Pilot watches were created to keep accurate time in the sky so the measurements needed for aviation are accurate. Below are 4 fun facts about those pilot watches! 


1. Large and Easy-To-Read Dial 

A hallmark of pilot timekeepers is a large and pronounced watch dial. This makes the dial easy to read. Aviators need to easily reference the watch while flying to make quick and precise calculations while in flight. This led to pilot watches having particularly easy-to-read dials.


2. Oversized Winding Crown 

Another calling card of these watches is a large winding crown. This is not only for ease-of-use but also has a historical influence. When pilots used to fly in the early days of aviation, there was no way to stay warm in the colder skies other than wearing coats and gloves. These gloves made normal watch crowns hard to wind. A solution came with the large crown, allowing pilots to more easily grasp it through gloves. 


3. The Diverse Field of Pilot’s Watches 

Pilots watches, unlike other watches covered on our blog, do not conform to one type. They can be mechanical or automatic or even chronographs. Some pilot’s watches come with logarithmic slide rules that help calculate flight distances and others come with a flyback function that allows for the measurement of intermediate times. There are even navigation timekeepers that allow for accurate calculations of position. 


4. Pilots Watches Modeled by War Necessities 

Many of the aspects seen in some modern-day pilot watches were developed out of necessity for different war purposes. Luminous hands, hands that glow in the dark, were added to the watch in the first world war for night time flying. World war 2 saw the early development of radio control watches. And the cold war saw the size of the aviation watch grow.

For a brief history of pilot watches, visit our blog post here!

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