Step foot on the tarmac at Edwards or the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan and you’re likely to see a few Breitling watches on the pilots’ wrists — as much a part of standard aviator kit as the ubiquitous and eponymous aviator shades. Breitling’s connection with pilot’s watches is more than a historical footnote or a well-branded, retro-inspired line of heritage watches. The brand has won pilots’ favor over the decades due to the functionality and rugged build of the watches themselves, which have evolved over time as much as the planes the pilots are flying.
New or old, a pilot’s watch much be legible, tough, accurate and reliable, with extra points awarded if it looks good riding the sleeve of a flight jacket. This flock hits those marks.
Ticking off the latest watch news
This Week in Watches: a young watch authority, a mean chopper-edition watch, and an Oris with a mechanical altimeter.
Off-Kilter in all the right ways
The new Longines Avigation Watch Type A7 differs visually from the 1930s original (most notable for its 45 degree canted dial) only in minor dial details. Other features remain: the 49 millimeter diameter, the hinged case back, the Breguet hands, and Arabic numerals. We break it down.
A different WWW
For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. Our third offering is a Cyma British Military watch
($995) that fulfills the British Ministry of Defense’s “Watch, Wristlet, Waterproof” specification with several unique twists.
One Breath, One Dive
Most of the people who come to Bonaire are SCUBA divers, hauling heavy bags of gear — buoyancy vests and regulators. But on this visit, I decided to try something different: freediving. No tanks, just a breath of air. I wanted to experience the transcendent silence and freedom freedivers talk about. The best man to learn from is in Bonaire, and I was about to get a one-on-one lesson from him.
Ticking Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches: The Sistem51 hits U.S. shores, Audemars Piguet’s new digs, the missing watches of ten great men and much more.
Lean and Clean
While thick, robust watches have their benefits, they often fall prey to door jams and snags on cuffs and jacket pockets alike. More often than not, a truly practical and comfortable watch will also be a thin watch. These watches feel wafter thin (because they are) but still look of consequence, and are in fact some of the best dress watches around. For an understated yet stately look that fits under a cuff with heaps of clearance (10mm thick at max, including crystal), these six are some of the best.
The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna ($230,400 in white gold, $229,200 in pink gold) is, as you can tell from its name, a watch for the man who enjoys complexity. It’s a perpetual calendar indicating time in a regulator style; it has a unique power reserve indication at 6:00; it has an orbital moon phase on the back. And that’s just the tip of the horological iceberg. Let us try to explain.
Shades of Tennis's Most Unique Tournament
The French have two Brits to thank for their beloved red playing surface, which today lives on in small training centers on the outskirts of Paris, tournaments for the rising stars of the sport, and one of professional tennis’s oldest events. We were on hand during the week of the French Open to capture all the nuance of the storied surface.
Ticking of the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches: June 17, 2014. A bronze Pinion, Dwight Eisenhower’s Rolex on sale, a watch that displays time using liquid and much more.
Time for a new dive watch standard
ISO 6425 is an international standard that spells out in great and unambiguous detail the criteria for what can be called a “diver’s watch”. Aside from the obvious water resistance requirement (100 meters, by the way), there are rules for legibility, salt water resistance and more. But the fact of the matter is, not many watches are even subjected to the testing required to earn the ISO seal of approval. So when Cartier, best known for its classic Tank and elegant Ballon Bleu watches, introduced its Calibre de Cartier Diver ($8,200) this year with full compliance with ISO 6425, the watch world took notice.
Playing the field
Field watches tend to be ignored among the tool watch set, mostly because their definition is a bit less clear than divers’ or pilots’ watches. In fact, a field watch’s rugged build and clear dial markings makes it the perfect candidate for all sorts of expeditions. These five are particularly excellent candidates for bumps and bruises, be they from scree-scrambling, brush-clearing or desk-bumping.
Gear Patrol x Analog/Shift
For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. This week we go east for our Timekeeping Select: a late 1970s Seiko 6139-6002 chronograph (
$895 Sold), a watch that is significant for several reasons yet remains an outright bargain by any measure.
Contrast is for suckers
All-black, or “murdered-out”, watches aren’t flashy so much as menacing; they’re the pimped-out Rolex’s archnemesis. But what makes one example stand apart in a burgeoning field of blacked-out watches stand apart? As our list shows, there’s no single formula for success. Just add Batman’s favorite color, loads of lume and an even bigger dose of badassery.
Depth of Spending
Comparing two great depth gauge dive watches: the top shelf IWC Aquatimer Deep Three and an ingenious alternative from ORIS that works without any moving parts.
We Tick Off the Latest In Watch News
This Week In Watches: The Rolling Stones get a Zenith, Linde Werdelin’s secrets revealed, two opulent auctions and much more.
The Watch as A lesson
Unlike many family traditions, including those shown in Patek Philippe ads, in our family, watch gifts didn’t flow from father to son but rather the other way around.
Give Pops Some Time Back
A hint for Father’s Day gift seekers: He doesn’t need another screwdriver set. What he needs is something with more thought, more personality, something he’ll use. A watch checks all those boxes. It’s even a bit of a reversal: remember how long dad spent wiping your butt, teaching you to throw a football, or picking you up at 2 a.m. because you were drunk and didn’t have a ride? Now you can give him some time back. These five great options should cover pretty much any old man’s wrist.
We Tick Off the latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches: Breitling’s high-flying contest, two new Richard Milles, a Rolex Paul Newman video, a DOXA on sale and more.
Whether you’re heading to the Mediterranean coast in real life or just your daydreams, this kit of casual clothes and accoutrements will keep you both cool and looking cool.
For their 100th anniversary, Leica teamed up with Valbray, an independent Swiss watchmaker, to create a commemorative timepiece based on Valbray’s signature Oculus diaphragm system.
What started as a batch of 1,200 watches made in 1941 for the German Luftwaffe has since become one of the most iconic watch designs in history. Today Fliegers are made by both household-name German brands and a set of potent up-and-comers, in both classic styling and with an artistic license, at bank-breaking prices and for only a couple hundred bucks. Here are our favorites.
Case in Point
Most discussions about watches and their value begin and end with the movement: Swiss versus Japanese, in-house versus outsourced, finishing and complications. But in reality, the movement is only part of the story. All too often overlooked is the humble watch case, which can be equally artful, interesting, and difficult to produce.
Gear Patrol x Analog/Shift
For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. Our first offering takes us back to the 1960s to one of our favorite dive watches, the DOXA SUB 300T Sharkhunter ($2,500).
We Tick Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week In Watches: a new Christopher Ward classic, Alpina’s not-so-free giveaway, a Baselworld infographic and much more.
Like the Shark, a Dinosaur that Still Thrives
Vintage watches are flying off the shelves right now, but the Squale 101 Atmos carries out its heritage look without pretense.
Timepieces for the Beach, the Mountains or just Manning the Grill
Five new watches ready for the mountains, the beach, or just manning the grill. Put one on and don’t take it off until Labor Day.
Bringing together a mix of 15 watch companies in the gorgeous Park Avenue Armory in NYC, Timecrafters aims to let the public get up close and personal with new timepieces and the people behind them. Hands-on and face to face with great timekeeping? Of course we were there.
Classic cars, Champagne and yachts
The Historic Grand Prix is one of the most important historic track events of the year, and it’s easy to see why: throughout the weekend, classic cars of all sorts drive the circuit in downtown Monaco, drivers mingle in their race suits, mechanics tinker, car nuts scoop their tongues off the ground and tall women glide by in cocktail dresses and heels.