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AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Chronograph & Spitfire Lock Chronograph

 

Are AVI-8 watches just a brand with a clever name? or are these true pilot watches that deserve your attention and your money?

Established in 2012, AVI-8 watches aspire to capture the shapes and forms of aircraft designs while telling some of the incredible stories that define aviation history. This is a collection of timepieces that seeks to pay homage to both, the aircraft, and the untold stories of the airmen who have dedicated themselves, in and out of the cockpit, to breathe life into these remarkable machines.

Today we will take a look to these 2  models of from AVI-8 that are priced well below US$250 US dollars , a very attractive price point for those who are looking to purchase a quality watch that will deliver excellent performance and durability without breaking the bank.

 

Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph:

Case:

The Hurricane chronograph features a 43.5mm stainless steel case with flat sides and tapered curve shape lugs, the case is finished in dark flat grey. The lugs are spaced at 22 mm.

At just 11.2 mm thick, the watch is easy to wear with long sleeves. Distance from lug to lug is 50 mm and the complete watch weight only 80 grams. Thanks to the  does not wear too big, but it is not small neither.

The stainless steel caseback is screw down and it is decorated with the nose and cockpit of the Hurricane airplane. This case is rated to 50 mts water resistance.

Crown and pushers:

The 6.5mm push crown offer amazing grip and it is nicely decorated, the chronograph pushers are big enough to they are easy to press but they are not intrusive.

Dial:

I find the clean and bold lines around the dial with colours and graphic that celebrates the simple but striking theme that identified the hawker Hurricane airplane very striking.

Like a proper pilot’s watch, the Hurricane sports a broad, highly legible dial with a Tachymeter scale and a vertical three-eye layout chronograph with recessed sub dials.

At 6 o’clock we find the second sub-dial of the chronograph, at 12 we have the needle that keeps track of the 10th of the second, a smaller 60 minute dial is placed gracefully alongside the 9 o’clock and adds a pop of color in the style of a Royal Air force roundel. Providing a very distinctive look to this timepiece.

The sub dials and their contrasting needles are easy to read in most circumstances, but they are not treated with Lume.

Due to space restrictions the two large, textured sub dials cut into the large Arabic numerals at 12 and 6, I think it looks OK but I would have preferred if AVI-8 would have instead used a different marker design or maybe just leave it empty.

At 3 o’clock we find the date window decorated with the brand name, the front silhouette of the Hurricane aircraft and the collection name. A lot of information for sure but somehow it does not look too busy.

A mineral glass with antireflective coating protects the dial. 

Hands:

The sword style hands, indexes and hour markers are painted with Swiss Newlite lume for visibility in the dark. 

Movement:

Inside the case we have a Made in Japan quartz Chronograph movement, sadly AVI-8 does not identify the brand name of the movement.

Pressing the top pusher will get the chronograph moving, the top needle that keeps track of the 10th of the second will stop after the first minute passed, but it will continue counting in the background.

To stop the chrono press the top pusher again, all the chrono hands will stop and the top needle will display the 10th of the seconds that were counted in the background.

To reset the chrono press the bottom pusher.

Strap:

The 22 mm leather strap is closed with a stainless steel, branded buckle finished with the same colour as the case, showing a nice attention to details.

According to AVI-8 website the strap is supposed to be green, I think it looks more like grey with an under tone green. The combination of the dial, the dark grey finished case and the green or grey leather strap looks fantastic.

 

Spitfire Lock Chronograph in Bronze with green dial:

The Spitfire Lock Chronograph takes its name from Eric “Sawn Off” Lock who, was the highest scoring British pilot in the Battle of Britain.

Case: 

The case is made from stainless steel and finished in Bronze PVD, it feels solid and substantial on the wrist, enough that you might questions how such piece can be offered at this price point.

The 42 x 12 mm case is a good size for a chronograph, providing enough real state to read the chronograph hands without being overly chunky.  The complete watch weights only 95 grams and the distance from lug to lug is 50 mm.

Thanks to the case design the watch wears a bit smaller than the Hurricane Chronograph.

The screw down stainless steel caseback is engraved with the Spitfire nose. Water resistance is rated at 165 feet (50 meters) which is a nice aviation detail.

Crown and pushers:

The Aerodynamic pushers are one of the highlights of this timepiece. designed to imitate the Spitfire wings it is nearly impossible to take a glance at this watch without envisioning the graceful silhouette of the spitfire soaring through the majestic British skies.

The crown is 7.5 mm and it is finished in polished bronze PVD, it does offer enough grip to set the time easily.

Dial and hands:

Inspired by the Spitfire cockpit gauges, the dial impress with its multi layers approach with raised numerals and indexes, inset sub dials, and a date window shown inside a tunnel. It really gives the impression that the indexes and numerals were stripped right out of the vintage aircraft cockpit.

Hands, indexes and hour markers are pained with Swiss Newlite lume providing good visibility in the dark.

Movement: 

Inside the case we have a made in Japan Meca-Quartz Chronograph movement with date at 6 o’clock.  Meca-quartz movements contain a single battery-motor that powers the hour and minute hands but unlike a regular quartz movement, meca-quartz movements also use this motor to power the mechanical chronograph gear train.  

Strap:

On the wrist, the timepiece wears comfortably thanks to a premium 22 mm genuine leather strap with contrast accent stitching, secured with branded bronze finished buckle. 

  

Conclusion:

AVI-8 thrives to be one of the most respected brands in the world of watchmaking by delivering affordable watches with unparalleled excellence in design, attention to details, passion and value in an ever-competitive market.

if you are looking to strap some fun on your wrist while wearing a timepiece inspired in the great machines and events that influence history like never before, AVI-8 might have a watch for you.