AVI-8 make many great looking aviation inspired watches. Their latest model is the AVI-8 Flyboy Chronograph AV-4054. This line of aviation watches is inspired by the 38 American pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille who flew for the French in 1916, before the United States entered World War I. AVI-8 was kind enough to send me one of the production models to review, so lets check this out.
The Dial and Movement.
I really like the look of the dial on the AVI-8 Flyboy. The mix of stainless steel, black, and red colors just work for me. The hour and minute hands have a cool stained glass look, cathedral hands, with lots of lume. There are two sub dials, one for the 24 hour time and the other for the chronograph minutes. There is no active seconds hand on this watch but there is the chronograph seconds hands that is parked at the 12′ o’clock position until needed.
One of the best features of this watch is the use of a Japanese Seiko VK64 meca-quartz movement. While having all the accuracy of a quartz movement, the meca-quartz powers the mechanical movement of the chronograph. When you activate the chronograph the mechanical side of this quartz kicks into life with a sweeping seconds hands. Since this watch has no active seconds hand and all you see is the sweeping seconds hand when using the chronograph. No one would even know this is a quartz. That’s cool.
Made from stainless steel with a brushed finish, this case measures in at 42mm wide and 10mm thick. There are two polished chronograph pushers and a diamond aviation style crown. The case is water resistant to 5 atm or 50 meters. The case back is screw down and has an etching of a pilot representing the Flyboy pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille. The case on this AVI-8 Flyboy is very nicely made and does not look too big on the wrist. I feel that 42mm for this watch is just right.
I was pretty happy with the lume on this AVI-8 Flyboy. After a good charge, it glows very well–even in the light. The hour and minute hands are fully painted and the hour numerals are large and legible.
The strap on this AVI-8 Flyboy is a thick leather strap but is very soft and comfortable. The French tri-color accent stitching pairs well with the colors on the dial. The strap uses a signed pin and buckle clasp and lots of adjustment holes to fit any wrist.
The AVI-8 Flyboy Chronograph is a pretty well made watch and has a nice clean look to it. I have never been a fan of quartz watches but since this is a meca-quartz with the sweeping chronograph seconds hands, I don’t mind it at all. This watch looks great on the wrist and is just the right size. AVI-8 will start selling the Flyboy Chronograph on July 5th but you can sign up to get one starting on June 21st. The price for this will be 180 GBP or approx. $230 USD. You can check them out at avi-8.co.uk.
- Brand and model: AVI-8 Flyboy Chronograph AV-4054-02
- Price: 180 GBP or approx. $230 USD
- Who’s it for? Aviation watch collectors.
- Would I wear it? Not daily but on occasion.
- What I’d change: Nothing
- The best thing about it: Like the color combination on the dial.
Tech Specs from AVI-8
- 42mm diameter stainless steel case
- 10mm thick
- Japanese Quartz Chronograph with Date and 1/5 Second
- 22mm lug width
- Water resistant to 5 ATM
- Genuine Leather Strap
- 80 gram watch weight
- Two year limited warranty