A little known Swiss watch company has taken a cockpit clock and put it on a wrist for under $500. This Japanese-powered automatic includes a dual-time zone and date movement in a stealthy, black PVD-coated case. Let’s take another look at the Techné Goshawk.
Techné has been around since 2007 and wants to use its “manufacturing know-how,” as its name in Greek suggests, to make reliable aviator-themed watches. The one that I wore seemed to pass the preflight check list with its black dial and bold numerals. Their other watches include similar-styled aviation watches like the Merlin, Harrier, and SparrowHawk, which come in mechanical and quartz options.
This watch is named after the Goshawk aircraft, which started flying in the 90s as a Navy training jet. It was a raptor before it was a jet, but maybe the training jet suggests that it is your training watch.
I immediately liked the matte-finished black steel dial when I opened its canvas case. It resembles an aviator watch or clock on the cockpit’s instrument panel. It has a bold and simple case design and a few, noteworthy details, along with some design hiccups.
Its 41.5mm diameter case is my ideal dial dimension and it has a decent 13mm height for its style. The case is PVD coated and the materials offer a basic level of anti-magnetism at 4,800 A/m. This is the entry level to be considered anti-magnetic and is in no way close to some of other luxury watch brands with 80,000 A/m.
The PVD, or physical vapor deposition, is a vacuum coating of materials that increase the durability of the case and can reduce friction. Sure, it may be used in aerospace, but it just looks cool too.
The newer, larger aviation watches in the 48mm and 55mm range are ridiculous to me. Besides, I’m not flying 500 mph over enemy territory and trying to synchronize my bomb drops. You’ll be able to see the time through the sapphire crystal which offers a sharp and clear view into the dial along with the rugged crown which is the perfect grip for my large fingers. I think the crown is one of my favorite details on this watch with its pattern and “TE” on the end.
The flat-black dial offers the ideal contrast between the stark white 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock Arabic numerals. These numerals orient the wearer to the dial, while the outer chapter ring holds the smaller, silver Arabic numerals spaced in five-minute intervals.
The delicate script reading, “Techné Automatic” at 3 o’clock respectfully introduces the viewer to the watch’s maker. It is subtle and subservient to the larger numerals on the dial, as it should be. The same modest information is in contrast to the bolded, all-uppercase words, “JAPANESE MOVEMENT” at 6 o’clock. I’m not clear on why the movement’s origin deserves this prominence, but it looks like the shift key was stuck. Either way, it helps me know what’s inside.
The date function and its window attempt to provide the relevant information too, but all I see is that the legible, black-on-white numeral is not centered between 4 and 5 o’clock. This imbalance is enhanced as I move to the 24-hour register at 9 o’clock. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to look at initially. There are times in the day where the hour and minute hands collide with the 24 hour register and the 9 is like an innocent bystander.
Somehow the 24-hour register is so important that Techne’ risked this visual midair collision. Maybe Techné thought that if they painted its business-end yellow, it would help. They painted its other end silver which offers some contrast. Just watch out for 8:45 p.m. It’s going to get busy.
I appreciate the Miyota 8217 and its 21 jeweled motor in this watch. Miyota keeps showing up in watches for a reason. It rocks along at 21,600 vibrations-per-hour (vph) frequency, and produces a -20/+40 seconds-per-day accuracy rating. Citizen, who makes the movement, suggests that you’ll have 40 hours of reserve-time too.
It’s a non-hacking movement, but it can be hand wound if you don’t wear it every day and the quick setting date only makes it easier to slip on the watch and get it up to speed.
Compare this movement to ETA’s 2893 which is an automatic with a 24-hour and date functions. This one hums along at 28,800 vph and includes a hacking feature. If these features matter, then consider the cost difference you’ll see in ETA powered watches.
The illumination on this watch made a strong showing especially on its sword hour and minute hands. Also well illuminated are its second hand, the 12, 3, 6 and 9 numerals and the other hour indices. They’ve even illuminated that little yellow-tipped 24-hour hand.
The brushed steel case back of this watch is almost better looking than its front with a display back that shows off small finishes on the unidirectional rotor. The nylon strap hides the display back, but for a few bucks, I would update the strap since the weight of the strap doesn’t feel substantial enough for its 75 grams of watch weight. It’s not that the watch is heavy, but more like the strap is too lightweight.
Compare this watch with the grandfathers of aviator watches and you’ll see why this is an affordable alternative. You might get four of these watches for one Stowa. Look for a Laco and you might pay about the same if not about $100 more for the same or less features.
There are other pilot watch companies out there, so consider that this might be a rather inexpensive way to get an aviator on the wrist. Despite the light-weight strap and run-away 24-hour hand, it offers a few extra functions you might want. It was also comfortable to wear, easy to read and had decent lume for a reasonable price. $340 USD. technewatches.com
- Brand & Model: Techné Goshawk PVD Automatic (411.1)
- Price: $340 USD
- Who we think it might be for: This watch is for anyone who appreciates the military-themed watches.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I don’t think I’d buy this model of Techné but think their other models are worth considering.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I would consider another way to illustrate the 24 hour hand.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I loved the crown on this watch.
- Brand Model: Techné Goshawk PVD Automatic (411.1)
- Movement (technology): Japanese Calibre Miyota 8217 21 Jewel
- Size of case diameter (mm): 41.4 mm
- Height of case: 5 mm
- Weight: 72g
- Case material: Sand-blasted 316L stainless steel with black PVD coating
- Case Back: Display case back
- Crystal/Glass material: Sapphire
- Water resistance (m/ft/atm): 50m
- Strap/Bracelet material: Green Nato 20mm
- Illumination: Yes
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