The Evolution of Pilot Watches
There’s one accessory that was always a must-have for all men, regardless of the time they lived in - the wristwatch.
And there’s one wristwatch style that was always preferred among all men - the pilot watch.
They fit every style and look good on any man. But do you know where they come from? And how they evolved?
That’s what we set to examine in this article. Buckle up and get ready for some interesting facts about pilot watch history.
The Invention of The Pilot Watch
We need to go back in history to find the origins of the first pilot watch. Pioneer aviators started looking towards the sky at the break of the 19th century. That was the time where most men still wore pocket watches, which were hard to use when you had both your hands on the steering mechanism of unreliable flying machines. That’s why men started strapping their pocket watches on the writs with homemade straps to secure the watch.
The men that we attribute as the inventors of pilot watches are Alberto Santos-Dumont and Louis Cartier. Santos-Dumont was an aviator, and Louis Carter was one of the finest watchmakers of the time. Santos-Dumont needed a reliable way of keeping time in the air, and he turned to Cartier for help. They created what is now known as the first pilot watch in the world. It’s also widely accepted that their design was actually the first official wristwatch. This makes pilot watches as old as wristwatches.
As the years progressed, the pilot watches became more advanced. The machine that flew the air got complex, and the watch industry wasn’t lacking behind. New brands emerged and created highly technological watches for the most extreme conditions. Breitling, IWC, Bell & Ross, and Longines were some of the pioneering pilot watch brands.
The Hero of the Skies - The Spitfire
The world faced two horrendous wars in the first half of the 20th century. These were the times where nothing else really mattered. Nations were compiling all their resources into winning the war. Smart innovators created some of the most important inventions of our time during the wars.
One thing that became important was fighter planes. As technology progressed, the war moved to the sky. That meant that planes got faster and more dangerous. You could not fight your enemies if you did not have strong fighter plane fleets.
One of the most iconic planes of WWII was the Spitfire. The Spitfire was a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II. There were many designs of the Spitfire with different wing configurations. Today, the Spitfire is one of the most popular planes among plane and history enthusiasts.
For most of us, when we think of WWII aviation, we think of the Spitfire. And it’s not surprising that Spitfires are of the first associations we have when it comes to pilot watches. The pilots that operated WWII fighter planes in some of the toughest battles the world has ever seen are the personification of bravery and heroism.
Thankfully, most of the world now lives in peace. But we still admire the grit and bravery of the people that flew the skies during the wars. We want to be like them. We want to be as brave and bold as they were.
And the easiest way we can do that is with modern pilot watches.
Why Men Love Pilot Watches
The answer to this question is simple - it’s because of how they make us feel. They make us feel masculine, strong, and bold. They make us confident and ready to take on the world. They give us the courage to do whatever we set to do.
It’s hard to explain why men feel this. It probably has to do with the designs and the association with hero fighter plane pilots of the past. We feel connected to the bravest men that ever lived. And this fills us with pride and energy.
The pilot watch designs are timeless. And they fit almost any style. You can be a C-suite executive or a common worker. Anyone can pull off a pilot watch. You can wear it on a night out with your buddies or on a fancy dinner with your wife. No matter what the occasion, your pilot watch says one thing - that you’re a real man.
How to Pick the Right Pilot Watch
Watch brands around the world know that men love pilot watches. That’s why there are countless different models on the market. The choice can be overwhelming.
First, you need to pick the mechanism. The two main mechanisms you should be considering are Swiss movements and Japanese movements. Is one better than the other? Not really, it comes down to personal preference.
We like both. That’s why we made sure our latest pilot watch, the AGL 2.0, comes in both mechanisms. This gives you the option to pick the one you prefer.
We also topped the AGL 2.0 with a chronograph and different dial options.