Pilot watches were originally made for pilots who participated in the Vietnam War and World War II. They used to be plain and simple military timepieces without any chronographic features. Today, however, these watches have improved. There are now more features included. Nonetheless, these watches have also been available to the public; they are no longer worn by pilots alone. Different brands of these watches can be found on the market.
A pilot watch is just like a regular watch except that it can also double as a chronometer. It has to be accurate, east to operate, and readable. Its size should be large enough, and it should have a dark background with luminous indexes. Visibility and readability are two of the most important characteristics that a pilot watch should have. This watch should also have special features that are necessary and useful in the work environment of pilots.
It should also have a compass and a multiple time-zone indication feature. The compass feature is useful in determining directions. The multiple time-zone indication feature is useful when traveling from one time zone to another. Pilots, as you know, frequently changes time zones which is why their watches should be able to adapt to these changes. Having a watch with multiple dials and a digital display that can be toggled will make reading time easier and faster.
In addition, a pilot watch should be able to operate in both normal and extreme conditions. It should still function well even if the temperature is very high or very low. It should also be resistant to high humidity and water. This watch should also be antimagnetic or non-magnetic, which means that it should be able to resist the strong magnetic fields created by cockpit instrumentation.
For the past years, pilots, navigators, and aircrew have used pilot or aviator watches to perform their aviation duties such as preflight planning, navigational chores, and getting the ramp on schedule. At present, however, modern technology and improved aircraft instrumentation has eliminated the need for these watches. Nonetheless, a pilot watch can still be worn by a pilot as a backup.
Pilot watches are widely available in stores. There are rugged watches that are approved by aviation agencies to be used by pilots. There are also ornamental versions that are preferred by trendsetters and fashion enthusiasts. Some of the most popular manufacturers of these watches are Seiko, Patek, Breitling, Benrus, Philippe, Hamiltons, Longines, Omega, Torgoen, Citizen, Breuget, and Blancpain.