AVI-8 Watch Brand – A Tribute to Aviation

avi-8 harrier II ace of spades

Avi-8 is a UK-based watch brand that manufactures military-inspired watches. The brand is relatively young and their watches are highlighted for stability and affordable prices. Avi-8 is owned by Dartmouth Brands, also responsible for the design and manufacturing of 8 other watch brands (Ballast, Dufa, Dominatore del Mare, Duxot, Earnshaw, Fjord, James McCabe, Spinnaker). 

Their main focus is on designing and manufacturing pilot watches for watch lovers of all calibers. The price range of an AVI-8 watch is from 200 to 500 dollars, a relatively affordable price tag for a good quality watch.

AVI-8 Hawker Hunter 4052

We all enjoy the simplicity in a watch’s dial but don’t expect that from an AVI-8. Their watches’ bold designs have always more to display, however considering that their target consumer is a pilot, legibility is never a problem with an AVI-8 watch. 

Avi-8 Watch Brand Review

Avi-8 doesn’t have a storied history with supplying squadrons or aviation crews around the globe, however, the company has positioned itself in the pilot watches category. Their timepieces often include the fundamental characteristics of a pilot watch, including here:

  • Large and easy-to-read dial with prominent high-contrast hands. 
  • Additional complications like GMT function to track multiple time zones, Chronograph, Tachymeter, Bezel for in-flight calculations, etc. 
  • Made of durable materials: Scratch-resistant & anti-reflective sapphire or mineral crystal for the lens; solid stainless steel for the case, strap, bezel, and crown.
  • Highly sustainable movements to guarantee precision.

The company flies under the radar as a young brand they are. An article from Business Insider in 2016 paying tribute to AVI-8 qualities and uniqueness as unprecedented, put the brand on the map of entry-level aviation-inspired durable watches

Where are Avi-8 watches manufactured?

It is an open secret now in the world of watches that many watch houses, including even the most luxurious ones, decide to partner with private label watch manufacturers in China or other countries with a low labor cost. 

Understandably, reducing manufacturing costs helps a watch brand grow its profits and deliver products at more affordable prices, paving the way to a larger customer base. 

However, a feeling of skepticism prevails among many watch lovers and connoisseurs when it comes to the quality of the watch being manufactured in the PRC. This happens due to the greed of few international watch houses whose main intention is profit and not the deliverability of quality.

AVI-8 watch manufacturing

The AVI-8 watch is manufactured in Hong Kong with headquarters and a design department based in the UK and movements mainly coming from Japan. The watch business has passed the borders of countries, oceans, and cultures, and the main characteristic that sets the few apart from many is quality. 

After taking countless Avi-8 watch reviews under consideration prior to giving the final verdict, our team fully applauds the work of Avi-8 and recommends watch aficionados to not think twice when it comes to purchasing one of these timepieces.  

Without further ado, below you will see some of the greatest models from the Avi-8 watch brand. Enjoy!

Best Timepieces from Avi-8 Watch Brand

Spitfire Type 300 Automatic 

Inspired by the iconic Supermarine Spitfire, the iconic British fighter aircraft, the 42mm Type 300 features a classic design, with an easy-to-read dial. The timepiece runs in an automatic Japanese Miyota movement with 21 jewels, visible from the sapphire crystal case back.

Avi-8 Spitfire Type 300 Automatic
  • Collection – Spitfire
  • Movement – Japanese Automatic Miyota with 21 jewels
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 42mm
  • Complications & Features – Date window, Second’s sub-dial, Luminous hands & indexes, Sapphire crystal case back. 
  • Price the last time I checked – $485

Matador Chronograph Silver Ivory Steel

Paying tribute to the jet-powered attack aircraft manufactured by the British, the Avi-8 Matador features a busy dial with multiple layers but yet legible. The Japanese quartz movement provides the functionality of a chronograph, capable of an impressive 1/20 of a second split time measurement. 

Matador Chronograph Silver Ivory Steel
  • Collection – Hawker Harrier
  • Movement – Japanese Quartz 
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 45mm
  • Complications & Features – Date window at 12 o’clock, Chronograph, Tachymeter, Luminous hands & indexes, Skeleton dial.
  • Price the last time I checked – $380

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Dual Retrograde Chronograph Steel Military Green

Featuring a military green colored dial in a stainless-steel case and bracelet, the Dual Retrograde Chronograph from AVI-8 is as badass looking as Hawker Harrier “Jump Jet, the fighter plane it got inspired from. From the anti-reflective mineral crystal, you can catch a glance at the remarkable dial, where a rare weekday indicator can be seen among others. 

Dual Retrograde Chronograph Steel Military Green
  • Collection – Hawker Harrier
  • Movement – Japanese Quartz 
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 44mm
  • Complications & Features – Chronograph, Tachymeter, Weekday indicator Luminous hands & indexes, Anti-reflective mineral crystal glass. 
  • Price the last time I checked – $340

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Blakeslee Chronograph Legion 

Blakeslee Chronograph honors the memory of Colonel Don Blakeslee (fought during WW2) and his P-51 Mustang plane. Even the design of the watch is adapted with the exterior of the iconic plane, with similarities visible on the dial. The watch features a chronograph complication and a date window perfectly positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock. 

Avi-8 Blakeslee Chronograph Legion watch
  • Collection – P-51 Mustang
  • Movement – Japanese Meca-Quartz
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 43mm
  • Complications & Features – Chronograph, Tachymeter, Luminous hands & indexes, Date window in between 4 and 5 o’clock.
  • Price the last time I checked – $350

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Flyboy Engineer Automatic Sidney

With legibility in mind, the AVI-8 Flyboy Engineer Automatic features an easy-to-read dial, simple yet functional. From the anti-reflective scratch-resistant sapphire crystal you can catch a glance of the luminous hands and Arabic numeral with applied indexes. A date window is positioned at 3 o’clock.

Avi-8 Flyboy Engineer Automatic Sidney
  • Collection – Flyboy
  • Movement – Japanese NH35 Automatic 
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 42mm
  • Complications & Features – Luminous hands & indexes, date window at 3 o’clock, Domed sapphire lens.
  • Price the last time I checked – $310

Retrograde Chronograph Blue Diamond

A marine-grade stainless steel case is the guardian of the Japanese retrograde split time chronograph that sits under the dark dial. Counting the chronograph with 10 minutes retrograde, a date window, and the luminous coated hands, numerals & indexes, this timepiece from AVI-8 can be considered as a genuine military timekeeping tool.

Retrograde Chronograph Blue Diamond
  • Collection – Hawker Hunter
  • Movement – Japanese Quartz
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 45mm
  • Complications & Features – Chronograph, Date window in between 4 and 5 o’clock, Skeleton luminous hands, Leather strap.
  • Price the last time I checked – $305

Avon Chronograph Stealth Black

The Avi-8 designers seem to always push themselves to original concepts and give their watches a touch of uniqueness. You can tell by simply taking a look at their Avon Chronograph. The timepiece is as fashionable as it is precise and durable. From the mineral crystal, you can take a look at the dial, a remarkable symphony of sub-dials, as well as a month-day indicator, positioned to the right. 

Avi-8 watch Avon Chronograph Stealth Black
  • Collection – Hawker Hunter
  • Movement – Japanese Quartz
  • Water Resistance – 5ATM/50meters
  • Case size – 45mm
  • Complications & Features – Chronograph, Tachymeter, Date indicator, Skeleton hands, and indexes with luminous coating.
  • Price the last time I checked – $276

Find It Here

FAQ About AVI-8 Watches?

Where are AVI-8 Watches Based? 

The AVI-8 watch brand is manufactured in Hong Kong. Their headquarters and design department are located in the United Kingdom, and the movements are mostly sourced from Japan. The watch industry has crossed borders of countries, oceans, and cultures, and quality is the main feature that separates the few from the many.

What Movements Do Avi-8 Watches Use?

Nothing in an Avi-8 watch is a deal-breaker, neither are the movements. As aforementioned, Avi-8 watches use reliable movements that are sourced from Japan. Avi-8 uses both types of movements: either quartz or automatic. The two most reliable automatic movements Avi-8 uses are the Japanese Miyota 8215 movement and Seiko’s NH35A automatic movement. The Miyota caliber 8215 is a 21-jewel automatic movement that is produced in Japan and is regarded as an entry-level workhorse movement. The NH35A from Seiko is another popular Japanese automatic movement. Its popularity comes from accuracy and availability. 

How Much Does An AVI-8 Watch Cost? 

An AVI-8 watch costs from $150 to $435. The lowest priced Avi-8 watch is Carey Dual Time. It is inspired by vintage pilot watches of World War 2 and pays tribute to one of Britain’s distinguished commanders. Whereas the most expensive Avi-8 watch is the Avon Automatic ref. AV-4078-33. Its design captures the power and beauty of Hunter’s Avon engine and comes with an open-heart display from which you can see the Japanese automatic movement. 

Should I Buy An AVI-8 Watch?

Avi-8 watch brand, with its intricate designs, is an escape from the conventional minimalist and classic watches. Their designs draw inspiration from aviation, many times paying tribute to iconic flight vehicles. The construct is not that bad either. By “not so bad”, I am trying to highlight the price tag these watches come with. Getting one to adorn your wrist with a price range from $150 to $400 to me feels like a total bargain. The vintage-inspired designs, reliable movements, and robust construction are all added points for the AVI-8 watch brand. So, yes! I would fully recommend buying an AVI-8 watch. 

The Appeal Of Avi-8 Watch Brand

With its reliable timekeeping instruments, AVI 8 watches pay tribute to the aviation industry’s pilots, engineers, and scientists. It uses good quality materials to create wristwatches that not only maintain correct time but also convey the tale of the legendary machines that have enabled pilots to rise in the skies. With its distinctive personality, AVI 8 watch brand has established itself as a reputable name in the horological domain of aviation-inspired timepieces.