AVI-8 is a brand that makes no bones about where they draw their inspiration from. The very name of the brand lets you know that they are all about airplanes. We have looked at several different models from the brand, and they have generally presented an interesting twist of how to display certain elements. The AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon definitely falls into that category.
As you can probably guess, this watch takes inspiration from the Hawker Typhoon, specifically the fuel gauge that can be found in the cockpit of the plane. While I cannot say that I have been in the plane, the watch does have a gauge sort of feel. This is in part due to the semi-circle going from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock that is the date indication. For the specific fuel gauge tie in, you just need to look above the 6 o’clock mark.
Here, we have what amounts to a fuel gauge that is tied to the day of the week. As the week progresses, more red shows. Basically, you are running down the week, with Monday being on the far right. On one hand, I applaud these different takes on display the day and date. In practical usage, however, these can be rather hard to read, as the numerals and fonts are pretty small. I also thought it a bit odd that they have the week starting with Monday, when the first day of the week is usually considered to be Sunday. Small concerns, and if you have better eyes (or glasses) then me, then it probably is not an issue.
All of this is driven by a modified version of a quartz Seiko Epson VX movement, which keeps things as accurate as you might expect. The movement is also driving the very nice handset around the dial. While the hands are narrow, they are lumed, and they reach out to the very edges of their respective tracks, something I rather like. You’ll also see that the seconds hand has a yellow tip to it, with the yellow starting right at the “record grooves” around the outer edge of the dial. Its a small detail, but its one that really shows some attention was given to the design.
As to the rest of the dial, it is fairly well-sorted. In many ways, it makes for a surprisingly dressy watch, given the vehicular inspiration behind it. With the baton-style hands and narrow trapezoid indices in white standing out in stark contrast against the black dial and its multiple textures, it seems to holler out that it is a dress watch. Given that, it is a bit out of place (to my eyes) that we have the numerals showing up in three places as we do here (4, 8, and 12). Frankly, they feel undersized and out of place, and I think the watch would be better served by removing them.
Dress watch or no, I am pleased that large portions of the case are in a brushed finish (which means fingerprints are decidedly hidden). There is a polished surface on the bezel, but that just gives you that bit of shine you look for in a less casual piece. Same goes for the croc-pattern leather strap. While it retains the usual generous length that we have come to expect from AVI-8, the strap on the Hawker Typhoon really does a bit of a shine to it – once again, moving it away from a casual styling.
That all said, I wore this watch mostly at the office, and it did not seem out of place at all. The watch wore comfortably, with the lugs coming in just about right on my wrist and the low weight (only 58g) keeping the watch mostly unnoticeable on the wrist until I needed to check the time. Coming in at a price of $350, the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon is a somewhat rare bird – a seemingly casual, every day watch that can easily do double duty as a dress watch should the occasion call for it. While there are some minor design adjustments I would prefer to see on the dial, they likely are not a serious concern for most potential owners. I have now seen a variety of day/date layouts from the brand, and am certainly curious for what might come next. avi-8.co.uk
- Brand & Model: AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon
- Price: $350
- Who’s it for?: You don’t have many formal occasions, but would like to have a daily-wear watch that could be pressed into service when they arise
- Would I wear it?: Probably not, given that the most unique features of the dial (the day and date complications) are simply too small for me to reliably use them
- What I’d change: Drop the main numerals on the dial
- The best thing about it: How easily the watch can slip into being a dress piece. Normally we try to dress a watch “down”, not the other way.