capacity.  Priced at around $4,400 USD, this Bulgari piece is the perfect blend of elegance and modernity.  2. Seiko Presage  The Seiko Presage Ref. SARY123 serves as a sleek and classy watch that has potential to be a great men’s graduation gift. It comes in a stainless steel case and bracelet with a see-through case back. The blue dial features a unique and captivating sunburst pattern, dauphine hands, and a date window. In addition, it is equipped with a 4R35 automatic calibre and has a 41-hour power reserve.  Given its enthralling watch face, this Seiko Presage watch is guaranteed to complement any ensemble. The best part is you can get it for only $409 USD.  3. Longines Heritage Classic The Longines Heritage Classic Ref. L28274730 is a quintessential and vintage-inspired dress watch that every gentleman should have. It comes in a stainless steel case paired with an elegant leather strap in black. The soft white dial consists of playful blue hands, stylized Arabic numerals, and two sub-counters. Lastly, it is powered by a L895 automatic movement and boasts a 50-meter water resistance rating.  If the recipient has a more classic style, then this $3,050 USD watch serves as a men’s great graduation present!  For Those With The Future In Mind Our last set of timepieces is ideal for those who have the future in mind. As mentioned earlier, graduation is a huge milestone for anyone and it is only apt to celebrate that. However, people also like to think about the future whenever they achieve certain goals, which is why they choose to invest. In this case, purchasing a watch that increases in value over time can be a great men’s graduation gift for a family member or a significant other.  Here are some models that can also serve as great investment pieces.  1. Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710, also known as the Rolex Pepsi, is one of the most sought-after timepieces out there. Given its history and impact on watchmaking, it should not be a surprise that this model increases exponentially in value as time passes by.  This Rolex GMT-Master II watch comes in an Oystersteel case paired with a bracelet made of the same material. Beyond the iconic blue-and-red bezel is the black dial which features luminous elements and a magnified date window. Moreover, it is driven by an in-house 3285 automatic calibre with a power reserve of 70 hours.  Priced at around $25,859 USD, this is a lovely men’s graduation gift with an excellent investment value.  2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak  The AP Royal Oak Ref. 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 is a model with one of the most recognizable designs known in watchmaking. It was created by the legendary Gerald Genta, who is responsible for designing numerous popular models in the market.  This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak piece comes in a stainless steel case and bracelet with the iconic octagonal bezel. The blue dial features a signature waffle pattern, luminescent elements, and a date window at 3 o’clock. Lastly, it is powered by a self-winding AP 2121 calibre which has a 40-hour power reserve.   With a price tag of around $118,479 USD, this is definitely one of the best investment pieces one can get as a men’s graduation gift.  3. Patek Philippe Aquanaut  The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5968A belongs to a family of timepieces that are known to be highly coveted. Most of their watches either hold their value well or even increase as time goes by, and this model is not an exception.  This Patek Philippe Aquanaut watch comes in a stainless steel case paired with a rubber strap in black. Moreover, the cushion-shaped dial consists of luminous hands, Arabic numerals, a seconds counter, and a date window. Lastly, it is driven by the Patek Philippe Calibre CH 28-520 C, which is an automatic movement with a 55-hour power reserve.  Retailing at around $88,899 USD, this makes for a great men’s graduation gift and a potential investment piece as well!  Final Thoughts  If you are still not sure which timepiece to get as a men’s graduation gift, do not worry because the models mentioned are simply a small fraction of what the market has to offer. The most important thing is that you have, at least, an idea of what you are looking for, which is really the main goal of this article. At the end of the day, any well-crafted watch that you choose has the potential to be a great present.  Photo Credits: Watch Shopping Site If you want to check out more timepieces, make sure to read our article on the Top 25 Best Automatic Watches. 

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  3. 25 Best Pilot Watches for Under 1,000

    25 Best Pilot Watches for Under 1,000

    Pilot watches, or aviation watches, are the aerial counterparts of dive watches. As tool timepieces, pilot watches are known to offer great utility. They are equipped with various handy complications meant to help pilots navigate safely through the skies. There may already be measuring devices on a plane’s control panel, but having a small, convenient pilot watch that instantly shows you the important data is definitely a huge plus, even for veteran pilots.  Like dive timepieces, pilot watches carry a certain prestige in the watchmaking industry. With that in mind, many people believe that pilot watches are bound to come at exorbitant prices. Indeed, some pilot watches do have price tags that go above $5,000 USD—specifically those from luxury brands like Rolex and Omega. That said, for those on a tight budget, there are excellent pilot watches available on the market for less than $1,000 USD. It might still seem like quite a lot of money, but for a high-functioning aviation watch, it is actually quite a reasonable bargain.  With that in mind, let us go over some of the best pilot watches that you can get for under $1,000 USD. These pilot watches may not be as lavish as those from luxury brands like IWC, but you can be sure that they are just as reliable, hardy, and far more affordable.   25 Best Pilot Watches Under $1000 1. Seiko Brightz Flight Expert Ref. SAGA261 Seiko is home to some of the most affordable pilot watches with amazing features on the market. The Seiko Brightz Flight Expert Ref. SAGA261 is an aviation watch that is packed with functions such as dual time zones, a day-of-the-week indicator, a date aperture, and a GPS function. It uses a 43.2mm stainless steel case with a blue bezel that is marked with cities across the globe. In addition, it is equipped with a quartz movement that has a solar power cell embedded in its mechanism. This allows the watch to last for over 9 months when fully charged. This Seiko watch retails at $939 USD. It allows users to check through various time zones with remarkable efficiency and is a worthy investment for both experienced pilots and the average jet setter. 2. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Ref. H76522131 Hamilton is a renowned watch brand that manufactures promising pilot watches at very affordable prices. The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Ref. H76522131 is Hamilton’s stylish pilot watch designed for young pilots. It boasts a classic 41mm stainless steel case, and a sleek black dial with eye-catching bronze accents on the hands and indices. This $645 USD pilot watch uses a quartz calibre movement and has a 100m water resistance rating.  3. Fossil Pilot 54 Ref. FS5146 Fossil might not be the first brand that comes to mind when thinking about aviation watches. That is because Fossil primarily focuses on stylish timepieces that cater to those who are on a tight budget. That said, Fossil does have a diverse catalog, including some excellent watches that can be used for aviation purposes too. The Fossil Pilot 54 Ref. FS5146 is an outstanding pseudo-aviation watch that offers simplicity, utility, and style. While not specifically designed to be an aviation watch, it can still serve pilots and other individuals in the aviation field well. The watch’s 44mm stainless steel case pairs well with its cream dial and classic brown leather strap. As a chronograph piece, it also has three sub-dials scattered across its dial. Like the other pilot watches on this list, this aviation timepiece is also equipped with a quartz movement. The Fossil Pilot 54 Ref. FS5146 retails at a budget-friendly price of just $129 USD.  4. Alpina Startimer Ref. AL-371BB4FBS6 Alpina has had over a century of experience in making pilot watches, which makes them quite the authority when it comes to crafting high-quality watches of the same genre. While some watches offered by Alpina do go over our price limit, there are a few contenders in their Startimer Automatic collection that cost less than $1,000 USD. The Alpina Startimer Ref. AL-371BB4FBS6 is a sleek all-black pilot watch that bolsters its stealthy design with a sturdy 42mm black stainless steel case. It also has 100m of water resistance, which makes it a great choice for outdoor recreational activities. The jet-black dial contrasts against sleek white hands and indices, ensuring great legibility while still maintaining the watch’s understated look. It also features three sub-dials, which includes a day-of-the-week indicator. This Alpina Startimer Ref. AL-371BB4FBS6 retails at $895 USD. 5. Fossil Pilot 54 Ref. FS5203 The Fossil Pilot 54 Ref. FS5203 is yet another entry by Fossil in the world of pilot watches. This time, this Fossil watch dons a stainless steel bracelet and a fresh, eye-catching blue dial. It uses a 44mm stainless steel case that matches perfectly with the bracelet. It has luminous rose gold-tone hands and markers along with three sub-dials, of which two of them are highlighted with rose gold accents. That said, despite its durable, anti-corrosion steel case, this watch only has a water resistance rating of 50m. This $139 USD timepiece is meant for those who want an affordable and straightforward pilot watch that can take them to the skies. 6. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Day-Date Ref. H64725531 The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Day-Date Ref. H64725531 offers a more rustic design compared to the Pilot Pioneer model mentioned above. Its stainless steel case is much larger, weighing in at 46mm in width with a height of 12.3mm. This watch boasts a black dial with silver-tone hands and striking bronze hour markers, which makes for a nice blend of colors. The biggest selling point of this aviation timepiece is its automatic caliber movement. It is equipped with the Hamilton Caliber H-30 and comes with a power reserve of a whopping 80 hours. It is quite rare for watches under $1,000 USD to have automatic movements. However, in this case, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Day-Date Ref. H64725531 can be purchased for just $995 USD, giving you a truly top-notch pilot watch at a relatively accessible price.  7. Citizen Promaster Sky Ref. CB5850-80E Citizen has always been one of those amazing watch brands that pride themselves on their aviation expertise. Not only that — their pilot watches are on par with those from some luxury brands in terms of versatility and utility. One of the best aviation watches on this list is none other than the Citizen Promaster Sky Ref. CB5850-80E. It is jam-packed with all the features you need in a top-notch aviation watch such as chronograph sub-dials, multiple time zones, a date aperture, and a World Timer. It has a 43mm titanium case and bracelet, giving the watch a lightweight yet sturdy and shock-resistant profile. It is powered by a quartz movement and has a water resistance rating of 200m. This watch is also equipped with Citizen’s signature Eco-Drive technology, which allows it to be charged using solar power. The price of the Citizen Promaster Sky Ref. CB5850-80E starts at $669 USD, which is relatively cheap for such a high-functioning aviation watch. 8. Seiko Prospex Eco-Drive Ref. SSC737P1 Citizen is not the only brand to make use of the Eco-Drive technology for their pilot watches. Seiko also employed the Eco-Drive calibre movement to create the solar-powered Seiko Prospex Eco-Drive Ref. SSC737P1. This watch has a 44mm stainless steel case with a bezel that has detailed compass indications and markings. The blue dial is home to three sub-dials and a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position. With the Eco-Drive movement, this watch can last up to 6 months when fully charged with solar power. It is a very convenient and versatile watch that proves to be useful on any occasion. It retails at an affordable price of just $449 USD. 9. Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Ref. AT8195-85L The Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Ref. AT8195-85L is another impressive aviation watch that was introduced by Citizen. This watch uses a 44mm grey titanium case and bracelet, giving it a more sleek and stylish aesthetic. Its blue dial is packed with three chronograph sub-dials, a date aperture, luminescent sword-shaped hands, and time zone markings for different cities from all over the world. Compared to other pilot watches, the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Ref. AT8195-85L is definitely focused on catering to pilots rather than ordinary folk. As such, this watch might be a little difficult to read and understand for the average user, but it is perfectly outfitted with everything the experienced pilot needs on their next flight. This pilot watch can be purchased for $750 USD.  10. Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster Time Sync Ref. GPW-2000-1A2JF Since Seiko was already included on the list, it is impossible not to include its fellow Japanese watchmaker, Casio. The Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster Time Sync Ref. GPW-2000-1A2JF is an innovative aviation watch that is equipped with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity features. These features are a staple of all Casio G-Shock watches, and adding them to this pilot watch is a step forward for G-Shock. The Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster Time Sync Ref. GPW-2000-1A2JF has a rugged black and blue resin and stainless steel case, with dimensions of 66mm x 57mm x 18.2mm. It is an oversized watch that is equipped with optimal durability, while also possessing great accuracy. The price for this particular Casio timepiece is $799 USD. 11. Bulova Special Edition Moon Apollo Lunar Pilot Ref. 96B251 Image courtesy of Bulova Bulova has a rich history when it comes to creating pilot watches. A prominent milestone for Bulova was its involvement in the 1971 Apollo 15 mission. In honour of that historical event, Bulova created the Bulova Special Edition Moon Apollo Lunar Pilot Ref. 96B251. This watch stands out with its 45mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case and a floating seconds hand. It is equipped with a quartz movement that has a 262 kHz vibrational frequency for precise timekeeping. You can dress this pilot watch up with a textured black leather strap, or down with a simple black nylon band. This iconic watch has actually been discontinued and is now part of Bulova’s Archive series. That said, it is still available on the second-hand market for a price of just $550 USD.  12. Avi-8 Hawker Hurricane Ref. AV-4011-0E Image courtesy of Avi-8 Homage watches are quite prevalent in the world of watchmaking. In this case, the Avi-8 Hawker Hurricane Ref. AV-4011-0E pays tribute to the Hawker Hurricane jet used during World War II. This Avi-8 pilot watch uses some of the design aspects of the iconic fighter plane to create a true vintage classic. It has a 42mm stainless steel case with a 50m water resistance rating. Although it is not the most powerful watch on this list, it still does its job well as an aviation model with the guise of a commemorative timepiece. The retail price for this watch starts at $235 USD. 13. Laco Augsburg 42 Ref. 861688.2 Image courtesy of Laco If you are looking for an affordable aviation watch with a simple design, the Laco Augsburg 42 Ref. 861688.2 might be the one for you. It does not have any flashy design schemes or overly complicated features. Instead, it boasts a clean and straightforward black dial with the standard hours, minutes, and seconds indicators. It uses a 42mm stainless steel case with a classy brown leather strap that gives it a bit more style. Another great thing about this pilot watch is that it is equipped with a powerful automatic caliber movement. The Laco 21 caliber provides this watch with features like a 42-hour power reserve and the hacking seconds function. This timepiece is priced at $400, which is a very affordable price for an automatic pilot watch.  14. Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Ref. CB0240-88E Ever since its debut, the Citizen Promaster series has never disappointed. In this case, the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Ref. CB0240-88E is a stylish aviation watch that balances both utility and aesthetics. It has a 43mm stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a 200m water resistance rating. Much like its fellow Promaster watches, it is also equipped with the Eco-Drive movement, which enables it to run solely on solar power. When fully charged, it can last for up to 6 months. The price for this amazing pilot watch is just $349 USD. 15. Citizen Attesa Eco-Drive Radio Clock Ref. AT8040-57L The Citizen Attesa Eco-Drive Radio Clock Ref. AT8040-57L has a perfect balance of luxury and utility. It is a great choice for those who are looking for a multi-purpose watch that has a semi-luxurious vibe to it. This watch is not a full-time pilot watch, but it can still fit the part with its radio-controlled clock which can sync up with radio wave receptions from all over the world. It uses a 40mm titanium alloy case and has a 100m water resistance rating. This is a versatile aviation watch, retailing at $719 USD, that caters not only to pilots but travellers as well. 16. Orient Pilot’s Sport Watch Ref. RA-AC0H04Y10A Image courtesy of Orient Orient goes for a more classic look with its Orient Pilot’s Sport Watch Ref. RA-AC0H04Y10A. With its straightforward yet still sleek dial, timekeeping as a pilot has never been easier. It has a 42.4mm stainless steel case that ensures durability and protection from scratches or drops. It also has a 100m water resistance rating, making it possible to go for a short swim while wearing this watch. This timepiece is equipped with the Caliber F6722 which has a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. It is a classic pilot watch that is both affordable and stylish. This watch can be purchased for $310 USD. 17. Stuhrling Original Aviator Ref. 3916.1 Image courtesy of Stuhrling Flieger (which means “airman” in German) watches are oversized timepieces that have case sizes larger than 55mm. Developed by the German Air Force, the Flieger watch is highly recognizable due to its large steel case, oversized crown, sword-shaped hands, and a signature triangle marker at the 12 o’clock position. The Stührling Original Aviator Ref. 3916.1 stays true to that classic Flieger design. This traditional pilot watch has an elegant, vintage feel that makes it suitable for both formal occasions as well as a pilot’s cockpit. Its dial, which has playful hints of yellow and red accents against a black backdrop, also adds a bit of modernity to the watch, making it a huge hit with younger generations. The price for this versatile aviation watch starts at $415 USD.  18. Stuhrling Condura Aviator Ref. 908.01 Image courtesy of Stuhrling The Stuhrling Condura Aviator Ref. 908.01 offers a more sophisticated design compared to the aforementioned Stuhrling Original Aviator. It has a 45mm stainless steel case with an alloy bezel that provides great durability. Unfortunately, this watch only has 30m of water resistance, making it unsuitable for use in the water. It is a chronograph watch that boasts a unique dial design. At first glance, you might be led to believe that this watch possesses a skeleton dial, but this is not the case. It is simply an intriguing optical illusion, created by a design of overlapping sub-counters. Indeed, this pilot watch has a beguiling watch face that simply invites people to take a second or even a third look. The price for this watch starts at $995 USD.  19. MK II Cruxible Type-A11 Image courtesy of MKII The MKII Cruxible Type-A11 celebrates aviation history with vintage flair. This timepiece has managed to build a reputation as a fine American-made tool watch under the helm of master watchmaker Bill Yao. It has a simple design that boasts sizable numerals as well as a large crown, with teeth edges for a better grip. It has a 39mm satin-finished 316L stainless steel case that is paired with a double-domed sapphire crystal. The rough-textured dial, and the delicately engraved brand name under the 12 o’clock marker, give the watch an aura of sleek luxury which is hard to replicate. This quintessential pilot’s watch can be purchased for $649 USD.  20. Archimede Pilot 39 H.S.LS Ref. UA7969-A4.1S Image courtesy of Archimedes The Archimede Pilot 39 H.S.LS Ref. UA7969-A4.1S is yet another German-made aviation watch that took the market by storm. It is a very simple pilot’s watch. It boasts a straightforward dial with the necessary hour and minute indicators and luminous blue hands. It uses a 39mm stainless steel case that is manufactured by ICKLER, a watch manufacturing company in Germany, ensuring that the most premium, high-quality materials are used to craft this watch. After all, German watches are often known for their durability, and this hardy timepiece is no different. This pilot’s watch is also equipped with an ETA 2824-2 automatic caliber, which has a power reserve of 38 hours and a water resistance capacity of 100m. The price for this aviation watch is $900 USD.  21. Casio Edifice Ref. EF527D-1AV Image courtesy of Casio Aside from the G-Shock, Casio also has the Edifice collection. It is home to several multi-functional watches that can be used for a variety of purposes, including in the aviation field. The Casio Edifice Ref. EF527D-1AV is a prime example of what Casio can do in terms of innovative technologies like wireless connectivity and exceptional durability. This watch has a 45.5 stainless steel case and bracelet, giving it a classic look that is perfect for an aviation watch. The black dial is filled to the brim with time zone indicators, chronograph sub-dials, and a date aperture to ensure that pilots will get the most they can out of this watch. This pilot’s timepiece is also extremely budget-friendly, retailing at just $175 USD.  22. Seiko Brightz Flight Expert Ref. SAGA205 The Seiko Brightz collection is home to a few impressive and affordable pilot watches. Each of these watches offers amazing features that will surely help both seasoned and young pilots. For instance, the Seiko Brightz Flight Expert Ref. SAGA205 has a 42.3mm stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that features a tachymetric scale. It also has a 100m water resistance rating, which allows the wearer to easily take it into the shower or for a brief swim. This watch boasts a black dial with three chronograph sub-dials. On the rim of the dial, you can find a range of time zone indicators for various cities across the globe. Plus, the date aperture is also located between the 4th and 5th-hour markers. This aviation watch which is packed with handy complications can be purchased for $899 USD. 23. Seiko Brightz Solar Radio Ref. SAGZ091 Although it is not a dedicated pilot watch, the Seiko Brightz Solar Radio Ref. SAGZ091 is still useful to frequent travellers and professionals in the aviation industry. This is because of its multiple time zone feature, which allows this Seiko Brightz to sync its time to any of the cities indicated on its bezel. It may not have the same handy chronograph sub-dials as other pilot watches, but it offers a more straightforward form of timekeeping, which is perfect for those who are always on the go. This watch boasts a 39.5mm titanium case and bracelet, which gives it a boost in terms of durability. Furthermore, it has a water resistance rating of 100m. It is also equipped with a solar-powered caliber which allows it to last for over 6 months when fully charged. This Seiko Brightz Solar timepiece can be purchased for $619 USD.  24. Marathon Black Pilot’s Navigator w/ Date Ref. WW194013-S-BK-B Image courtesy of Marathon The Marathon Black Pilot’s Navigator w/ Date Ref. WW194013-S-BK-B is a stealthy aviation watch that provides a lightweight, all-black exterior. This is paired with a straightforward black dial, which features a quintessential layout of 12 numeral hour markers, luminous hands and indices, and a date aperture. Its case, which measures 41mm in diameter, is made of composite 316L stainless steel. For frequent jet setters, this watch also comes with a rotating bezel for time zone purposes. The price for the Marathon Black Pilot’s Navigator w/ Date Ref. WW194013-S-BK-B starts at $450 USD.  25. Seiko Brightz Wave Solar Radio Ref. SAGA197 Last, but certainly not least, we have the Seiko Brightz Wave Solar Radio Ref. SAGA197. This watch has a 43.6mm titanium case with a high-quality scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. On its sleek grey dial, you can find luminous sword-shaped hands, indices, three chronograph sub-dials, a date aperture, and a list of cities on the outer rim which allows users to keep track of different time zones. As the name suggests, it is also equipped with a solar power cell which allows it to run for over 6 months when fully charged under the sun. This Seiko Brightz pilot watch has a water resistance rating of 100m, and it retails at a reasonable price of $819 USD.  History of Aviation Watches In 1904, Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aeronaut and renowned figure in the aviation world asked his good friend, Louis Cartier to make him a suitable watch to wear while manning an aircraft. This historical exchange paved the way for the first aviation watch to be used during a flight. The watch Carter crafted for Santos-Dumont featured a distinct square-shaped case with visible screws on its bezel. This design quickly gained traction, which led to its official launch in 1911 as a bonafide aviation watch named the Cartier Santos-Dumont. It was said to have been a great help in terms of calculating fuel consumption, take-off speed, airspeed, and much more. The Cartier Santos-Dumont marked the start of a massively popular genre of watches that remains iconic to this day. Image courtesy of Cartier Over the years, pilot watches have shifted away from the Santos-Dumont square-shaped look to round chronographs that are more familiar to us today. Rolex and Breitling were two of the foremost brands in the pilot watch field. They recognized the vast potential of pilot watches, and mixed passion for aviation and expertise in watchmaking to create catalogs of impressive, reliable aviation timepieces. The Breitling Navitimer was so successful that the international pilot organization AOPA recommended making the Navitimer the official watch for pilots. This incredible feat led Breitling to create more pilot watches that would go on to achieve popularity and status in the watchmaking industry. Rolex, on the other hand, entered the competition with their GMT Master. They made use of the existing blueprint of their renowned Submariner but innovated the addition of a GMT function to cater this watch to aviation professionals. With the GMT Master, pilots would no longer have a hard time in timekeeping whenever they landed in a new time zone. Rolex also had the foresight to target the GMT Master at both travelers and pilots, as a way to expand interest in pilot watches. It was an impressive, high-quality aviator watch that helped Rolex cement its legendary status in the horological world today.  Final Thoughts Pilot watches are sought after by many watch enthusiasts, to the point where vintage aviation pieces are probably considered treasures of the olden ages. One consequence of this prestige is that aviator watches tend to be priced more highly, just like dive watches. That said, there are still affordable and high-quality pilot watches to be found on the market. We have come up with a list of 25 excellent affordable pilot watches that you can get for less than $1,000 USD. It is not an exhaustive list, but we hope that it will serve as a good start in helping you find the perfect budget-friendly aviator watch just for you.  If none of these watches suits you, check out our review on the Seagull 1963 vintage watch. It might match your style. Image courtesy of WatchShopping, unless stated otherwise. Featured image courtesy of Stuhrling.

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