Best watch for aviation?


Well-Known Member
Anyone have suggestions for the best "bang-for-your-buck" aviators watch? I've looked at quite a few options, but can't decide which features I desire in a watch.

For those with E6B watches, do you ever actually use the E6B?

I think at the least I want something with local and Zulu time. I found some nice watches by Torgoen, but there are cheaper aviator watches by Casio for less than $100. All suggestions are welcome!
I would suggest one that back lights. One that has a minute hand and a second hand. Get one that looks good.
A watch with an E6B seems kind of silly to me. Those numbers are small and when you're trying to fly, getting jostled by turbulence are you really gonna be able to keep those tiny numbers straight? Besides, if you're down to using the watch to calculate instead of using your brain youre already in trouble.
Zulu time and ease in switching between time zones was more important to me than E6B functionality.
What are your opinions on this watch?:

Appears to tell time just fine. That's all I really need, no frills. I could care less what time it is in Tokyo or Sydney.
Lol... I hear you. The main thing I like is the ability to instantly know Zulu time.

Agree. That a a few other functions make the watch useful and not too cluttered or gaudy.....a functional watch that can work hard, yet turn around and take an elegant night on the town too.....

sounds like a cheezy commercial ad.
Anything with a second hand and dual timezones. Other than that, if it fits in your budget, get it.
I find it somewhat comical when I see posts (usually from newly minted pilots)asking about what "aviator" watch or "aviator" sunglasses one should buy. Is there really a particular type of watch or sunglasses, or whatever, one should buy that says, "look at me I'm a pilot..really!" That's what they're really asking.:rolleyes:

Truthfully, a $20 Timex would do you just as well as a $10k Rolex or $20K Breitling..probably better. If you're on a cheap! I'll admit, I have a weakness for Breitlings because I think they look nice not that they keep time better than anything else. The Timex would be sufficient for most of my needs. The E6B function? In a word..WORTHLESS! My eyes aren't good enough to see it and I forgot how to use it anyway...besides, that's why I have 2 FMC, 2 GPS, 3 IRS's and one F/O!

I also like my Citizen eco-drive because it tells me the zulu time since everything in my job deals in "Z" time and I'm really too stupid to figure it out on my own most of the time. Plus, I don't have to worry about changing the batteries. :crazy:

Whenever I talk to crew sched or a dispatcher I miss most of the conversation since I'm too busy trying to figure out or converting the "z" time in my head when I don't have my Citizen. Still remember the new scheduler who called the crew in ANC and asked them what the "z" time was where they were! Huh?:laff:

Anywho, buy what you can afford.
i just wear my issued Casio G-shock and it works just fine. automatically hacks the GMT for me
I appreciate the input thus far, and I gleaned quite a bit of information from all the responses.

I've never really used a watch in 3 years of flying, and I simply want something that will be functional and durable. There are many watches touted as being "for pilots", so I wanted to know if there was any legitimate reason why I should get such a watch. I couldn't imagine myself using a tiny E6B, but I figured I ought to ask if anyone else found it helpful. The unanimous answer seems to be a resounding "NO!"

I knew I wanted something with Zulu time, but frankly I didn't realize how many affordable, non-aviator watches featured multiple time zones. Now that I know, I don't see much reason to spend more than $100 on a watch. I realize the more expensive ones are generally built to a higher level of craftsmanship, but on my flight instructor budget I don't need a Breitling or Rolex.

Long story short, I think I'm deciding between a Timex Expedition or a Casio G-Shock. Anyone care to make a case for either one?

Again, thanks for all the help!