When last we covered AVI-8 (you know, just yesterday) we were introducing you to their new Centenary collection, which is focused in on historical references, rather than pulling ideas from gauge clusters and the like. In that 1920s review, I teased that we had a review coming up of the AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940. Well, dear reader, today is your lucky day, because we’re delivering on that promise right here and now.
It should surprise no one that I requested to see the blue-dialed version of the AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 (ref AV-4059-02). There is just something about a crisp blue and white dial (particularly when set into a steel case) that just feels right. Speaking of cases, this appears (to my highly uncalibrated eye) to be the same case as we saw on the 1920 – 42mm, 12mm thick, sapphire crystal, etc, etc. It makes sense, particularly as they’re housing the same movement (an automatic Miyota 8218) in a cost-savings manner, as well as a design language continuity.
That then begs the question, what makes the AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 different from the 1920? Well, first and foremost, it’s that dial. While the 1920s (LINK) had that vintage art deco look, here, we’ve got very much more of a flinger-style feel with the handset, double-dotted triangle, no-nonsense numerals on the sector dial, as well as the diamond crown. That means that – if I had to guess – this is the reference that is going to resonate a good bit more with buyers, as it’s the more familiar look.
Though, it’s not completely familiar. The AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 does bring a sector dial to the party, which is something we don’t commonly see on a flieger. AVI-8 also pulled one of their favorite tricks out of the bag by putting a texture on the dial, which gives things a nice variation, as well as scattering the light that it reflects. Like on the 1920s, there is additional text (brand and model family), but it works here with their standard font.
Also improved on the AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940? The strap. It’s a grayish padded strap, much more comfortable than the one I experienced on the 1920s. It’s still not as high of a quality as if you visited the aftermarket, but it is a good sight nicer than the one on the 1920s. And the grey color they went with for it? Spot on with that blue dial.
Given that the case is the same, I found the AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 a comfortable day-to-day companion as well. It didn’t hurt that blue and grey fit in with my ensemble fairly well, and the watch itself – though it does have it’s own little details to set it apart – is one that can fly under the radar, so to speak. And while the white on blue color scheme may not be quite as contrasty as white on black, it still is an eminently readable watch. And I can’t fault the inclusion of a darker date wheel either, which is not as common at the price point this watch goes at.
Speaking of price – the AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 is going to be carrying a retail price tag of $340. Just as with the 1920s version, there’s going to be a two-phase pre-order period that is going to drop the price a bit (we’ve not been told how much as of yet). The regular pre-order period is going to launch on March 7th, with general availability occurring on March 22nd. Now, if you pre-order, you will get a discount. However, if you visit this page between February 13th and February 19th, you’ll be able to sign up (not to pre-order, but to indicate interest) which will net you an additional discount on top of the pre-order savings.
With that, we’ll wrap things up on these watches. If you’re thinking about pre-ordering but have questions, feel free to pop on over to our Slack channel, and I’ll do my best to answer whatever might be on your mind with these watches. And hey, even if you aren’t thinking about ordering one of these, join us over on Slack anyways. There’s some great discussions going on over there, and we’d love to have you. AVI-8.CO.UK
- Brand & Model: AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940
- Price: $340 (MSRP)
- Who we think it might be for: You want a vintage-styled aviator that still feels modern
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Yes, I could see that with this one
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: One wonders what this would look like on a bracelet…
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: That blue-and-white dial
Tech Specs from AVI-8
- Movement: Miyota 8218 automatic (21 jewels)
- 316L stainless steel
- Diameter: 42mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Lug width: 22mm
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Colored Patterned Dial in linen, blue, or black
- Deep Embossed Indexes with LumiNova (the linen dial version does not have lume on indices)
- LumiNova-filled Hands
- Crown: Normal
- Bezel: Fixed Case Bezel
- Strap: leather with tang buckle
- Functions: date display, subseconds
- WR: 5 ATM
- Weight: 80g