Whether you are a desk pilot who enjoys aviation-themed watches or a jetsetter who flies the friendly skies in private Gulfstreams, these 5 watches will deliver the perfect flair of sophistication with an abundance of horological clout. And a price tag to match!
About Bhanu Chopra
I am the resident “flieger expert” for Quill & Pad. For the past 15 years, I have been fortunate to be able to travel and attend watch events, visiting manufacturers and museums and writing about my experiences, made particularly special by the conversations and camaraderie with watchmakers, watch collectors, and the rest of the watch world.
Entries by Bhanu Chopra
The first time Bhanu Chopra strapped a borrowed BR 03-92 Black Matte Ceramic on his wrist, he thought that it was the perfect Bell & Ross watch for him, checking all the boxes for the characteristics he expected from an aviation-style instrument watch. He bought one and it has been part of his core pilot’s watch collection ever since. This is why.
During a visit to D.Dornblüth & Sohn in eastern Germany, Bhanu Chopra noticed a new matte black ceramic dial in the workshop and loved the look so much that he asked the independent watchmaker to replace the more standard silver dial on his Dornblüth 99.1 with the new black one. And he’s very pleased with the result.
The majority of today’s numerous flieger-style watches are inspired by the now-iconic German pilot’s and navigator’s watches of World War II, becoming a genre unto themselves. Bhanu Chopra flies high to take a deep dive into the long history of this popular style.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds with green dial capitalizes on the 2021 green trend and is one of the special watches celebrating the 90-year anniversary of the Reverso. It’s a stunning timepiece with a vintage-inspired dial featuring a lacquered green sunray pattern, faceted hour markers, dauphine-style hands, and a large subsidiary seconds counter at 6 o’clock. Here Bhanu Chopra runs through the reasons for considering a purchase.
After years of consideration, Bhanu Chopra took the plunge and bought both a Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 mm and a Submariner Reference 114060. And less than 24 hours after finally taking ownership of them, Rolex discontinued both watches! Here he shares the story of how it all went down. Spoiler alert: he couldn’t be happier!
Type 20 is a specification by the French Ministry of Defense for the standard-equipment pilot’s watch chronographs. Unlike German pilot’s watch specifications, those for the French Type 20 are not clearly documented but are rather based on common characteristics shared by various manufacturers. Bhanu Chopra explains what makes these watches so sought after and goes through the main models and characteristics.
The hashtag #fliegerfriday is dedicated to the genre of flieger, or pilot’s, watches posted on social media on Fridays. Tutima, which has a long history in pilot’s watches, asked Bhanu Chopra for some advice on developing a special-edition #fliegerfriday chronograph and together they came up with the Tutima Flieger Friday Chronograph Limited Edition. Here is its compelling story.
Bhanu Chopra recently picked up his unique piece Kudoke Flieger Concept from Stefan and Ev Kudoke over lunch at their favorite steakhouse in Dresden, Germany. Here he describes how and why he fell in love with this unique one-off timepiece and what makes Kudoke’s watches so special in general.
Derived from the historic Reference 798, Tutima’s M2 Coastline chronograph is a heavy-hitter in terms of practicability and wearability. But Bhanu Chopra thinks the blue-dial version is also a perfect casual watch for beach days. And we know it can withstand anything the beach can serve up!