As with all of the watches AVI-8 produces, the design of their latest model is influenced by aviation. The brand is pronounced aviate after all. This time, they went with the WWII era Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft.
Introducing the Spitfire Type 300 Automatic. Read on as we go over every mm of this new piece…
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a watch with the word Spitfire in the name, but it’s the first time we’ve seen one with a dial inspired largely by the knots gauge of the namesake plane. AVI-8 didn’t miss a mark on this design and even made the minute hand look like the needle of the gauges. The slim fixed bezel makes the 42mm diameter almost all dial, adding to the legibility and field of view.
It’s hard to remember the last time AVI-8 put out a piece with a flat dial. They are really big on textures and multiple levels. The markers on the spitfire are raised, and to add more depth, the half dial in the center has a sandwich style appearance for the 07 and 09 markers – more on this later. The screw heads at 6:00 and 3:00 are also applied and raised out of the dial with a subdued finish that reflects at certain angles.
Upon close examination, the dial has a lot going on, but it’s a breeze to read on the wrist. As with any proper pilot watch, legibility is key.
Using all Arabic markers, the Spitfire places the minutes in the primary position. When we quickly glance at time, we’re rarely looking for the current hour, so it makes sense to get an instant read of the minutes. This style of layout can be useful for flying and diving, where you need to track shorter spans of time.
The 07 and 09 have a sandwich look to them at a wrist’s length away, but there isn’t a plate underneath, and it isn’t lumed. It’s more of a debossed or stamped effect. There is text on the knots gauge in the Spitfire plane with a similar appearance. The metal screws are also found on the gauge.
165 feet water resistance is screen printed at the top of the dial in an appealing vintage layout. Note that the crown is push-pull style, so don’t put too much weight on the rating.
The scratch resistant sapphire crystal is treated with an anti-reflective coating (AR) and gives a clear view into the textures of the dial.
Firing up a lumeshot on the Spitfire Type 300 is a real joy! Glowing double digits all around the dial is something pleasantly different.
The lume is Swiss Super-LumiNova and it’s clear that AVI-8 was generous with applying the material. It charges up quickly and keeps consistent glow with a slow fade. We’ll definitely be doing a Lume Wars! video with this watch soon.
The convex crystal is a bonus for fans of crystal distortion.
The Spitfire ships on a stainless steel bracelet with Oyster style links. All of the earlier AVI-8 watches were on straps, so it’s really nice to see them developing decent bracelets. The endlinks slide right up against the case to create seamless consistency, nothing janky here. When buying this model from AVI-8 you’ll get a leather strap for an entirely different look, however, this may not be the case when purchasing from other retailers.
The crown side of the case features a carved design that represents the silhouette of the Spitfire wingspan. Looking at the watch from this angle, the crown is meant to be the propeller of the plane and the two lines are the wings.
We keep seeing references to the side of the case being a similar shape to the plane’s wings from a bird’s eye view, but couldn’t see it.
Most of the case has a brushed finish. The five dots at the lugs are meant to look like rivets on the side of an aircraft. The height of the case is 13.6mm thick with a 51mm lug-to-lug.
Polished chamfered edges on the lugs are a nice touch.
The bracelet finish is also satin brushed and looks like any undesirable desk diving swirlies would be easy to clean up. The best way is to use a polishing machine with a satin wheel, but you could always hit it up with a Scotch-Brite pad if needed!
The endlinks start out with a 22mm lug-width and taper down to 18mm at the clasp. There is a flip lock that gives extra protection to the spring-loaded double push button deployment system.
It’s not easy to see in the picture above, but the clasp has 3 micro adjustments for an easy way to deal with seasonal wrist size fluctuation without having to remove full links. No tool kit, no problem. DIYers can carefully use a toothpick or a pin to remove the springbar for sizing.
Flipping it over, the exhibition caseback reveals the engine. Powering the Spitfire Type 300 is a Miyota caliber 8218. This self-winding movement is based on the caliber 8215, an affordable automatic workhorse found in many microbrand watches. The difference between the two caliber is that the 8218 places the sweeping seconds in the subdial at 4:00.
The 82XX series of movements have an indirect sweep seconds design that sometimes causes hesitating seconds. This occurs on many watches, but the small seconds subdial on the Spitfire will make this phenomenon much less noticeable.
Without a doubt, there will be comments posted online about how the Spitfire doesn’t have hacking seconds. While Miyota has started to add hacking functionality to some of the 82XX movements, the 8218 in this piece does not hack.
The rotor has a decent thickness to it and the whirring is satisfying without being overbearing. We’ll post a video of the spinning in action. We love what AVI-8 has been doing with their rotors, especially this one. The details really give you something to admire and appreciate. It gives the Spitfire a unique touch and separates it from any other Miyota powered watch that may be in your collection.
The AVI-8 Spitfire Type 300 automatic watch is available in 4 styles:
Steel case/bracelet, blue dial (AV-4073-11)
Steel case/bracelet, green dial (AV-4073-22)
Black IP case/bracelet, black dial (AV-4073-33)
Grey/Gun IP case/bracelet, grey dial (AV-4073-44)
Conclusion: The Spitfire Type 300 is a bracelet automatic with a unique style, sapphire crystal and sweet custom rotor for around $430 USD. It looks amazing and wears well with almost anything. This piece is definitely clear for take-off!
Order the Spitfire from AVI-8 here, or look for it in our watch shop here. Follow @avi_8 on Instagram and tell them we sent you!