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Pilot watches

December 30, 2020 4 min read

Pilot watches


Where and how did pilot watches appeared?

Pilot watches are an instrument that has been present in the cockpit of an airplane since the very beginning of aviation. To find the first watch conceived for a pilot, you have to go back to the early years of the 20th century. Brazilian aviator and European aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont asked his very good friend and watchmaker Louis Cartier to design a watch so that he could wear it during his flights. Legend has it that, during a celebration for his first flight, Santos complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the difficulties he had in checking the time in flight using his pocket watch. Cartier rose to the challenge and set about designing a watch that was easy to read, comfortable to wear, and easy to adjust while flying an airplane. In 1904 Cartier created the famous “Santos” watch in honor of his aviator friend.

The great novelty introduced by Cartier was the use of a strap, which allowed the watch to be attached to the pilot's arm, freeing himself from the need to search for it in his pocket. This is how the first pilot's watch and one of the first wristwatches was born.

Iguana Sell presents a selection of the aviator watches most demanded by customers and for all tastes. Automatic or quartz models, models with a chronograph, mineral or sapphire glass or even watches with a back glass. We must mention the brands AVI-8, Iron Annie, Zeppelin and the Airman line by Glycine.


The origin of the AVI-8 watch brand dates back to the 2000s in the UK. Its story begins when London-based Dartmouth Brands Ltd. decided to draw on the best materials and resources to honor both aeronautics and the unknown stories of the aviators who have dedicated themselves, both inside and outside the cockpit, to bringing these incredible machines to life.

AVI-8 designs timeless style and functional timepieces inspired by the history of some historic aircraft. Using top quality materials, they manage to create unique pieces that go beyond the conventional pilot's watch.

The Spitfire collection captures the essence of the aircraft of the same name, one of the most iconic models in history. All Spitfire models additionally feature an interchangeable leather strap neatly presented in a beautiful case, providing versatility to quickly and easily change styles.



AVI-8 Spitfire Automatic Watch in green with its extra leather strap

These watches are robust, with small seconds, bicolor hands and illuminated raised indexes, offering a stepped design that adds visual depth to the dial, easing the reading.

The P-51 collection, also known as the Mustang, was a single-seater, single-engine fighter plane originally designed and produced by North American aviation for the Royal Air Force and later adapted by the United States Army air forces. The P51 is widely regarded as the best piston-engined fighter of World War II that has been produced in significant numbers.




Some of its watches feature leather straps inspired by the P-51Mustang seats, like the AVI-8 P-51 Mustang Blakeslee Quartz Watch in the image above, and other H-link stainless steel bracelets. Its multi-layered dials are a reinterpretation of flight instrument displays. They present both chronograph and tachymeter.



Iron Annie is the nickname for the legendary Junkers JU-52 D-HERE plane. The Annie Iron was a corrugated steel cargo plane made in the 1930s. It was also used for military transport and as a bomber. Like the legendary role model, all Iron Annie watches are synonymous of robustness, reliability, technical innovation, high quality and eye-catching design.

Iron Annie bauhaus watches

From left to right, Iron Annie Bauhaus in Beige and Iron Annie Bauhaus Chronograph with black leather strap

Iron Annie watches have a wide range of watches inspired by the famous Bauhaus design school founded in 1921, which is still more relevant than ever to this day. They represent a simple, elegant and highly functional design style.


Zeppelin is a brand of German origin that designs watches inspired by the airship to which it owes its name. All its collections reflect the spirit of the time, offering technical watches, with aviator lines and great elegance.

Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg

From left to right, Zeppelin Lz 129 Hindenburg Quartz watch in beige with leather strap and Lz 129 Hindenburg Quartz watch in blue with Milanese bracelet

Its LZ-129 Hindenburg aviator watch collection is inspired by the famous aircraft, Hindenburg, the first to provide scheduled service between Europe and North America. With chronographs, small seconds or simple and refined designs.

The special edition "100 Jahre Zeppelin" is a combination of tradition and modernity. All Zeppelin watches in this anniversary collection are of high mechanical quality and have quartz movements. It transmits all the elegance of the brand, its models will surprise you with their precious and exclusive vintage designs. We highlight the watch 100 Years Zeppelin Ed. 1 that you can see in the following image.



Glycine watches have been around since 1914. The brand has come a long way over the years, although it has always maintained the ability to create high-quality watches. In the 1950s, the company really began to make a name for itself, in large part due to its Airman line.

Glycine launched its first Airman watch with a 24-hour dial in 1953 and it has gone on to become one of the brand's most iconic collections. After more than 5 decades, the watchmaker founded by Eugène Meylan in 1914 continues with the Airman line inspired by the in-flight support instruments of military pilots.


Glycine Airman Noon Automatic


In the Airman Noon that you can see in the image above, the bezel is true to the Airman design of the 1950s from start to finish. Also, the only way to rotate it is by manipulating the locking feature retained in the screw crown at the 4 o'clock position in the cage. Once unlocked, the friction bezel can rotate in both directions with ease, absolutely lovely 1950s technology. The crown at 3 o'clock features all the necessary time, date and GMT settings.


If you want to know more about pilot watches, do not hesitate to visit our website.
And, of course, if you require more information or want to place your order, do not hesitate to contact us. You can write us an email, or visit our store in Madrid, at Núñez de Balboa 90. It will be a pleasure to help you.
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