We are big fans of classic style reworked for modern life. Although this approach to fashion and accessorizing sounds fairly simple, the reality is that blending the two can be a challenge. Try too hard to be overly “authentic”and the outcome can be a look or a product that feels cliche’ or reductive. Equally disappointing, and far too common, are ideas with little style, innovation, or quality wrapped up in the thin veneer of “heritage” or “inspired by.”
A wonderful exception to these examples is watch brand AVI-8. The range reflects a distinct love of iconic British aviation, with each line speaking to the history and attributes of particular planes or elements of military aeronautics. These timepieces reflect a great balance between modern and affordable horology and a sense of irreverent affection for the golden ages of military aircraft. While some brands seek to replicate gauges or flight instruments, AVI-8 manages to infuse a spirit of flying into the design and personality of their watches.
We have spent a fair amount of time with the Flyboy model AV-4021-44, an automatic with simple time, seconds, and date functions. The Flyboy collection is a core mainstay of the AVI-8 range. We love the substantial 2.6 mm thick Milanese mesh bracelet 43 mm case, which also has an exhibition caseback that showcases the competent 21 jewel self-winding automatic Miyota 8215 movement. Our model, in an all black colorway, employs BGW9 Super Luminova on both dial and hands, allowing for excellent low-light readability.
The Flyboy is solid watch with a very comfortable wrist presence, while not being overpowering in any way. Its 22 mm band perfectly balances the case and the closure with safety latch keeps the bracelet secure and comfortable.
As aviation-inspired timepieces go, this is a great option for the man who likes to show some personality, with a nod to the heritage movement. And, with a price point around US$400.00, it’s a very affordable automatic option.