Some timekeepers like watches that look like military instrumentation. This is why the “inspired by aircraft instrument panel” thing has been done before by the likes of Trintec, Bell & Ross, etc – but we’ve never seen it done like the AVI-8 Hawker Hunter watch.
Launched this week, the latest AVI-8 timepiece takes the cockpit concept to new altitudes by putting a cluster of gauges on your wrist in the form of a split-time chronograph.
The Hawker Hunter’s textured dial was created to look like actual instrumentation from the dash of a 1950s Hawker Hunter fighter jet.
The 45mm case is uniquely formed with a combination of edges and circles. This watch is jam-packed with shapes and textures but not as overwhelming as expected. The design uses multi-levels and layers harmoniously and ties them all together into a well-planned piece that isn’t garbled or overbearing.
Despite everything going on, the Hawker Hunter is surprisingly legible for a chronograph. AVI-8 chose the perfect skeletonized hands to allow a quick view of the time while also being able to see the dial and chronograph timing beneath.
What really sets this piece apart from other watches in the same inspired-by-aircraft-something-or-other genre are the subdials. These miniature gauges include “rivets” and all! Included in the layout is a 3D pop-out minutes counter that looks like an altimeter readout. The hand goes from 0 to 10 minutes and has an nice retrograde effect that sweeps back to zero after each ten minute set.
The AV-4052 is available in several styles: white dial (AV-4052-01), gray dial (AV-4052-03), black with rose gold accents (AV-4052-04), black with teal accents (AV-4052-05), and basic black and light gray accents (AV-4052-06). Vast options are nice to have, but we recommend the black and red configuration seen in this review.
The hand-stitched brown vintage style strap pops nicely against the PVD case, and the red accents give the tiny gauges the locked-and-loaded ready-for-action aggressive look that is often lacking in other instrument panel inspired watches.
AVI-8 (pronounced “aviate”) specializes in watches that pay respect to military aircraft. Even if fighter jets aren’t your preferred method of transportation, the Hawker Hunter can pass as a kick-ass chronograph for automobile enthusiasts alike. Cars have gauges too. And, frankly, we thought this was a racing inspired piece when it was initially unboxed – the red pusher is reminiscent of racing stopwatches.
A lot of watches out there have more time spent on designing a marketing plan than designing the actual watch. It’s evident that AVI-8 actually put time into this layout with as much accuracy as is possible within 45 millimeters. That’s not to say AVI-8 doesn’t market well, quite the opposite and their Instagram page is excellent.
Overall the Hawker Hunter is a fun watch with seriousness built into the design. If you’re looking for something affordable that looks different with an interesting story behind it, then this chronograph is for you.
Check out the official Hawker Hunter page here. $280
Model: AVI-8 Hawker Hunter / Ref: AV-4052
Movement: Quartz, made in Japan
Case: Stainless steel available in black ion plated finish
Size: 45mm diameter / 12mm thick
Band: Genuine leather strap with matching tang buckle