The 10 Best Pilot Watches For Men
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Aviation has provided us with a whole host of attractive fashions, from bomber jackets to sunglasses, and the pilots' watches for men on our list represent some of the finest timepieces on the market. We've included models suitable for use by professional fliers, as well as some that certainly look the part, but may sacrifice a bit of functionality in the name of savings or style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
April 05, 2020:
In refining our ranking here, it was important to us to honor certain elements of style that are part of the pilot watch DNA while also trying to find options for everyday people who want the look and functionality of one of these timepieces, even if they aren't headed for the danger zone anytime soon. To that end, we selected the IWC Le Petit Prince over the better renowned Big Pilot, as the latter wears comically big on anything but the largest wrists. You'll also find IWC's Top Gun perpetual calendar in our special honors section, which may be the best bargain on a perpetual anywhere in the market — also in a modest 46.5mm.
Quite possibly the best marriage between everyday wearability and incredible legibility comes from the Zenith Analog Type 20 with its big hour markings and reasonable case size. Zenith gets overlooked a lot in plenty of other tool watch categories, but they have an undeniable heritage when it comes to pilot's models. For example, the cathedral hands on this offering are grounded in an early 20th-century attempt to make lume plots on the hands stick better and more cleanly by dividing up the hand into smaller subsegments that could be filled with luminous material. This is where the "Mercedes" hand on the Rolex GMT Master II in our special honors section also got its style.
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Perpetual Calendar This model is built on the foundations the company has laid down as an outstanding producer of timepieces for aviators, but it takes that a step further by incorporating an innovative calendar function that will show you the day, date, month, and moon phase accurately until the year 2499 (provided you keep it wound). That beats out almost every other such complication on Earth, most of which will need to be recalibrated in 2100. iwc.com
Rolex GMT Master II Originally developed in concert with mid-century airline giant PanAm, this model was intended for use by commercial aviators. It boasts a 24-hour GMT complication and a bi-color bezel intended to tell you whether it's day or night the second time zone you're tracking. Steel models come on a somewhat controversial Jubilee bracelet, and the arguably superior Oyster is only available new in white gold. rolex.com
Patek Philippe Calatrava Travel Time For frequent travelers, keeping an eye on the time back home can be both practically and emotionally useful, and this model from one of the industry's giants offers a skeletonized hand that lived behind the hour hand until you separate the two to track a second time zone. There's even a pair of color-coded windows to remind you which hand tells which zone. The case in rendered in white gold for an added touch of class. patek.com