Pilot Watches were designed in the early 1900s and they were designed to replace the old and handy pocket watches. The main purpose of these watches was to offer accurate time to the pilots so that they could coordinate with their wingmen and command.
Pilot watches usually come with big dials and clear displays which makes it easier for Pilots to read the time. If you are also interested in Pilot watches and want to get one at an affordable price, this guide is for you.
Here is a related article that might interest you on the Best 20 Affordable Moonphase Watches You Can Own In 2023.
In this WearToTrack guide, I’ll share the 20 most affordable Pilot watches you can buy right now. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
How To Choose The Right Pilot Watch In 2023?
If you are interested in getting a Pilot watch, you should consider the following things.
The first thing you should consider when buying a Pilot watch is that the watch should have a big dial. It’s one of the defining features of Pilot watches that they come with a big dial which makes it easier for Pilot to read the time quickly.
The second thing which you should consider is that the watch should have a legible dial. It means that the Dial should be clear that the Pilot should be able to read the time without any distractions.
I’d recommend that you should go with a dial that has a contrast between the hands and the dial which will make it easier for you to read the time quickly.
As far as aviation-specific features are concerned, they are not very useful these days because we have access to more advanced technologies such as GPS.
However, I’ll share some watches that come with aviation-specific features such as Pilot’s slide rule, etc.
Top 20 Affordable Pilot Watches You Can Buy Right Now (2023)
Pilot Watches are very popular among watch enthusiasts and if you are one of them and looking for an affordable option, you are at the right place. These are the top 20 affordable Pilot watches that you can buy right now!
Citizen Nighthawk is arguably one of the most promising and affordable Pilot watches you can find in 2023. It’s a dedicated Pilot watch designed for elite Pilots and it comes with features such as the Pilot’s slide rule which helps pilots do mathematical calculations.
Nowadays, you might not need this feature but back in the day, this feature was one of the crucial and life-saving features. Overall, the watch comes with stainless steel build and a big dial with good contrast. If you have a budget of $400 and you want a dedicated high-quality Pilot watch, you might want to consider the Citizen Nighthawk.
If you are not into fancy pilot watches and you want a decent entry-level Pilot watch with vintage looks, you can consider Flieger Pilot Watch.
It’s a very simple Pilot Watch that comes with stainless steel body and suede leather strap. On the inside, you get an accurate Japan Seiko Mecca-Quartz movement which will show the accurate time.
Flieger Pilot Watch checks all the boxes of a good Pilot watch and you should consider it if you want a vintage Pilot watch under $190.
18. Torgoen T9
Torgoen T9 is one of my favorite Pilot Watches under $200 because it offers great value for money.
In my opinion, T9 is a better Pilot Watch as compared to Flieger Pilot Watch because this one comes with a bigger dial and a built-in calendar. Also, it has a superior Swiss movement inside which is not very common in watches in this price range.
Also, the watch carries a vintage look and it looks pretty good with its 42mm stainless steel dial and vintage leather strap.
17. Casio Aviator
When it comes to affordable watches, it’s impossible not to have one of Casio’s watches because the brand mainly target the budget section.
Casio Aviator is one of the most affordable Pilot watches you can buy right now and it’s priced at $60 which is very reasonable.
If we look at the design, it’s very similar to many Casio watches. However, on the inside, you get the specific Pilot Watch features such as a bigger dial with a good contrast ratio, stopwatch, timekeeping, etc.
16. Torgoen T25
Torgoen T25 is the pricier sibling of the T9 and it comes with a slightly bigger dial which is around 44mm and some aesthetic changes.
However, both watches are very similar overall because both of them come with swiss movement inside, leather straps, and stainless steel bodies.
This Watch by Torgoen is priced at $355 and in my opinion, it’s ideal for those who want a Pilot watch with a 44mm dial. But, if you can live with a 42mm dial, you still should go with T9 because it offers better value for money.
If you have a budget of around $500 and you want a good quality Pilot watch, you can consider Bulova Lunar Pilot. This watch is priced at $730 but you can usually get it for around $500 at discount.
In terms of quality, Bulova Lunar Pilot is really good. It comes with a stainless steel body and textured leather strap which gives the watch a great look. On the inside, you get a 6-hand chronograph, a calendar, and a Tachymeter on the bezel.
Hamilton Khaki Aviation is a classic Pilot watch that comes with a vintage design and only a timekeeping function.
The watch comes with a brushed stainless steel dial with a vintage dial and a vintage leather strap. It’s priced at $650 and if you are looking for a high-end Vintage Pilot watch, Hamilton Khaki Aviation is surely a great option.
13. Alpina Startimer
If you are interested in getting a swiss-made Pilot watch and you have a budget of around $1000, my recommendation will be to go with Alpina Startimer AL-372N4S6. I’ve personally used Alpina watches in the past and they have proved very durable.
So, in terms of design, the Alpina Startimer comes with a vintage design along with a highly accurate swiss-quartz movement. The dial of the watch also carries a vintage look and it comes with a 42mm blue dial with big English numerals. Also, you get a calendar that will keep you updated with the current date.
Time Warrior Aviator Watch is arguably one of the most affordable and cheap Pilot watches you can buy right now. The watch is priced at $50 which is a very reasonable price.
In the watch, you get a basic dial that only tells you the current time. Despite being an affordable watch, it comes with a Japanese quartz movement and a leather strap which is a plus. So, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a Pilot watch and want a basic Pilot watch, you should consider Time Warrior Aviator Watch.
Luminox F-117 Nighthawk is a very special Pillot watch because this watch is inspired by the legendary USAF F-117 Nighthawk which was famous for its stealth looks. Similar to F-117, this watch also comes with a stealth design.
In the watch, you get a rugged 44m case that comes with a very clear black and white dial. One of the special features of this watch is the luminant hands which automatically illuminate in dark. So, if you are looking for a Swiss-made Stealth Pilot watch and you have a budget of around $800, you should consider Luminox F-117 Nighthawk.
If you have a budget of $400 and you are looking for a designer Pilot Watch, you should consider BOSS Pilot Edition Chrono.
In this designer Pilot watch, you get a 44m stainless steel dial featuring a tachymeter, a calendar, and other aviation-inspired features. Also, the stainless steel strap comes with a mesh design which gives the watch a stylish look.
Stauer Co-Pilot Watch is another very affordable Pilot Watch that follows the vintage theme and it is the ideal watch for those who want a vintage Pilot watch under $180.
The watch comes with a sepia-toned dial featuring a variety of dials including the 24-hour and chronograph 60-minute dials. Similarly, the body and leather strap also follows the retro theme which gives the watch a proper vintage look.
In my opinion, the visibility of this Pilot watch is not very great but it’s very popular among the community due to its low price. So, if you really want a vintage Pilot watch and have a budget of around $180, you can go with the Stauer Co-Pilot watch.
Movado SE Pilot is one of the best high-end Pilot watches which you can buy at a very reasonable price. This pilot watch is priced at $899 and it’s reasonable considering the fact that it’s a swiss-made watch.
Like a good Pilot Watch, Movado SE Pilot focuses on visibility and it comes with a big 42mm dial with minimum distractions on the dial. The dial feature a day/date dial along with a seconds sub-dial. On the inside, you get an accurate swiss quartz movement so you can be sure that the watch will show you the accurate time.
If you have a budget of around $1100 and you want a luxury swiss-made Pilot watch at a reasonable price, you should consider Raymond Weil Freelancer Pilot.
It’s one of my favorite Pilot watches in the high-end segment and it comes with a very beautiful black-out design. If we look at the dial, you get a very minimalistic dial along with a calendar on the right side. The dial offers a very clear view without any distractions which will make it easier for you to check time quickly.
Similarly, the watch comes with a textured stainless steel body and PVD-coated black rubber strap which offers a firm grip to the wrist.
Fossil Pilot 54 is one of the most popular and affordable Pilot watches you can buy in 2023. The watch is priced at $134 and on a good day, you can get it for $100 at discount.
It’s a basic Pilot watch that comes with a simple dial featuring an aperture to show the mechanical automatic movement on the inside. The dial comes with good contrasting colors which makes it easier to check the time. So, if you are on a budget and looking for a decent Pilot watch with a leather strap, you should consider Fossil Pilot 54.
Stuhrling Aviation Watch is one of the best Pilot Watches you can find under $100. The watch comes with a basic dial with day and date features.
The company has also used good contrasting colors on the dial which makes it easier to check the time. On the outside, you get an alloy steel dial along with a calfskin leather strap. Overall, Stuhrling Aviation Watch is a decent watch and you should consider it if you have a budget of $100.
AVI-8 Hawker Hurrican is another dedicated Pilot Watch that you can buy at an affordable price. This watch is priced at $235 and it offers good value for money.
If we look at the watch, it follows a vintage theme and you get a retro-style dial featuring a calendar, stop-watch, second dial, and other aviation-related features. On the outside, it comes with stainless steel dial along with a high-quality leather strap which gives the watch a decent look.
Christopher Ward C65 Cranwell is a very special Pilot Watch because the company has designed this watch to honor the British Air Force and it’s officially approved by the RAF.
In this watch, you get the minimalistic dial which only tells you the time and the hands have dual-tone sand/white color which adds contrast and makes it easier to check the time. On the outside, you get a stainless steel body and strap which gives the watch a premium look.
The watch is priced at $1050 and it’s an ideal option for those who like to collect military watches.
Orient Pilot Watch is another very popular Japanese Pilot watch that you can buy at an affordable price. The watch is priced at $375 but you can get it for $265 at a discount.
In the watch, you get a basic retro-themed dial featuring a big minutes dial along with an hourly sub-dial. On the outside, you get a fine stainless steel body and a brown leather strap.
Victorinox Fieldforce is not advertised as a Pilot watch but it has all the characteristics of a good Pilot watch which is the reason why it’s featured on this list. The main reason why you would want to consider this high-end Swiss-made watch is the price. Normally, it goes for around $450 but at discount, you can get it for $272 and at this price, Victorinox is a true bargain.
If we look at the watch, it comes with a big 43mm dial featuring a very simple dial. On the dial, you get the day/date aperture along with the big hourly dial. Also, the dial has good contrast with the hands which makes it easier to check the time.
Overall, Victorinox Fieldforce is a solid Swiss-made Pilot Watch and you should consider it if you have a budget of around $272.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
What Watch Do Most Pilots Wear?
It usually varies from Pilot to Pilot but the majority of Pilots prefer wearing an Analog Pilot Watch with a big dial and good contrast which makes it easier for them to check the time. Some of the popular brands which are used by Pilots worldwide are Rolex, Alpina, Victorinox, Raymond Weil, Garmin, and Seiko.
What’s The Most Affordable Swiss-made Pilot Watch?
There are a couple of Swiss-made Pilot Watches that you can consider. My first recommendation will be Victorinox Fieldforce which is a solid Pilot Watch that comes with great value for money and it’s priced at $450. My second recommendation will be Alpina Startimer which comes with a price tag of 1000 bucks.
Can I Wear A Pilot Watch As An Everyday Watch?
Yes, Pilot Watches come with bigger dials which go well with casual dressing and you can definitely use them as everyday Watches.
What’s The Cheapest Pilot Watch In 2023?
These are some of the best and cheapest Pilot Watches that you can buy in 2023.
- Flieger Pilot Watch
- Torgoen T9
- Casio Aviator
- Time Warrior Aviator Watch
- Stauer Co-Pilot Watch
A pilot watch doesn’t have to be expensive and you can find a quality Pilot watch for as low as $60. In this guide, I’ve shared the top 20 most affordable Pilot watches at different prices which will make it easier for you to choose one according to your budget.
I hope that you found the guide useful and if you have any questions or recommendations, please let me know in the comments.
Also, check this guide where I’ve shared the top 20 most affordable Watch brands that offer good quality watches at low prices.
As a professional trainer and a gadget lover, I’ve spent a lot of money and time buying wearable activity trackers, smartwatches, and gadgets, and checking them out. My site is focused on helping you with your activity tracking and smart technology journey. I try to provide the most helpful updated content on this subject. Hopefully, you will love my blogs and be a regular around here.