I am not sure why I was recently on a kick of reviewing chronographs, but I ended up with a couple of review chronos all in roughly the same time period. The AVI-8 Hawker Hunter was one that I was looking forward to reviewing, since I wear one of their watches quite a bit. I have an issue with the watch, but overall it is a comfortable, reliable military/aviation themed watch, and a good deal here in the US.Having said I have an issue, I will lead with that. Where is the lume in this watch? I know not every watch needs it, but one that is so up front with the military look really needs some decent lume on the hands. I would even like to see the sub dials lumed. If you don’t care about the lume, then this will not be an issue for you, but I do want to let you know, lest you pick one up and have it fail to meet your expectation.
Beyond that, it is a nice, and bold, looking quartz chronograph. AVI-8 has a number of models that have a cockpit instrument feel, as opposed to a pure pilot watch feel, and this watch follows along those lines. The hazard pattern hatched box around the date window is the main cue here, and I like that the crown has a striping on 1/2 its length matching the striping on the dial. The dial also adds a bit of depth by insetting the chapter ring for the small seconds at 6:00 and the chrono minutes at 12:00.
My review copy (as you can see) is green, and set against the black IP case and black dial, it is a bold watch. Packaged with the watch is both a leather strap with green stitching and green Nylon NATO strap. If green does not float your boat, the AVI-8 Hawker Hunter is also available in the bold color combinations of yellow/black and red/black, a slightly more subtle blue/black and a stealthy grey/black. I don’t care for black-out watches, so this color combo would be a good pick for someone who still wanted a readable watch without much contrast.
At 45mm, the watch is on the large side of the range that I like to wear, but it does not feel oversized. I think part of this is due to the 11mm thickness and the relatively light 120g watch head. Of course, you get this because of the quartz chrono movement. They don’t specify the actual movement, and it is not a 1/5 of a second sweep, but the reset is more reminiscent of a mechanical movement. Hitting the reset button spins all the hands back to 0 in one sweep, which is very welcome if you have ever had to watch a quartz chronograph reset by spinning all the way through the timing sequence.
The crown has the AVI-8 British Royal Airforce bulls-eye (minus the colors) and the bezel has a nice coin edge. The crystal is slightly domed. AVI-8 does not specify the material, so I am going to guess it is mineral glass. I like the skeletonization of the hand set, with only the 12-hour chrono counter at 9:00 getting a simple stick hand. I think this actually helps to balance out the look of the watch. You also get a head on look of the namesake Hawker Hunter, a 1950 era fighter/fighter-bomber along with the branding around the date window.
Overall, I like the watch. It certainly falls in with the brand’s lineup. At $200 on the brand’s US sales site, it is also reasonably priced. If you are looking for something bold, with a useful quartz chronograph feature, AVI-8 Hawker Hunter is worth considering. avi-8nation.com
- Brand & Model: AVI-8 Hawker Hunter
- Price: $200
- Who we think it might be for: You want a bold looking aviation theme chrono on a budget.
- Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: I like the looks, but the quartz movement would keep it off my wrist (I know, I am a snob).
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Lume.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The bold colors available (including, but not limited to green on black) look good.
Tech Specs from AVI-8:
- Movement: Japanese quartz chronograph
- Functions: 12 hour chronograph, date
- Case: Black IP stainless steel
- Crystal: Not specified
- Water resistance: 5 ATM
- Lug width: 22mm
- Straps: Leather and Nylon NATO
- Diameter: 45mm
- Thickness: 11mm