Top five most expensive Pilot watches of 2018
Today we host, on our Top 5 column, friend and Watchuseek's Senior Editor, Bhanu Chopra, a die-hard fan of Pilot Watches, who introduces us to the five most expensive Pilot watches of 2018.
By Bhanu Chopra - Senior Editor at Watchuseek
Modern pilot watches are quintessential to watch collector’s portfolio. We will present to you the most expensive pilot watches available on the market in 2018. We are not considering watches that have diamonds or other precious stones on the case.
We are also not considering any vintage watches, since their condition and availability may vary. These are stock watches from luxury watch brands, available in either gold or platinum, and range between $24,000 to $1.2M USD.
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46 - $24,270.
In 2018, Breitling renamed the original iconic Navitimer watch the with slide rule scale, to Navitimer 1. The new Navitimer 1 series is powered with the in-house B01 chronograph movement, and come in 43mm and 46mm case sizes. This 18k red gold 46mm watch, with anthracite dial, is the most expensive of the series at $24,270 USD.
The redesigned dial of Navitimer 1 now has a “B” logo instead of the recognizable “Wings” logo. But overall the dial has less text than the previous version, hence making the dial more legible. The anthracite dial has a sunburst pattern with contrasting white sub-dials. Breitling added a sapphire crystal on the case back to showcase the B01 movement, which has a 70-hour power reserve.
More information on Breitling website.
Breguet Type XXI Flyback - $25,600.
Breguet and Vixa were the first ones to supply the Type XX chronographs to the French military in 1950. While most of the features remain the same between Type XX and Type XXI, Type XXI has both a central minute and a central chronograph seconds hand with a day/night indicator and date. It has a polished 18kt rose gold case with Breguet's signature fluted case.
The dial is slate grey and multi-tiered, with a flat main dial with stepped up center and slightly recessed sub-dials. A 24-hour sub-dial located at the 3 O’clock position provides AM/PM indication. The Flyback feature allows for instant restarting of the chronograph with a single push of the button instead of the need to stop, reset & restart the chronograph.
More information on Breguet website.
IWC Big Pilot's Watch “Le Petite Prince” Annual Calendar Edition - $35,200.
As part of the cooperation with the descendants of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, IWC has been creating special edition Pilot’s Watch models as tributes to the wonderful story of “Le Petite Prince” or “The Little Prince” since 2013.
These models feature a blue dial with sunburst-pattern. On the dial, the annual calendar shows the month, date and day in three separate windows, and requires manual correction via the crown once a year at the end of February. The reverse side has a unique rotor in the shape of an asteroid with the little prince gazing at the sky.
The watch is powered by in-house automatic movement, 52850 calibre, which has two barrels for a power reserve which lasts 7 days. The IWC Big Pilot's Watch “Le Petite Prince” Annual Calendar Edition has a 46.2mm white gold case and is limited to 250 pieces.
More information on IWC website.
Patek Calatrava Pilot Travel Time - $47,630.
The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time with a second-time zone and a local-time date was launched in 2015 to the surprise of journalists and Patek collectors. It came in white gold case with a striking blue dial. The 2018 variation comes in 42mm rose gold case with sunburst brown dial with black gradation, and gold applied numbers.
The watch is powered by Patek’s automatic movement, 324 SC FUS caliber with a gold rotor. The dial has both local and home time, central seconds, local date sub-dial, and local and home day/night indicators in aperture. The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time comes on a vintage brown calfskin leather strap.
More information on Patek website.
Richard Mille RM 039 Tourbillon Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph - $1.2M.
RM 039 is an ultra-complicated watch with a million dollar plus price tag and limited to 30 uber-rich clients. It has a 50mm case which is nearly 20mm tall and contains close to 1000 parts.
According to Richard Mille, the three-part case of the RM 039 is exceptionally difficult to produce, requiring more than 800 milling operations over several days. The 5 pushers, their components and the crown of the RM 039 require another 10 days of machining. The RM 039 is powered by a manual winding aviation Tourbillon movement with E6-B flight computer, hours, minutes, seconds at 6 o’clock, UTC function, oversize date, flyback chronograph with central seconds and minutes counter and hours at 9 o’clock, countdown mode, function selector and power reserve indicator.
More information on Richard Mille website.
(Photo credit: courtesy of the respective brands)
Senior Editor - Watchuseek