Affordable Pilot Watches Under $200 – Get A Great Timepiece On A Budget

Pilot watches were popular in the early 1900s, especially during the World Wars. Back then, pocket watches were the prevalent tool for pilots, until they became cumbersome enough to use while flying at high speeds. The arrival of pilot watches revolutionized the trend with their large hour/minute markers, hands, and crowns which make it easy to read and adjust the time.

The design of aviation watches changed after the World Wars as they became more compact and included functions for doing quick flight calculations. 

Pilot watches nowadays vary in price, depending on the brand and features they offer. If you’re looking for a budget pilot watch you can wear on any occasion, take a look at our list below.

Cheap Pilot Watches On A Budget 

Here are affordable pilot watches to add to your collection.

Orient Flight

The 42mm Flight has a stainless steel case, a solid case back, a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, a leather strap, a date window, Arabic numeral minute markers on the outer rim and hour markers on the inner rim, luminescent hands hand markers, and a Japanese quartz movement. This model is available in different strap styles and dial colors. 

Pros:

  • Easy to read the time
  • Solid, durable build designed for everyday use
  • Water-resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Tiny date window
  • Loud ticking sound
  • Cheap strap quality

Price: $65 to $175

 

Parnis Speedster ST3600

The 44mm Speedster ST3600 has a stainless steel case, a Hardlex crystal, a genuine leather strap, an exhibition case back, a date window, a seconds subdial, Arabic numeral minute markers on the outer rim and hour markers on the inner rim, luminescent hands and markers, and a Seagull automatic movement.

Pros:

  • Legible watch face
  • Solid, durable build
  • Power reserve of up to 45 hours
  • Water-resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Very small date window
  • Oversized crown
  • Cheap strap quality

Price: $65

 

Mil-Tec Luftwaffe ME 109

The 40mm Luftwaffe ME 109 has a stainless steel case that looks like chrome, a mineral crystal, a brown leather strap, a solid case back, Arabic numeral minute and hour markers, luminescent hands, and a quartz movement. 

Pros:

  • Classy vintage look
  • Very legible watch face
  • Water-resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Oversized crown
  • No date window
  • Crystal cracks easily
  • Thick case and strap

Price: $80

 

Seiko 5 SNK805

The 37mm SNK805 has a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, a canvass strap, a skeleton case back, a textured crown with both hour and minute markers in Arabic numerals, a day-date window, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese automatic quartz movement. The day display is available in both Spanish and English texts.

Pros:

  • An extensive variety of dial colors
  • Durable build and has a good weight to it
  • Affordable for an automatic watch
  • Water-resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Awkward crown position
  • Gains/losses a few seconds a day
  • Weak lume brightness

Price: $80

 

Stuhrling Original Aviator 3916

The 41mm Aviator 3916 has a stainless steel case, a polished bezel, a genuine leather strap, a Krysterna crystal, a date window, a day indicator, skeleton hands, Arabic numeral minute markers, luminescent hands and index hour markers, and a quartz movement. 

Pros:

  • Legible watch face
  • Stylish and affordable beater watch
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Low-quality leather strap
  • Lume lasts only minutes
  • Day indicator sometimes shows two days

Price: $80 to $90

 

 

Citizen Eco-Drive Avion AW1361-10H

The 45mm Avion AW1361-10H has a stainless steel case, a solid case back, a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, a leather strap, Arabic numeral minute markers and 24-hour markers, a date window, luminescent hands and hour markers, and a caliber J810 Eco-Drive movement.

Pros:

  • A pilot watch with a sporty look
  • Time and date are both easy to read
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Thick and stiff leather strap
  • The watch itself is thick
  • Lume doesn’t last long

Price: $90 to $225

 

Invicta Aviator 17204

The 48mm Aviator 17204 has a stainless steel case, a Flame Fusion crystal, a stainless steel bracelet, a gunmetal ion-plated bezel, a date window, tachymeter markings on the outer rim, luminescent skeleton hands, and a Hattori Caliber VD57 quartz movement. It features three chronograph subdials with 1/10th-second, 60-second, and 60-minute measurements. 

Pros:

  • Sophisticated look with a sporty feel
  • Available in a range of color combinations
  • Solid, durable construction
  • Affordable chronograph watch
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Extremely large watch
  • Crystal gets scratched easily
  • Bracelet is too thin compared to the overall size of the watch

Price: $100 to $1,000

 

Stuhrling Original Aviator 3934

The 43mm Aviator 3934 has a stainless steel case, a polished bezel, a Krysterna crystal, a genuine leather strap, a small seconds subdial, Arabic numeral and index hour markers, luminescent hands and markers, and a caliber VD78 Japanese quartz movement. 

Pros:

  • Available in different dial colors
  • Legible watch face
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • No date window
  • Weak lume brightness
  • Poor strap quality

Price: $100

 

Parnis Aviator Big Pilot

The 47mm Aviator Big Pilot has a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a genuine leather strap, a date window, Arabic numeral hour markers, luminescent hands and markers, and a Seagull automatic movement. 

Pros:

  • Large and legible watch face makes it easy to read the time
  • Power reserve of up to 45 hours
  • Water-resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Small date window
  • Cheap strap quality
  • Weak lume brightness

Price: $145

 

Seiko Flightmaster Chronograph SND255

The 42mm Flightmaster Chronograph SND255 has a stainless steel case and bracelet, a solid case back, a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, a bi-directional rotating bezel with a scale rule, a date window, minute markers on the outer rim, index hour markers, luminescent hands and markers, and a Caliber 7T92 Japanese quartz movement. It has three chronograph subdials with 1/20th-second, 60-second, and 60-minute scales. It also has a dual time zone feature on the 12-hour subdial.

Pros:

  • Sophisticated, multi-functional chronograph watch at an affordable price
  • Accurate timekeeping mechanism
  • Good lume brightness
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Bezel is hard to turn
  • Cluttered features on a small dial
  • Slide rule is hard to read

Price: $145 to $245

 

Casio Edifice Chronograph EF527D-1AV

The 45.5mm Chronograph EF527D-1AV has a stainless steel case and band, a solid case back, a mineral crystal, a rotating inner bezel with a slide rule, a date window, minute markers on the outer rim, luminescent hands and index hour markers, and a Japanese quartz movement. It features three subdials with 60-second, 60-minute, and 12-hour measurements.

Pros:

  • Multi-functional chronograph watch with an inexpensive price tag
  • Accurate timekeeping mechanism
  • Good lume brightness
  • Durable build
  • Water-resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • The slide rule isn’t accurate
  • Crown is hard to pull out
  • The watch is quite heavy to wear

Price: $155 to $175

 

 

Citizen Nighthawk Eco-Drive BJ7000-52E

The 42mm Nighthawk BJ7000-52E has a stainless steel case and band, a solid case back, a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, a rotating inner bezel with a slide rule and a tachymeter scale, a date window, a dual time zone feature, luminescent hands and markers, and a caliber Eco-Drive B877 movement.

Pros:

  • High-quality build with solid links
  • The slide rule can be adjusted in very fine increments
  • Readings Good lume brightness
  • Water-resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Small date window
  • Crystal gets scratched easily
  • Crown for rotating the bezel is at an inconvenient position

Price: $190 to $395

Conclusion

Vintage pilot watches are coveted by collectors because of the story behind their creation. These watches can cost thousands of dollars, especially if they authentically survived the World Wars. 

But you don’t have to look for these expensive items if you want to strap on a pilot watch. The modern versions are much cheaper, have more features, and are easier to find online. The best news is that although they have contemporary designs, they still give off a vintage appeal.

 

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