Avi-8 Watches Review – a smart, stylish choice for pilots?

A complete Avi-8 watches review; the different products and their features, as well as pros and cons and where to buy them.


Since the early days of aviation, watches have been an integral part of a pilot’s outfit. Charles Lindbergh used a watch to keep track of time during the first-ever Atlantic crossing and they continue to be used by pilots, even though timekeeping devices can be found on modern flight decks today.

Apart from aesthetic reasons, aviator watches serve a useful role in keeping track of time, distance, and speed. Some advanced watches even allow the pilot to view METARS1, to keep track of flight time, and a host of other functions.

Avi-8 was founded in 2012 by a combination of pilots, watchmakers, and engineers all looking to create a watch that was functional and affordable to the masses while telling the tale of man and machine.

What is an Avi-8 watch?

An Avi-8 watch is an aviator watch designed specifically for pilots. These watches are designed with great craftsmanship, passion, and attention to detail. The main purpose of these aviator watches is not just limited to a time-keeping tool but these watches can also be used to keep track of flight time and distance covered using the stopwatch function and the chronograph.

Also, traditional aviator watches tend to be expensive but Avi-8 watches give the customer the best of both worlds, affordable watches that don’t break the budget, and a decent, high-quality product.

avi-8 watches review
Avi-8 watches have several unique features such as Japanese quartz movement, luminescent hands and markers, and unique, stylish designs

Where are Avi-8 watches manufactured?

Although the Avi-8 brand is UK-based, all watches are manufactured in Hong Kong and then shipped to the UK. Manufacturing in Hong Kong has several benefits including lower production costs. Also, Hong Kong is an attractive major hub for watchmakers designing watches in the low to the mid-budget range.

Are Avi-8 watches waterproof?

Since aviator watches are exposed to a wide variety of conditions and pressure changes, they have to be rugged and reliable to work perfectly under such adverse conditions.

Avi-8 watches are certified to be water-resistant to a minimum depth of 50m (5 ATM). However, this is not guaranteed as the water-resistance of a timepiece may change due to shock, exposure to chemical substances, and general wear and tear of the seals on the watch. For more common queries regarding Avi-8 watches, click here:


What are the main features of Avi-8 watches?

Avi-8 watches share some common features as follows:

·     A case size greater than 40mm.

·     Crystal glass (mineral or sapphire) with anti-reflective coating.

·     Luminescent markers and clock hands

·     Japanese quartz movement3

avi-8 watches
Avi-8 watches are quite affordable in comparison to other high-end brands

Are Avi-8 watches expensive?

Avi-8 watches are relatively cheaper compared to other high-end brands such as Breitling, Aviator, and Garmin. It is the perfect budget watch for pilot enthusiasts and history buffs alike, as most of the watches pay homage to British aviation history and classic aircraft from the British royal air force such as the Spitfire, the P-51 Mustang, the Hawker Harrier ii, Hawker Hurricane (Avi 8 Hawker Hurricane), the Lancaster bomber and the Hawker Hunter. The customer has a great tradeoff with this brand, it’s affordable yet durable and of the highest quality. The price range is between $220USD – $450USD.

How long have Avi-8 watches been around?

Avi-8 watches are a relatively new brand. They launched their first watch in 2012. Since the company is relatively new, they do not have much history available on its website. However, the company was founded by aviators, engineers, and watchmakers that are passionate about aviation and watches hence, they decided to encapsulate that very spirit into their watches. Their watches are crafted with great precision and painstaking attention to detail.

Why do pilots like Avi-8 watches?

Each pilot has some particular criteria when it comes to aviation watches. Some like aviator watches purely because of their aesthetic appeal and they wear them as a style statement. Some like aviator watches because of their functionality and ability to work in the most adverse of conditions.

However, the two things that pilots require the most are reliability and easiness to read. Concerning reliability, most pilots prefer a watch with quartz movement. Watches with quartz movement can often run for years on a single battery and they provide millisecond precision. Avi-8 watches use Japanese movement mechanisms manufactured by Seiko or Miyota, two of the most well-known movement suppliers for watches.

Concerning the easiness of reading, all Avi-8 watches come with luminescent hands and markers so that pilots can easily use the watch in poor or low visibility or even in a dark flight deck. This greatly helps pilots during low visibility operations or when the flight deck lighting is dimmed to its lowest setting.

What are the advantages of Avi-8 watches?

  • Stylish design – options of leather strap, cordura strap or paratrooper strap
  • Big dial with bold numerals making it easy to use in low light conditions or poor visibility
  • Japanese quartz automatic movement which is highly accurate at timekeeping.
  • Affordable price point as compared to other high-end brands.
  • Rugged, good quality construction.
  • Water resistant4 up to 50m.
  • Date display
  • Luminescent markers and clock hands.
avi-8 watches review
You can buy Avi-8 watches from the Avi-8 website, or from Amazon

What are the disadvantages of Avi-8 watches?

  • Limited collection to choose from.
  • Some watch dials seem a little too ‘busy’ and complex     

Where can you purchase Avi-8 watches?

Potential customers have a variety of options to choose from with regard to purchasing their Avi-8 watch. Many customers that have bought Avi-8 watches were pleased with the product. However, they have said that the packaging of the watch could have been better. Some of the options are listed below:

1. Official Avi-8 store. Please click on the link below:


2. Amazon website. Some options below:

AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane AV-4088-02 Carey Dual Time Merville...
6 Reviews
AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane AV-4088-02 Carey Dual Time Merville...
  • Movement: Japan Quartz Dual Time with Date
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Lens: Mineral Lens with Anti-Reflective Coating
AVI-8 Men's 'Hawker Harrier II' Quartz Stainless Steel and...
  • The precision Japanese made chronograph retrograde movement reads...
  • The hour and minute hands are sword shaped in a classic aviation...
  • Japanese-quartz Movement
AVI-8 Men's AV-4011-01 "Hawker Hurricane" Stainless Steel...
  • Aviation inspired classic chronograph with vintage details and an...
  • Japan chronograph movement with date
  • White dial with black index, chronograph subdials, date window,...

You could also look online for some second hand Avi-8 watches – there are likely to be many of these, and other good watch options, still in great condition.


In conclusion, it can be said that Avi-8 timepieces are emerging as a strong brand in the watch market with positive reviews from customers, as listed on the website2, even though they haven’t been around for a long time. There are however some negative reviews on TrustPilot HERE5, with some people stating why they’re not a big fan. It will be essential for the company to diversify its product line and also by adding new features to its watches if the company wishes to remain ahead of the competition, even if the watch pays homage to classic aircraft. The right watch can really make the outfit stand out, and these are a nice watch! Pair one of these with some premium sunglasses, pilot’s shirt and a jacket to capture that iconic pilot’s look.

 With an ever-growing and ever-strengthening customer base, the brand is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable brands amongst pilots.

Reference List:

  1. http://www.bom.gov.au/aviation/observations/metar-speci/
  2. https://avi-8.com/
  3. https://miyotamovement.com/
  4. ‘Water Resistant mark’, Wikipedia. Accessed online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Resistant_mark on Jan 9, 2023.
  5. ‘AVI-8’, TrustPilot. Accessed online at https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.avi-8nation.com on Jan 9, 2023.
proaviationtips banner ad
ken johnson


Ken is a passionate aviator, a professional pilot and flight instructor. He has over 17 years of flight experience across hundreds of aircraft ranging from recreational, aerobatic, historic, commercial and military aircraft, training hundreds of students along the way. Find out more.

Ken has 124 posts and counting. See all posts by Ken

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *