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Take Flight: Pilot's Watches for Aviation Day

Although during the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Brazil claimed they native pilot Alberto Santos Dumont was the first to fly. Whether he or the Wright Brothers are the ones to fly first is inconsequential, except for North Carolina's license plate that reads "First in Flight". FDR created National Aviation Day, which is on Orville Wright's birthday to celebrate the U.S. aviation achievement. Take a look at a few pilot watches to get in the holiday spirit.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

Debuted at SIHH 2016, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun takes to the runway with minor design modifications from its debut in 2007. The watch appears with a new strap and continues the line that was and still is a hit with IWC fans.

The name Top Gun, besides being a pretty incredible Tom Cruise movie is an actual special training course offered by the U.S Navy Fighter Weapons School. With their black cockpit design, attractive materials mix and state-of-the-art watchmaking technology, the watches inspired by the school are a modern classic.

In 2016, this model now comes on a black calfskin strap instead of softer strap. The 48mm ceramic case brings together cutting-edge technology made in Schaffhausen, like the 51614 Caliber movement. The movement has efficient Pellaton winding that builds up a 7-day power reserve. The perpetual calendar with its four-digit year display until the year 2499, as well as displays for the date, day and month, takes into account all the leap years in the Gregorian calendar until 2100. All displays are adjusted via the crown.

Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT

Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT

The Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT is a part of the watchmaker’s new Pilot North America Special Editions that display the defining characteristics of Zenith aviator watches. The high-precision mechanism, a large case-size at 45mm, luminescent Arabic numerals and stylized hands are a part of this 50-piece limited edition.

The GMT model features a blue, white and red color scheme, perfect for America’s last holiday, Independence Day. The watches are descendants of the onboard instruments developed by the Manufacture in the early days of aviation and these watches are finally available to consumers.

The watch is priced at $7,800 (50 piece limited edition).

Breitling “Navitimer 46 Blacksteel”

Breitling “Navitimer 46 Blacksteel”

A highly exclusive version of the large-size Navitimer, Breitling’s “Navitimer 46 Blacksteel” is distinguished by its all-black exterior, its two-counter dial, its black oscillating weight and its new strap featuring an aircraft tire-tread pattern. A cult model among pilots and aviation devotees since 1952, the Navitimer chronograph steps things up a notch in a version entirely clothed in black: from its satin-brushed steel case coated with an ultra-resistant carbon-based treatment to the famous circular slide rule serving to handle all operations relating to airborne navigation.

Yet this original, modern and technical exterior is not its only distinctive feature. Instead of the three silvered counters on the classic model, the dial bears two tone-on-tone counters: small seconds at 9 o’clock and a chronograph 30-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock. An authentic instrument panel, created using the “par épargne” technique on a sterling silver base, enhanced by red accents in the shape of small counter pointers and a central sweep-seconds hand.

Breitling “Navitimer 46 Blacksteel”

The Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01 high-performance movement, chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), comprises a black oscillating weight visible through a transparent caseback. Further accentuating the aeronautical touch, the black case and dial are fitted with a sturdy and comfortable all-new rubber strap bearing an aircraft tire-tread pattern and now available on all Navitimer models.

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