Aviation watches

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Mongrel Dog
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Postby Mongrel Dog » Fri Jun 1 2007, 14:12

Hi 99
My two bobs worth.
I've got a Citizen pilots watch which I bought about 8 years ago for about $400. It has a wizz wheel around the bezel, an analogue face and a digital readout for other functions. About the only function I use on it is the digital display which I have set on UTC. The only times I've used the wizz wheel is for currency conversions when I'm overseas as I always carry a proper sized one in my pocket, and that only gets used when the battery is flat in my palm pilot.

Slightly off topic, how did the Bristow application go?
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agent 99
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Postby agent 99 » Sat Jun 2 2007, 00:06

Yeah real good,I got the job and I start on the 10th .Got my instrument rating to do then of to the solomons for a super puma endorsment, can't wait to get stuck into it. Treating myself to a new watch to go with the new job.
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby helifella » Tue Mar 17 2009, 06:38

I have a Citizen Skyhawk Titanium. Good watch. Due for replacement as the center ring of the 'computer' fell out rendering it useless (Well, still tells the time). In saying that, I'm pretty hard on my gear, so don't hold it against the watch (that and the part that came off was glued on - which I probably weakened over the 6 years I owned it by cleaning it with contact cleaner, degreaser and WD40 when the bezel got sticky).

I did use the computer function a lot - particularly for working out endurance and range solutions. Things I liked about this watch were the analogue UTC display on the watch, easy changeover between time zones (except for the NT/SA issue as mentioned - but I only went to the NT once so no biggy), and the robust nature of the watch. I got mine for about AU$500 (approx half price) on Ebay.

However... I would not buy this particular model again. Reasons against are:
The numbers on the computer are black on grey, which can be hard to read (esp in low light conditions in a heli that needs a good track and balance!). Will look to high contrast (preferably black writing on white background) next time.
The bezel occasionally gets sticky; nothing a squirt of lube doesn't sort but then that attracts dust.
Also the bezel is a bit slippery, esp in gloves, so would choose a watch with a more aggressive grip pattern.
I found that having to use the small rotating selector to change modes was frustrating (and basically impossible now I'm in a job where I wear gloves). I don't mind if there is a rotating selector to set up the time initially, but I'm going for push button everything else for my next watch.

Love the look of the Breitlings, don't love the price. So still looking... The Citizen Promaster JW0030-55E doesn't look too bad. No UTC on the face, but you could set that up as the standard on the digital display. Amyway, good luck finding the right one... :D
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sparky22
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby sparky22 » Tue Mar 17 2009, 09:05

helifella wrote:However... I would not buy this particular model again. Reasons against are:
The numbers on the computer are black on grey, which can be hard to read (esp in low light conditions in a heli that needs a good track and balance!). Will look to high contrast (preferably black writing on white background) next time.


I just checked out the Skyhawk on Ebay and I found a 'Blue Angels' model that as far as i can see is exactly the same except it has a black face with white numbers, I think it looks pretty tidy, I might look at getting one myself.
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pohm1
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby pohm1 » Tue Mar 17 2009, 10:27

I have just replaced my Titanium Citizen Skyhawk with a Nighthawk. The whizz wheel is internal and moved with the extra crown so its easier to use and white on black is clearer to read. The UTC is displayed permanently with an extra hand, (it's clearer than the Skyhawk, which has a tiny UTC clockface.) The date is in a window, so no need for the LCD screens, it looses the alarms, timers and the international time zones but I didn't use them anyway. There is no light, but it is very bright and easy to read in the dark. $300 on ebay. Best part is its Eco-drive, so no batteries required.

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Uncle Chop Chop
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Uncle Chop Chop » Tue Mar 17 2009, 10:43

I used to have the black one as above, now have this one, same thing but brown with leather strap, a little more comfortable and lighter.

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Capt Hollywood
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Capt Hollywood » Wed Mar 18 2009, 02:57

I looked at a pilot style Citizen quite a few years ago and found that it didn't account for time zones with 30min differences. From memory I think you set UTC and then selected a time zone for your location but it only gave you zones with full hour differences, ie Central Australia is UTC + 9hr 30min so it couldn't do that.

Ah Pohm1, you finally bought a big pilot watch, no more jokes about my Breitling then! (Who am I kidding) You'll run out of material at this rate.

CH.
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Uncle Chop Chop » Wed Mar 18 2009, 04:07

At the end of the day, this is what you want, the nice watches get scratched and stained over time doing pre-flights and refuels etc.
I bought one of these for $19.95 - Great Success!
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Islandheli
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Islandheli » Wed Mar 18 2009, 06:49

Hey UCC,
How are things?
Nice watch, that would get them hot in "H" Div.
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Uncle Chop Chop » Wed Mar 18 2009, 08:47

Good thanks Island Sir, I trust your well ?? ....if that watch doesn't get them hot then this might do the trick......
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helothere
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby helothere » Wed Mar 18 2009, 10:58

CH is right, as Willderbeast has stated elsewhere on bladeslapper, you cannot set 30min offsets from zulu on an ecodrive. What really annoys me about this watch is that you can't set different times on the analogue and digital bits, you set a time on the digital one and the hands match that. I'd like to have zulu and local at the same time. Maybe I should splash out on a $20 Casio illuminator...
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pohm1
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby pohm1 » Wed Mar 18 2009, 12:44

So the decision is eco drive watch or 30 min time zone.

Have a look at the places that have a 30 minute time displacement-are they really where you want to be? :wink:

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Capt Hollywood
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Capt Hollywood » Wed Mar 18 2009, 14:56

I have found a small UTC issue with my Breitling B1 too. You set UTC and the time zone for your location individually, then for some reason UTC changes when I change the local time zone. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a international standard time if my watch keeps changing it!
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Catpants » Thu Mar 19 2009, 04:54

I use a Rolex GMT 2 with the 2nd time zone set to UTC. I bought it in 2001 for AU$5k. They were originally designed in the early '60's for the PanAm long-haul pilots who used the second time-zone function to, well, I don't know, whatever they wanted to use it for I guess...

I think the new model costs around AU$7.5k - not cheap, but evidently Rolex 's hold their value and in some cases increase their value more than most other Swiss Made mechanical watches, with perhaps the exception of Phillepe Patek - but for that brand, well, if you need to know the price you probably can't afford it... they really are watch for life - something to leave in your will.

I've also got a Rolex Daytona which has a very useful timer, which does come in handy from time to time. I'm not really fussed about getting either one of the beat up too much, I get them re-polished every few years and they come up like brand new, and they are VERY tough, well made watches that will last you a lifetime. and the designs are ageless, that's if fashion and design are important to you.

Brietling are OK, but to me they just seem a bit too "try hard" and "flashy-look-at-me-I've-got-an-expensive-watch..." and it seems that every wanna be pilot has one.

It's my experience that most good watches are a bit like opinions - everyone thinks they have the best one on on the planet!

It's all down to what appeals to you and personal taste.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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helothere
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby helothere » Thu Mar 19 2009, 05:24

Catpants wrote:...It's all down to what appeals to you and personal taste...


And what you can afford and more importantly, what you are willing to shell out for a time piece!

Go the Casio...
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Schumi » Thu Mar 19 2009, 12:58

Not really sure about this one as never used it but heard some good reviews... The tissot T-Touch... Luminous hands and indices... It even has altimeter, compass, therometer etc.... 8) ... And it's not that expensive....
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby planksfor$$$ » Thu Mar 19 2009, 16:02

Used an old Citizen Navitimer in 206's for years. Wizz wheel numbers finally faded out. Now have the Omega Seamaster GMT (uses a third hand) - less ostentatious than a Brietling (and cheaper), great luminescance and easy to read. Also, it is automatic, sapphire crystal and and runs for 48hrs without wearing it. You never have to worry about getting it wet, even diving, and band has a safety clip too. Criticism is, like all analogues, you have to manually change the date over for non 31 day months. Overall though I highly recommend it.
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Yakking
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Yakking » Fri Mar 20 2009, 02:10

Lot of fancy watch names being thrown about here.

Suppose it comes down to what type of work you're doing as well. I get the impression that the people who have conrtibuted to this thread are flying corporate/ offshore flying.

Personally I fly neither and whilst a Breitling, Citizen, Rolex would be nice to have for 'stepping-out', they are a little too fancy for my day to day work.
I'm on my second Casio G-Shock. I've had this one since 2002 (it cost me about $300). It's taken an absolute battering, been covered in oil, Jet fuel, Av-gas, been through war zones and underwater. It's never missed a beat, it has dual time (hence UTC), temp, baro pressure, altitude, plus the usual digital features. The only thing I've had to change are batteries and one wrist band.

If you're not prepared to pay thousands of dollars for a watch, if you're hard on equipment, if you don't mind a digital watch;

IMHO you can't beat a G-Shock!
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Pear Head
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Pear Head » Fri Mar 20 2009, 14:28

Must have...
Sapphire crystal glass.
Analog display.
Numbers rather than dots, it's easy to misread the time by 5 mins with markers instead of numbers.
A good clasp and strap. Especially if you are left seat with the door off.
Good luminescence (for the night times).
IWC stamped on it.

Nice to have...
date
utc
unobtrusive stopwatch
Knuckle duster capability

Certainly does not need...
Whizz wheel? on a watch? Tit's on a bull. Having one in your flight bag is pushing it.
Too many dials obscuring face (Brietling and many other "pilot's watches")
ELT? if you have one of those brietlings with an epirb on it, please f**k off into the woods and see if it still works. We'll be in the pub with the casio mob.
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Capt Hollywood
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Re: Aviation watches

Postby Capt Hollywood » Sat Mar 21 2009, 07:34

Brietling are OK, but to me they just seem a bit too "try hard" and "flashy-look-at-me-I've-got-an-expensive-watch..." and it seems that every wanna be pilot has one.


Well as I'm currently unemployed that fits my description perfectly, I wanna be a pilot again and I have one!

These watch threads inevitably descend into a profiling session based on what type of watch you have. I seriously doubt that if you can afford a $5k watch you are a "flashy-look-at-me-I've-got-an-expensive-watch" type of pilot. Those personalities don't usually make it far enough in aviation to make the sort of money that permits you to spend $5k on a watch!

At the end of the day there will always be people, like myself, who are willing to pay good money for a good watch for no other reason than they like a good watch. If you can afford it then why not.

I suppose there are people that are willing to pay good money for a good watch for no other reason than they can show everyone their big watch. And who really cares if they do!

And of course there are probably those out there that buy a good watch so they can actually use the whizz wheel and other pilot type functions, but I'm yet to meet one of these people!

With all the $hit going on in the world today surely we've all got better things to do than cast aspersions on someones personality purely because they've chosen to buy a certain watch! Aren't we bigger than that?

CH

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