AVI 8 watches honour the engineers, scientists and pilots of the aviation industry with their highly reliable timekeeping instruments. Its draws on the best materials from the watch industry to craft wristwatches that not only keep accurate time but whose designs tell a story of the iconic machines that have enabled airmen to progress in the sky. Some of the most popular current lines created by AVI 8 include those such as the Hawker Harrier I and II, the Spitfire, the Hawker Hunter and the Hawker Hurricane.
Owned by a UK-based group who owns various watch brands, AVI 8 is a relatively young brand that is well-known for creating watches that bridge the gap between high end and affordable timepieces. Never compromising on materials or their distinct character, AVI 8 watches have built themselves a reputation that firmly positions itself within the realm of aviation inspired watches. Whilst there is a clear preference for classic pilot’s watch styles running throughout the manufacturer’s current catalogue, many watches developed by AVI 8 bring functionality to the forefront of the design, offering the modern collector a range of complications to make use of.
The director of AVI 8 has British citizenship despite some of the company management taking place in Japan, and it’s clear to see that each timepiece bears strong links to British history. Many pilot’s watches by the company are named directly after the aircraft of which they take inspiration from, like the Lancaster Bomber, for example. These watch collections, despite a slightly different style and range of functions, demonstrate brand consistency. The brand looks much deeper into the shape and profile of an aircraft, embodying its forms and lines within each design. Each timepiece tells a story of both man and machine, shedding light on the importance of these flying machines throughout the course of British history and appealing to both lovers of vintage aircraft, mechanical watches and historians alike.
AVI 8 began from an initial conversation between a group of watch enthusiasts and historians. It was important to the brand from the beginning to create a line of wristwatches that have a distinct look on the wrist whilst remaining affordable and accessible to collectors who don’t want to spend a fortune on one timepiece. Initially, the company set out to create a no fuss pilot’s watch but soon became fascinated by the form and function of each aviation machine of the past, before changing direction and aspiring to bring these profiles to life through each wristwatch design.
AVI 8’s current collection of pilot’s watches are broad and varied. The AVI 8 Hawker Hurricane watch collection is inspired by the WW2 era single seat fighter. The most popular models are those such as the AV-4011, AV-4046, AV-4062. Classic black dials are equipped with chronograph dials in the 12, 6 and 9 o’clock, and the watches feature additional functions like a date window, luminous markers and a Japanese powered movement. The Jet age fighter which inspires the AVI 8 Hawker Hunter line was manufactured during the 1940s and 50s and offers a design differentiated by its skeletonised hands and unusual hour markers at 12 and 6 o’clock. The design of the AVI 8 Hawker Harrier watches, however, take design cues from the Vertical Take Off and Landing Jump Jet and boast a set of unique apertures for telling the time.