s we take a journey through the history of aviation, several notable events and names may spring to mind, such as the Wright brothers who invented and piloted the first airplane in 1903.
However, we would have never had the iconic P-51 Mustang, Hawker Hurricane or Supermarine Spitfire – stalwarts of the Allied air forces throughout WW2 – if it were not for their respective designers and engineers. Through these timepieces, AVI-8 pays tribute to the unparalleled work of Edgar Schmued (designer of the P-51 Mustang at North American Aviation), R.J. Mitchell (designer of the Spitfire at Supermarine) and Sir Sydney Camm (designer of the Hurricane at Hawker Aircraft).
The right wear, the right size, the right fit. These were the principles that laid the foundations of designing this timepiece. Not too big, not too small, the Flyboy Engineer Automatic’s case diameter comes in at 42mm. Solidly built out of marine grade stainless steel, the case is topped with a slightly curved scratch resistant sapphire crystal lens for maximum durability and clarity of view.
The dial design, hand shape and size deliver a perfect balance to the wearer. Allowing each element its own space, the dial matches the proportions impeccably without any fuss or overdone detailing, granting focus on a clear-cut view of the time.
Consistent with AVI-8 ’s vision to blend modern and vintage, two of the variations are offered with a fumé dial, whilst one is with a matte finishing. The face is marked by generously lumed applied Arabic indexes showing 12 hour time, along with a clearly printed 24 hour time on the inner dial.
Flieger style hour and minute hands are balanced by a custom-made seconds hand with a roundel at the tip.
A conical crown is derived from the early days of pilot watches. As the cockpits of aircrafts were extremely cold, gloves were worn and thus needed a larger, more ergonomically shaped crown for easier time setting.
Under the hood, a reliable TMI Seiko built Japanese Automatic NH35 movement powers the watch.
A strong yet supple engineer style bracelet tapering from 22mm to 18mm provides a practical yet appealing finish to the watch. The carefully articulated 5-link solid stainless steel bracelet works with the straightforward look and feel of the watch head, whilst paying tribute to traditional field watch designs.
Perfectly proportioned, true to the style inspired by an era and aptly named after the designers of three iconic military aircrafts, the Flyboy Engineer Automatic, at GBP 225, is one of the most dependable field watches around.