Avi-8 Watch Review: Are They Worth It?

Written by Ryan Miller
| Last Updated on August 10, 2021

Move over Casio, because Avi-8 has landed!

The perfect budget watch for pilots and history enthusiasts exists…and it’s Avi-8.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Avi-8 is just the latest mid-range watch brand in the market. It features many classic and functional designs…with a unique twist.

Avi-8 watches are inspired by military aircrafts.

You heard it right.

The Avi-8 is a pretty interesting brand, from where it draws inspiration from and down to its watch designs. Each piece is well thought out and pays homage to the past.

Now, we’re going to stop here BEFORE revealing anything else. If you want to know more, then stick around.

Because in this article, we’ll be reviewing what makes their watches so special, what their strong and weak points are, and whether it’s worth collecting.

Let’s dive right in.

Avi-8 watches review

A Homage to History: The Avi-8 Story

Founded in 2012, Avi-8 is a UK-based watchmaking company owned by Dartmouth Brands.

It’s part of Dartmouth Brands that owns many other watch brands such as Spinnaker, James McCabe, and Dominatore Del Mare.

Avi-8 is a relatively young company, yet it quickly found its place in the watch industry.

It offers its customers timeless pieces that aren’t only stylish, but also affordable. Many of its designs showcase a classical look with inspirations from the past.

An interview with the founders revealed the idea was first ventured out by a group of history buffs and aviation enthusiasts.

THEIR GOAL?

To “produce watches that are functional yet enjoyable to wear, [by] which also tells the story of both man and machine.”

Avi-8 honors the men behind history―pilots, engineers, and designers who’ve made flying possible. It’s a classic nod to the past.

Every watch collection is named after an aircraft, a historical event, and even a pilot that was involved in the Battle of Britain. Avi-8 salutes the past and highlights the interesting facets of aviation history.

Cool, right?

It’s definitely one of those watch brands developed with class and is an unexpected take on aviation.

(Also, if you haven’t figured it out by now, Avi-8 is read as “aviate.” Pretty neat, huh?)

The Bestsellers

What makes Avi-8 watches different from your ordinary watch brands is that it tells a story. It’s not only a beautiful accessory that you can flaunt.

Currently, the brand has 5 design collections: Hawker Hunter, Hawker Harrier, Hawker Hurricane, Flyboy, and the P-51 Mustang.

And, all of the watches are inspired by aircrafts of the Royal Air Force.

Get to know the models by scrolling down.

Without further delays, here are the best sellers from each of the collections – complete insider picks.

Hawker Hunter AV Blue Diamond

Hawker Hunter AV Blue Diamond
  • 45 mm case size
  • 12 mm thickness
  • Mineral Lens
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • 5 ATM Water Resistance
  • Stainless Steel
  • Genuine Leather Strap
  • Split Time Function

This collection is inspired by the famous jet-powered fighter aircraft called the Hawker Hunter.

It was developed by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in the 1940s and in the early 1950s. The jet fighter carried with it victory on its wings during the Cold War and the Battle of Britain.

Today? The Hawker Hunter is paid homage with Avi-8’s Blue Diamond.

Blue Diamond brings Hawker Hunter’s instrument panels and cockpits to life. The angled-off square-shaped pieces are modeled after the aircraft.

The chronograph dial is carefully positioned against the sub-dials so that it’s easy to read and tell time apart. Overall, it has a clean, modern look to it.

What we love about Avi-8 Hawker Hunter Blue Diamond is it comes with a split-time function. This feature is so helpful! It’s handy when we want to keep track of how much time has passed in between events.

If you’re out for a run, easily use the Blue Diamond to accurately record your time per laps. It’s fully functional, convenient, and precise. That’s what makes Avi-8 an excellent choice for pilot watches (or for anyone looking for a chronograph under 500 dollars).

This retrograde chronograph is the latest edition in the collection, but it’s fast becoming the brand’s bestseller.

So, if we were in your shoes, we’d grab one right at this moment. Add it to cart on Avi-8’s website.

Hawker Harrier II: Matador Chronograph

Hawker Harrier II- Matador Chronograph
  • 45 mm case size
  • 15 mm thickness
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Mineral Lens
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Stainless Steel
  • Genuine Leather Strap
  • Grand Date Window displayed in the sub-dial
  • Stopwatch function

Avi-8 Hawker Harrier is one of a kind. If you’re into gears and wheels, then you might like this among the models.

The Hawker Harrier collections are based on its namesake: The Hawker Harrier Jump Jet. Back in the day, it was used to fly across Western Europe.

In order to pay tribute to the famed jet, the brand introduced its latest and popular edition in the family: the Matador Chronograph, nicknamed as such because the British aircraft flew for the Spanish Navy.

Now, let’s take a good look at its watch design.

At first glance, your eyes will IMMEDIATELY be drawn to the maze of gears in its nearly black dial. It looks every bit as complicated as it is fine. But, don’t let this fool you.

Unlike the ordinary watch in the market, the design is not just for aesthetic’s sake. It actually serves a purpose.

So, what is it?

The gears and wheels you see in the sub-dials are for timed accuracy. Each of the instruments are PRECISELY LAYERED on top of each other.

What’s nice with the Matador is it’s a comprehensive timing watch.

The sub-dials include a Grand Date, stopwatch, and a chronograph.

It’s incredibly multilayered, just like what Rolex or other luxury models can offer you…only this one comes at an affordable price.

P-51 Mustang Silver Oak Blakeslee Chronograph

P-51 Mustang Silver Oak Blakeslee Chronograph
  • 43 mm case size
  • 13 mm thickness
  • Mineral Lens
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • 5 ATM Water Resistance
  • Solid Stainless Steel
  • Tachymeter
  • Meca Quartz Chronograph

Now that you’re familiar with how Avi-8 does things, can you guess where this collection was based off from?

Hint: It’s not the Mustang that you’re probably thinking about.

(But, good guess.)

The P-51 Mustang is an American single-fighter bomber jet used in World War II.

The model is a wearable tribute to the American General, Colonel Don Blakeslee, one of the greatest heroes of the Allied Forces.

The design of the dial mimics the details of the original fighter jet. Notice the surface of the watch’s dial? It looks like an aircraft engine! Now, that’s what you call quality design!

Besides that, the Avi-8 watch, Silver Oak Blakeslee, acts as a tachymeter.

You can use the P-51 Mustang Silver Oak Blakeslee to measure speed and time. A PERFECT MATCH for pilots and people on the go!

Interested? Find them on the Avi-8 website.

Flyboy EDGAR

Flyboy EDGAR
  • 42 mm case size
  • 13.5 mm thickness
  • Sapphire Crystal Lens
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • 5 ATM Water Resistance
  • Solid Stainless Steel
  • Date Window

A true classic piece, the Avi-8 Flyboy Edgar is a watch for every occasion.

The story behind it is simple. The company’s designers wanted to create a watch that would be worn by the Flyboys of the 20th century.

Today, flyboys don’t exist anymore.

WHAT WE DO HAVE are pilots, policemen, firemen, and seamen. While not all are involved in the aviation industry, they embody the spirit of the flyboys by showing bravery―just the best match for the Avi-8 Flyboy Edgar.

Compared to the other models, this model is far simpler, plainer, and practical.

The only ornament it really has on the watch is the Royal Air Force insignia on its black dial.

It’s made from solid stainless steel and powered by Japanese NHA35 automatic movement.

This means the watch model is meant to last A LOOONG TIME while its dial movements should remain as smooth and as precise as the day it was made.

What’s not to love?

The only downside to it really is its weight. Customer reviews reveal the model is a little bit heavier than the others, but not by much. The watch is still easy on the wrists.

Hawker Hurricane AV Classic Chronograph Military Green

Hawker Hurricane AV Classic Chronograph Military Green
  • 42 mm case size
  • 11 mm thickness
  • Mineral Lens
  • 5 ATM Water Resistance
  • Genuine Leather Strap
  • Date Window
  • Stopwatch Function
  • Tatchymeter
  • Lightweight

Whether or not you’re not a big fan of aircrafts, you’ll easily fall in love with this watch model.

The watch collection is based on just the most iconic plane in the WWII era: The Hawker Hurricane AV.

With Spitfire, it caused chaos against the Germans during the Battle of Britain, going down as one of the most well-known jet fighters in aviation history.

It’s a fitting story behind the models.

Like its namesake, the Avi-8 Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph is the brand’s most WELL-LOVED model. Why wouldn’t it be?

Just look at how stunning the watch design is.

It’s clean, bold, and striking. Its shape, dial, and lines are all reminiscent of the past, especially its rich military green color. And, that’s only on the front.

Check out the case back of the Avi-8 Hawker Hurricane.

A genuine vintage!

However, LOOKS AREN’T the only thing that the Avi-8 Hawker Hurricane watch has going.

The model is both function and style! The watch displays the date and stopwatch on its dial, along with a tachymeter feature.

Now for this kind of watch, you’d expect it to be EXPENSIVE. Surprisingly, it’s not. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest Avi-8 watches there are.

The only trade-off is that the dial is not coated with anti-reflection, which can be annoying especially if you’re always out under the sun.

But other than that, the watch is a must-have!

You can see it for yourself by checking it on Avi-8’s official website.

(We’ll let you in a little secret…It’s also our favorite!)

Lancaster Bomber AV-4024

Lancaster Bomber AV-4050
  • 44 mm case size
  • 12 mm thickness
  • 5 ATM Water Resistance
  • Mineral Lens
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Stainless Steel
  • Genuine Leather Strap

Strong.

Powerful.

And Masculine.

These 3 words perfectly describe the Lancaster Bomber AV 4050.

This handsome piece of watch is a fitting tribute to the original. The Lancaster Bomber was Britain’s most damaging heavy bomber during World War II, an interesting piece of aviation history.

And the brand took this to heart when planning the entire watch collection.

In the watch design, the dial surface is coated in all black, a stark contrast to the white lines. It’s completed by a strap buckle made out of genuine leather. This creates a VERY CLEAN YET BOLD LOOK.

Also, another thing you can notice is the subdials.

They’re patterned after the engine cockpit of the aircraft. Although, it’s only a design, and is unlike Avi-8’s other watches or models that are more functional.

But, hey, at a price of $220, it’s not a bad deal at all.

You can check it out on the Amazon website here.

Is Avi-8 a Good Brand?

So, is it a good brand?

While it’s clear as day that the rookie watch brand offers watches that are unique, that tell a story, and that are priced reasonably, what about the brand reputation?

In this section, we will be looking at the pros and cons of Avi-8 watches.

Quality

Avi-8 watches should last you a long time because it uses Japanese mechanization.

All of the models of the brand are powered by Japanese Quartz, just like Casio and Seiko, so it has a good build quality to it and is pretty much precise.

However, problems with the watch can still occur.

One of the COMMON ISSUES that customers complain about its watches is the chronograph.

There are times when the chronograph hand and the seconds do not align, or it stops working at all after some time. As watch users ourselves, it can be annoying.

But, luckily, it’s not something to really worry about. This doesn’t happen often and might be just isolated cases.

(But if ever it does, Avi-8 watches come with a 2-year warranty. More on this coming up!)

Generally, customer reviews are satisfactory or higher.

Warranty

If you encounter problems with your Avi-8 watch, we’ve got good news.

There’s a warranty!

From the date of purchase, the brand gives you 24 months or 2 years of warranty. If you found a defect on your Avi-8 watch, you can head over to the store’s support page, register your watch, and report.

The technical team will then assess if your Avi-8 watch needs a repair or a replacement.

Price & Shipping

Are you worried about the price point?

Well, that’s harsh.

If we haven’t gotten the message across, here it is again: Avi-8 is an affordable mid-range brand. The watches’ price range ranges between $200 to $400, just the right cost for its value.

At a minimum of $200, you not only get a stylish and classic looking watch, but also a functional accessory inspired by aviation.

The best part?

Free shipping all over the world if you purchase these watches directly from the website!

Production

If there’s one trade-off when it comes to the brand is that the watches are produced in China.

From our perspective, however, it shouldn’t be seen negatively.

Almost all of our things and the company behind it have production centers in China. Even the Apple products that we dearly love are produced there.

Why Avi-8 is Perfect for Your Collection

If you’re a watch collector, you need to read this.

Although the company is a new brand, it has a lot to offer. Here are the reasons why:

  • Master Craftsmanship: Making watches is art and science-from the design to the engineering behind it.
  • History: Watches are legacies. Each company has its own vision and design. For Avi-8, their watches salute British aviation.
  • Style and Personality: A watch is a great way to show your personality. If you were a pilot or if your grandpa fought in the war, what better way to honor them with Avi-8 watches.

The Final Verdict: Yes or No?

Absolutely.

YES.

Avi-8 watches are what value looks like. Despite being a newcomer, it’s one of the best pilot watches.

The company produces many unique watch designs and is a piece of history on your hands. .

About Ryan Miller

For years I’ve been buying and selling watches as a hobby, which led me to the decision of starting Watch for Tomorrow. I write a lot of the content, and I enjoy doing it. The most important aspect for me is the guidance of buying watches as well as avoiding bad ones. There are many bad watches out there, that are just too expensive. Hopefully, I can help you find your dream watch!